It is one of the most basic metrics used to measure user experience on a website and we’ve been using it for years. Do you know everything you need to about your bounce rate?

In today’s post we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about bounce rates so that you can make sure your website is providing the best user experience possible!

What is Bounce Rate?

An easy to understand bounce rate definition is:

Someone who comes to your website, looks at one page, and leaves the website for whatever reason.

Bounce Rate = Total number of visitors viewing one page only / Total visitors to the page

So What Does Bounce Rate Mean to You?

The bounce rate of each page can tell you the interest people have on your website based on first impressions. If the majority of visitors are leaving without looking at another page you may not be doing a good job of meeting their expectations or catching their interest. You want visitors to come to your website, peruse pages, become familiar with your brand and offerings, build up trust and eventually make a move (ie. conversion) whether it is a sale or give you their lead information.

Does Bounce Rate Affect Rankings?

Google and other Search Engines use bounce rate as a factor when determining how to rank your website. A high bounce rate means people are going to the site, not liking what they see and leave. From the Search Engine’s perspective, these type of pages or websites do not provide a good user experience and in fact agitate the searcher. Essentially a high bounce rate signals your pages aren’t relevant or good enough for visitors and the Search Engines will start showing them less and less in results.

Understanding Bounce Rate vs. Exit Rate

Exit rate measures the percentage of people who leave after viewing the page. The visitor could have viewed three or four pages, found the information they needed and then exited on your contact page. Bounce rate on the other hand is a person who leaves your website on the first page.

How Do Visitors “Bounce”?

There are several ways visitors can bounce or leave your website:

  • Hit the back button
  • Type a different URL into their browser
  • Close the browser
  • Close the tab in the browser
  • Click a link on your website that goes to another website.

What’s a Good Bounce Rate?

There is no single magic number for an acceptable bounce rate. A good bounce rate is specific to your website and a website can always be tweaked to improve its own bounce rate. When looking at your bounce rate, ask yourself:

  • Is it consistent?
  • Has it changed over the last several months?
  • Are there spikes anywhere? Can you attribute these spikes to any major changes on your site?
  • What specific pages have high bounce rates? Should the person be leaving here?

Bounce Rate by Industries

KissMetrics recently published an infographic on Bounce Rate and published the following bounce rates:

Service Websites:            10-30% bounce

Retail Sites:                         20-40% bounce

Content Websites:          40-60% bounce

Lead Generation:             30-50% bounce

Overall Average Bounce Rate:    40.5%

Normal Bounce Rates Differ for Different Functions

Depending on the type of page and its purpose you can expect to have different “normal” bounce rates. For example, pages with news, entertainment, sports and other information should have lower bounce rates because people are in the exploration mode. Pages with specific functions such as weather, contact forms, hours of operation should have higher bounce rates because the visitor is coming to find a single answer.

What Else Affects Bounce Rate?

There are several aspects that can either drive visitors away or help keep them on page. Consider the following factors that can affect bounce rate:

  • Pop-up ads
  • Music
  • Streaming video
  • Type of audience
  • Landing page design
  • Emails and newsletters
  • Load time
  • Links to external sites (more visitors click away)
  • Purpose of the landing

20 Tips on How to Reduce Bounce Rate

Whether your bounce rate  is 70% or 20% you can always make tweaks to lower bounce rate, including:

  • Create clear navigation
  • Have a clear purpose to each page
  • Keep content on topic
  • Make sure you meet visitor expectations
  • Check website speed here (if your site takes too long to load visitors won’t wait)
  • Make sure website has cross-browser compatibility
  • Make content scannable with titles and some images
  • Make sure site is mobile responsive so it looks good regardless of what type of device a visitor is using
  • Look in Analytics and Webmaster Tools to see what types of phrases are bringing traffic to your website – are you attracting the wrong type of traffic?
  • Have a clear Call-To-Action on each page
  • Cut out too many distractions
  • Offer related content based on the page
  • Add an internal search bar to make it easier to find
  • Make sure you have a good 404 page
  • Consider splitting long pages into two shorter pages
  • Consider getting rid of pop-up ads, customer help widgets, music
  • Make external links open in a new tab
  • Improve your brand’s story
  • Keep content up to date and current.
  • Make sure fonts and colors are readable.

Ultimately you need to meet or exceed your visitor’s expectations when it comes to each and every page of your website.

Start Improving Bounce Rate Today

You can start looking at bounce rate by exploring the Landing Page report from Google Analytics. Look at pages that have the highest bounce rates and higher levels of traffic.

Do you have a high bounce rate and have tried everything to lower it? Perhaps it’s time to speak with an expert. Call us at 1-888-262-6687. Our conversion optimization services can be a great place to start.