The short answer: Bounce rate is the percentage of users to your website who leave after viewing only a single page. As an example, I go to Google and type in “Springfield, MO Attractions”. I click the first listing, look at the page for a few seconds and hit the back button to view more Google listings. I have just registered as a bounced session on that website.
Why Should You Care?
Bounce rate is one of the best metrics available to determine the level of engagement for your website users. If the majority of your visitors view only a single page, then you should be looking into any issues that may be causing this. A high bounce rate may be caused by a slow loading page, a poor call to action, annoying popups, or several other factors. If Google Analytics, or any other statistics plugin, is used by your website, you should be able to quickly and easily view your bounce rates for every page on your website.
A bounced session is not only bad for business, but also bad for SEO. Nobody knows the exact formula Google uses to determine website placement, but it’s commonly agreed that bounce rate is considered a significant factor in search engine placement. If your website consistently produces a high bounce rate, it will be much harder to become a top organic listing on Google.
What is a Good Bounce Rate?
A “Good Bounce Rate” will vary by industry, but typically anything below 35% is excellent, 36% to 55% is good, 56% to 70% could use some improvement, and anything above 71% is a bit alarming. Of course, there are some factors that could make a 75% to 80% bounce rate acceptable, but anything in this range could definitely use improvement.
Warning: Bounce Rates are Very Easy To Manipulate
Let’s say you read this and look at your website’s bounce rate to find it’s at 85%. Obviously, this is not ideal. So, you contact your website admin and ask them to look into it. Next week you check your bounce rate again and for the week it’s down to 20%. Unless you notice some very significant changes to your website, it’s possible they are running a script to alter these numbers. They may say, “It’s not possible to adjust Google Analytics numbers.”, which is true for past numbers, but future numbers are very easy to manipulate. Give me access to any website and I can bring the bounce rate to zero overnight.
This is why it’s important to work with a reputable web design company and ensure you are focusing on conversion tracking along with bounce rate. Not sure how to setup conversion tracking for your site? We would be happy to help. Call us today and we can meet with you to determine exactly how well your site is performing and where we can make improvements.