What is bounce rate?

Monday, October 5, 2020
Posted By
Rav Sanghera

What is bounce rate?

A single page session on a website is considered a bounce, these sessions are when the user left the site from the entrance page without using or landing on any other page. This means that the user visited a page but didn’t click any buttons such as ‘read more’ or contact us and quickly left it.  

Bounce rate is used in analytics to make sure that as a business you can better understand on which page you are getting the most visitors but also if they are genuine or if they are bouncing off the page.

How do we calculate bounce rate?

Bounce rate is a percentage of complete views on your website during a set time, this is will tell you the percentage of users who took no action while visiting the webpage and also those who remained on the page until they were timed out.  

Single page visits divided by total visits = Bounce rate. This will help to allows better understanding and it is easy to measure to track the performance and bounce rate of specific pages

What can be consider good bounce rate?

A lower bounce rate is a good bounce rate, as this shows that the majority of users who landed on the page has taken actions, they have interacted with the page. Low bounce rates also indicate that the web pages interest your target audience, a well-designed and thought out should expect a bounce rate between 26% - 70%.  

Image from - https://cxl.com/guides/bounce-rate/benchmarks/

Where does your traffic come from?

Have you considered how people find your website? This can also impact how they interact with your website and the bounce rate. As users who find your business through direct search will be less likely to bounce off as opposed to users who find your site due to display ads. This will also increase the clarity as you can understand what the best avenue for your target audience is.

Can bounce rate differ depending upon device?

Also keep in mind that mobile users and desktop users can bounce off your website. This can be another cause for why you may experience high numbers of users bouncing off the site. Websites that haven't been optimised for mobile well can have increased bounce rate. In May 2020, SimlarWeb reviewed data on the top 100 websites in the world and found that there was a difference of over 16% in the mobile bounce rates.

What causes bounce rate to be high?

There can be a few reasons that users may leave your site without taking any action.

  1. The website may have been optimised for the wrong keywords, meaning that you may appear in the search results when your service doesn’t apply. Which would cause users to bounce off without acting.
  1. They found your website through an AD but when they land on the site, they can’t find the information immediately, so they leave assuming that the AD was fake or false.  
  1. The user didn’t get the information that they wanted or find the service they were looking for.

How can I lower my bounce rate?

There can be many ways to reduce your bounce rate, but it also depends upon why you have a high bounce rate. Firstly, finding out what pages have the highest bounce rate and comparing them to pages with the lowest bounce rate to see what changes can be made. Such as:

  • Formatting the content to make sure that it is more readable, easily viewed and in a language and tone they will understand.
  • CTA buttons need to be clear and easy to understand.
  • Fast loading times so that users don’t bounce off waiting for the page to load.
  • Make sure that the website speaks to the users and is designed for them. Meaning information is easy to read and formatted to answer all their questions, allowing them to get all the information they need before purchasing and enquiring.  

Is a bounce rate a ranking factor?  

Google’s former head of webspam, Matt Cutts, has stated that Googles use of analytics and bounce rates is not a part of the ranking algorithm. So, what does this mean? That bounce rate itself is not a factor that will not affect your rankings, but it can indicate to bigger issues that can reflect on your rankings. These issues can be related to the usability of the site, whether the site is being reached by the right audience and other issues.

What your bounce rate isn't telling you...

Your bounce rate isn’t always reflective of your websites quality. So, what isn't your bounce rate telling you?  

Bounce rate sessions triggers only a single request to the Analytics server. If a user lands on your site but only stays on your page and doesn’t take any further action that is considered a bounce, but we must consider that Google can’t distinguish good and bad interactions.  

As if a user comes to your site and was reading a blog or service page for 15 minutes and then they stepped away to check the mail. If they were to come back and click on another page that is still, then classed as a bounce. It can also be counted as a bounce if a user is using multiple tabs as currently Google cannot differentiate different tabs from different users.  

Tricks to reduce bounce rate  

Here are some tips and tricks to help you reduce your websites bounce rate, these all may not work for your site as you must consider your customers and what you’re offering them.

  • Avoid the use of pop ups, as 70% of users find pop ups irrelevant [Niel Patel]. It can also cause users to leave the site as many users associate pop ups with unestablished and potential scamming sites. However, depending upon your service sometimes they can work but they shouldn’t take over the whole screen and be easy for users to minimise.

  • Call to actions are something that all websites need but make the most of users visiting the site they should be compelling. They should be more than just ‘call us’ a small text change can have a big impact and make the user feel more compelled to click as it feels as if they are being spoken as opposed to something generic.

  • Make sure you incorporate high traffic keywords (that are related to your business) as they can have a huge impact on your visits as high value keywords have high value traffic increasing the visibility of your website. But, remember there are can be two types of high value keywords, the first set are the one you want to target that ones that will actually bring you traffic and the other is one that is so heavily polluted such as commercial keywords that will have you waiting a long time to reap the benefits of.  

  • Work on your websites page speed, but also look at individual pages that have high bounce rate to ensure that those pages are optimised, as some sites when check the speed of a website will only test the homepage as opposed to all pages.

  • Improving the credibility can increase users time spend on the site and allow them to feel more confident when contacting or using your website. Improving your business credibility can mean many things, from showcasing who you are accredited by, who you have worked with and even increasing your business presence on platforms such as LinkedIn and Google my business.  

For more advice on what bounce rate your business should be receiving and for way to improve it, speak to the experts at Creative Ideaz today and arrange a free meeting to find out how we can help you to be more successful online.  

Rav Sanghera

UX Researcher @ Creative Ideaz