- Bounce Rate: Short summary
- Bounce Rate: Detailed summary
- Bounce rate measurement
- Bounce rate relevance
- Reasons for a high bounce rate
- Improving bounce rates
- The significance of bounce rates in search engine optimization
Bounce Rate: Short Summary
The bounce rate is a value that describes how many users view a page and then leave the domain without performing any other specified action.
Bounce Rate: Detailed Summary
The bounce rate describes the number of users who visit a website and then leave without executing any further action. Actions might include: selecting another page within the domain via a link on the homepage, downloading landing page content or remaining on the site for a certain period of time. If the website fails to encourage a user to perform one of these actions, then he or she will “jump off” the site, thus leaving to visit elsewhere – hence the term "bounce rate."
A low bounce rate can indicate that a site is popular with users. Even search engines like Google inspect the bounce rate as part of its analysis, but it is unclear whether the bounce rate is directly considered as a ranking factor.
Bounce Rate Measurement
The bounce rate is usually expressed as a percentage value and is visible in analysis programs such as Google Analytics. Here, the value of each individual domain sub-page is listed, together with an indication of the domain average. The lower the value, the fewer visitors left the site – so the better the bounce rate.
Bounce Rate Relevance
The bounce rate must always be considered in context. A page with a high bounce rate does not necessarily have to be judged as poor. The bounce rate of your blog page, for example, tends to be higher than the bounce rate of the company homepage because visitors often access the blog via external sources – such as social media, Native Ads, or a newsletter – and then leave the site immediately after reading an article. Low bounce rates are thus an especially important site feature because they outline parts of each user's customer journey and suggest that some kind of conversion may occur.
Monitoring bounce rates is a crucial part of any strategy designed to verify page performance in pursuit of website optimization.
Reasons for a high Bounce Rate
There may be many reasons why visitors leave a page immediately. Often the user will find the desired information and then leave the page again. Also technical problems such as inaccurate coding can precipitate faulty tracking and then result in a high bounce rate. However, there are sometimes other factors that create a negative user experience, which influence the user to leave. These include:
The design and layout – accounting for much of a site's usability – are the first thing a visitor sees. Within seconds, this first impression enables a visitor to decide if he or she likes a page, and whether or not it is considered reliable, relevant and interesting. Colors, fonts, navigation arrangements, layout of images and the content all contribute to a user’s preference to stay on a page.
Too Much Advertising/Untrustworthy Website
Often websites use outdated designs or layouts that include chaotic pages using too many fonts and/or sizes, all of which serves to obscure the layout. Readers can find these sites both unprofessional and untrustworthy.
In particular, too much advertising can give visitors a negative impression. Inconveniently placed banner advertisements and pop-ups also contribute to a poor user experience and thus increase the bounce rate.
One of the most common causes of a high bounce rate is insufficient and poorly designed content. To avoid the prospect of losing visitors immediately, marketing professionals, writers, graphic designers and video producers should ask questions like:
- Does the content provided answer the reader's questions?
- Is the content interesting and designed to suit the target audience?
- Is the page and the content designed so the reader can navigate quickly?
- Is the content clear, error-free and aesthetically pleasing?
Misleading Titles/Incorrect Keywords
Having searched for specific terms, visitors will first see a page on a search engine's results pages. Any website operator whose site doesn’t reflect relevant information will most likely lose the majority of visitors immediately. The bounce rate can only be kept low when all the titles, meta descriptions, and the keywords they contain, are relevant to the site. Here is an example:
Long Load Times
Finally, long page loading times can be a serious website problem that (probably) also has an important influence on site ranking. Especially during periods when there are high volumes of mobile traffic, only sites loading rapidly, with small amounts of data, can hope to prevent users jumping off early.
Improving Bounce Rates
The various factors that may cause a high bounce rate can all be adjusted. Specifically, the bounce rate can be effectively lowered by optimizing the design, layout, content and technology the site uses.
If you want to reduce the bounce rate, then page design and layout is a good place to start. Choosing the right color combinations, navigational structure, primary content, page elements, and also the font will help significantly. Design and layout are always dependent upon the industry, the target audience, the purpose of the website and many other factors.
A good site is clearly designed and responsive to user behavior. So the main menu is usually found on the left and/or at the top of the screen, and the content layout and formatting should be broken up. If the page consists of one long paragraph without headings and pictures, your visitor will leave and look for another faster and more efficient website.
The content of a website is a crucial – in the longer term, this is what persuades visitors to commit to your site. And given that content is usually the reason why users visit a site, it must be carefully structured to rapidly answer a user's questions and be engaging.
Content should be flawless and stylistically appealing as well as address the website's target audience. Informative posts that are inspiring and well-structured both serve the needs of visitors and persuade them to stay longer on the page.
But a low bounce rate depends on more than just the website's content. Visitors can only locate a page when clear messages direct them along the way. So the navigation menu should be accurate, and the page's meta description and title should make the user clear about what to expect when clicking.
Technology and SEO
To make a website attractive to visitors, the site's technology and search engine optimization should be effective. Matching on-page optimization with short page loading times and the right keywords will help to reduce the bounce rate. In addition, the site should feature the right titles, meta descriptions and matching keywords to attract Internet users. However, the internal linking must also be carefully designed to allow users to click through the site easily.
The Significance of Bounce Rates in Search Engine Optimization
If many users visit a website placed high in the search results but return to the SERPs after a short time to select another page, then it would seem the original page did not address the user's search query. Whereas if visitors keep returning to a particular SERPs listing, then that website would appear to offer users what they are looking for.
The bounce rate is an important factor that conveys a sense of how a page is performing. Bounce rates also provide website operators with important clues about whether a site can engage its visitors or is in need of optimization. For Google, the bounce rate indication plays an important role although, currently, there is no firm evidence about whether the bounce rate is actually regarded as a ranking factor.