Everything You Need to Know About Bounce Rates

Bounce rate is an important metric that is perhaps among the first measures used when analyzing a website’s performance. It measures the traffic and the health of a website in terms of audience engagement. Here’s everything you need to know about this metric.

What is Bounce Rate?

When a user visits your website and stays on only one page before exiting, it is called a bounce. The bounce rate is calculated by dividing these single-page visits by the total number of sessions on the website. The bounce rate metric will give you an idea about how many people are clicking on related content on your website and how many are there just for a one-page session.

For people who are unfamiliar with bounce rate, it may be a little shocking when you hear high numbers, such as 70 percent or 80 percent. The truth is that this number is generally high across most websites on the internet, and it isn’t something to be alarmed about. 

Source of Traffic Affects Bounce Rate

While it is common for most people to open a website to view just one page, there is some variation in the user’s behavior that is based on the source of the traffic. It has been generally observed that organic traffic is the best source. 

People who find your website on their own without any paid advertisement tend to stay longer and explore the website by clicking on links. On the other hand, users who land on your website from referral links tend to have higher bounce rates. 

What Bounce Rate to Aim For

A good way to determine the best bounce rate for your website is to benchmark it against the industry standard. Each industry has a different average bounce rate. Media and the publishing industry, for instance, has a higher rate when compared to the business and finance industry.

As a general rule of thumb, a reasonable bounce rate from organic sources should be in the range of 40 to 50 percent. For paid sources like Google Search, a reasonable bounce rate is in the range of 55 to 65 percent. If you find that the numbers for your website are on the higher side, there are steps you can take to rectify the situation. Website improvement is a continuous process, and you should never stop learning and making adjustments, even if you have good user engagement.

How to Improve Bounce Rate

The key elements that determine the bounce rate include the overall design of the website and the content you offer. If you have a layout that is user-friendly, i.e., easy for the user to navigate, the chances of people clicking on different links are higher. 

You can also make the website more appealing by adding pictures and videos wherever appropriate. Apart from the aesthetics, if your content adds value to your audience, engagement should increase.

You should be aware that there are also some technical reasons why your bounce rate may be inaccurate. Having a duplicate analytics code could lead to an extremely low or high bounce rate, in which case you need a professional to look into the technical aspects of the website to make sure you are getting accurate data.