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Your Website’s Bounce Rate: What Is It And Why Does It Matter?

Posted on June 17, 2018 by Jeff Pollard

Posted on June 17, 2018
by Jeff Pollard

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If you’ve ever spent any time looking at a Google Analytics report for your website, surely you’ve noticed something called a “Bounce Rate.” We’ve had many clients ask about this metric over the years and we thought going into some detail about it here might be useful.

A “bounce” is counted when a website visitor views one page of a particular website and leaves without any further interaction with the site.

A bounce can occur for a number of reasons:

  1. The visitor may not have seen any information or content that looked relevant to him.
  2. The site may have loaded too slowly and the visitor may have left before the page finished loading.
  3. The site may have some accessibility problems preventing the page from displaying properly.
  4. The visitor may have found exactly the information that he was seeking.

With the exception of the last item in the list above, all of the above situations certainly detract from your website’s effectiveness.

What is a Bad Bounce Rate?

We also receive this question frequently and we usually respond with, “It depends.” It depends on the purpose, design, and marketing of your website. In general, an average bounce rate is between 40-50%. If your site is seeing a bounce rate of 40% or lower, then your site is performing better than most other sites.

However, if your site is designed in such a way that all of the important content is contained on a single page, it is likely that you will see a nearly 100% bounce rate. On the other hand, if your site contains many pages rich with content, then a high bounce rate can be very detrimental to your site’s overall performance.

What Can I Do To Improve My Site’s Bounce Rate?

If your site is experiencing a high bounce rate, here are some suggestions to lower it:

  1. View your site on multiple devices/browsers to ensure that there are no display, accessibility, or speed issues. Keep in mind that if your site is not optimized for mobile devices, that factor may be causing your bounce rate to be high.
  2. Take a close look at your website’s content. Is it easy to read? Does it clearly communicate your company’s message?
  3. While you’re examining your website’s content, pay special attention to your calls to action. We believe that every page on your website should answer your visitor’s never-ending question: “What Should I Do Next?”. If your site is selling a product or service, give visitors a clear method to contact you or purchase the product or service. If your website is simply providing news/entertainment content, provide your visitors with related (relevant) content that they may also enjoy.

Also, it is important to consider that the marketing of your company/website may be a major factor in your site’s bounce rate. For instance: Let’s say your company sells dog collars, and you’re running a banner ad campaign to advertise a new product line. Your campaign is running on various dog-related websites, but is also running on some that are cat-focused. It stands to reason that many of the people who click your banner on the cat-focused websites will likely find your site’s dog accessories irrelevant to them. So, when you’re examining your site’s bounce rate, take a closer look at where these “bounced” visitors came from. This will likely help focus your marketing efforts to be more effective.

As you can tell, there are many factors that can affect your site’s bounce rate. If you need help analyzing your website’s traffic and improving your site’s performance, contact us to set up a free consultation.


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