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What Does “Bounce Rate” Mean? What is a “Bad” Bounce Rate Percentage? Bounce Rate Explained

By October 17, 2009 No Comments

What does Bounce Rate mean? And why is it important?What does “Bounce Rate” mean? When a visitor land on a page on your website but doesn’t click on anything – this is called a “bounce”. Therefore, a “Bounce rate” is the percentage of your web visitors that bounce off your website without clicking on anything.

What is an example of a high “bounce rate” and what does it mean?

As a general rule, a high bounce rate is 50% and above.  So that means 50% of the visitors to that webpage didn’t click to visit other pages of your website.

Every website will have a different average bounce rate. Some of my websites have a 25% bounce rate and some have a 75% bounce rate.

The website with a 75% bounce rate is very well optimised for several common terms such as “whiteware for sale”, “freezers for sale” and it attracts visitors from all over New Zealand.  But I have made it very obvious to visitors that the target market for this website is Hamilton only, so visitors not in Hamilton quickly leave and look elsewhere which counts as a “bounce”.  So in this example, a 75% bounce rate is not a concern.

Why do people “bounce” off a page?

  1. They were looking for an answer to a question and your webpage gave them the answer so they left
  2. Your webpage didn’t answer their question, and so they click “back” in their web browser to try somewhere else
  3. The visitor was just browsing and nothing caught their eye so they left

2 Reasons To Care About Your Bounce Rate

  1. You are wasting your money. If you are paying for visitors to your website (eg using Google Adwords), then you are wasting your money if your webpage is bouncing them.
  2. You are wasting an opportunity. If these visitors are “organic/free” from Google, then you are wasting an opportunity at scoring a goal, so don’t waste this chance.  Review the content of your landing page.  What can you do to make your visitors take action?

How do you choose a webpage to improve?

You can choose problem pages that need attention by comparing the average bounce rate for your entire website to the bounce rate for individual pages.

Evaluate the pages with a higher bounce rate first.

You may find it interesting to use Google Analytics to determine the referring source of the visitors to each webpage and see if any particular source is generating a disproportionally large number of bounces.

5 Things You Can Do To Reduce Your Bounce Rate

  1. If your are using Google Adwords, review the content of your Ad.  What promise are you making? What is the visitor expecting to see when they click on your ad and view your landing page? (I can help you to optimise your  Google Adwords advertising and stop you wasting your money)
  2. Review the content of your landing page
  3. Ask yourself: “What is the purpose of this webpage?”
  4. Ask yourself: “What do I really want to say?”
  5. Ask yourself: “What action do I want the audience to take?”

In Conclusion

It is not useful to compare bounce rates between websites. It is most useful to determine the high bounce rate pages on your website and work on improving them.