Bounce Rate Guide: How to Measure, Audit, and Reduce

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Bounce rate is a very interesting and important metric that may indicate how relevant your content is, how great your design is, how well you’ve chosen your target audience, and much more. In combination with other metrics, it makes it possible to review the big picture and shows you what you may need to adjust to become a real magnet for leads and buyers.

In this article, we’re going to explain everything we know about bounce rate, what percentage is considered good, where you can see the rate of your site, how to lower it when needed, etc.

Did you know that a high bounce rate can be a good thing?

It’s a paradox we’ll also discuss!

What Is Bounce Rate and How to Measure It?

bounce rate by industry - backlinko

Source: Backlinko

Bounce rate is a metric measuring how many people have visited a single page of your website, did nothing there, and left. If there’s an action on a page you want users to take but they aren’t, you can see it as a high bounce.

So, bounce rate shows whether people engage or not with the elements, content, forms, etc. of the page.

A high rate may mean that you have issues with:

  • Website SEO
  • User experience
  • Loading speed
  • Content quality
  • Website design, etc.

So, the spectrum is quite wide.

Measuring the Bounce Rate

Mathematically speaking:

Bounce rate = Number of visitors who viewed a particular page / Total number of entrances

Remember that we’re talking about ENTRANCES, not PAGEVIEWS.

Entrances: the number of users entering your website on a specific page.

Pageviews: the total number of views of that page.

Let’s not confuse metrics.

Where to See My Bounce Rate?

You can use Google Analytics for that.

bounce rate google analytics report

As you can see, the bounce rate is in the bottom statistics line.

You can also use third-party tools like SEO software by SE Ranking. It allows having the same GA data along with other SEO metrics within one platform. Basically, you sign up there, add your website and connect your Google Analytics account. Then, you’ll see all the metrics there, including bounce rate, in a convenient, user-friendly interface with other SEO data like information on keyword ranking, competitors, backlinks, and your website health score.

seranking bounce rate report

Source: SE Ranking

High or Low? What’s a Good Bounce Rate?

Many marketers think the lower, the better.

But they’re wrong.

First of all, it’s important to understand what high and low rates are.

A high bounce rate means that visitors land on the page and spend little time there. Their session time is short.

A low bounce rate means that visitors land on the page and spend some time there, taking action, clicking on links, filling in forms, visiting other pages of the website, etc. Their session time is rather long.

Good and bad rates depend on the page type, the specifics of your website, and your success metrics. If the relevance of the website depends on users’ prolonged visits to it, then a high rate isn’t a very good thing.

But if it’s a:

  • Help section
  • Page with contact information
  • Confirmation page
  • Checkout, etc.

a high rate is totally OK.

Besides, ad landings and blog posts may also have a high bounce because:

  • Ad landings are often used for comparison shopping.
    People can land on the page, see the price and leave to come back later (or not). But this doesn’t necessarily mean your content or marketing is poor.
  • Blog posts fulfill their purpose and trigger bouncing.
    People may look for a certain topic like ‘bounce rate tips’. They click on a link to a blog post, read it, get the needed information, and leave. Such behavior often triggers a bounce, even though everything is alright with the content.

What’s an Average Bounce Rate?

average bounce rates

Source: RocketFuel

Data varies, but usually, the average is somewhere between 40% and 55%. The ‘normal’ range for pages that aren’t expected to have a high bounce is 26% to 40%.

Internal research by Three Ventures says that:

  • Content-heavy sites may have a 36% to 60% bounce rate
  • Blow sites – 65% to 90%
  • Ad landings – 75% to 90%

We’ve already discussed the cases with blogs and landings, so you know why the rate is often high there.

Basically, if you get incoming feedback from users saying they’re satisfied with the experience your website provides, the rate isn’t that important. You may have more urgent metrics to attend to in order to improve the website ranking.

But of course, keeping an eye on the good old BR is worth it.

Bounce Rate Vs. Exit Rate

bounce rate and exit rate formulas

Source: SE Ranking

Many people also confuse bounce rate and exit rate. We’ve already established what bounce rate is (someone lands on the page and leaves it soon after, not doing anything on it). Exit rate is connected to the page users leave your website on.

The two terms are similar and easy to confuse, especially if you’re a beginner. But there’s one simple thing to remember to distinguish the two:

  • In the bounce case, the person spends time only on one page of your site. The user lands/enters and exits from the same page.
  • In the exit case, the person browses your site for a while, leaving it on the page in question.

In both cases, it’s easy to start thinking something is wrong with the page. But remember that by their nature, some landings, posts, contact sheets, etc. will have high rates (one of both).

How to Lower the Bounce Rate

The question many of you are here for.

How to lower the bounce rate?

We have 7 effective recommendations that will help you achieve the optimal measurement:

1. Analyze the User Flow and Adjust Your Funnel

First of all, analyze the path users take until they get to the page in question. This may help you understand what channels need more marketing effort from you. Then, see if your funnel is rich and well-structured. Sales funnels consist of roughly 6 stages: awareness, consideration, preference, purchase, loyalty, and advocacy. It’s important to boost trust-building and conversions starting with the first stage. So, the easiest you can do is boost brand awareness online.

2. Improve Website Structure and Navigation

Some people will leave a page if it’s not really leading anywhere. Some sophisticated design elements that may be considered art can actually contribute to the bounce tendency. If the user can’t find the menu or key pages like About Us, Contact Us, or Blog, they may just leave. So, while creativity is crucial when talking about website design when the topic shifts to navigation, the carcass should be easy-to-understand.

3. Improve Page Speed

A study says that the average time it takes a page to load is a little over 10 seconds on desktop (and a little over 27 sec on mobile). This is very sad considering that over 50% of visitors will leave a page if it loads longer than 3 seconds. (This is data from 2016, so imagine how demanding users are nowadays.) You can compress HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files that weigh over 150 bytes. Compressing images is also favorable but only using software where you can control the quality. Also, avoid multiple redirects before the user sees the main page. Some websites use redirects from their desktop site to the mobile version and then to the homepage. This multiplies the time the person has to wait.

If the problem is in the server, consider optimizing or changing it to a faster one (for example, if your site gains popularity and you get much more traffic than before).

4. Improve User Experience

39% of people will leave a website if media content doesn’t load or loads too slow. This piece of stats says enough about the importance of the smallest details of the UX of your site. Here are some tips on how to improve it:

    1. Work on the font, make sure it’s large enough to be readable yet small enough to suit the design
    2. Optimize content with bullet lists and subheadings to improve the reader’s perception
    3. Ensure the color contrast is convenient between the font and the background
    4. Test large headlines
    5. Avoid using pop-ups and ads that are auto-played without a chance to pause or stop them

5. Add Responsiveness to The Design

If your website isn’t responsive, it’s clear why you have a high bounce rate. Around 55% of generated traffic comes from mobile devices. But those devices are different sizes, and let’s not forget about people who access websites from tablets, laptops, and PCs.A responsive web design will make every page adaptable so that it can load perfectly on devices of all sizes. Analyze how responsive your design is, optimize the code, and don’t forget about media content that should also be adjusted according to the screen size.

6. Work on Your CTAs

How long has it been since you updated calls to action on the site? Maybe they’re outdated or have become too boring for your target audience. Changing them to different, potentially more effective ones may help you lower the bounce rate. You can create urgency to inspire people to convert here and now. Trying reverse psychology may also work; stepping into the shoes of your target audience is always an interesting process. Also, remember to be brief but creative in your CTAs, and personalize them if possible.

7. Work on User Engagement

If you think your pages may be boring to the target audience, then it’s time to change them. Visitors won’t even think about closing the tab if you catch their attention and achieve engagement. Use a method of storytelling like creative writing, audio, video content, pictures, infographics if needed, quizzes, etc. You should also have a testimonials page or section somewhere people will see. It’s always interesting what other people write.GIFs and memes are modern ways to make your articles and landings more engaging, interesting, and even fun!

Summary

Bounce rate is an important metric worth measuring and analyzing. As we’ve established, a high bounce rate isn’t always a bad thing. We’ve also realized that pageviews and entrances to a page are different metrics and only one of them should be included in rate calculations.

In many cases, you’ll need a lower bounce rate, and by using a combination of all the recommendations we’ve presented, you’ll achieve it in a matter of months!

 

About the Author

kelly breland se rankingKelly Breland is a Digital Marketing Manager at SE Ranking with experience in SEO, digital and content marketing. She is a persistent advocate of using content marketing to build a solid brand. In her spare time, she is engaged in gardening.