Bounce rate is an important key metric in understanding your website performance. It is well-known that a high bounce rate is bad while a low bounce rate is good. But how high is high? What does that mean for you? And what can you do to improve this? Let us help you as we fully review the concept of a bounce rate and its relationship to how users relate to your website.
Bounce vs Bounce Rate?
Bounce : According to Google Analytics, a bounce is defined as a single page session on your website. This is when a user visits any page on your website and then exits. No further interaction or engagement was recorded by the user.
Bounce Rate : This refers to the percentage of single page visits. This scenario is where your visitor leaves your website immediately, without browsing other pages.
Types of Bounces
There are various ways for which a user can “bounce” off from your website, such as :
- By clicking on a link that leads to a different website
- By clicking on the back arrow to take them to the previous page
- By entering a new URL and hitting enter
- By closing the browser or tab
- If visitor is not responsive / idle after 30 minutes
*Any interaction after 30 minutes will be considered as a new session and will not be calculated in the bounce rate.
Why Is Bounce Rate Important?
Bounce rate provides you with insights on how captivating and engaging your website is to your visitors. Therefore, a high bounce rate is an indication that your website is not performing as well as it should.
This usually means your website content is considered to be of low relevance to your visitors. The implication would be that you will lose the commercial value of setting up a website. Websites with a high bounce rate minimises the ability to generate leads, conversions or even sales. If you are running ads, the bounce rate is also a reflection of your targeting strategy. While your ads might be performing well on the ad platform, the website performance might show otherwise. A high bounce rate for your ad campaign is worrisome and a review of the targeting options should be done immediately.
What is a Healthy Bounce Rate?
That said, the definition of a good bounce rate is dependent on the website and its unique goals. Before you start to analyse your bounce rate, you must define your website purpose and goals. For instance, the objective of an e-commerce site if very different from a blog site. Thus, the definition of a healthy bounce rate will also vary between websites. The main reason for this is due to the differences in user behaviour. We illustrate our example as below:
For an e-commerce site → As browsing of different products is highly encouraged, the bounce rate is expected to be low. Therefore, a high bounce rate is concerning. Typical user behaviour would dictate that they browse the product catalogue before coming to a decision and placing an order.
For a blog site → As the nature of blogs is more informational, a high bounce rate may be good. It could be an indication that the user is happy and pleased with the information provided in the article. In this case, we cannot solely judge the bounce rate results. Instead, time spent time spent on a web page can provide more comprehensive insights about website performance.
Factors that Affect Bounce Rates
A comprehensive interpretation of the bounce rate metric will mean that you will have to look at external factors that influences the results of the bounce rate.
1. User Intention
The user intention will provide you with indications on the user behaviour. Most obvious will be that your user will simply bounce from your landing page if they do not find the content relevant. This could happen if the webpage content and the intent of the user is not aligned. For example, the user intention may be to do some online window shopping. However, your e-commerce structure makes it difficult to navigate the product categories. Even worse would be if the filter function or search feature is non-existent. Thus the user intention of window shopping is disrupted as browsing experience is disjointed. If your user builds up frustration, they will simply bounce from your website.
Consequently, a high number of bounces will contribute to a high bounce rate metric. Hence, matching your website layout, content and design to your user intention is also critical in obtaining valuable leads and conversions.
2. Type of Webpage
Different types of web pages will have different objectives, and thus will have differences in bounce rates.
Webpages with Relatively Low Bounce Rate
Webpages with Moderate to High Bounce Rate
A product page of an e-commerce site should not have a low bounce rate, as the user should be encouraged to further browse other similar products within the website.
A landing page of a website with a contact form should also have a low bounce rate as an effective form should have your users filling out the form, and driving them to another page.
On the other hand, it is common for a blog page, or news sites to have high bounce rates as the user will most likely exit immediately after reading the article.
Similarly, it should not be so concerning if a “Contact Us” page records a high bounce rate. If done right, this scenario should correlate to high call volume.
3. Quality of Webpage
High bounce rate could also be due to the low quality of the landing page. One reason for this could be due to the unappealing aesthetics of the website. For example, your website might be too wordy, cluttered with too many ads, or has an obscure call-to-action (CTA) button. All these website elements are a possible contributor to a high bounce rate metric.
4. Quality of Website Traffic
If your ads are targeting the wrong audience, a different demographic will be visiting your website. This could lead to a high bounce as the traffic coming in is not interested in your content. Thus, the type of visitors entering your website greatly influences your website performance.
Another example is that a website with a high percentage of returning visitors will add to the volume of website traffic. If most of these visitors find your website relevant, they will help to keep the bounce rate low.
5. The Marketing Channel
The types of marketing channels influence the traffic that your website is attracting. Organic searches will commonly have a lower bounce rate than social media traffic. This is because of the user intention that was discussed earlier. A user who cam in from the search platform will generally have a clear objective to fulfil. Therefore, they will click on your website only if they think your website is relevant. Meanwhile, users from social media are not as purpose-driven as the search traffic users. Traffic from social media are less likely to explore a website as they do not have a set objective to meet.
6. The Device Used
The type of device that the user owns also have a direct impact on the bounce rate. Most users find themselves using their mobile phones about 70-80% of the time. Therefore, if your website is not mobile responsive, and mobile friendly, your bounce rate will be quite high.
Bounce rates are a great metric for marketers to keep tabs on. The insights gathered from the bounce rate data is useful in helping you analyse user behaviour and understand your website performance. it sheds light on the engagement levels of uses on your website. The general rule is to keep the bounce rate as low as possible. However, do analyse other metrics in order to paint a more comprehensive image of your website performance.