What Is A Good Bounce Rate?

What Is A Good Bounce Rate?

Category: SEO

After a few discussions with clients recently, I wanted to take some time to focus on bounce rates. There seems to be a lot of confusion out there about what a bounce rate means, and sometimes I’d suggest too much emphasis on this one figure from their analytics reports. So let’s look at this in more detail.

Definition of bounce rate

Before we go into the intricacies of investigating bounce rates, firstly we need to establish, what is a bounce rate?

Google’s definition of a bounce is a single page view of your website. In essence this means a bounce is when someone enters a page on your site, doesn’t interact with anything on the page, and then exits the site.

Your bounce rate is calculated by taking all single-page views of your site, and dividing them by the number of total sessions, and is displayed as a percentage.

What does good look like?

The question I’m always asked is, ‘what is a good bounce rate’? And the short answer to that question is – it depends! There is no optimal figure for all websites, and for good reason.

1. Website goal

Firstly, it depends what type of website you have, and its purpose. If you have an e-commerce website, you’ll want a lower bounce rate. Why? Because a visitor will need to visit multiple pages to find a product and complete a transaction. Not all web users will buy on their first time, but you’ll want to work on retaining visitors and eventually convince those to convert to customers.

At the other end of the spectrum would be e.g. a dictionary site, where people will go to search for the definition of a particular word. Once they’ve completed the purpose, it’s likely most will exit the page. This would result in a high bounce rate.

So the purpose of your website, and the industry you are in, will decide where you are on the spectrum of ‘average’ bounce rates. But we know people do like comparative figures, so see the below infographic put together by CXL , based upon figures by Customedialabs to give you a benchmark.

2. Page Type

Following from the type of website you have; you can also review bounce rates by page. And again, certain pages will have higher bounce rates depending on their purpose. Think of it this way - If you have a page designed to give specific information, that is well optimised so people can find it easily, a visitor will absorb the information they need from the page and leave (e.g. opening times for a supermarket, a phone number on a ‘contact us’ page). This will result in a high bounce rate. But is that a bad thing? No! The website, and specifically that web page, has fulfilled its purpose.

Other types of pages that will naturally have high bounce rates include blog/news pages. A well written and structured article (like this one!) should give the reader all the information they need from that one page. If the blog has external links that are set to open in a new tab, when the reader clicks on these helpful links, they will ‘bounce off’ the blog article. Again, this will result in a high bounce rate, but the webpage has done its job.

3. Source of traffic

One thing to note initially is that mobile traffic has a higher bounce rate than desktop traffic. This can be for a number of reasons, e.g. people are more likely to accidently click on a link from mobile vs desktop or if they’re in a low Wi-Fi area the page may not load so they abandon looking at the link, to name a few.

Where you get the traffic from is also important. Organic and direct traffic will interact with a website more than paid traffic. Traffic from social media will have a high bounce rate, because of the behaviour of people coming to your page (read more about that here). Paid traffic is more likely to bounce, so if you’re running a PPC campaign, this will change the behaviour of your visitors.

Get to know what your bounce rate is, and what good looks like for you. Next week I’ll start to look at ways to improve your bounce rate, lowering high bounce rates as well as exploring if it’s possible to have rates that are too low.

It is important to note that bounce rate is one of many, many different metrics you can look at to measure the effectiveness of your website. It shouldn’t be looked at in isolation, nor be the sole factor you base your marketing strategy on.

If you’re struggling with your website, and don’t know where to look, give us a call. We can start by looking at all your metrics, then give you sound advice on what to do with that information.

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About The Author

As Big Red’s Sales Manager, my role is to ensure our clients see demonstrable results from their website and digital marketing strategies. I work closely with our clients to help establish specific targets for their online activity and translate this into sales/conversions.

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