Bounce rate is an indicator that people are not always getting what they want on your website. You can’t please everyone all the time. But, it is important to keep people engaged on your website. Not only does website engagement build your brand, a high bounce rate can negatively impact your SEO. Several factors can affect bounce rate. Some are technical, some are design and others are content related. There are a number of strategies you can adopt to improve website bounce rate.

What Is Bounce Rate

Google defines bounce rate as “a single-page session to your site”. “In Analytics, a bounce is calculated specifically as a session that triggers only a single request to the Analytics server, such as when a user opens a single page on your site and then exits without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server during that session.” This means that when a visitor “bounces” from the webpage they have not just left the page, they have left the site.

Why Do People Bounce?

Usually, a high bounce rate can be an indication of a poor user experience. A site visitor hit the page and either the page didn’t deliver the content they were expecting, or they were unhappy with something else, like a non-responsive webpage. In some cases, a high bounce rate can also be the result of a positive user experience. A person who searches a recipe for a specific ingredient may visit a webpage, read the recipe and then leave, having gotten exactly what they want.

Another factor to consider is session time. If visitors to a page are spending between 60-90 seconds on the page that is considered average. We have seen blog pages with high bounce rates but session times of 3-4 minutes. These visitors found just what they wanted and left. On the other hand, session times below a minute with high bounce rates need attention.

Good Bounce Rates

A good bounce rate for a website can vary. You should research by industry to find the optimal bounce rate for your website. That being said, it’s safe to say most marketers and business owners aim for a bounce rate of below 40%. An excellent bounce rate is usually 25 to 40%, and 40 to 55% is considered good. Anything higher than 60% is pretty high.

When looking at bounce rate it is best to consider it on a page-by-page basis and not site-wide. It’s important to examine bounce rates for specific channels and different types of content on your website to see how various channels and pages are performing. The bounce rate for blog posts and news pages tends to be higher because once people have read what they want to read, they leave. It is not unusual to see high bounce rates on popular blog posts.

Bounce rates for paid ads tends to be higher. This is especially true for banner ads.

On the other hand, organic search traffic to your homepage will generally have a much lower bounce rate than other types of traffic. But if your bounce rate from organic traffic to your homepage is very high, then you know you have a problem.

Improve Website Bounce Rate

A common technical problem that can cause a high bounce rate is slow page load speed. Pages that don’t load quickly provide a poor user experience. If the load time is too long people will leave (bounce) before ever reading the content. This is especially true on mobile.

A webpage/site that is not mobile friendly also provides a poor user experience. Site speed is even more crucial on mobile because users are more likely to become frustrated with slow load times and bounce. A mobile friendly site is a “must”.

Content on a webpage should be clearly and effectively formatted. When fonts are difficult to read or large amounts of content is chunked together user experience is impaired.  But content formatted into smaller blocks, including bullet points or images and video content, allow the reader to understand the content and share it with others.

To encourage visitors to explore your site make the navigation simple and easy to understand. Consider adding a search function to your site. Create plenty of internal links, to keep the prospect engaged. And check your internal links regularly. Broken links lead to frustrated visitors more likely to bounce.

Another frustration for many viewers are annoying pop-up. Limit the use of pop-ups wherever possible. Don’t interfere with a visitor that is trying to read your content. Allowing them to scroll and enjoy the content first is a better user experience. If you need to use a pop-up save it as a tool to prevent someone exiting the site.

As stated earlier, review the channels that drive traffic to your site. Paid channels will usually have a higher bounce rate than organic entrances. Make sure that your keywords and ads directly relate to the content on the landing page. If keywords and ads do not align with your site visitors will feel mislead and leave.

Boost Your Bounce Rate

Reducing bounce rate will lead to more happy visitors to your website. In turn, that will build your brand and loyalty from your audience. Keeping people on your site longer will also help your SEO, improving your rankings. Which will bring more visitors. Anyone can improve website bounce rate. It just takes a little time.