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What is bounce rate?

This has nothing to do with how many bounces you do on your space hopper - remember them bad boys? They made a bit of a comeback recently so maybe you do - we remember them the first time around unfortunately (yes we are that old!)

So what bounce rate are we referring too?

Google defines Bounce Rate this way:

Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page). Don't be too offended if you have bounce rates of 50-60%. This sites bounce rate for the last month is 65% which we are very happy about.

bounce rate

In short this means someone comes to your site and goes away again without interacting with the rest of your website...which is usually a bad thing for you.

Bounce rate is usually shown as a percentage and this bounce rate varies from one website to another.

Your bounce rate can give you insights into what is going wrong or right with your site. In general a high bounce rate is usually a bad thing unless you want people to leave your site (clicking on adverts which so many websites depend upon for revenue).

The above image was gained from google analytics which shows how many sessions there were in a month, the average length of those sessions and the bounce rate...goal conversion hasn't been set up - hence it is zero.

Google takes a bit of time before it will start showing information like Bounce Rate as it needs time to collect that info in the first place. However, after about a week, you should start seeing all the metrics that Google Analytics is set to collect and display. You should always wait a week - assuming you have a decent level of traffic on which to get some useful results.

Here are the averages of bounce rates across difference types of websites and web pages that Google has learned to view as normal:

  • Landing Page - Average bounce rate is 70 to 90 percent.
  • Blogs - Average bounce rate is 70 to 98 percent.
  • Content Websites - Average bounce rate is is 40 to 60 percent.

Ours is a content website, which should put us in the 40-60 bracket, 65% is just slightly out - but that's okay for us as it means we are probably doing a better job on the revenue front. However, just because these are the averages for most sites that fall into these categories, it doesn't mean that your bounce rate can't or shouldn’t be improved. Though Google has yet to actually confirm this, many believe that a high bounce rate can negatively impact your page rank and Search Engine Optimization. If that’s true, and even it’s not, then lowering your bounce rate (if it is very high) should probably be something you should focus on.

Ways To Lower Your Bounce Rate

One of the biggest bugbears for people leaving is the page load speed - if your site is slow then look at ways of speeding your site up - this is usually if you have a Wordpress website - so read our article on how to speed up your Wordpress website.

Another contributor to a high bounce rate is often your site design - if your site looks very old fashioned or poorly laid out - people might just decide that your content will also be of a poor quality and leave without hesitation.

Does your site view well in different browsers or/and different viewing devices such as mobiles and tablets. We've been on some sites where half the screen was unreadable.

Is your content of good quality? Is it written well - is it engaging? Re-read your content - you may find spelling mistakes, punctuation errors and poor sentence construction which just isn't enaging to your viewers.

Are you attracting the right person to your site - do the description and titles match the content of your pages or are you bring ing people to them on false pretences?

If you want to keep people on your content site - then give them more content to read which is related to the content of the page...links at the bottom at the end of your interesting article are good ways of doing this...and don't forget to make them open in new tabs.

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