What is bounce rate, and why do I want it to be low?

Usually, we want to log into Analytics and see our metrics nice and high. So, why is it that when we talk about bounce rate, the lower the better?

It probably goes against human nature to believe that the lower the number, the better the result… but in terms of bounce rate, that’s exactly what you want.

When someone visits your website and leaves without interacting further than that initial click and read, a “bounce” occurs. I know, it’s weird terminology, but if it works for Tigger, it can work for us. Your bounce rate, therefore, is the percentage of people that bounce off of your site.

For the purposes of this blog, I’m going to assume you’re using Google Analytics, and if you aren’t then you should be. You’ll find the bounce rate alongside most metrics, most frequently being page views. The two go hand in hand.

Websites like SEMrush will tell you that bounce rate is within the top five of important ranking factors for making sure your webpage appears in search engine results pages. Though, some others will say the opposite, saying Google doesn’t use bounce rate in its algorithm metrics. We won’t ever truly know cos it’s a secret!

Image result for bounce rate

What can I use the bounce rate for?

Your bounce, just like Tiggers, is a wonderful thing. It’s a very insightful metric that can give you actionable insights. You can use bounce rate to improve the customer experience on your website. “How?” I hear you frantically mash into your keyboard… well, let’s break it down.

Your bounce rate can be expected to be high in blogs because there is no expectation of the reader to want to go further than that piece of copy. After all, they clicked to read it for a reason. Whereas your product pages, you should expect a lower bounce rate because if a user is on that page, they’re either there to purchase an item or to find out more.

If the bounce rate on your product pages is high, then your conversions are probably low. There could be something wrong with this page. Now, this can be any number of things;

    • Your copy isn’t right for the page
    • The image of your product isn’t very appealing
    • Pop-ups could be blocking the page
    • The page is cluttered and too distracting
    • Your conversion buttons are too hidden
    • A lack of calls to action
    • Failing to provide the USP of the product
    • and so many more…

What’s a good bounce rate?

We should probably explain, there is no such thing as a “good” bounce rate. It’s going to thoroughly depend on your product or websites intention. This is something you’ve got to decide for yourself, is it valuable to you that users explore past that initial page on your site?

On average, bounce rates fall between 26% and 70%, but again, it depends on your goals. If you’ve got a bounce rate of under 20% or over 90% then you may be in some trouble, something’s not working – be that analytics or something on your site.

A great way to understand why your bounce rate might be the way it is, or to work out why most customers don’t move past a certain page on your website, is to wear their shoes. That’s right, shove on their sparkly Converse, map out their paths through your site and get going. Do they get as far as entering their card details and then stop? Get to that part of the customer journey and see why that may be. Maybe the card details box is glitchy and doesn’t work, maybe it’s asking for details they just can’t provide, maybe it isn’t there at all! You won’t know till you try and you can’t rely on potential customers to get in touch and let you know of any issues they may have encountered on your website.

We’ve put together a list of ways you can look to reduce your bounce rate and, hopefully, increase conversions on your website. Whether your bounce rate is of concern to you or not, click here to work out where you could look to improve your online efforts.

Now you know a little more about bounce rate, we hope you’ll look at your analytics with a little more understanding and be able to take some actionable insights away with you. Go on, log on now and see what you can do.

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If you’d like to learn more about using, navigating and understanding Google Analytics then check out our next workshop and get in touch. If you have any pressing questions, feel free to email us on hello@giantcampus.co.uk.

Phone: 01303 765394
Giant Campus. Top Floor The Civic Centre Castle Hill Avenue
Folkestone Kent CT20 2QY