I bet you have heard the term ‘bounce rate.’ It’s hard to miss this term when you are trying hard to boost SEO for your website. You can also encounter this term in Google Analytics. What is bounce rate? How does it affect SEO? What are the parameters that are involved in calculating the bounce rate? It’s natural to have these questions. In this article, we will explain in detail what bounce rate is and how you can optimize your SEO efforts to have a good bounce rate.
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Let’s get started.
What Is Bounce Rate?
Bounce rate is related to the interaction of website visitors with your website. It is the percentage of visitors that leave a webpage without interacting with it.
What is the interaction we are talking about? Interaction examples can be on the following lines: browsing (clicking a link), filling a form, or making a purchase if it’s an online store. Bounce rate measures the percentage of people who landed on your website but exited it without any interaction. These are mostly single-page visits.
Google defines bounce rate as single-page sessions divided by all sessions. You can see the bounce rate for your website, individual posts, and pages in the Google Analytics dashboard.
What Is Bounce Rate in Google Analytics
In simple terms, we can say that for Google Analytics, bounce rate is the percentage of single interaction visits to a website. Google defines a bounce specifically as a session that triggers only a single request to the Analytics server,
What is meant by a single request? As per Google, when a user visits a single page on your site and then exits without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server during that session, then it is considered as a single request session.
Single page sessions have a session duration of 0 seconds because there are no subsequent hits that can mark a session length. Even a single visit to another page can be regarded as an interaction.
How do you see the bounce rate in Google Analytics? When you open the analytics dashboard of your website, you can see the bounce rate in the user statistics. It looks like the following window:
Here you can see the bounce rate of a single page or a segment or section of your site.
Analyzing Bounce Rate with Google Analytics
Bounce rate is not just a number that you get for your overall website or individual pages. Google offers in-depth tools that you can use to analyze bounce rates on different parameters.
Since bounce rate corresponds to user experience on your pages, it is essential to analyze what the bounce rate is for different users.
User expectation varies by category, and you would find it beneficial to analyze users in segments. These user segments can be based on demographics or interests.
Checking Bounce Rate for Different Demographics
Here is how you can check the bounce rate for different demographics:
Open Google Analytics for your website.
On the left-hand side of the sidebar menu, you will find the demographic option. Here you can see data for age and gender.
From here, you can see how the bounce rate varies with age and gender. Once you understand the statistics, you will be more confident about what’s actually happening with your website’s bounce rate. You will also get an idea of where to focus on, what’s working and what’s not working.
How the Bounce Rate Varies with Interest
Just below the “Demographics” tab, you will find the “interest” button. Here, an in-depth analysis is provided with various interest factors. There are two broad categories: Affinity Categories and In-Market Segments.
Affinity categories give data for “reach” as a primary dimension to consider. Secondary dimensions include the commonly used factors like:
- Device Category
- Event Action
- Event Label
- Event Category
User category includes the following data:
- Operating system
- User type
Other dimensions include acquisition, advertising, Behavior, custom variables, E-Commerce, Social, Time, etc.
You will find similar options for the In-Market Segments category.
Check The Bounce Rate By Location
Curious how the bounce rate for your website varies geographically? The “Geo” segment is there to help you. It is located just below the “interests” button.
Here you can witness country and region-wise bounce rates.
Now, what should be the bounce rate for your website? What is a good bounce rate, and what is a bad one? Let’s discuss that.
What Is A Good Bounce Rate for Your Website?
It is a common belief that a low bounce rate is good and high is not. This is not so.
A good bounce rate for one website may not be as good for another website. This is especially true if you compare a single page website with a multi-page website.
On the single-page website, all the data is presented on a single page, and there are no links that point out to other pages. This leaves little room for user interaction. Due to this, the bounce rate is high, as per Google’s calculation. In such cases, having a high bounce rate is perfectly normal. There are no efforts required to lower the bounce rate, as a high bounce rate is an acceptable metric here.
On the other hand, if you have a multi-page website with lots of links on each page, you would want users to interact with your website as much as possible. A good example can be a home page where there are links for the pricing page, about page, blog, and shopping page, etc. It would be desirable that users click these links.
If users visit the page without clicking on any linking, the purpose of the website would be defeated. You wouldn’t want users to leave your website with minimal interaction. In other words, you would want the bounce rate to be as low as possible. Ecommerce websites should have a low bounce rate. Whereas, one-page portfolio websites can do good even with high bounce rates.
To get an accurate idea of the bounce rate that’s good for your website, compare it with other websites in your niche. The source of website traffic also affects the bounce rate. It is observed that the bounce rate is the lowest when email and referral links are the main traffic sources.
Let’s see how the bounce rate varies with industry using rough estimates.
The retail websites that drive targeted traffic have their bounce rate between 20% to 40%. Service sites, FAQ sites, portals like MSN observe a 10% to 30% bounce rate. For content websites with high search visibility, a 40% to 60% bounce rate is average.
Now that you have an idea about what can be the good bounce rate for your website, we will discuss how to improve the bounce rate for your website.
Let’s first understand what contributes to a bad bounce rate.
What are the factors that contribute to a bad bounce rate?
There can be multiple factors that affect the bounce rate. We will review the major ones that contribute to a bad bounce rate.
- Failure to meet user expectation
The most probable reason users bounce from a page is that the page or post does not meet user expectations. Simply put, your page does not help the user as expected. This is often the case with substandard content. If you do not deliver what you promise your users, they will head to other sites. If your page does not serve users well, you can be sure of bad bounce rates for your website.
- Unattractive Design
Design is the most critical element in attracting user attention. What if you are having that repels your users? There is no wonder your users would prefer to leave your website instead of interacting with it. Design is a visual appeal that’s as important as content. Bad design leads to a bad bounce rate.
- Poor User Experience
If your website is not easily accessible, or it is difficult to navigate your website’s content, you will not be able to maintain good traffic. User experience matters when it comes to traffic and the bounce rate. Poor user experience leads to a bad bounce rate.
- Loading Time for Pages
If your webpage takes a longer time to load, you can be sure that not many users will be happy to wait until it loads.
Longer loading time means a bad bounce rate for your website. Speed optimization is the key factor if you want to retain users and succeed with your website. Here are the 9 tips to improve the speed of your website.
- Irrelevant Ads and landing page messages
If you are browsing a website that is filled with ads that make no sense and you are greeted with a landing page that has nothing to do with what you are looking for, you would be more than frustrated. You might regret that you visited that website.
All these things we discuss hamper the user experience. No wonder you will experience a bounce rate nightmare. Avoid these pitfalls, and you would be well ahead on your way to achieving a good bounce rate for your website.
How to improve the bounce rate of your website
- Focus on User Experience
Make your website easy to navigate and pleasant to look at. Both the content and the presentation should be engaging. Once you succeed at both counts, you will witness improvement in bounce rate, and you will also achieve a higher user retention rate.
- Embed Videos on your website
Users tend to spend more time on a page if they find a relevant embedded video to watch. You don’t have to create your own videos. You can embed any video from YouTube on your website, provided it is relevant to your content.
Videos engage the audience and make them interact with the page. This way, the bounce rate is lowered.
- Optimize Speed
A website that’s speedy beats its competition. If your website is slow, you have lost much of the battle. We can’t emphasize enough about the benefits of having a speedy website.
No website is speedy by default. It takes consistent work to make it fast and keep it that way. Here are the 10 tips for WordPress speed optimization
that you can use to boost your loading time.
- Engaging Content
If your website is having content that’s engaging, good to read, and adds value to the reader, users will likely stay on the page and click links that connect to related content. This means a better bounce rate for your website.
Content and context together form a pair that’s irresistible for web visitors. Focus on the quality of your content, and you will reap SEO benefits as well.
- Effective Landing Pages
What is an effective landing page? It is a page that serves the purpose of user engagement well. A good landing page captivates the audiences and calls for action. Landing pages are key to user engagement if done right. Your landing page should have an attractive design, and the page should be very easy to read.
- Fulfill the ‘Search Result’ Promise
When your webpage appears on Google for a particular search term, it is expected that you have relevant content on that page. If your page does not satisfy the search query, the user will bounce once it sees that your page is not what he is looking for.
Do not create spammy content that does not add value to your reader. Google is very strict about such content, and you may be penalized for that. On the same note, you can retain users if you give them what they are looking for: the content that satisfies their search intent.
- Add Internal Links to Your Content
Internal linking is great for SEO. It is also beneficial for user engagement. You can use internal linking to improve the bounce rate.
Why does the bounce rate improve with internal linking? Internal links redirect users to related content on your website. This compels them to click and read other pages on your website. A page that has proper internal links receives more SEO value that also reflects in user retention. Read the Complete Guide to Internal Linking in WordPress to understand internal linking and the best practices to do it.
- Use Table of Contents
When you have content that’s long, it becomes difficult to navigate to the particular section of your content. This hampers readability even if the content is great. Use a table of contents with long posts.
The table of contents allows users to jump to the section they want with a click.
- Use ‘Exit-intent Popups’
Popups can be annoying. Yet, they can be useful as well. Exit-intent popups are useful to retain users to stay at your webpage just before they are about to leave the page.
Exit-intent popups appear just before the user is about to leave, and they give the user ‘an offer they can’t resist (so to speak).’ Here, you can give any offer to your user, may it be an ebook on how to get more backlinks or a subscription to your email list. The point is, some users will click on those links. This small percentage of user interaction can effectively reduce the bounce rate for your website.
You can use these lead generation plugins to create exit-intent popups for your website.
So this was our overview of the ‘bounce rate’ concept. We have explained what bounce rate is, what is good and bad bounce rate. We have also explored how you can improve the bounce rate for your website. We hope this article inspires you to take a look at the bounce rate of your website. You can also take proactive steps to improve the bounce rate. If you have any questions, do reach out to us. We are here to help.