Bounce Rate

Posted on Nov 9, 2010


Bounce Rate is the percentage of single page visits. Not to be confused with exit rate, bounce rate is the rate that shows the percentage of initial visitors who leaves your website after arrive at the entry page. Exit rate is the percentage of visitors that leave a site from a given page. For example, exit rate is used to monitor specific pages in a process, such as a “shipping options” page that appears during the checkout process.

You can easily find your website’s bounce rate by using a website statistics tool, such as Google Analytics.

A high bounce rate means you are making a bad first impression; a high exit rate means you have a leak in the process.

What causes for a high bounce rate?

  • clicking on a link to a page on a different website
  • closing an open window or tab
  • typing in a new web address
  • clicking the “Back” button
  • session timeout

A popular myth about the bounce rate is that particularly high or low bounce rate numbers define whether your page is a success or not. It all depends on the circumstances and the purpose of the page. What exactly does a page try to achieve?

Jakop Nielsen suggested:

The bounce rate should be analyzed separately under four categories are low-value referrers, direct links from other sites, search engine traffic and loyal users.

A loyal user might visit your website by a feed reader and leave after reading the new article because s/he has already read your other articles before. On the other hand, a user with a desire for a specific knowledge will visit your site through a search engine and may be tempted to click around.

The point is, bounce rates will vary depending on the source. For example, a blog that offers all of its content on one page will have a high bounce rate.

How to improve the bounce rate and get more page views?

The bounce rate is pretty much influenced by what is visible to the visitor. In short, it’s all about marketing.

One way to minimize bounce rate is to optimize web pages and connect them into a unity, thus adding value for both the loyal reader and the visitors who’s coming from a referral site or a search engine.

  • Make navigation points easy to access
  • Position links around content – make links highly visible and relevant to the current page

Also, a high bounce rate generally indicates that the entry page isn’t relevant to your visitors. If your visitors arrived at the entry page via a search engine link then you can tailor the entry page to more specific keywords, content and/or ads.

And, don’t forget your pages’ loading time. The loading time of your webpage is an important SEO factor. It is even more so important in keeping a visitor on your website – visitors will be more likely to visit additional pages if your load times are faster.

What is a good bounce rate?

Many people believe that a bounce rate below 50% is great.

However, because bounce rate is mostly governed by the purpose of the web page and not the subject of the website – bounce rate is often thought of as a qualitative data type, it is very difficult to attribute a “good” bounce rate.

Bounce rate measures the quality of…

  • the purpose of the page – what exactly does a page try to achieve
  • how targeted is traffic to your webpage
  • the click-through rate to external pages

Here is an excellent presentation on bounce rate by Avinash Kaushik (Google Conversion University)

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