Gustavo Szuchman | Information Architect | UX | UI

11Jan/111

What is Bounce rate

It is quite likely that your company is spending tons of time, energy, and dollars on web marketing efforts yet conversion rates (or ROI) are stuck in the two to three percent range.

You are trying really hard to figure out how to improve the performance but you are stymied by the fact that there is ton of data and you have no idea where to start.

What is Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate = total number of visits viewing only one page / total number of visits

Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page. Use this metric to measure visit quality - a high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance pages aren't relevant to your visitors. The more compelling your landing pages, the more visitors will stay on your site and convert. You can minimize bounce rates by tailoring landing pages to each keyword and ad that you run. ( "google" )

What is a Good Bounce Rate Anyways?

Great question. We're glad you asked. As with many items in the world of SEO and organic search, the answer is it depends. Obviously a lower bounce rate is better, but bounce rate averages can vary by industry or type of site. Sites that are information portals will most likely have lower bounce rates than sites that feature limited content. The fact is that bounce rate is affected by the user's intent. That is, based on the user's query did they find the information that they were looking for? For example let's say you were looking for information about the TV program Las Vegas and you typed in "Las Vegas" in a search engine. You would no doubt receive a lot of Las Vegas (the city) related sites and potentially you might even be returned with a result that talks about the TV show albeit briefly. You might click through to some of these sites but unless the information that you were looking for about the show is present you would most likely revisit the search results page and/or re-enter a more specific search query. The bounce rate of the sites that you did click through would be affected as you were unable to find the information that you were looking for.

So to answer the question, what is a good bounce rate, generally speaking if you have a bounce rate that is in the 40-50% range that is not bad. If you manage to have an overall bounce rate that is in the 30-40% that is fantastic. As Avinash Kaushik states "a 35% bounce rate is very good..." We'll add that anything less is pretty spectacular. For the record, we've worked with clients and have helped them lower their bounce rates to less than 20% and in some cases to 7 or 8% which is quite exceptional.

How do we lower bounce rate?

  1. Provide Relevant Content - seems simple enough doesn't it? Well then why are so many sites not doing it and why are people abandoning sites soon after arriving on them? If you are going to optimize a webpage, do it right. When writing copy, consider your audience. Use their language not yours, which leads us to point #2.
  2. Use the Language of your Target Audience - do you really think that using the fancy industry lingo is always the way to go? Well sometimes, but many times your target audience may be versed in an entirely different language... that is their own language. Corporate or industry speak may not always be the same language that your target audience uses or is looking for. Work to understand your target audience and the terminology that they are using. If your content can speak to your site visitors, your bounce rate will decline significantly.
  3. Have Clear Navigation - if you are lucky enough to have a user find your site through Organic Search, treat them well. Every site page that you makes up your site, should have clear and intuitive navigation to guide the user through their site experience. Capture their interest and guide them with a well interlinked site to assist them in finding all of the information they are looking for. If they expect to see pricing on the site, be sure to provide them with this information.
  4. Provide Ample Content - whether in the form of page copy, images, video etc. Be sure to provide sufficient content to your site visitors. If you have a page about green widgets, make sure that you have some information on green widgets. Here's a hint, product or vendor comparisons work well, as do consumer reviews, pricing and shipping information. Having a brief sentence or two just doesn't cut it. Try to have a minimum 300-400 words of content on your site pages.
  5. Update Your Content - if you have content that is dated, consider adding some new information. Check your analytics to see which pages have the highest bounce rate and revisit the page copy for these pages.