You’ve dived into your Google Analytics and you know where your website visitors are coming from and how they find and use your site. You also discover that your bounce rate is really high. Is this a problem and if so, what can you do about it?
What exactly is a bounce rate?
A website bounce occurs when a user visits your website, views just one page and then exits immediately. They essentially ‘bounce’ off your website. Your bounce rate is calculated by dividing all single page sessions by all sessions and is displayed as a %.
What is a high bounce rate?
Broadly speaking, a bounce rate range of 26% – 40% is excellent, 41% – 55% average & 56% – 70% higher than average. Anything 71%+ should be reviewed immediately.
However, depending on your sector, the purpose of the website and the mix of traffic sources, bounce rate may vary. For example, organic search traffic typically has a lower bounce rate, whereas display adverts and social media traffic usually see a much higher rate.
Is it always an issue?
Potentially not. Serving self sufficient content can be recorded as a bounce and occurs when a visitor finds the information they want on the first page they land on. You can spot this is by looking at individual landing pages and noting those with a high bounce rate, but a healthy (1 minute plus) session time.
If your single landing page call to action (CTA) is very strong and quick to complete (i.e. a short form), this could also be recorded as a bounce. Make sure your events tracking is setup correctly in your Google Analytics to be able to be spot this.
Ways to reduce bounce rate
If you’ve ruled out self sufficient content and successful single CTA landing pages, the usual suspects causing high bounces include:
- Call to actions (CTAs): lacking, confusing or multiple on page CTAs
- Confusing meta data: does your SEO title and meta data accurately reflect the content of the page, or does it disappoint visitors?
- Bad design: is your website or page outdated, unattractive or confusing?
- Slow loading: if pages take too long to load, visitors will simply give up and move on
- Poor content: badly written, uninformative, or even boring content means visitors will go elsewhere
A science and an art
Like so many areas of digital marketing, identifying, auditing and improving bounce rate is a science and an art form. Understanding how bounces are measured is critical to assess whether a high bounce rate really is a problem and if so, what changes can be made for improvement.