What Is Bounce Rate – Reference Guide For Beginners

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What is the percentage of your visitors that land on a piece of content on your website, make the decision that it’s not for them, and then leave without visiting any other pages on your website? That is what bounce rate is.

What Does Bounce Rate mean in Google Analytics?

Bounce rate consists of the percentage of single-page visits to your website.

What Is Bounce Rate?

Definition of Bounce Rate:

Bounce rate consists of the percentage of single-page visits to your website.  Your bounce rate is reflected in individuals who arrive on one page on your website and then leave from the same page, without visiting anywhere else.

Here are some examples of a Bounce:

• Your Visitor clicks the back button

• Your Visitor closes their browser

• Your Visitor enters a new URL in their browser

• Your Visitor clicks on an external link

• Your Visitor does not click to a different page for 30 minutes

Bounce Rate vs Exit Rate

A Bounce is frequently mixed up with an ‘exit’, which is also shown in Google Analytics.

Exit Vs. Bounce

A Bounce is frequently mixed up with an ‘exit’, which is also shown in Google Analytics.

• The Bounce is when somebody visits a page and then leaves.

• The Exit Rate is the percentage of people who leave a website from that specific page. It’s possible that they may have visited many other pages.  It just happens that they exit from that specific page.

Are you still confused? Let’s say that you have…

• 100 visitors make it to one certain page on your website and then they all bounce.  It is the first and only page that they visit.  The Bounce rate is 100% and the Exit rate is 100%

• 100 visitors make it to your page, with no other visitors to your website.  50% of them bounce and the other 50% visit other pages.  That is a 50% bounce rate and a 50% exit rate.

What If You Have A High Bounce Rate?

Reasons For A High Bounce Rate

What if you have a high Bounce rate on a blog?

When you have a blog, typically your bounce rate is quite high, usually above 70%.  This is because so many visitors may hear about your content, but it is possible that when they arrive they are not ready to participate on your website because:

1. They don’t like your content

2. They love your content but they may not have the time to read it at this time

3. They’re looking for something specific and your blog doesn’t fit what they are searching for

What are you able to learn from your bounce rate?

What Are You Able To Learn From Your Bounce Rate

Lessons Learned

Your bounce rate can inform you a lot of information about how visitors are interacting with your website.  Sometimes, a high bounce rate can be fine.  A visitor might be looking for one specific piece of information. And when they read the blog post you have written, it immediately answers their question. They don’t have the need to explore your website any further.

Or it’s possible they might want to get in touch with your business.  They visit your homepage, find your telephone number, and they are able to get in touch with you directly. That qualifies as a bounce in Google Analytics, but it is also very good news for your business!

But it won’t always be this positive.  If your website has pages on it that have an especially high bounce rate, or if your entire website does, you will need to look into what the cause might be and address any problems that you find.  Here are some examples:

• Is your website hard to navigate?

• Is it designed poorly or unprofessionally and is it off putting to your visitors?

• Does your website load very slowly?

• Does your website have high quality content?

• Is your website optimized for various devices?

Is Your Bounce Rate Tracked by Google?

Is Your Bounce Rate Tracked By Google?

Google Bounce Rate

Google claims that it doesn’t take into account your bounce rate in their search rankings.  But search engines do seem to calculate Dwell Time, which is explained as – the time between when a user clicks on your search result, consumes the information, and then returns to the search engine or performs another action on your website.

If someone carries out a search and then quickly realizes that your website doesn’t give them the information they were looking for, they will quickly return back to the search results and find the info somewhere else.  It is possible that this is telling Google that you’re not providing good information.  A high bounce rate can also suggest that there are some problems with your website.  So you need to make sure that you understand what your stats are and attempt to deal with any issues.

How Do You Reduce a High Bounce Rate?

1. Adjust how the Bounce rate is tracked.

Adjust How The Bounce Rate Is Tracked

Bounce Rate

The bounce rate that you see in Google Analytics does not pay attention to the amount of time a visitor spends on your website.  It is possible that a visitor may spend 25 minutes reading your in-depth blog post and then leave.  Alternatively, that’s a very different behavior compared to someone who pops in, looks around for just a few seconds, and then takes off.

There are alternative ways to adjust the way that Analytics measures and tracks your bounce rates by using Adjusted Bounce Rates (ABR).  It is possible to add one line of code to your Google Analytics snippet, which would trigger an event to GA after a specific amount of time has elapsed.

It is also possible that you could set the ABR threshold to 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, or whatever might fit your specific content. And if an event is triggered and then captured by way of Google Analytics, then that visit will not count as a bounce. Like magic, you now have a much stronger metric to view when attempting to determine low dwell time and your actual bounce rate.

Build A Better Interlinking Structure

Interlinking Structure

2. Build a better internal-linking structure.

How much internal linking is performed within your content? When you create a blog post, do you attempt to find other, content that is relevant on your website that you can link to?  This internal linking will help with your bounce rate.  A great way to find relevant content is to do a search on Google! Once you do a search related to your post, the results give you a list of posts to link to.

Here’s an advanced Tip: Don’t forget to revisit your older posts and link them to your newer posts that are related.

3. Create content that is more readable.

You Need Useful Readable Contnet

Useful Structured Easy To Read Content

If your content tends to be long and detailed, it could look intimidating and people won’t read it.  It’s a fact that your audience skims through your content.  You need to tempt them to stop and read different parts of your content.  A great way to do this is by having more sub-headings that are compelling within your content. You can try to make your Heading 2s (h2 tags) look like titles to a mini blog post.

For example, instead of a heading that looks like this:

Awesome Tips

You would change it to:

3 Awesome Tips to Reduce Bounce Rate

It’s much more likely that people will be looking for awesome tips to accomplish something specific!

4. Include more variety in your content

Include More Variety In Your Content

Content With Variety

You can embed recordings or videos into your blog posts to help create interest.  This gives you the opportunity of increasing the time your visitors are spending on your page.  By doing this, they are less likely to bounce.

5. Enhance and improve on your meta titles and meta descriptions.

It can be really great having compelling titles and descriptions within the search results.  But, if the titles and descriptions don’t match up with the content, more people are going to bounce.

6. Your content needs to be shared.

Your Content Needs To Be Shared

Share

When you go to a blog post and can see that nobody has shared the content, this means that it’s so bad that even the owner didn’t share it.  Social sharing is proof that the website has social significance.

7. Have your audience participate in surveys your to improve the customer experience.

You can use a tool such as Qualaroo to survey your audience to see what they think of your site.  If you are able to find out what your customers enjoy and don’t enjoy about your website, you can then work on improving it.

8. Utilize an exit-intent popup.

When someone is leaving your site, you still have an opportunity to get their attention.  You can install plugins or code on your website that will make your call-to-action popup display when it’s looking like a visitor is leaving the site.  (For example, when they move their mouse away from the screen)  Since you’re not interrupting their browsing experience, they will tend to be more receptive to what you are presenting to them than if the pop-up gets in the way of their surfing.

9. Utilize a related-posts plugin.

Utilize Related Posts Plugins

Related Posts

At the end of a blog post, you should suggest other posts that are relevant and that the reader might want to view.  After all, if they have made it all the way to the end of the post, they are most likely interested in what you have to say.  You are able do this manually by searching for and finding related posts and linking to them.  However, there are plugins available that will automate this, such as WordPress Related Posts or Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.

10. Target the correct keywords.

Make sure that the keywords you are targeting are relevant to the content you have produced.   If you appear in the search results for a particular keyword, but your blog post or web page isn’t actually related to that topic, visitors will go back to the search results and get what they were looking for from someone else.

When you perform your keyword research, don’t forget that your keywords need to be relevant to your brand, in addition to being popular or possessing low competition.  Any traffic that you receive from irrelevant keywords will be of low quality and will lead to high bounce rates.

11. Improve your content quality.

Improve Your Content Quality

Content Marketing

If you want your visitors to your website to hang around and look at more than one page of your site, you need to make it worth their while.  Make sure that your content is of high quality and that it provides a lot of value.  This will make it a lot more likely that your visitors will want more of it, will share it, and will return to your website for more.

12. Provide an upgrade to your content that will allow people to read that content at a later time.

You are able to set up an option for people to download a blog post as a PDF that can be read at their leisure.  This will promote engagement and will reach out to people who may want to consume your content but just don’t have time right now.  It can also be a good way to get new email subscribers, as well.

13. Include better Call To Actions (CTA’s) within your post.

Include Better Calls To Action In Your Post

Call To Action

You should encourage your readers to visit more than one page of your website by recommending places for them to go.  This can include:

  • Suggest other relevant posts
  • Be sure to link internally to content that your readers will be interested in.
  • Have interesting links readily available from your blog posts.
  • Have a list of your best posts that you can refer people to.

14. Add in-page events to reduce bounce rates.

If visitors to your website interact with your website elements, like signing up for your email list, even if they don’t visit any other pages, this will avoid a bounce.  This is known as using in-page events and these events can be everything from watching a video to clicking on headings to proceed through an article.  A PDF download will work in this way, as well.  With just a bit of additional code entered on to your page, these events can provide you with much better information about your true bounce rate.

15. Accelerate and get faster page-load times.

Need For Faster Page Loading

Faster Page Loads

Many people don’t have the patience to wait more than a few seconds for a website to load before leaving it.  Make sure that your visitors don’t bounce within the first few seconds by speeding up your website load times and holding on to their attention.

16. Capture the attention of the visitor with better images.

By having a great image at the top of a blog post, it makes a webpage much more attractive.  It also makes it clear that the reader is in the right place, and it breaks up the text which makes the article easier to read.  It will also help to encourage social sharing.

You should always use an image that includes the post title right at the top of your post.  And you also need to include images where it is relevant throughout the post.  This will make the text more readable and will describe what you are talking about.

17. Have a website that is mobile friendly.

Have A Website That Is Mobile Friendly

Mobile Friendly: Does It Really Matter?

The number of people who are accessing the web on their phones and tablets is increasing all the time.  So if you are not catering to this traffic, you will end up losing it.  Customers will no longer tolerate websites that are not optimized and have tiny text and buttons that are impossible to click.  Google will even mark whether websites are ‘mobile friendly’ in its mobile search results.   So as a result, many people won’t even click through to your website if it doesn’t have this tag.

Build a mobile friendly website or look into getting a responsive design.  This will help make sure that anyone who visits your website from their phone or iPad gets the type of experience that will inspire them to explore further.

18. Have bigger sub headings on the page to help attract the reader.

As mentioned above, it is important to make a blog post look welcoming to the reader.  A big, dense block of text will not do this.  In addition to including images, use sub headings that really stand out to make your blog look more readable. This will enable visitors to scan to the section they need.

19. Install software such as Heatmap to better understand your audience.

Install Software Such As Heatmap

Heatmap

When software such as Heatmap is installed on to your website, it will help you to get a visual impression of what people are doing when they visit your website.  Do they actually read the entire post or quit part of the way through? Which links do they click on and which do they ignore?

Instead of having to look at statistics and numbers to find this out, why not have the ability to learn this with a Heatmap?  Heatmaps will use colors to display what your visitors do on each page of your blog and where on the webpage they do it.  They become more useful with the more visitors you have, They use patches of color to show which parts of your website are attracting a lot of clicks and how much of each post that your visitors are actually reading.

20. Split up longer posts

Long content is an excellent way to share a lot of in-depth information.  However, sometimes there is too much information for a single post.  Longer posts can possibly be divided up over several entries.  This will create a series that can be invaluable to readers, which gives them a good reason to click to see more.

21. Interactive infographics and visuals.

Include Infographics and Visuals In Your Post

Infographics

Infographics can be an effective way to present information so to be attractive and easy to understand.  When infographics are also interactive, this will increase engagement with your content and can also generate the in-page events we mentioned in point 14.

Conclusion

Conclusion

Google Analytics Bounce rate is very often misunderstood.  However, with some proper strategic thought and technical implementation, you will be able use it to understand the performance of your website at a much finer detailed level.

So just remember to think about what a significant website interaction is for you, and then start to plan out Google Analytics events to be able to track these.

Once you have gotten things in place, you will then be able use bounce rate in Google Analytics as a type of engagement metric to evaluate landing page performance and more.

Finally

Thanks for taking the time to read my post on What Is Bounce Rate – A Reference Guide For Beginners.  I hope it provided needed information and helps the reader in some way.  If you have Comments or Questions, please feel free to leave them below.  Take care.

Best Regards,

Mike

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