In today’s digital age, there are a lot of confusing internet terms floating around to indicate how successful a website is. Bounce rate is one of those terms that people often struggle to understand and interpret. Bounce rate is an online marketing metric used to explain web traffic analysis. The phrase is indicative of the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave (“bounce”), rather than venturing further into your website.

Visitors contribute to your bounce rate when they land on your website and do nothing on the page. This means that Google Analytics does not receive a ping from that visitor to indicate how your page should be ranked in search results. According to SEMrush, bounce rate is the fourth most important ranking factor, so a poor bounce rate can really affect your visibility in Google results.

Calculating Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is calculated through a simple formula: bounce rate (%) = visits that access only a single page of your website divided by the total visits to your site. The thinking behind this formula is that an effective website engages traffic deeper into its pages, encouraging visitors to look around instead of immediately exiting. Based on the bounce rate formula, a high bounce rate means a lot of traffic is landing on your page and then immediately exiting, which can mean your website is not working for you.

How to Interpret Bounce Rate

A high bounce rate is not always a bad thing. How you interpret your website’s bounce rate should be dependent on your site’s objectives and definitions of conversion. For example, on web pages whose purpose is to provide specific information (such as dictionary entries or recipes), the page’s bounce rate would not have as much of an effect on determining conversion as people are meant to land on that one page and then exit.

There are a lot of different variables that factor into determining what a good bounce rate is, such as business type, industry, and location. If the purpose of the page is to get visitors to actively engage with the site, then a high bounce rate is a bad thing. Having a high bounce rate can indicate three things:

  1. The quality of the page isn’t what it needs to be, and there is nothing for web traffic to engage with;
  2. Your page is attracting the wrong traffic, and the visitors who are landing on it aren’t interested in engaging with it;
  3. Visitors came to your page looking for specific information and weren’t able to find it.

When interpreting your site’s bounce rate, we suggest focusing on bounce rate trends over time and how you can improve bounce rates to boost conversions. Bounce rate is a metric that is meant to be used to find weaknesses in your website, not to hit a magic number.

Why It Matters

It is important to understand and consider your site’s bounce rate, as it is a metric that can help you understand the effectiveness of your online marketing strategies. Bounce rates give you information about the performance of your site’s pages, which pages need more attention, and how well your site is attracting and maintaining visitors’ interest. If you know which of your pages have a poor bounce rate, you can improve those pages, whether it be the design or the content. Doing so eliminates the risk that visitors only view a single page of your website without looking at others or without taking action within the site.

To effectively make use of your site’s bounce rate, you need to have concrete goals for your website and be able to interpret your bounce rate in a way that helps you improve your site. It is important to meet your online visitors’ expectations and convert those clicks. Improving bounce rate is also important because a poor bounce rate affects how RankBrain interprets your site. RankBrain is a machine-learning AI system that employs algorithms to help Google sort through search results.

In recent years, RankBrain has become the third-most important ranking factor in Google’s search results algorithms. If an online user clicks on your page and exits without further interaction, that signals RankBrain that your site didn’t meet the visitor’s needs. RankBrain then tells Google that your page shouldn’t appear so high in the search results. Thus, a poor bounce rate can cause your website to become lost in the back pages of Google’s search results.

Bounce Rate and Charley Grey

Now that you understand what bounce rate is and how it can contribute to the success of your website, you probably have questions about how to get your bounce rate where you want it to be. Here at Charley Grey, we are so proud of our wonderful staff that designs, builds, and manages high-performing websites.

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