What is Bounce Rate?

Knowing your website’s bounce rate is important so that you understand how your site is performing. Of course, knowing exactly what a bounce rate is is the only way you can use that information strategically. By definition, “bounce rate” is the percentage of visitors to your website who leave without doing anything — no clicks, no forms filled, no purchases.

By keeping a close eye on your website’s bounce rate and finding ways to improve it you can accomplish a few things:

  1. The more you can decrease your website’s bounce rate, the more you can increase your conversions. By nature, the more actions people take on your site, the more likely they are to convert.
  2. By improving your website’s bounce rate, you can actually improve how your website performs with search engines, specifically Google.
  3. When you understand what your bounce rate is and which pages perform better than others, you can start to zero in on ways to improve the overall experience of your website.

On average, most websites have a bounce rate of between 41% and 51%. So, if your bounce rate is significantly higher than 51%, you (most likely) have reason to be concerned. Of course, not all websites are designed to do the same thing, and, in some cases, different industries have significantly different performance goals. Depending on who your audience is and where your traffic comes from, a “good” bounce rate might be substantially outside of the average percentage.

For example:

  • eCommerce websites typically have the lowest average bounce rates (around 30%).
  • Blogs, on the other hand, have incredibly high bounce rates (nearly 90% in some cases).

Why is this so different?

Because when people land on a blog, most of the time they scroll to read and then leave once they’re done. Ecommerce websites, on the other hand, almost always require visitors to take an action in order to explore the site. Bounce rates aren’t concerned with the length of time someone spends on your site, but, instead, if the visitors take an action or not.

Bounce rates are also different than exit rates, which are another measured analytic in the world of website performance. The big difference between the two is that exit rates measure the percentage of visitors that leave a page, without taking into consideration if they clicked to it from another page or not.

If that’s not clear, here’s another way to look at it.

If a visitor lands on your page and then leaves without taking another action, it’s a bounce.

If, on the other hand, a visitor lands on a page and then goes to another page before leaving, that’s an exit. If they would have landed on the second page first and then left, it would have still been a bounce.

See the difference?

When you begin to study your website’s bounce rate, you’ll start to ask yourself, “Why are people leaving my site?” And that’s a great question to be asking! Typically, your visitors bounce if they:

  1. Aren’t getting/finding what they want
  2. Don’t like the design or the content they’re seeing
  3. Are turned off by the user experience

Working to improve these three factors on your website can dramatically improve your bounce rate — and how your website performs overall.

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