Bounce Rates - What are They (And are they Important)?

As long as you have a website (especially a business one), you’ve probably come across the term bounce rate. Either from conversations or through checking your website analytics through Google Analytics.


Well, let’s quickly define what a bounce rate is and what bounce rates really mean for your business then. 

What are Bounce Rates?
In a nutshell, “bounce rate” refers to the percentage of website visitors that leave after only interacting with 1 page on your website. In other words, they land on a web page from search engines or other sources, interact with that page, and bounce back to the referer. They don’t explore other pages on your website.

Like many metrics that show how your website is performing, bounce rates need to be properly analyzed. Don’t just look at the figures in Google Analytics and run to conclusions as there are many factors that influence bounce rates. Examples include:

  • Website load speed. The slower a website loads, the higher the bounce rate.
  • Misleading metadata. If a visitor comes to your website because of your meta title/description and finds something totally different, chances are high that they will bounce. Avoid being clickbaity at all costs.
  • Type of website. A one-page website will register high bounce rates (even as high as 100%) simply because there are no other pages to visit. However, this does not necessarily mean that the website’s performance is poor.
  • Your niche. The niche you’re in also determines how people interact with your website. For example, service sites (electricians and plumbers, for example) have higher bounce rates as people usually just need contact details from them. E-commerce and informational websites, on the other hand, have lower bounce rates as visitors tend to navigate around these more.

What is a Good Bounce Rate?
Just because your bounce rate is high doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing something wrong. Seek to find out the reason behind the high bounce rates before tweaking anything on your website.

But then again, what really is a good bounce rate?

While the question itself may be simple, the answer isn’t so straightforward. This is because bounce rates vary depending on a number of factors as we’ve seen above. It also depends on what kind of page your visitor landed on, i.e, home page, landing page, blog post, product page etc.

However, if you have a multi-page website, a healthy bounce rate is anything below 60%. On the other hand, it’s ok to have high bounce rates if your page is:

  • A product page that leads to a third-party site
  • A contact page or contains a call to action involving a phone number
  • Includes a form that doesn’t direct visitors to another page
  • A product page and visitors purchase the product
  • An informational page without a call to action

Ultimately, “good” as far as bounce rates are concerned is relative. You’ll have to analyze other data around the bounce rate to properly determine if your rates are good or bad.

Are Bounce Rates Really Important?
Now that you know what bounce rates are, are they really that important? Especially since they can be misleading taken at face value?

Yes, bounce rate is a critical metric to track as it:

Indicates How Effective Your Website Is
One of the reasons you need to keep tabs on your bounce rate is that it’s a good indicator of how your website is performing. If your website is slow or confusing, chances are high that your visitors will bounce at a higher rate.

Visitors who are attracted by a landing page, social media post or even sent to you by search engines will be expecting something from your website (certain website design or type of content). Failure to find it will result in them bouncing, thereby driving your bounce rate up. To reduce your bounce rate in this case, you’ll have to ensure that the content on the referring page and that on your web page are consistent. Most importantly, make sure it meets your visitor’s expectations. You’ll also have to ensure that you maintain your brand identity across all your channels.

Helps You Optimize Ad Spend
If you’re spending money on ads to drive traffic to a page on your website, bounce rate becomes a critical metric to watch. Every visitor who leaves the page without fulfilling the call to action represents wasted ad resources.

In this case, you can use other tools like heatmaps to analyze your page and determine:
  • Where visitors drop off
  • Why visitors drop off

Fixing the issues that lead to these high bounce rates could result in more visitors converting.

Bounce Rates - There’s More than Meets the Eye
Many businesses ignore bounce rate when they look at their website analytics because they don’t know how to interpret the data. And those who do don’t know how to use that data to improve their website. Hopefully, this post has shed light on this mysterious metric. However, if you need help in interpreting this metric, feel free to reach out.

Bounce Rates - What are They (And are they Important)?
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