What is Bounce Rate in Google Analytics and How to Improve it?

Last Updated on 27th November 2022 by Ajmer Singh

If you’re running a website, you’ve probably heard the term “bounce rate” before.

But what is bounce rate, and more importantly, how can you improve it?

In this post, we’ll define what is bounce rate and explain why it’s important to keep your bounce rate low.

We’ll also share some tips for improving your bounce rate so that you can create a better user experience for your website visitors.

What is bounce rate?

what is bounce rate

When it comes to success, if you’re like most website owners, you want visitors to spend more time on your site and engage in more than one-page views.

It is the term used when a visitor lands on your page and leaves within just one web session.

In general terms, this is not a good thing.

A high bounce rate has been proven to be correlated with lengthy visit duration and higher levels of engagement.

In other words, focusing on decreasing it can help improve the overall performance of your site’s traffic.

Advantages of a low bounce rate:

– High user engagement.

– Higher time on site.

Disadvantages of a high bounce rate:

– Lowest individual session duration in your overall traffic stream.

– Most people don’t spend much time on your site if they only visit one page.

– It doesn’t take much to get your site labelled as spammy, so by nature more visits = higher bounce rate.

If someone uses Google Analytics, they can see which pages have a high bounce rate and what the average rate is for their site or for a specific page view.

For example, if you have 1,000 visitors to your site in one day and your bounce rate is 70%, that means 700 visitors are left after viewing only one page.

If the average duration on the site is five minutes per session, those 700 people were there for ten minutes total.

It’s good to keep in mind that many factors can contribute to a high bounce rate.

If you have a high bounce rate, it could mean that your content is not relevant to what the visitor was looking for or it could be poorly written and unappealing.

It may be the case the person arrived via an ad that didn’t match your site’s content or that you have not reached out to your visitors in a way that makes them feel welcome.

What is Bounce Rate in Google Analytics?

what is bounce rate in google analytics

The term ‘bounce rate’ stands for when a visitor enters your site and then leaves immediately without taking further action on that site.

It’s important to understand what causes a high bounce rate.

For example, Google Analytics calculates the percentage of visits in which the person only visited one page before bouncing off.

It may happen when your visitor found what he was looking for on your website so he clicks back to the search engine and moves on.

Bounce rate is calculated by dividing the number of single-page visits by the total number of visits.

If you have 100 visitors and 10 bounced then your bounce rate is 10%.

There are several reasons that may cause a high bounce rate:

1. Your visitor might not find what he was looking for on your website, which means your site navigation is poor or non-existent.

2. Your visitor found what he was looking for on your website, but the information they wanted is difficult to find or non-existent e.g.: no contact details on your website.

3. Your content is of poor quality and not relevant to your keywords.

4. Your web design is poor quality making it difficult for your visitors to navigate around your website.

(I use Themify ultra theme on our websites)

5. Your website is slow on page load speed which makes your visitor impatient and bounces.

(I switched from siteground shared host to Cloudways cloud host)

So, to improve bounce rate you need first to understand the reasons behind it.

what is bounce rate in google analytics

If you are not sure what’s causing that high bounce rate then Google Analytics can help you to see how people are using your website by capturing every click they make on the website.

Of course, you can’t change everything at once and there is no magic formula to improve bounce rate.

But it’s important to know that even if your website has a poor design, poorly written content or low page speed but gets high volume traffic,

then these things won’t affect your bounce rate so much as people will be interested in getting their information quickly.

Also, it is important to make sure your web design is user-friendly and makes navigation straightforward.

It will be easier for your visitors to find what they are looking for on your website if things are organised in a clear, logical way.

The more successful changes you make the lower your bounce rate will be. And this means that your website is moving in the right direction.

How to improve Bounce rate:

1. Check that your site navigation is easy to use.

If you have a contact page make sure it has all the relevant information so people can find out how to get in touch with you.

2. Make sure the content of your website is no more than one-page long, but always give full information about what you are offering.

3. Do not use too many keywords in your content.

Apart from the fact that it makes copywriting much more difficult, Google will penalise you for having too many keywords on one page.

Otherwise, make sure all the keywords are relevant to your website and fit with your business goals.

4. Avoid publishing junk content that is non-relevant or low quality.

5. Make sure your website loads quickly, preferably in under 2 seconds. (To achieve this you can host your website with Cloudways)

what is bounce rate in google analytics

6. Add some social media buttons to your content.

7. Make sure there is a CTA (Call-to-action) at the end of every piece of content or on every page, e.g.: subscribe for more information, download free reports etc.

8. Lastly, make sure your website is mobile-friendly so that if someone clicks from Google to your website and it opens on a mobile phone, they probably stay there for long.

So, make sure you know what’s causing your high bounce rate (because of poor design? or because of relevant content?) before you can start thinking about how to improve it.

A great place to start is the homepage of your website which should be both user-friendly and appealing to make people stay on your website.

If you can’t see what’s causing the bounce rate or how well your website is performing,

then it’s a good idea to hire an expert who will be able to give you advice based on detailed reports from Google Analytics.

This way you’ll understand immediately what needs to be improved to keep your visitors coming back for more.

Is Bounce rate an important factor in SEO?

Yes, it is.

Improving your bounce rate will also improve your search engine rankings as Google is now rewarding:

Engaging, well-written and informative content that engages users for a long time means a lower bounce rate.

People are generally looking for quick, efficient information when they visit a website.

So in less than 5 seconds if your visitors haven’t found what they want on your site, they’ll bounce.

what is bounce rate in google analytics

The key to keeping them is giving them what they came for quickly and efficiently so there is no reason for them to leave.

To put it simply, bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who come to your website and only look at one page before leaving.

It’s not an accurate measurement of user engagement because not all these web surfers are lost customers.

So, in order for Google Analytics to calculate the bounce rate they have to record every click that a visitor makes.

If someone lands on your landing page and clicks another link then that will be recorded as another bounce.

If you use Google Analytics, one of the metrics to watch is time on site (how much time visitors spend browsing your content).

The more people browse around the site, the lower the average bounce rate will be – even if some of them bounce.

So, you can have a high bounce rate but still good engagement metrics because of the time spent on site.

Bounce rate is quite rigid – it’s either all or nothing.

You can’t get 50% bounces and 50% engaged visitors in the same time period. And that’s why it should not be used in isolation.

Remember that people are goal-oriented, so they won’t spend more time on your website if there is nothing for them to do.

So, think about the most important information you want to communicate to visitors and make sure it’s easily accessible from your homepage.

Don’t waste precious screen space with lots of content or decoration – this will only confuse and distract your visitors.

Conversely, the fewer distractions there are on your page, the higher the engagement is likely to be.

what is bounce rate in google analytics

How to get a low bounce rate?

You can’t get a bounce rate of 1% – no matter how well you’ve designed the site or how relevant all pages are, some people will still leave.

But you can keep a low bounce rate by following these simple rules:

1. Offer relevant, high-value content.

So people stay on your site longer and don’t have any reason to leave as soon as they’ve landed on it.

2. Make sure all important information is accessible from the homepage.

Identify which content is most relevant to your visitors and make that content easy to find.

3. Keep your design simple.

Too many distracting elements will only turn away visitors who are looking for useful information you can offer them on your website.

As more people spend time browsing around the pages of a website, the lower the bounce rate becomes – even though some visitors might have abandoned the site.

So, to get a low bounce rate you need to make sure that people don’t get distracted or irritated when they visit your website.

Focus on offering high-quality content and design the site in such a way that it’s easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for quickly and efficiently enough to prevent them from bouncing.

Benefits of low bounce rate:

1. Google now regularly adjusts its search algorithms to favour high-quality content and websites that engage visitors.

2. Visitors who spend more time browsing your site will see you as a valuable resource and are likely to come back.

3. Your rankings in Google’s search results can also be improved if people regularly spend time on your website instead of immediately leaving.

Importance of Bounce rate for SEO:

what is bounce rate in google analytics

1. Google says that it takes bounce rate into account in its ranking algorithm.

2. A high bounce rate signals to Google that users aren’t finding what they’re looking for on your website and thus, there might be something wrong with the content or page layout.

3. It shows that your site isn’t providing a good user experience and you need to work on that to keep or improve your rankings.

4. A high bounce rate can even cause a penalty from Google, as the company specifically speaks about this metric in its quality guidelines.

5. A low bounce rate demonstrates that your content is relevant, useful and engaging to users – something that Google loves to see!

NOTE: A great user experience will improve your bounce rate quickly.

And a great user experience requires,

  1. Fast loading website. (Change your server from shared to cloud host)
  2. Perfect layout. (Themify ultra is the one that I use on my websites)
  3. Unique and engaging content.
  4. Perfect landing page.

FAQS on Bounce Rate!

what is bounce rate in google analytics

Q: What is the bounce rate?

A: Bounce rate measures the percentage of single-page visits.

It tells you how many visitors left your site from the landing page without clicking on any other pages.

Q: Are bounces always bad?

A: No, bounces aren’t always a sign of failure.

For example, people might visit your website and read everything they want to know without needing to browse through other pages.

This will lower your bounce rate but not negatively affect the user experience.

Q: How can I improve my site’s bounce rate?

A: To reduce bounces, make sure your content is relevant and of value to visitors.

Don’t overload them with too many options or links.

Instead of giving people a reason to leave quickly, you should make them stay on your website longer.

Q: What are the factors that affect bounce rate?

A: Bounce rate can be affected by various factors, including the content on your website, how you design it and where you place links.

For example, an educational website is likely to have a lower bounce rate because visitors are more likely to click around to read other articles.

Q: How does Google use bounce rate?

A: Google takes a number of factors into account when crawling and indexing pages, including bounce rate.

However, it’s also worth noting that the company doesn’t give details about how or why it uses any particular metric.

Q: Do I need to worry about my site’s bounce rate?

A: Yes, Google has specifically stated in its SEO guidelines that a high bounce rate is a sign of user dissatisfaction and can negatively impact your search rankings.

So if you don’t want your website to suffer, you’ll need to work on improving the bounce rate by creating relevant content and an engaging user experience.

what is bounce rate in google analytics

Q: What is the bounce rate in Google Analytics?

A: The bounce rate in Google Analytics shows you how many single-page sessions happened during your chosen date range for a particular web property.

It can include visits that consist of only one pageview as well as those where visitors view only part of the first page and then navigate to another page or leave the site.

Q: What is a good bounce rate?

A: There’s no specific answer to this question, as the metric itself depends on many factors including your website’s niche and audience.

However, you can compare your bounce rate with those of other sites in your industry to stand out if yours is high or low.

Q: How can I find my site’s bounce rate?

A: Fortunately, it’s not difficult to see how often people leave your website from the landing page.

In Google Analytics, you can click on Acquisition > Overview and then select All traffic from the Acquisition report column to bring up a list of all your traffic sources along with their respective bounce rates.

Q: What is the best bounce rate?

A: As we mentioned earlier, there isn’t a standard range for this metric, as it depends on your website and target audience.

However, you can compare your bounce rates with those of other sites in your industry to see if yours is above or below average.

what is bounce rate in google analytics

Q: What’s a low bounce rate?

A: If your website is for a local business, you might expect a low bounce rate due to the nature of the site’s content.

While there’s no specific answer as to what constitutes a low bounce rate, anything below 50-60% should be considered good.

Conclusion

Hope you understood what is bounce rate and how to improve it.

Bounce rate has been a hot topic of conversation among digital marketers for a while now, but if this blog post helped clarify the definition or offered some tips on how to increase your site’s bounce rate, then I am happy!

If I missed something, let me know in the comments!

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