What is Bounce Rate and How Does It Affect Your Website?

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If you own or manage a website, you must constantly monitor the bounce rate of your website. It is a strong indicator of how well your website is structured, and how interesting your content is. Monitoring the bounce rate of your website is a crucial part of digital marketing.
Someone who hasn’t done any digital marketing is likely to wonder, what is bounce rate? How does bounce rate affect a website?

What is Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate is a measure of how frequently visitors leave your website without viewing any other page other than the landing page. A high bounce rate means most of your visitors do not venture further into your website after getting to your landing page.
Bounce rate is a relative metric. While in most cases a high bounce rate is a bad thing, sometimes it is not.
So, how is bounce rate calculated? Under what circumstances should you not be concerned about a high bounce rate? What can you do to remedy a high bounce rate? All these are pertinent questions that anyone running a website would love to have answers to.

How is Bounce Rate Calculated?

Google calculates a website’s bounce rate as follows;
Bounce rate = Number of single-page sessions/Total sessions
That means if 100 people visit your website, and 30 people exit the website without visiting another page, your landing page has a bounce rate of 30%.

Why and when is monitoring bounce rate important?

Let’s first explore how you decide whether bounce rate is important for your website?
There are cases in which bounce rates are not of much significance. For instance, if you’ve managed to put all your content on a single page, there’s no reason for your visitors to go to other pages. You might also have a one-page website.
The significance of the bounce rate for your website also depends on the kind of conversions you are looking for.
For instance, if you are hoping to get your visitors to sign up, they must go to another page for them to do so. Bounce rate will be crucial in such circumstances. On the other hand, if you just need your visitors to consume the information on your landing page, you will not be concerned whether they go to another page or not.
You might need to be concerned about the visit duration though. Visit duration is the average amount of time that visitors spend on your website. In an instance where your landing page has most of the information, you want to pass, visit duration might be more important than bounce rate.
If you have a landing page full of information, you should be concerned about a short visit duration. A short visit duration means visitors are leaving your page very quickly. On the hand other, long visit durations might mean visitors are taking time to consume your content. A high bounce rate would not be much of a concern under such circumstances.
In instances where the bounce rate is important, how does it affect your website? How could it affect your business?

Monitoring the Bounce Rate of Your Website

Google Analytics or SEO tools such as SEMrush will help you keep an eye on the bounce rate of your landing pages. Looking at the bounce rate at your Google Analytics dashboard, it might not look like a very important metric. What does it mean for your website and business though?
Let’s say you are running a blog. You’d obviously want your visitors to browse through your blog and read more posts, after reading one on the landing page. If they are not going beyond the landing page, it might mean your post on the landing page did not live up to their expectations.
If you are running an eCommerce business, bounce rate should be one of your most crucial metrics. Your traffic will most likely be landing on your category pages, blogs, or product pages. In most cases, they have to browse a few pages before they find the product they want. They also have to go through a couple of pages to complete the buying process.
In such as case, a high bounce rate means a low conversion rate. It means your landing pages are less likely to lead to conversions. That’s should be a major concern for any website that is hoping to make sales. You should, therefore, strive to ensure your website has a low bounce rate.

How is Bounce Rate Related to SEO?

You have to create valuable SEO content to attract traffic to your website. Creating content that ranks on search engines and attracts traffic is not an easy task. It takes a lot of effort and time. It would be unfortunate to do all that work, and not be able to convert your traffic into customers.

Google can monitor bounce rates on your landing pages. A high bounce rate is interpreted as poor user experience or poor content. Google’s algorithm is set to use such factors to gauge how relevant and valuable content on a web page would be to those interested in such content.
If Google thinks your content is poor, or users are not enjoying their experience on your website, it will lower your ranking position. That means less traffic and even fewer chances of getting conversions.
So, what is a good bounce rate?
Of course, no website can have a zero bounce rate. That being said, if bounce rate is a big factor for your website, the lower it is the better. A bounce rate of above 60% is a little bit too much for a landing page that’s designed to drive conversions.
Anything below 60% is considered acceptable, but it can always be improved on. The perfect average website bounce rate would be within the 20% to 40% range.
We mentioned above that bounce rate is a relative metric. As such, what is an ideal bounce rate for one website might not be ideal for the next one. It all depends on how the bounce rate affects the objectives of your business website.
So, what can you do to reduce the bounce rate of your website?
You can include a table of content to make it possible to skim through the content. Google loves tables, and you might land on Google position zero. Position zero appears at the top of all search results and gives the best answer for search queries.

How to Reduce the Bounce Rate of Your Website?

A high bounce rate can be a result of many different factors. You have to do an audit on your landing pages and find out where they are falling short. In most cases, poor user experience is the cause of high bounce rates.
You might want to look into the following factors if the bounce rate of your website is too high;
  • Page loading speed
  • Website navigation
  • Visual appeal
  • Relevance of your content
  • Prices
  • Product descriptions, etc.
Factors such as loading speed and navigation are tied to user experience. If users are struggling to interact with your website, they’ll most likely just leave.
Factors such as price and product descriptions apply to websites selling products and services. They affect the visitors’ ability or intention to buy. Visitors might bounce off your product page if the listing prices are too high.
They might also bounce off because your product descriptions are not appealing enough. The lack of product descriptions or shallow product descriptions can also drive visitors away.
Visual appeal is a very important factor as well. It’s the first thing visitors notice when they land on your website. If your landing pages are unappealing, it is highly likely that your visitor will not bother to study the content.
Visual appeal has the effect of grabbing people’s right away and getting them interested in the rest of your content. Visual appeal can be enhanced using color schemes, images, and infographics.
The relevance of your content to your target audience is also very important. If you use certain keywords to target a specific audience, they expect a specific type of content. If they land on your page and the content they find is not what they expected, they’ll most likely bounce off.
Most people will read the headings to determine whether the content on a webpage is relevant. Make sure you make your headings as catchy as possible. They should also clearly indicate what the web page is about.
Whether bounce rate is significant to your website or not, you need to make sure your website offers a great user experience.
If your website is heavily reliant on SEO and organic traffic, you have to keep your bounce rate down. Even if you don’t think it is significant to your business, it matters to search engines, especially Google. Your pages will keep losing authority and ranking positions if the bounce rate keeps rising.

Final Thoughts

Understanding bounce rate and how it affects your website and business is crucial if you are hoping your website will become successful. Monitoring bounce rate might involve some trials and testing, but you’ll eventually find the factors that make it fluctuate. Each website is unique and the bounce rate will be affected by different factors. You just have to keep testing and optimizing until the bounce rate of your website is where you want it to be.

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