Bounce Rates – Part 1

Joseph ComoWebsite Conversion, Website Tools, Website Traffic

Bounce Rates are a way to gain insight on your readers’ behaviors when visiting your site.  Some sites’ bounce rates are lower, and some can be quite high.  Why is this?  What is an ideal bounce rate to have?  But most importantly, what the heck is bounce rate?

A Bounce Rate (BR) is the percentage of site visitors who arrive on a page of your site, and then leave without visiting any other pages or going deeper into your site.

A low BR shows that your site has grabbed your visitors’ attention, and that they are clicking on other pages of your site in addition to the page they entered on.  They are finding your site to be relevant to what they were looking for.

A higher bounce rate could mean 1 of 2 things, and can sometimes get slightly confusing.  Either the landing page was irrelevant to what your visitor was looking for, or it was exactly what they were hoping to find.  If it wasn’t what they wanted, it is rather obvious that they would leave without a second thought, thus making your bounce rate go up.  If it is exactly what they were looking for and that single page gave every bit of info they ever wanted to know, your BR would still go up if they didn’t click on any other page.  So while it still increased, it wasn’t because the page wasn’t helpful, it was extremely helpful.  The visitor didn’t need to go to any other pages on your site to find more information.

This brings up the question “What is a good BR?”  Some may reply with specific percentages, but in reality, there is no set number.  For example, BR’s on blog sites are typically very high, because a visitor will often read the latest post and then leave the site.  The high BR in this case is acceptable, as the visitor still read what your blog had to say, and didn’t immediately leave.  However, if you have a high BR because your horse website always comes up when people search for monkeys, it could be a red flag that you need to make changes to your site in order for it to appear under relevant search terms.  A lower BR would be ideal for sites offering products or services to purchase.  It shows that visitors are taking interest in what you have to offer, and are going deeper into your site.

Are you frustrated with your high bounce rate?  Ask yourself what could be some possible reasons that your visitors are leaving without clicking deeper into your site.  Stay tuned for a brief list of ideas that can help lower your bounce rate.