If you’re just starting with SEO, you hear many people talking about a weird thing as if it’s come from Pluto.
It’s the bounce rate. Right?
Well, the good news is that it’s not as complicated as people present you.
Before we get into anything else, let me illustrate and define it for you.
When a user visits your website and jumps right away from there after viewing your only page, it means he bounced off of your site. This is generally referred to as a bounce.
Then what’s bounce rate?
It is the percentage of visitors that land on your site and moves away from one page without showing any further interactions with your pages.
So, what I want to share is that there is a need to worry about your bounce rate. You have to take care of it because it shows how much people like your content and the overall site in general.
In this guide, I’m going to teach you everything you need to know about ‘bounce rate‘ such as measuring and improving it, redefining it for your industry, and a lot more.
This’s going to be much fun than ever.
But wait! Before we jump right in, I want to distinguish between somewhat similar terms.
Just a quick explanation. No worries!
- Bounce Rate Vs. Exit Rate
- Why Is Bounce Rate Important?
- Where And How To Find Bounce Rate?
- What Is A Good Bounce Rate?
- Reasons Why People Bounce
- How To Reduce Your Bounce Rate
- 1. Format Your Content Wisely
- 2. Use Short Paragraphs
- 3. Use Statistics
- 4. Spend Time On Your Designing
- 5. Infographics
- 6. Speed Your Site Up
- 7. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
- 8. Use Jumpers Within A Post
- 9. Have Related Posts [Well Designed]
- 10. Analyze Site With Heat Maps
- 11. Internal Linking
- 12. Focus On User Experience
- [FAQs] Frequently Asked Questions
Bounce Rate Vs. Exit Rate
You already know that the percentage of users that land on one of your site’s pages and then leave without bothering to take a look at your other pages is the bounce rate.
Exit rate is also something related to leaving the page [but in a different way].
Here’s how we define it:
The percentage of users that leave a particular page of your site where they didn’t land initially.
Simply, the exit rate is the percentage of the exits on a page.
Here’s an explanation from Google about the two rates.
You can also see the simplest comparison right below.
This is all the difference.
There’s nothing much to it.
I hope you’ve removed the curtain of the difference between exit and bounce.
Why Is Bounce Rate Important?
Suppose you’re running an e-commerce website, and if someone comes to your site and presses the back button without doing a thing, how would you feel?
Not good at all.
Okay, why would you feel bad about it?
The simple answer is that you didn’t receive a conversion, or the person didn’t convert.
You never want that as an e-commerce executive, correct?
What if this happens multiple times on your site by multiple users?
That definitely will frustrate your head and heart. This is why you desperately want to go about figuring the issue out and fixing it.
Thus, we get our first conclusion in here; bounce rate determines the quality of your product page (not the product) for the users [ not every time though].
Sometimes other factors can also be responsible for your high bounce rates.
[This also implies to other sites like content websites, portals, and blogs].
The next thing is that Google considers ‘Bounce Rate’ as one of their ranking factors as it is directly related to UX or User Experience, which we’ll talk a bit later in the post.
Here’s a study by SEMrush showing Google’s ranking factors…
It’s an important ranking factor.
Also, Similarweb did a study where they found a relation between bounce rate and Google rankings.
You can have a look below.
Now that you know bounce rate is also a ranking factor, there’s no chance of sitting on the couch and see it continuously increasing.
Wait, I talked about seeing…but where can you find that?
Again, stay calm. I’m going to show you now.
Where And How To Find Bounce Rate?
Well, there are many ways of doing it. The first one is that you can calculate.
The formula for the calculation is:
Total one page visits divided by Total entrance visits into one hundred.
Or you can see below in an organized manner.
This was just to give you some information. You don’t want to spend time calculating, right?
What’s the second way then?
You can use analytics tools. There are loads of them available on the web.
One popular and free tool is provided by Google itself: Google Analytics
All you need to do is set up Google Analytics for your website and then boom! Bounce rating is waiting anxiously for you in the reports.
Just click the Audience in the right and then Overview in the subcategories.
You’ll see something like this…
But it is your site-wide bounce rate. What if you want to see page wise?
To inspect the rate according to pages, just head over to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages
Something like this will appear in front of you.
You can see the rate shown for each page.
[Reports for Landing Pages could also be seen like this by clicking the option available]
There’re various other expositions that Google Analytics show which you can check out reading this amazing post.
Okay, you’ve learned the basics to judge the reports. Now it’s time to give you a surprising answer to the most common question.
What Is A Good Bounce Rate?
It is noticed that the average bounce rate is between 41 to 55% according to a study by Rocket Fuel.
The correct answer to this question is…it depends on what industry you are in and also the category of your website.
Here’s a breakdown according to different categories.
As it’s conspicuous that different categories of sites have different bounce rates.
So if you’re a non-eCommerce content website with a result of 35-60%, it’s normal for you.
If you’re blog/portal has a bounce rate of 80%, it is still normal for you.
Also, ConversionXL found that the channel you get traffic from has a drastic impact on your site in terms of bounce rate.
Email and Referred traffic have the lowest whereas Display and Social have the highest.
Just consider yourself. When you’re on places like Twitter and Facebook and land onto a site to read something, you just read the only page that you landed on.
In some cases, you don’t even read a few paragraphs and hit the back button.
This is how most of the social traffic behaves.
The same story goes with display advertising too.
Reasons Why People Bounce
There are many reasons responsible for the bouncing of users. Let me explain to you the top reasons with illustrations.
1. Irrelevant Content
This is the most common phenomenon that makes people bounce like balls.
Users or people visit websites to find the information they’re looking for. And, if your site doesn’t meet their expectations, they’re likely to go back to search results and find another to consume better content.
Let’s say I searched for “audi a3 2019”. When I click on the first result with the title of ‘Audi A3 2019 Launched’ and see the content, it’s all about the 2018 model.
I’ll definitely hit the back button instead of wasting my time looking at the page because it’s irrelevant to me.
So will you, right?
2. Short Content
It is a human tendency to consider quantity as a factor in excellence. No matter how good you meet the requirements but if you don’t provide some extra juice and snacks to the users, they’ll run away.
For instance, if you’re you’re article is about singing at a high pitch and you just cover the steps in five hundred words, most of the people won’t read it and bounce.
It is because you didn’t give them any extra tips like over pressurizing can damage their voice boxes and whatever.
You kind of get the point.
That said, your content should not only just meet the requirements of the user…there should be more stuff added, or people will leave regardless of you being at fault.
3. Too Many Ads
Sure, you want to monetize your site, but having too many ads can be a threat for you. People are going to leap off if you’ve got a ton of displays.
Like you think about it for a second. When you land to a page or site filled with ads, ads, and ads, …you will want to get rid of that place as soon as possible.
That’s how other users or people behave.
Just look at the picture below and ponder whether you’ll consume the content on there or not.
You definitely won’t stick to this kind of creepy site.
4. The Irritating Popups
Recently, I was reading an article on Search Engine Journal and got fantastically frustrated. One after one, popup kept appearing on the screen.
Guess what did I do then…?
I hit the back button and left right away.
Being such a good company, they use nerdy tactics.
You have to make sure of not overusing your popup game. Just keep it soft but not strong.
Nobody is going to give you emails if you trigger popups again and again.
That doesn’t work anymore now.
5. Your Website Design Sucks
Your site’s design is the first impression. If it not appealing and attractive, you can expect an increase in your bounce rate for sure.
So, if your website’s design is the same as it was ten years ago, you’re done for.
Nobody likes to stay on such a terrible page.
6. Difficult Navigation
Maybe your content is great, and everything is organized, but if the site is not easy to use, one can feel trapped and have a bad user experience.
And then, you know what will happen…
The same cycle goes on.
These are the possible reasons that may contribute to your high bounce rate.
Let’s turn around the next topic:
How To Reduce Your Bounce Rate
Initially, I recommend you to take some time and fix the basic issues which we’ve just discussed above.
This will help you get at a good corner.
After doing those, here are the advanced techniques you can leverage to have an excellent badge.
1. Format Your Content Wisely
When it comes to formatting your content, I don’t just mean adding color to the text or italicizing it or making it bold. What I mean by this is organizing your content with headings and subheadings.
Everybody loves to read when they’re aware of what topic is being read/covered by him/her.
This keeps the readers hooked.
2. Use Short Paragraphs
You write a blog…not a book.
I see a lot of people that just stuff paragraphs and paragraphs into the posts and give no room to their text. That’s completely wrong.
The easier you make for the people read, the better off you’re going to be.
Just ponder…who the hell likes to read paragraphs?
Try to write short paragraphs for that it’ll be easy for the user to understand.
If you see all of my posts, most of the time, I write one or two sentences at once.
Convenience has always been the key.
3. Use Statistics
I say this a lot many times that stats make people want to read and also build authority with their standpoints.
In each post I write, I make sure there are at least two statistics.
It doesn’t have to be your company’s research. Just Google for the stats and embed them within your post.
Though I do recommend that you spend your energy and time creating unique stats.
4. Spend Time On Your Designing
Design is the silent ambassador of your brand– Paul Rand
You have heard about Brain Dean for sure. Do you know the reason why his blog posts stand out?
It’s because of pro designing.
Every single post of him is exceptionally designed, and people love to read his blogs.
So, I did start investing in designs and that changed my results drastically.
For example, this post about list building is doing wonders for me.
Curiously asking: Have you ever used custom infographics in your posts?
Let’s say you have to options:-
- A Text-Based Article
- A Visual Article
Which one of the two will you go for initially?
Of course, the visual article.
Now, if you add some creativity and tactics to that visual article for a user to navigate to other pages of your site, it will help you take a breath.
Using infographic works forever.
Yeah sure, you’ve got to do a ton of work for it, but the work you’ll put is going to work always in the future.
6. Speed Your Site Up
If your site takes forever to load, please do something about it. Don’t just sit back and relax.
According to different studies, the average time of a user to wait for a site to load ONLY 3 SECONDS.
Also, a study from Google, where they analyzed 11 million landing pages, shows that low-speed sites or pages tend to have high bounce rates.
Your site has to be real quick.
How do you go about doing that?
Well, you can go for Google Pagespeed Insights, but I recommend a better free tool called GTMatrix.
Put your URL to GTMatrix and analyze the speed. If there are any improvements [for sure, there will be], work on them.
It’ll show you super in-depth reports by clicking on the ‘Waterfall’ to find the catch.
Or you can analyze the page speed too.
The most common problems are as follows:
Useless CSS: There’s a bunch of CSS code fighting with your load time which is of no use. You’ve got to remove that.
Uncompressed Images: You might have uncompressed giant-sized images that are creating the problem.
Extra Plugins: There can be extra or not really useful plugins that you may want to remove.
Once you optimize the speed of your site, you’ll feel that you’ve already covered the halfway to decrease the bounce rate. If you’re still using those cheap and useless web hosting, it’s time to switch. For the first time, Bluehost – the best web hosting, is allowing you to start with as little as $2.95/month.
You should definitely switch to Bluehost now [don’t waste this wonderful opportunity]…
7. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
Right now, there are more mobile users than desktop or tablets.
Most of the conversions take place via mobile devices, and if your site is still not mobile-friendly, that’s a huge problem.
Your site should be easy to use and function properly on mobile devices.
You can also use AMP to have a more salutary information occurrence for the user.
Adding navigation options can help a lot.
8. Use Jumpers Within A Post
If you’ve decided to do everything, then why to leave jumpers…?
Jumpers add a bit to site experience by making it easier to skip the content and go to the specific topic a user wants to read, without having to scroll like a nerd.
I almost use them every time in the overview section.
9. Have Related Posts [Well Designed]
Adding related posts at the end of each post works out transcendent.
But before you get excited and make that happen, I have a quick suggestion for you.
Have an appealing design to your recent post section. Something different than usual. This will increase your CTR by attracting people, and finally decrease your bounce rate.
Just to show you…I use this simple design for my related posts.
That’s not too much work, right?
10. Analyze Site With Heat Maps
If you don’t know what a heat map is…here’s a short explanation.
A Heat Map Is A Data Analysis Software That Uses Color As A Data Visualization Tool.
You can use tools like Neil Pate’s Crazy Egg to generate and set up heat maps for your site, and it’ll tell you the user behavior according to areas on your pages.
Here’s how you can investigate via Crazy Egg:
Once you find what is making the users bounce, and what is attracting them, …you can optimize your pages accordingly.
Not only this will help you decrease the bounce rate, but also boost your authority by building trust.
11. Internal Linking
Internal links are a great way to keep users on your site and help them view your other pages.
If you don’t already know what internal links are:
They’re the links inserted in the content to refer other posts/pages of the same website.
But you have to insert the links only where it is relevant or it can kick you off by providing a terrible experience to the users.
12. Focus On User Experience
Although everything we’ve discussed so far falls into enhancing your site’s UX or User Experience.
But there is something a bit different I want to add.
Most of the websites don’t have a good intent behind the information they provide. Every blog post I read…the majority of them are written with the intention of selling a product or service by pressurizing people.
You don’t want to do it.
So, my simple advice to you about User Experience is that don’t exaggerate the products or services you want to sell. Try to provide the best information, and value to your users and they themselves will convert.
On the flip side, if you continue doing this: You’re going to experience a continuous increase in your bounce rate and a continuous depreciation in your site’s authority.
Thus, you have to fix this issue if you want long term growth.
There are other awesome ways to reduce your bounce rate, which you can check out right here.
We’ve seen how crucial bounce rate is for your website’s SEO rankings. It’s also a signal of how likely people are engrossed to read and consume the information you gather.
Let’s take a quick recap of what factors we saw that can affect the bounce rate of a site in points so you won’t forget.
Factors Causing Bounce Rate
- Irrelevant Content
- Short Content
- Too Many Ads
- Your Popup Game Is Unbeatable
- Your Overall Website Design
- Difficult Navigation
Points To Reduce Bonce Rate
- Format Your Content
- Use Short Paragraphs
- Use Statistics
- Design For Your Posts
- Use Infographics
- Increase Load Speed
- Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
- Use Jumpers
- Related Posts
- Heat Maps
- Internal Linking
- Focus On UX
Now I Want To Hear From You. What Important Factor Am I Missing And What Did You Like The Most About The Post? Let Me Know If You Have A Suggestion Or Question In The Comments.
[FAQs] Frequently Asked Questions
Bounce rate refers to the percentage of users that landed on your site’s page and moved back from the very page without showing any further interactions with your website.
The answer is yes. We know Google is a user experience company, and high bounce rates mean that your site is not focusing on UX. Hence, your rankings can tank.
Bounce rate could be checked within your Google Analytics in the Audience Overview section.