Bounce rate for 2020

If you’re just starting with SEO, you hear a lot of 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?

You are a smart reader…you tell me?

Yes, you’re thinking right…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.

What is bounce rate? It is defined as a user landing to your page and then going back rather than having interactions with your site due to some reason.

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

You already know that the percentage of users that land on one of your site’s page 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.

An explanation from Google about exit rate and bounce rate.

You can also see the simplest comparison right below.

Bounce rate Vs. Exit rate

This is all the difference.

There’s nothing much to it.

I hope you’ve removed the curtain of 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 point 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 on.

Here’s a study by SEMrush showing Google’s ranking factors…

Google ranking factors analyzed by SEMrush. Bounce rate is also considered as an important factor according to the study.

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.

Google rankings and bounce rates.

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. 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.

Formula to calculate bounce rate of a website.

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…

Checking bounce rate in Google Analytics.

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

Checking reports in Google Analytics.

Something like this will appear in front of you.

Bounce rate is different for different pages.

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 for 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.

Average bounce rate according to industries.

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.

Or

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 low bounce rates. Bounce rate statistics.

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 bouncing of users. Let me explain to you the top reasons with illustrations.

1. Irrelevant Content

This is the most common phenomena which 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.

Irrelevant content can be a problem.

So will you, right?

2. Short Content

It is a human tendency of considering 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.

Don't write short content.

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.

A website with to many ads looks absolutely weird.

You definitely won’t stick to this kind of creepy site.

Right?

4. The Irritating Pop-ups

Recently, I was reading an article on Search Engine Journal and got fantastically frustrated. One after one, pop-up 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.

Don't use irritating pop-ups over and over.

That doesn’t work anymore now.

Got it?

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 used to be 10 years ago, you’re done for.

Like seriously…

Focus on your site's designing.

Nobody likes to stay at 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.

Your website is hard to navigate.

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…which is:

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.

Have an organized piece of content.

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?

Don't use long 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.

Use short paragraphs like this.

Got it?

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 and every post I write…I make sure there are at least two statistics.

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 in creating own 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?

Because of pro designing.

Every single post of him is exceptionally designed and people love to read his blogs.

You also should spend your time doing good designing for your posts.

I’m not saying you to sit months and scrub it…but should have a nice design [Other than images].

Something like this…

Focus on designing your blog posts.

It’s pretty considerable.

5. Infographics

Curiously asking: Have you ever used custom infographics in your posts?

If the answer is yes, I don’t have to say anything. Just head over to Google analytics and have a glimpse at the bounce rate of that page…you’ll get to know.

Now if the answer is no, I’ll elaborate for you.

Let’s say you have to options:-

  1. A Text-Based Article
  2. A Visual Article
Infographics save you from high bounce rates.

Which one of the two will you go for initially?

Of course, the visual article.

Great, you get it. That’s the point.

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 for you.

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 is 3 seconds ONLY.

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.

Website speed and probability of 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.

My website speed.

It’ll show you super in-depth reports by clicking on the ‘Waterfall’ to find the catch.

Waterfall report by GTmatrix.

Or you can analyze the page speed too.

Page speed analysis by GTmatrix.

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.

7. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

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 you’re site is still not mobile-friendly…you’re up.

Your site should be easy to use and function properly on mobile devices.

You can also use AMP to have better information occurrence for the user.

Adding navigation options can help a lot.

8. Use Jumpers Within A Post

If you decide 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.

Use jumpers for better user experience.

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. Like something different than usual. This will increase your CTR and finally decrease your bounce rate.

Just to show you…I use this simple design for my related posts.

Have 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 disturbing users and what is attracting them…you can optimize your pages accordingly.

This will low down your bounce rate and level up your authority.

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 of the same website inserted in the content to refer other posts of the same website.

Internal Links For Better Experience.

But you have to insert the links only where it is relevant of it can kick you off by providing sucky 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 I want to add a bit different that I’ve come across with so many sites.

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 making a sale or selling a product or service.

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 really want long term growth.

There are other awesome ways to reduce your bounce rate which you can check out right here.

Conclusion

We’ve seen how crucial bounce rate is for your website’s SEO rankings. It’s also a signal that 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

  1. Irrelevant Content
  2. Short Content
  3. Too Many Ads
  4. Your Popup Game Is Unbeatable
  5. Your Overall Website Design
  6. Difficult Navigation

Points To Reduce Bonce Rate

  1. Format Your Content
  2. Use Short Paragraphs
  3. Use Statistics
  4. Design For Your Posts
  5. Use Infographics
  6. Increase Load Speed
  7. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
  8. Use Jumpers
  9. Related Posts
  10. Heat Maps
  11. Internal Linking
  12. 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

What is bounce rate?

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.

Can bounce rate affect SEO?

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.

Where can I check my site’s bounce rate?

Bounce rate could be checked within your Google Analytics in the Audience Overview section.

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