What is the bounce rate?
The bounce rate is an indicator giving the percentage of the visitors who click on your website pages, but are leaving without visiting others pages of the website.
Leaving the page means:
- The visitor closed the page
- The visitor used the back button of their browser
- The visitor clicked on an external link
- The visitor typed another URL in the address box of his browser
- The session of your visitor expired. We are considering a session expired after 30 minutes if inactivity on the page.
What is the purpose of the bounce rate?
A high bounce rate could mean that the visitors are not satisfied of the content of your pages; and/or they could not find the answer of the questions they were searching for.
At the opposite end of the scale, a low bounce rate, could mean that the visitor has found the answer he or she was looking for, and decided to go deeper into your website to read others articles.
This is theory. In some cases it’s normal to have a high bounce rate.
- Dictionary: The visitor will search the definition of a word, after receiving it they will leave.
- Recipe: The visitor will search for a specific recipe and when he will read it, print it or copy it they will leave.
- Directories of external links: These website have the purpose to suggesting several external links and the visitor have no interest to stay on this website.
Duration of the visit:
Analyzing the duration of one’s visit can be good or bad.
A visitor leaving your page after having read its content is not bad.
For example, if you are publishing an article on your blog every week, and you have a visitors coming reading it through social media post or as a subscriber, this will increase your bounce rate. The duration of the visit will be good enough to say that your content is interesting.
A high bounce rate and a short duration of the visit means that your page has an issue that needs improvement to increase its performance.
What about Google? How does Google analyze the bounce rate?
If Google knows the bounce rate of your website is high, Google will assume your page is not pertinent and will penalize your page on its results.
Google will use Analytics to study the performance of your page. But will also look at the behavior of the visitors. If a visitor is come to your page through a search through Google but returns in just a few seconds, (by clicking on back on his or her browser or by closing your page) Google will conclude that your page is not pertinent and will not suggest your page as a top result when other visitors search the same information.
The bounce rate should not be based on the entire website.
Each page should be studied individually. Every page can have a different bounce rate. A high bounce Rate doesn’t mean that your page is not pertinent; Analyze also the duration of the visit to make your conclusions.
Coming soon : How to improve the bounce rate?