What is a Bounce Rate?

If you're new to Google Analytics for you business, you may be confused by the bounce rate. Don't worry. We once had to google it ourselves. A bounce rate means the number (percentage) of visitors who navigate away from your website after viewing only one page. In other words, the bounce rate measures website visitors who leave your website after only one page view. Why would your visitors leave? They may have clicked the wrong link or they may have found your page irrelevant. We found this great infographic on UltraLinx that helps explain a bounce rate and how you can improve it.

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What is bounce rate?

Bounce Rate as defined by Google Analytics: The percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page). Bounce Rate is a measure of visit quality and a high Bounce Rate generally indicates that site entrance (landing) pages aren't relevant to your visitors.

Google takes your bounce rate into account as one of many factors when determining how to rank your site.

The Bounce Rate Equation
Rb = (Tv/Te)

Rb = Bounce rate
Tv = Total number of visits viewing one page only
Te = Total entries to page

Visits to your subdomain will count as someone leaving your site, and thus incorrectly increase your bounce rate.

A visitor can bounce from your site by...
Clicking on a link to a page on a different website.
Clicking the “Back” button to leave the site.
Closing an open window or tab site.
Typing a new URL.
Session timeout.

Bounce Rate by Industry

The metrics of an average website:
Average Time on site: 190.4 seconds
Average page views: 4.6
Bounce Rate: 40.5%
New visits: 62.9%

Improving Bounce Rate

Factors that affect bounce rate:
1. Pop-up ads, surveys, music, or streaming video.
2. Search engine ranking of page (pages that rank higher on irrelevant keywords have higher bounce rates).
3. Type of audience.
4. Landing page design.
5. Ad and landing page messages.
6. Emails and newsletters.
7. Load time of pages (longer load time = higher bounce rate).
8. Links to external sites.
9. Purpose of the page.

Did you know that music and streaming video have a negative affect on bounce rate?

Tips to improve Bounce Rate:
1. Maintain top rankings for branded terms.
2. Provide relevant content.
3. Build a clear navigation path/menu.
4. Link to a glossary page that defines industry terms.
5. Place search function prominently.
6. Speed up page load by using Google Page Speed plugin.
7. Get rid of pop-up ads.
8. Reduce external links (or have them open in a new window).

Create landing pages tailored to each keyword and ad that you run so that your visitors can find that was promised in the ad copy.
If someone hits refresh while your page is loading, your analytics will not count their bounce. This incorrectly reduces bounce rate.