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What Does Bounce Rate Mean and Why is it Important?

Anna Lewis

by Anna Lewis on 14th June 2011

Bouncing BallGoogle Analytics can be confusing to the untrained eye, however the majority of it is all very straight forward once you get the hang of the terminology and data available. One of the most common stumbling blocks is understanding what Bounce Rate means, as it’s reported widely throughout Google Analytics. This post will take you through what Bounce Rate is, what is a good bounce rate and how to improve your bounce rate.

What is Bounce Rate?

Bounce Rate is calculated from the bounces that a page receives; but what is a bounce? Well, visually it’s nice and easy to understand – imagine a ball hitting your website (representing a visitor entering your site), if the user then visits another page the ball is absorbed, but if the user leaves your site, the ball bounces. So a bounce is when a visitor enters and exits your site via only one page.

The bounce rate is purely calculated from the number of entrances to the site for each page, rather than people visiting that page having already seen a page of your site within the same visit. If a visitor has already seen another page of your site before exiting this is counted towards the exit rate rather than the bounce rate.

So if 100 people enter this website on this page and 40 click through to another page, the bounce rate is 60% as 60 out of the 100 exited straight after entering. Will you be a bounce or will you stick?

What is a Normal Bounce Rate?

So now you know what a bounce rate is, how do you know if yours is good or more people are bouncing than should be?

Bounce rates differ depending on the content of the page, for example:

A holding page for a site that has no links to other pages on the same domain would have a 100% bounce rate as every visitor would have to exit once they have entered the page.

Blog posts usually have a high bounce rate due to the whole post being on one page and many visitors entering the site only wanting to read that article.

Product pages on online stores tends to have a low bounce rate as users are browsing different products and will be actively looking around the site.

How to Analyse Bounce Rates

Depending on your website and sector, an average bounce rate is usually around 40% – 50%, over 50% is seen as high and under 40% is very good. However as with any data, it is always essential to look at other contributing factors and parallel data to ensure you are getting the full picture and the most out of the statistics.

One very good comparison for bounce rate is the average time on the page. This figure can sometimes be slightly skewed within Google Analytics but if you take it as general guideline you can save yourself some worry about a high bounce rate; for example, if you see that the time on page is several minutes this shows that users are getting a lot from the one page before leaving. If, however, the time on page is very low and the bounce rate is very high you can conclude that it is not taking users very long to decide that they don’t want to spend any more time on your site, this is something that will often need addressing.

A good place to analyse bounce rates more thoroughly is within Top Landing Pages report under Content in Google Analytics. This shows you how many entrances, the number of bounces and the bounce rate as a percentage.

The Importance of Understanding Your Bounce Rate

So now that you know what bounce rate is and how to analyse it you may be wondering why it’s good to understand it and how this can be of use to you. Here are five quick advantages you can get from understanding your websites bounce rate:

1. Improve content on pages with high bounce rate

2. Identify if there is a strong need for a redesign

3. See which type of pages hold users on the site best and create similar

4. See if a particular marketing source (such as PPC) has an inflated bounce rate and adjust your marketing accordingly

5. See if the organic keywords sending traffic are the right ones for your site or if you are ranking for keywords that don’t hold visitors

Got any questions? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you, or if you need help measuring the success of your website feel free to give us a call to find out about our website analytics service.

What is Bounce Rate from Koozai Ltd

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Image Source

Bouncing balls via BigStock

Anna Lewis

Anna Lewis

Our resident analytics specialist is Anna Lewis. Anna is unbelievably attuned to anything analytical and can fill you in on all the latest news, tips and advice to get ahead in this evolving market.

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23 Comments

  • Andrew Fishwick 14th June 2011

    Excellent post, your explanation between bounce and exit was very easy to understand. Will be looking forward to next weeks post. Cheers

    Reply to this comment

  • Bryant 13th March 2012

    Thank you for this helpful post, I check my Google analytics often and never really understood most of it. Very nice.

    Reply to this comment

  • Kalyn Johnson Chandler 17th July 2012

    This article was extremely helpful – thank you!

    Reply to this comment

  • Meir Doron 21st August 2012

    Very useful article. Thank you Anna.

    Reply to this comment

  • Gene Stygar 11th September 2012

    Thanks for this post! I have a new site and have been really keeping track of the analytics. My bounce rate is kind of high, 47% however the average time on page is 4 minutes witch I think is pretty good.

    I wouldn’t have known about the time on page part if I hadn’t seen this post. So thanks again Anna!

    Reply to this comment

  • Cathy 20th September 2012

    I was wondering why my bounce rate was mostly 0%. Thanks for explaining this!

    Reply to this comment

  • J 19th December 2012

    Thank you for a well written article. I was getting slightly confused about the definition and was reading into it too much.

    I had a massive increase in visits but with 100% bounce rate. It was only recently that I realised I was doing some browser tests – hence the bounce rates!

    Reply to this comment

  • Sarah 18th January 2013

    Great article Anna, thank you.

    Can you please confirm whether this situation I’m about to explain is a bounce please. Our organisation got wide-reaching publicity on national radio about something we were offering for free and our form wasn’t working. I suspect the form/database couldn’t cope with multiple orders simulaneosly and the data got restricted by a bottleneck. We know the form wasn’t working because people started commenting on social media that they couldn’t submit their order because the form wasn’t working.

    Would this be bounce? ie. if the visitor filled in all the fields on that form, then hit the submit button, but the data won’t submit, they leave the page/site. I suspect yes, but I would appreciate your opinion given your knowledge and expertise. Thank you very much.

    Reply to this comment

  • Drew Taddia 22nd February 2013

    Thanks for your easy to understand explanation!

    Reply to this comment

  • Loreta 17th April 2013

    Some pages on our website have a low bounce rate and are less than a minute is sepct on the page. What does that mean?

    Thank you

    Reply to this comment

  • Penny 26th April 2013

    Finally a clear explanation of what bounce rate means!

    Reply to this comment

  • Darius 29th April 2013

    Well explained! Lost of good info on this site btw.

    Reply to this comment

  • Alvaro Huertas 30th April 2013

    Gracias por la clara explicación Anna!

    Reply to this comment

  • BPO Company 15th May 2013

    Great Video thanks for sharing i understood more about bounce rate.

    Reply to this comment

  • Don Deakin 26th June 2013

    This was a very useful article for me, a neophyte.
    This sentence said it all for me “a bounce is when a visitor enters and exits your site via only one page.”
    Your cautions about how to interpret bounce rate were useful as well.

    Reply to this comment

  • Stephen Griffith 5th September 2013

    What reason could you give for a good Bounce Rate (40.33%), 5.65 pages/visit and a visit duration of 3 mins 13 secs.

    Our e-commerce site is 1 month old, our website was launched approx 18 months ago and we are targeting to sectors for google ad words from last monday Garden hoses and Garden Furniture.

    We have had one genuine sale in this month.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Regards

    Reply to this comment

  • PHP Development 12th September 2013

    Thanks for the description about bounce rate, very happy to read it!

    Reply to this comment

  • Nate 23rd November 2013

    thank you..
    i needed someone to put together some concise information to explain some of those mysteries. This is extremely helpful

    Reply to this comment

  • sharath 6th December 2013

    After reading ur post, I have got an idea about bounce rate, thank you Anna..

    Reply to this comment

  • naveen kumar rajput 30th January 2014

    Now i get to know ,what is bounce rate and what’s it importance.Here my research ends about bounce rate ,Thanks a lot to the author to share such an important article on bounce rate .Feeling fortunate to being here .

    Reply to this comment

  • Haseeb Elahi 27th June 2014

    Anna ! Your post is awesome (Y)

    Reply to this comment

  • yogesh 5th July 2014

    This is great article Anna
    I’ve learned a lot thanks for posting

    Reply to this comment

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