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What’s a Bounce Rate and How Can I Improve It?

What springs to mind when you hear the word “bounce?” Is it a basketball game, images of your kids having fun in a bouncy house or thoughts of jumping on your bed when you were a kid? While all of those things are certainly related to the word bounce, the word brings different things to mind for digital marketers.

More specifically, many digital marketers will think about their analytics when they hear someone say bounce. That’s because a website’s bounce rate is one of the key performance indicators that many marketers keep track of.

An Explanation of Bounce Rate

If this is your first time reading about bounce rate, you might wonder, “What is bounce rate anyway?” Of, you might be asking yourself, “What is a good bounce rate and how can I improve my current bounce rate so that it’s good, too?”

Put simply, your bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who land on a given webpage on your website and then leave without doing anything. Your bounce rate only accounts for people who visit your site, land on one page and then navigate away without viewing another page or clicking anything.

It’s important for you to understand that your bounce rate is not the same thing as your exit rate. While your bounce rate accounts for “one and done” visitors, your exit rate is a little more involved. An exit rate is the percentage of your visitors who exit your website from a certain page, without that page necessarily being the only page they viewed on your website.

The page from which someone leaves your website might simply be the last in a long line of pages they checked out. For this reason, a website’s exit rate normally isn’t as disturbing as a high bounce rate.

Measuring Bounce Rate

Analytic platforms like Google Analytics make it simple for you to monitor your bounce rate. When you log into Google Analytics, the bounce rate you’ll see is the rate for all of your website’s pages. This figure is calculated by dividing the average number of bounces that occur on all of your site’s pages during a set period of time by the total number of visits all your pages earned during the same time frame.

Google Analytics can do more than “just” measure your site’s overall bounce rate. The platform can also track the bounce rate for your website’s individuals pages or a defined section of your website.

Why Bounce Rate Matters

If you’re not tracking your bounce rate, you should start. Depending on who you ask, you may hear that bounce rate is one of the leading factors Google uses to determine where a website lands in search engine results pages. If you ask someone else about the same thing, you might be told that Google doesn’t consider bounce rates in the context of SERPs.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter whether or not Google looks at bounce rate. That’s because, even if Google doesn’t consider your bounce rate directly, it can still influence where your site lands in SERPs. If too many people leave your site without interacting with it in any way, it will be a signal to search engines that your site wasn’t what people wanted to find when they conducted a search. If this happens often enough, your website’s position in SERPs will drop over time.

What Is a Good Bounce Rate?

If you’re curious about what a good bounce rate is, you’re not alone. Even seasoned digital marketers sometimes wonder what bounce rate they should aim for. Unfortunately, there isn’t one bounce rate that every business should try to achieve. That’s because your ideal bounce rate will be determined by various things, such as the kind of business you run, your industry, the country you operate in and the kinds of devices people use to visit your website.

While there isn’t one bounce rate goal that applies to businesses across industries, there are some average bounce rates for specific industries. Here are a few bounce rate benchmarks from 2017 and the industries they relate to:

  • Internet and Telecom: 60.5 percent
  • Arts and Entertainment: 58.69 percent
  • Home and Garden: 52 percent
  • People and Society: 61.24 percent
  • Real Estate: 49.25 percent
  • Sports: 50.92

If you’re not sure what benchmark you should aim for. You can use Google Analytics to figure it out. Simply set up benchmarking in your Google Analytics account and the platform will give you a look at the average bounce rate for what the platform thinks is your industry.

How to Lower Your Bounce Rate

If your bounce rate is higher than average for your industry, you may want to take steps to lower it. Here are a few things you may want to consider doing in order to lower your website’s bounce rate:

Use Responsive Design

This ensures your site will look and operate the same no matter what kind of device or browser a person is using to view your website. If you’re not using responsive design for your website, it’s vital for you to make the switch so your site provides a consistent experience across the board.

Engage Your Visitors

While a responsive design is a good starting point, there’s more you can do to lower your bounce rate, such as having your website engage its visitors. Video is a particularly effective way to engage the people who visit your site.

Rework the Sources of Your Traffic

It’s likely that your visitors are being driven to your website from different sources, such as your social media pages, blog and advertisements. If the bounce rate is higher for one source than others, you may want to tweak that source so that it produces higher quality traffic.

Let the Experts at Chicago Digital Lower Your Bounce Rate

If your bounce rate has crept up to an alarming level or you simply want to improve it, our in-house experts can help. We offer responsive web design services and a long list of additional services that can lower your bounce rate successfully. To learn more or to schedule a discovery session, contact Chicago Digital today.

Michael Sallander

Written By

Michael Sallander SVP of Digital Strategy & Co-Founder

How many of us get to say that we grew up to be what we wanted to be when we were young? Well Mike does! After graduating from the University of Illinois, he turned his dream into a reality and co-founded Chicago Digital with Scott Shefler. As the President of Chicago Digital he has done it a... Learn More

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