Almost anyone working in search engine optimization (SEO) has heard of the term “bounce rate” and understands that a high bounce rate is bad, but a low bounce rate is better.

There are many questions surrounding this metric shrouded in myth, and whether you know the answers is another matter:

  • How does Google Analytics measure bounce rate?
  • What is the best way to measure bounce rate?
  • What is the best bounce rate?
  • What can you do to reduce bounce rates?

Google Analytics’ bounce rate is regarded by many marketers as a confusing metric, even amongst experienced ones. Here are some tips to explain it. As a result, you’ll gain a better understanding of your bounce rate, learn how to improve it, and hopefully boost your conversions as well.

How does Google Analytics measure bounce rate?

What is the bounce rate in Google Analytics? Let’s begin immediately with the most important question of all. The “bounce rate” of your website is the percentage of site visitors who leave after viewing only one page. These visitors do not take any additional action after they land on your site because they “bounce” off.

There are five ways visitors can leave your site:

  • Clicking on an external link
  • Leaving your website by clicking “back”
  • Closing open windows or tabs
  • Entering a new URL
  • Being booted off due to a session timeout

Your pages aren’t performing at their best if several site visitors land on your page then leave immediately without taking any of your conversion actions. You’ll need to examine the bounce rate in Google Analytics more closely before you can address the issue head-on.

What is the best way to measure bounce rate?

Once you learn how to find and analyze the bounce rate of your website for yourself, you can start looking at the complexities of how to improve it. But what is the bounce rate in Google Analytics and how does it translate into meaningful metrics?

On your analytics dashboard, you’ve probably seen the numbers creeping upwards and stressing you out. In SEMrush’s ranking factors for search engine results pages (SERPs), the bounce rate provided by Google Analytics ranks as the fourth most important factor.

What does a good bounce rate look like? According to many experts, the number lies somewhere around the 40 percent mark in the general – very general – consensus. Most websites have bounce rates between 41 and 51 percent, and the worst is 70 and above percent.

In order to gain the most insight from your Google Analytics bounce rate, you should enable benchmarking to visualize the average bounce rate in your industry. If you benchmark your website, you can even view section-specific bounce rates and get an idea of where it should fall within the range.

It is likely that you will focus first on the Audience Overview report, which gives you a general idea of your site’s bounce rate. If you are comfortable driving Google Analytics, you should also examine your number from a variety of perspectives. You can find the bounce rate for each individual page in the All Pages report, while the Channels report displays the bounce rate for each channel grouping.

If your Google bounce rate is lower than your industry average, that means you have a greater chance of converting visitors into customers. By comparison, a higher bounce rate means your website isn’t engaging your visitors, and you’re losing out on valuable leads. To some extent, this is true – but, as with all things SEO, the average bounce rate shows you aren’t quite as straightforward as you think.

The Myths of Bounce Rate

Bounce rates for Google can’t be taken at face value. It’s challenging to comprehend that having a high bounce rate doesn’t mean your website isn’t good. There will be some variation among industries when it comes to bounce rates, for example. B2B companies have higher bounce rates than B2C companies.

The bounce rate for blog posts on an eCommerce website would likely differ drastically from the bounce rate for product pages.

In addition, your average bounce rate is only a reflection of “how” but does not tell you “what” or “why.” A visitor can complete a conversion action and still bounce. A few examples are:

  • A prospect could find the information they’re looking for on just one page of your website, spend 20 minutes reading the content, and then fill out your call-to-action (CTA).
  • The prospect could land on your page, be sold on your services, and pick up the phone to call the number at the top of the page before leaving the site.
  • Your prospect may simply have been interrupted while browsing (life happens!) and returned to your site later.

Despite this visitor’s engagement in all cases – and the success of the session in any other metric – it still counts as a bounce.

What is the best bounce rate?

Answers to the question “What is a good bounce rate?“ will differ for every website. It can be challenging to determine a reasonable bounce rate for your business if you’re not a webmaster or analytics expert. Google Analytics services would be useful in this case since they are able to measure Google bounce rate in conjunction with other relevant metrics, including Time Spent on Page and Average Session Duration.

Despite the fact that bounce rates cannot be measured at the surface level, the fact remains: If your site has an exceptionally high bounce rate and a low conversion rate, you have a problem. The problem is probably related to your website.

Why Do Visitors Bounce-Off Your Site?

You know you have a conversion rate optimization (CRO) issue if your conversion rate is shoddy and your bounce rate is out of the blue. Here are some reasons why your bounce rate isn’t as healthy as it should be:

  • You don’t have a mobile-friendly page. Mobile responsiveness is imperative due to the ubiquity of tablets and smartphones (and Google’s official introduction of mobile-first indexing in March 2021).
  • The title tags or meta descriptions of your website are misleading. Visitors may enter your site thinking they will get one thing only to get something entirely different.
  • There are technical problems with your page. You probably have some loading issues on your page if your bounce rate and average time on the page are both high.
  • Navigating your page is difficult. Users can leave your site in seconds with poor navigation and an unpleasant user experience (UX) – after all, they can simply type in the phrase they need to find what they are looking for on Google.
  • There’s a bad link leading to your page from another website. It happens sometimes that other sites add your link to an irrelevant phrase, resulting in your page not providing what the traffic expects.
  • You have low-quality content on your page. Your website may need a complete content audit or help from a professional content writing service to revamp and rework your content.

Take a hard look at your website and see if any of these could be contributing to your mediocre results. The more factors you eliminate, the easier it will be to determine how to increase conversions and reduce bounce rates.

What can you do to reduce bounce rates?

After you understand what the metric is telling you and why your numbers look the way they do, the answer to how to lower bounce rate is pretty straightforward: redesign your website. When it appears that your entire website has a high bounce rate, that’s a sign that your content isn’t engaging your visitors. Consider all the leads and traffic you’re losing!

Here are a few immediate steps you can take to improve your bounce rate.

Analyze Your Top Exit Pages

Locate the Exit Pages report in Google Analytics. By comparing your top traffic pages’ bounce rates and exit rates, you can decrease the bounce rate. This tells you how many visitors arrive directly on the page, how many arrive through internal links, and which pages are most frequently abandoned, allowing you to narrow down where improvements need to be made.

Make Your Content More Readable

The best thing you can do to decrease the bounce rate and increase conversions is to do this. It seems almost obvious, but it’s one of the best things you can do. It is important not to turn visitors away by something so small as too much text and an outdated layout. Ask yourself these questions.

  • Is the headline large and bold enough?
  • Did you use enough subheadings?
  • Have you used bullet points to break up your text?
  • Did you include high-quality images or infographics?

You should also look at font style and size, as well as the amount of white space on your page. It is possible to reduce the bounce rate by even making the smallest change.

You Can Use Images And Videos

It’s proven that video and images are more engaging than websites with high bounce rates. Take action against a page that isn’t retaining a visitor’s attention by using the most attention-grabbing medium. Engage your audience with short videos and infographics to keep them on your site (and hopefully exploring) for a little while longer.

CTAs Should Be Placed Properly

The solution to reducing bounce rate could be as simple as a CTA. Pay attention to your call-to-action buttons, in particular their placement on the page, their copy, color, and size. CTAs that are compelling or provide real value (for example, a free trial) can do wonders for conversions. Often, the simplest fix will yield the biggest impact.

Speed Up Your Site

Within seconds, your visitor decides what to think of your website. Site speed is one of the most important factors in their decision. When your pages take too long to load, you may lose visitors. The Page Timings report in Google Analytics allows you to examine each page individually as well as the overall average speed of your site. Work on the pages with the most traffic and the slowest load times to get the most benefit.

Before You Bounce…

In this article, we hope to have clearly explained how to find, interpret and measure this complex Google Analytics metric, and to have answered your question about how to reduce bounce rate.

Depending on what you learn after completing your website audit, you may decide to overhaul your site completely. Several factors contribute to a high bounce rate, so you might need to address more than one. When thinking about updating your website, consider working with a custom website design company that can work with you and handle the technical aspects.

Mac J Web is an SEO company in Las Vegas that has built conversion-optimized UX-friendly websites for clients. Using an SEO-ready website and responsive web design will keep your site up to speed, resulting in a lower bounce rate.

Get in touch with us for a free proposal, and let’s see what we can do to lower your bounce rate, boost your conversions, and grow your business.