The bounce rate, measured in percentages, is among the key performance indicators (KPI) of a website. More than just a percentage, it gives you insight into how your content and products are resonating with your audience.
A bounce rate is a simple measurement–the percentage of people who visit your site and leave before visiting a second page. An important metric, the bounce rate acts as a clear indicator of audience resonation. If you are attracting the right audience, serving the right content/products the bounce rate could be really low as they are finding exactly what they need. though many internet analysts will tell you that the bounce rate could be deceiving. A high bounce rate could also indicate the right audience is finding exactly what they are looking for and leaving.
Here are three user actions that get included in the bounce rate measurement.
1) Closing browser window:
User arrives at your site and leaves by closing their browser tab or window.
2) New URL:
User visits your site, then leaves by typing in a new url or search term direclty into the browser bar.
3) Back button:
User arrives at your site and leaves by clicking the back button.
According to Google, a bounce rate of 40% is considered ideal. This means more than half of your visitors are looking at 2 or more pages. But it’s important to consider your visitor goals and industry rates, as the bounce rate can vary greatly.
When looking to improve your bounce rate, consider these scenarios & quick fixes:
1) Pop-up ads and on-page banners:
Nothing makes me want to leave a site quicker than being greeted by a pop-up or interstitial ad that is served even before the page loads.
Fix by removing pop-up ads from arriving visitors path. If these are really important to your business model or customer communication, change to a different type of ad, like a prominent top or expanding ad.
Traffic from native advertising or emails can have high bounce rates, not as an indicator of mis-matched audience to content, but as an indicator of strong call-to-action or compelling content.
This doesn’t necessarily require a fix. If the content you are promoting is compelling, the click rate will be high and often the bounce rate will also be high.
3) Page load time:
The longer it takes to load a page, the higher the bounce rate is.
This could be a result of bulky page code, too many ad network calls, big images or heavy page design, slow servers, un-optimized for mobile, and many other factors. KissMetrics does an awesome job de-coding the site speed & bounce-rate issue.
Poorly designed or confusing pages that don’t match the customer’s intentions or funnel stage result in a bounce.
Fix by running landing page tests to determine the best page to deliver customers to.
Bounce rate is an important metric to keep your thumb on. Regardless of what the analysis shows, high bounce rate or low, understanding your site visitors actions will give you keys to unlock the conversion puzzle, customer flow optimization and site optimization initiatives.