The bounce rate is a key metric to watch and change the strategy of web analytics as it provides the percentage of users who leave your site, immediately after he / she has arrived. So, this statistics almost as important as the number of page views or unique visitors. Unlike the unique visitor who gives quantitative information, the bounce rate is an indicator of efficiency and quality. It is a kind of barometer for interest.
What is considered as bounce rate?
A visit is counted as a bounce when a visitor:
- clicked on an external link
- closed the tab or window
- typed a new URL
- clicked the Back button in their browser and came out of site
- session has expired (time spent on average is 30 min).
Let us get a precise idea on how Google takes into account the bounce rate on its Analytics tool:
- Visit to a single page without further action: If there is a single visit (one session, technically speaking) with a single URL, it is considered a bounce. This means that a user came to your site, saw a single page, made no further action, and left.
- Bounce is not considered a visitor performing an action within 5 seconds and closes the browser: If a visitor lands on a page of your site, then visit another page within 5 seconds and then closes their browser, Google does not consider this as a bounce. Time has no effect in computing the bounce rate. It takes into account the number of pages viewed. But in this case, there are 2 pages visited, so it is not a bounce.
Since time is not part of the algorithm for computing the bounce rate, we must analyze the bounce rate by associating with the reading time or time spent: if the bounce is low but the time spent is also low, it means that visitors do not find what they want and move quickly from one page to another.
- Opening of a popup windows can be seen as bounce: If you open a popup window by clicking on a link inside your site, you send a hit to Google Analytics: The page is not considered bounce because you send a hit to Google Analytics, which will then link this window to view a page. However, if the page contained in the window is not the tag of Google Analytics, of course, this action will be considered as a bounce.
What are the possible causes of bounce?
We can group the causes of a bounce in one of three categories:
- Your landing page meets the expectations of your visitors: Thus, they need not go further in their research. Although these visitors contribute to increasing your bounce rate, their visits are of good quality. We get such visitors for our tutorial type posts. Practically, users get some problem, searches it and read the troubleshooting, probably fixes it and goes away (almost always leaving a comment, comment almost always comes from non-understanding of the matter.)
- Page does not match the needs of the visitor: For this, analyze the keywords that brought people to your page and make sure the content meets their expectations. Use professional grade tracking software, such as TraceMyIP. For example, everyday around 80 visitors come to this website searching with “system transparency”. Practically, the keyword was used for a free software that increases the transparency to Windows 7. However, some users (around 10%), closes the window or tab very soon. Obviously, they were probably searching for the legal or administrative definition of that keyword. As, 90% is satisfied, we should not change the keyword in this case.
- The ergonomics of the site has failed, often due to lack of clarity: It is a loss of visitors who prefer to search for information on another site and probaly remember your website’s name and you might never get back. Excellent examples are using in text clickable advertisements too much (visitor thinks it is some explanation of the term or phrase, so clicks it, within seconds understand he / she has been fooled with and no one wants to be get fooled!), implimenting pop up window right in front the nose of the visitor begging to subcribe newsletter, too much one line textual advertisements under the main navigation menu: exactly as the first example. If we put such keyword targetted Ads, then the words like WordPress, Windows 7, SEO will come for sure. Visitor will think them as main navigation menu, as soon as the advertisement page opens, he or she will understand the trick and go away. Look at our advertisement placements: they are quite clear they are advertisement banners.
What is the good bounce rate?
Difficult to answer that question specifically. As we have seen, if it is close to 100% , then your visitors coming to your site, and leaving immediately after watching the page. In this case we can consider whether your site is irrelevant, or that there is no sufficient incentive to visit the other pages. If it is near 0% is that your content is relevant to your readers and then continue their navigation on your site.
Is there an average bounce rate? Web analytics suggests that about 75% would be considered disturbing. Below 50%, there is no reason to ask questions about the effectiveness of your website, you have a good bounce rate. It therefore seems that classical average is between 40% and 60% bounce rate. But, as we have said ago, a troubleshooting website, might have high bounce rate, but when a visitor comes to read this article, he or she might have some time in hand to read other related topics.
By cons for Blogs, we often get much higher values ??(sometimes between 70 to 80%). We can mention three reasons: firstly, the layout of the blog does not allow good visibility of the actual content of the site, on the other hand, regular visitors of a blog is too often to read last item before moving on to another site and third is (as we said before) the blog has some troubleshoot section; people came to get an immediate solution; got it and went away. But, for the last point; it is estimated by us, visitors bookmarks our website to visit later.
How to optimize the bounce rate?
- Treat the content: when a textual article is interesting, written in simple english and without spelling mistakes, readers will read. Similarly, when the layout is clear that the text is well structured, the reader will read it without getting tired. Thus, it will make visitors to stay longer on your site. To do this, use tags and bold texts as paragraph separators.
- Think of the design and ergonomics: whatever the style, great design makes you want to go further. Ergonomics must also be an incentive. It must be encouraging to visit the other pages, subscribe to your newsletter, download your free items (free PDF book, free advice etc).
- Simplify the navigation: We wrote in another article about why you should opt for better navigation other than this purpose. For bounce rate, go for browsing patterns tested and easy to use. The titles of your menus are legible and understandable. In the text, if possible use internal links to related content. Using hooks, encourage your readers to visit other pages than those by which it arrived.
- Choose titles and descriptions tailored to the content of your pages: because the titles of your pages and their descriptions are listed by search engines, they are the ones that will encourage a user to visit your site over another. If these titles and descriptions are not really related to content, the risk of generating a bounce is almost inevitable.
- Customize the keywords to the content of your pages: a factor of high bounce rate is the fact that a page where you get does not correspond to what the user is looking. Again, it must then select the keywords best suited to the content. For practical example, simply hover over our navigation links. There are tool tips for Downloads (main menu), as well as for each drop down menu links.
- Analyze the sites that you naturally bring traffic: Do they bring you qualified visits? Inbound links from sites too far from your theme, may generate more bounces than good hits. It is better to have some relevant links, rather than lots of links but unfocused. Example is, if someone creates a site on how to grow crops in fields; and place link in some forum; you may not be interested to read it. But as a natural curiocity you will click to have a look. This “have a look” will end to a bounce.
- Select sites where you place your banners: As we have said much about it, point to add is, if you use the sponsored links in order to increase your traffic and bounce rates remain high on your landing pages, it is likely that your ads are not very representative of content that you propose.
- Test the load time of your pages: a page that is too slow to load may cause a high dropout rate. But visitors generally gives around 15 second time to load. You must optimize to show the textual before than the sidebar. Visitors will start to read and the sidebar gadgets will load as its own; it is just what happened when you opened this page, right?
- Do not put too many external links thus encourage your visitors to stay on your website: But as the external links are essential and contribute to the positioning in search engine results, it would make sense to open another window (target _blank). This will also prevent the escape of the visitors to another site.
- Pay attention to advertising: If the visitor clicks on a link or advertisement and it does not open in a new window, it is lost for your blog, at least temporarily. The full page ads, should be avoided.
- Encourage your readers to read more articles: the principle is simple: end of the article, you suggest one or more internal links to related topics or random topics.
- Post your author profile neatly: Almost all good blog have this. Write a nice, short yet perfect description of you and add your real photo. This creates a homely environment.