If you want your website to engage your audience, monitor your Bounce Rate and make adjustments to improve it.
What is Bounce Rate?
According to Google, a Bounce is a single-page session. A Bounce happens when a visitor visits a website, views a single page and leaves the site.
The extent visitors stay on your site is directly correlated with the likelihood of converting visitors to leads and customers. When someone clicks away after viewing a single page, it usually indicates your site failed to engage that visitor.
Bounce rate, expressed as a percentage, measures the ratio of one-page visits to total visits. Low bounce rates are almost always a positive indicator.
The exception is, of course, a dedicated landing page designed to elicit an action. Dedicated landing pages typically discourage visitors from engaging with other content on the site. In fact, many dedicated landing pages do not display a site menu or delay displaying navigation options until the visitor completes the desired action.
Where do I check my Bounce Rate?
You can check your Bounce Rate in Google Analytics. Now I assume you have heard of Google Analytics or perhaps have your site already integrated with it, but have you been checking your Bounce Rate?
If not, let me tell you where to check it.
- Sign into your Google Analytics
- Click on Behavior > Site Content > All Pages
There you will see your overall Bounce Rate percentage as well as the bounce rate for individual pages and posts.
But what does it mean?
This is an excellent question and one that can elude website owners and webmasters. Let’s simplify it.
On the surface, again, it is the ratio of one-page visits to total visits.
But let’s look a little deeper: According to Google this is how it is measured:
Bounce rate is single-page sessions divided by all sessions or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the Analytics server.
Makes perfect sense right? Well, no!
Let me break it down by giving an example. Say you have an About Page on your site and you want to check its Bounce Rate. There are two terms you must know:
Entrances – This is the total number of times a person entered this page of your site.
Bounces – This is the total number of times a person entered this page of your site and ended the session without visiting another page.
A Bounce is recorded when only one request is triggered by the Analytics server.
Thus the Bounce Rate is:
(Total Bounces / Total Entrances) * 100 = Bounce Rate
So if we had 500 entrances and 400 bounces on a page it would be:
(400 / 500) * 100 = 80%
And in regards to the total Bounce Rate average, your overall Bounce Rate percentage would be the total number of bounces / total entrances on your overall site.
“But my Bounce Rate is 100% and my time 0:00!!!”
Let’s answer this by giving another example:
Visitor #1 clicked on a link sending them to your About Page. They spend 5 minutes on the page reading all about you and then close the page.
Since Google measured one tracked event (visiting the page), and no clicks to any other pages or links, no time could be tracked. Google can’t measure the time spent on that page unless the visitor clicks to another page, or does something else measurable, such as submitting a form.
Thus, even though they spent 5 minutes on your page, you will see a time of 0:00. And the bounce rate for this session would be 100%.
Visitor #2 clicks on a link to your About page. They spend 5 minutes reading all about you. They then see an interesting list of blog articles and click to read one.
A timestamp is created from this second event and the duration logged for 5:00. Also, the bounce rate for this session would be 0% yielding a 50% average bounce rate for the two visitors.
What this means for you
This ultimately means that a Bounce Rate has to be interpreted according to your business goals and website’s intentions.
If you are driving traffic to a landing page to sell your online course, a high bounce rate is okay for that page. You don’t want visitors straying from that page.
On the other hand, when someone visits a blog post or your homepage, you want them to click around and stay a while. Lower bounce rates are desirable in this scenario.
Aside from landing-page traffic, if your bounce rate is high, evaluate why people are not engaging more with your site.
Perhaps you need more engaging internal links or calls to action. Perhaps you need a more user-friendly menu or better quality images.
Whatever you determine, understanding and keeping a check on your Bounce Rate can tell you a lot about the health and success of your site, so take time to understand your Bounce Rate and check it routinely.
Photo credit: Josh Calabrese on Unsplash