Bounce rate is one of the most important metrics used to understand your website's performance-here's what it is and how to know it.
We all want some attention.
And that's exactly what the bounce rate tells you: how much attention your website gets from your visitors.
That's right, because after creating your online space, you need to understand whether and how people interact with it: how often they visit, how much time they spend there, and how quickly they leave.
This last piece of information is called bounce rate (bounce rate, to be exact): if it is quite high, it means that probably the content or the design of your site are not engaging or relevant enough for visitors.
In this article I will explain what exactly bounce rate is, how it is calculated, and why it is important for you to know it.
What is the bounce rate?
Bounce rate is a marketing metric used to analyze your site traffic.
Its definition is relatively easy to understand compared to other web analytics concepts; however, this does not mean that the data are somehow superficial or unimportant, as there are many insights that a proper interpretation of it can provide you with.
Let's get a better understanding.
As I mentioned just above, bounce rate provides information about the behavior of visitors to a Web page and how well the latter engages them: it therefore functions as a measure for overall site engagement.
"Bounce" simply means to exit before interacting in any way with the page, such as leaving a comment, clicking on a call to action, scrolling or visiting another.
It is a visit session that begins and ends on the very first page the user clicks on, entering and exiting without doing anything else.
To understand it better, for example, something like this may happen: a user enters a search query on Google and accesses your site; after reading and browsing here and there, the user exits the page without exploring any other content.
Here, this particular scenario caused a bounce; the bounce rate, consequently, is the percentage in which this happens, measuring the amount of visitors who arrive on the site but then leave it (i.e., bounce) without viewing other pages or clicking on any links within it.
Therefore, a bounce rate reflects the average number of visits to a single page compared to the total number of visits to the entire website.
Although some bounces are inevitable, a high bounce rate will mean that a huge percentage of your website visitors will not continue through the sales funnel and may indicate that your contents Are unsatisfactory or poorly optimized.
How the bounce rate is calculated
Bounce rate is thus a metric expressed as a percentage, indicating the amount of visitors who leave your site without interacting with it relative to total visits.
To calculate it, you have to consider two factors: 1) the number of visitors who leave after visiting only the landing page (the page that brought them to the website); 2) the total number of visitors to the website in the same time period.
Divide these two values, multiply by one hundred, and there is your bounce rate.
The formula is then as follows:
Bounce rate = (single page visits/inbound visits) x 100
For example, if your Web site's home page receives 1,000 visitors over the course of a month and 500 of those visitors abandon it after viewing without taking further action, the bounce rate would be 50%.
In general, the lower the bounce rate, the longer users will spend on your website.
Bounce rate vs. exit rate: what is the difference?
You may have come across this other metric, the exit rate (translated "exit rate") and so now you are wondering if and how it is different from the bounce rate.
I'll explain it right away.
Both of these metrics are used to monitor website engagement, but there are some subtle differences between the two.
Bounce rate measures the number of users who enter a website and leave without visiting any other page than the one they happened upon - thus indicating "one-time" visits.
Exit rate is the percentage of people who leave a particular page after visiting any number of pages on a website. It therefore measures the number of users who leave a website from a specific page, but it says nothing about whether that was the only page the user visited or not.
Bounce rates are based only on sessions that begin and end with a page, while exit rates calculate the last page visited in the user's path, regardless of the number of pages a user visited during a session.
Therefore, all rebounds are exits, but not all exits are rebounds.
For example, suppose a visitor arrives at an article on your blog; he then clicks on an internal link and arrives at another article. After reading the latter, he closes the browser.
Here, this is not a bounce, but it is still an exit from the site: it would therefore only affect the exit rate and not the bounce rate.
Again: if about 100 people access the Web site via the home page for a given period of time, but about 40 leave without interacting further, the bounce rate is 40%.
But if, during the same time period, 400 people arrive on the homepage through another website or a different page on the same website, and about 100 people end up leaving the homepage, the exit rate is 25%.
A high exit rate is not necessarily cause for alarm or concern: it only indicates that a certain page was the last in a chain of visits.
For example, for a thank you page, displayed by a customer after a purchase, it is normal to have a high exit rate.
What is a "good" bounce rate?
The higher the bounce rate of your site or web page, the less effective it is in keeping visitors "glued" and stimulating them to action.
You may be wondering, however, if there is a range or percentage reference values that can tell you how positive or negative your situation is.
Unfortunately, I'll tell you right now that no, it doesn't exist.
This is a very difficult parameter to generalize, especially considering the billions of pages that exist on the Internet.
In fact, the definition of a "good" bounce rate is subjective based on the type of site, industry, type of audience, and source of traffic.
A high bounce rate on a given page is not necessarily a bad thing. If the goal of the Web site is to drive traffic to individual pages and not to direct that same traffic through a sales funnel, a high bounce rate is not a cause for concern.
For example, if you have an informative article that answers a specific question and the main source of traffic to the page comes from organic search, the bounce rate of the page might reach 90%.
This does not mean that the page necessarily has a "bad bounce rate"-it could simply mean that the user found exactly what he or she was looking for and no longer needed to view other pages.
But if the page is meant to be a gateway to divert organic traffic to the rest of the site, then you need to try to reduce the bounce rate.
Conversely, a page with a low bounce rate may not necessarily be "good" if it offers a poor user experience.
Why is the bounce rate important?
Bounce rate is a crucial indicator of your website's overall success: it indicates whether it effectively attracts and retains the attention of the right visitors, i.e., potential customers.
Since it indicates how many users have not interacted with your site, it is a good measure to assess the quality of your digital pages.
In particular, we can say that bounce rate is particularly important for three main reasons:
#1 Conditions the conversion rate.
Those who leave your site too soon have not had a chance to take any action, be it downloading your lead magnet or buy your products: by acting on the bounce rate to decrease it and improving the performance of your web pages, you have more opportunities for your users to convert.
If visitors bounce, your site gets less attention and your business website makes fewer sales. Since bounce rate indicates the rate of visitors who did not click on any other button after reaching your site, it also means the lack of visitors accessing your services and completing transactions.
#2 Affects ranking
Bounce rate can be used as a Google ranking factor: the rate at which your users quickly abandon your site is closely related to its placement in search engine results.
In fact, a high bounce rate may indicate to Google that your site is not providing the correct response to users making searches. In that case, it may no longer rank your website as high in search results.
This can lead to fewer people finding your site and, ultimately, less visibility and fewer potential customers who will do business with you.
#3 Allows you to optimize marketing and communication
Not only that, bounce rate can also tell you a lot about targeting and advertising.
Visitors may quickly abandon your site if they find that you offer them something different from what you promised (or what you led them to believe they should expect). This could happen if you misrepresent your product, target an imprecise audience, or don't understand how to properly leverage keyword search.
Bounce rate is one way to measure user engagement.
After all, you want your visitors to come to your site and then do something, right?
Whether it's gathering as much information as possible, signing up for your newsletter, downloading your free eBook or (at best) buying your product or requesting your advice, what matters is stimulating them to take a small step within the path to paying customer status.
And bounce rate is a great metric to work on to achieve that goal.
What about you, are you monitoring it?
Let me know in the comments!