What The Heck Is A Bounce Rate?

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by Mitch Granholm, Web Developer at Soulo Communications

A website's bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave the website after viewing just one page. This is also known as a single-page session. If Google Analytics is installed on your website, you can see the bounce rate. In the example below, the bounce rate is 76.27%. So 76.27% of visitors to this website leave after viewing the page they landed on.

What this tells us is that the website in this example is not retaining the bulk of its visitors. People arrive at the site and either find exactly what they want right away, or can't find what they need at all.

Is a High Bounce Rate a Bad Thing?

To answer this question, first think about the goals of your website. If the goal is to have visitors stay and browse the content, then a high bounce rate is a bad thing. On the flip side, if the goal of your website is to entice the visitor into taking a call to action, then a high bounce rate can be good. Calls to action include:

  • Filling out a contact form that is on the page they entered on
  • Calling your phone number
  • Leading customers to sales on another website such as Amazon, eBay, or Etsy
  • Clicking an ad banner that pays your business

It all boils down to your website's goals and efficiencies. Now, if you have a high bounce rate but are not completing your site's goals, it's time to re-think page design and message.

How Can The Bounce Rate Be Improved?

Now that we can paint an accurate picture of your website goals, and can see the bounce rate, we need to think of ways we can improve. Some ways to improve the bounce rate:

  • Create links to other pages and content within your website
  • Add content and resources that are helpful to potential visitors
  • Improve your existing content
  • Revisit and improve your website navigation
  • Make sure your message/offering is clearly understandable

Beyond this list, you can do your best to keep visitors coming back to your website by promoting it via social media, newsletters, or other online resources. If the user sees you often enough and likes your social media content, they may come back to your website and spend more time there than they otherwise would have. If they leave your website in a hurry the first time, it's good to give them another opportunity to visit you again!
After all, everyone deserves a second chance.


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