Bounce rate is a term used to analyze web traffic. It’s the percentage of visitors who go to a website and then leave without clicking through to a second page.
What does Bounce Rate Mean
Disclaimer: Mixpanel does not track bounce rate
The way analytics platforms identify bounce is when a user lands on a page on a website and then leaves the site without further interaction. For example, without clicking on a link that will navigate the user to another page on the site.
When a company puts time and money into building a website, they obviously want people to visit and browse different pages. So for that reason, you might assume that a high bounce rate is bad and a low bounce rate is good. While it’s much less exact than that. Yes, a high bounce rate can negatively affect a website’s SEO score. But a low bounce rate is not necessarily a bad thing.
SEMrush looked at top factors that contribute to a website’s rise to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), and bounce rate ranked in fourth position after direct website visits, time on site, and pages per session.
What Causes Bounce
The reason someone bounces from a site without any further interaction after their arrival is different for everyone. Think about the last time you conducted a search on Google and clicked on one of the top three or four links. Once you arrive on the site, if you don’t see what you’re looking for, you click back to your search engine results. That’s one of the main reasons for bounce. But there are others too.
When people are researching products and services, their first stop could be a review website like CNet or a local business directory like Yelp. For example, after searching for a local dog groomer, you might opt to click on a Yelp link featuring a groomer in your area. From there, you can click on a business’s URL and go directly to the groomer’s website.
If your bounce rate is high because people are finding what they’re looking for, then pat yourself on the back. Here are some common reasons for bounce that you might want to fix.
- Slow page load time. Most people abandon a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
- Intrusive ads and autoplay videos. Folks will bounce from your site in three to five seconds if they’re bombarded with annoying pop-ups.
- When someone comes to your site for one thing but sees something different, don’t expect them to stick around. And even if your website has the information users came for, but it’s buried in the third paragraph or, even worse, the information is on a different page altogether, chances are they’ll look for another website. Slideshows are a perfect example of how some sites lure people in with the promise of delivering information but then make visitors click through several pages, which often includes ads.
- Sliders and carousels are annoying and ineffective. According to Yoast, “There’s literally not one study that we’ve found that says sliders are a good idea.”
What is a High Bounce Rate
There is no single low bounce-rate goal or high bounce rate to avoid because the percentage of bounce varies depending on business category, location, and the type of device a search originates on. But as far as averages, branding and design company, RocketFuel, looked at bounce rates from a sample of about 60 randomly-selected websites over the course of a year and found that “most websites will see bounce rates fall somewhere between 26% and 70%.”
Some types of bounces aren’t bad at all. For example, if a user lands on a website and then gets distracted, walks away, or for whatever reason is inactive, their session times out, which is considered a bounce. If someone lands on your site and finds exactly what she’s looking for and quickly leaves, that’s a bounce, too. This happens a lot with news sites because folks will see a link to an article from a social media app or a news aggregator and after they read or scan the article, they may close down the browser page or return to the previous web page.