Bounce rate is a useful metric to initially understand if users are engaging with the page they landed on, on your website.
Alone is not helpful. Combining it with metrics such as page load time (a more useful metric than page load time) will help you understand where the issue lies.
This will help you understand if there is a problem with the content. Or how long it takes for the page to be visible to your audience.
The What, Why and How
What is it?
Bounce rate defines how many people land on a certain web page and don’t go on to view another page, or engage with that page.
Instead they ‘bounce’ off and go somewhere else. As users come from campaigns or search engines you need to ensure those users see the right content, engage with it and move through the rest of your site.
For Google’s definition go here.
Why should I measure it?
If you have a high rate, visitors are in the wrong place or they are the wrong visitors. This could be either a technical, user experience or content issue.
Typical technical issues show themselves as a slow page load time. The user experience could be bad in that the layout of the page or navigation if it is confusing.
Content on the other hand could be information on the page which is irrelevant or a campaign targeting the wrong audience.
How to diagnose it
You need to Identify your high traffic and high bouncing pages.
Step 1: Check to see if visitors are engaging with the page, if not create events in Google analytics to ensure you are recording interactions with the page. For example scrolling, viewing images in a gallery or a video.
Step 2: Identify channels where bounce rate is unusually high, compared to the website average. If these are channels you control (organic search, social, paid search, affiliates, some referrals, email) improve the targeting or relevancy of the page to attract the right visitors with the right page content.
Step 3: Fix the page performance or change page content. If you combine Bounce Rate with Page Load Time you can eliminate if the website has a performance problem (high Page Load Time) vs. content/engagement problem. See below for an example Analysis The Crank View.
Want to learn more? See our quick video guide to bounce rate.
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Where can I see it?
The screenshot is from Google Analytics and shows how bounce rate can be monitored over time and viewed in more detailed within specific channels.
The Crank View
In the graphic we analysed the impact page load time has had on bounce rate for mobile users.
By looking at both page load time (actually document interaction time) and bounce we are able to see which pages are negatively impacting a website.
This helps us prioritise the pages which need looking at right away vs. those to keep monitoring.
People also ask . . .
Typically a high rate means visitors who are coming to your website and not viewing more than the page they have arrived on.
Normally a high rate is a bad thing, if you require visitors to view more than one page. For example on an ecommerce website, visitors need to find a product then purchase that product. In this case a high bounce rate is negative to driving revenue. It can be a measure of poor quality traffic or poor quality content.
It is expressed as a percentage so the higher the number, the more people who didn’t go onto another page.
It is worth noting those who did interact (as recorded by Google Analytics) with the page (filled in form or scrolled, viewed a video etc..), will not be recorded as a bounced visit.
It is calculated by looking at the total number of visits of a specific landing page (the web page people arrived on at your website), which didn’t go onto view another page OR interact with that specific page.
It is a percentage. An example rate would look like 70%. This means 70% of your visits did not go on to view another web page or interacting with the page they have landed on.
A big factor which influences bounce rate, is how long it takes the page to load. In a Google study they looked at the impact page load time had on bounce rate.
They found an increase of from 1 second to 3 seconds had the probability to increase bounces increases by 32%.
If this jumped to from 1 second to 10 seconds it had the probability to increase bounces by a massive 123%.
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