Bounce rate is a measure used to work out how useful your site is to visitors.
Bounce is one of those things that people will tell you is massively important whilst others will tell you it doesn’t matter at all.
In fact, the likelihood is that it is somewhere in between and, together with lots of other metrics go to show search engines that yours is a good site.
So how is bounce rate worked out?
Bounce rate is fairly simple to work out. It is just a percentage score of how many visitors consume your initial content and then go on and read something else – or more accurately don’t!
Check out the vid about bounce rate!
In general terms zero bounce is good, 100% bounce is bad.
So if your visitor reads a second piece of content then it reduces your rate which is a good thing.
Low bouncing isn’t necessarily good (and a high one isn’t necessarily bad)
It really depends upon what sort of site you have.
So a shop site would expect a very low bounce rate whilst a site that is all about getting people to sign up to a mailing list would be fine with a high one.
And that’s the problem with looking at this in isolation – it ignores what your site is for.
If you have a mature site and your bounce rate is ridiculously low (say 20% or lower) then it kind of suggests that something is wrong with your analytics.
If you have a brand new site and you are at 100% then that’s absolutely fine because it takes time to get a wealth of information on your site so that people have something else to read.
In general services type sites are good if they are in the 50% range and shop sites need to be under this but again, a shop site with a bounce rate that is 50% but converts 5% of visitors to customers is better than one with a 30% bounce that converts 2%.
What can you do about your bounce rate?
The first and most important thing is to have good, relevant content on your site.
The more content you have then the more likely it is that people will read more than one page.
Reduce the size of your pages too.
People may not want to read 2,500 words but they would happily read three posts of 800 words each.
Also make sure it’s easy to navigate round your site.
Split your content into chunks so that people read one and then naturally follow to another page to read the next part of the story.
You can also make sure that you point people to related pages. After all, someone who reads one post about SEO is clearly interested in the subject so may like to check out more of your SEO posts.
And finally give people more value if they read more pages.
So have a page that is an introductory part of a subject then follow that up with more in-depth pieces and finally a really useful downloadable.
You can find a more technical explanation of bounce rate from Google here.
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I’m a specialist in writing copy for financial and professional services companies so if you would like to get your bounce rate down then get in touch and let’s talk.