What is a good bounce rate?

What should you consider as a good bounce rate for your company?

This is a question that exercises most people who are looking to move their pages up the SERPs and it’s one that is to a large extent a question of opinion.

The problem is that Google, Bing and all the others don’t publish guidelines like this so any view is largely based on experience, hunches and personal opinion.

However we can give general guidelines as to what constitutes a good bounce rate as long as we add on a few important health warnings!


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Want to know what bounce rates are? click to read all about it

If you don’t believe me then check out what Google say about bounce rate here

A good bounce rate isn’t necessarily a good bounce rate

Confused?

Good.

So here’s the thing, one person’s good bounce rate is another’s disaster and this is our first health warning.

To a great extent the measure of what is a good bounce rate depends upon the type of company you are promoting.

This all hinges upon how you expect users to view your site and how it is organised.

For example, imagine a shop site that has a home page that has links to several product category pages and from there many product pages.

It would be highly unusual for a customer(real) to visit one page and do nothing else.

However a site with just one page that exists purely as a ‘contact us’ page or looks to get people to sign up can’t possibly have a low bounce rate as there are no other pages to view.

So your first port of call is to understand what type of site you have.

Types of company and what their bounce rates should be

So we know that there are different types of company and they all have different bounce rates so what are they?

Most sites should sit in a range that goes between 25%-90%.

That’s a big range so let’s chop it up a bit.

If you have a shop type site where you expect people to whizz about different pages then you should be expecting your bounce rate to be in the range of 25-50%.

If it’s more than that then you may well have a problem with usability.

If you have an informational site then you’d expect your benchmark bounce rate to be in the region of 50-75%.

This is because people are much more likely to be reading long-form content that takes longer to get through and it is distinctly possible that they may only have time for one page at a time.

Magazine type sites present a bit of a problem.

If you have a site that has lots of long-form content then you should be looking at a higher bounce rate than one that has short, click-baity type articles.

So these kinds of site could have any bounce rate and could be completely different from other similar sites.

Really good bounce rates can be really bad bounce rates

OK so you log on to your analytics package and you are delighted to find that your bounce rate is down to 5%.


Woohooo! right?

Nope.

You see if your bounce rate is too good (or too bad) to be true then it probably isn’t.

A bounce rate of 5 % would tell me that you have a lot of bots visiting your site or that you haven’t excluded your own IP address so your staff are lowering it when they move from page to page.



Really bad bounce rates aren’t necessarily bad

So your bounce rate is 90% – time to give up and get a job?

Nope.

First of all bounce rate is to a certain extent a function of time.

Sites with high bounce rates can often be very new and not have a lot of content to read and so naturally they don’t get a lot of pageviews.

As they add more pages and more users visit then their bounce rate reduces.

So if you have a very new site, or you don’t have a lot of content on your site then don’t worry, just start adding content and your bounce rate will naturally reduce.

Bounce rate is important but it’s not everything

Bounce rate is important for SERPs ranking but what is much more important is whether your site is doing what you want it to.

So for example if you have a high bounce rate but your site is simply designed to let users view one page and then sign up for a mailing list then that’s all you need to focus on.

But if you have a page that is designed to expose users to lots of ads when they cruise between pages then a low bounce rate is essential.

So the message has to be – concentrate on what you want your site to achieve and if a low bounce rate would help then focus on it.

If it makes no difference then see it as an item of interest and nothing more.

Want to get your bounce rate down?

then you are going to need more content and if you haven’t got time then you need someone to produce it.

Now where can you find an ever so slightly sarcastic writer who specialises in writing superb content?