What Is Bounce Rate and Why Does It Matter?

From measuring user engagement to understanding ways you can improve your page design, bounce rate can be a great metric to analyze and learn about how you can improve your site.

If you’re unfamiliar with bounce rate, and you’re wondering what it is and why it’s important, you’ve come to the right page.

Bounce Rate Defined

Bounce rate refers to when someone lands on a page on your site and takes no other action – such as submitting a form, clicking an interlink, or anything else – and thus leaves the page and your site. From this lack of action, they are considered to have “bounced.”

Unlike other metrics we measure for digital marketing where we want high numbers for success, the lower your bounce rate, the better.

Where to See Your Bounce Rate

If you have Google Analytics on your website, you can find bounce rate as a column under Behavior in various areas of the interface. For example, here is the view when examining what channels are generating the most traffic:

Bounce rate in GA

If you are not seeing this column in your interface, you can click the Edit button above the date range and include it in a custom report.

Why Does Bounce Rate Matter?

Bounce rate can matter when you are trying to get a better idea of how your customers interact with specific pieces of content on your site. It can help you understand what types of things you may need to perform to improve it, such as maybe moving a form up on a page, adding CTAs, or even adding more copy.

But to some, it doesn’t! Ahrefs did a good job at proving this in their bounce rate blog post that included this example:

ahrefs example

As you can see, while campaigns #1 and #6 have the best bounce rates, campaign #5 actually had the highest conversion rate at 5.02%.

Are High Bounce Rates Bad?

Not always. Sometimes, it can mean that your page’s content answers a user’s question quickly and no other action is necessary by them. However, this is of course not applicable to every business type or piece of page content.

4 Things to Look at to Improve Bounce Rate

If you want to tackle improving bounce rate for specific pages on your site, ask yourself the following questions about four areas of your page:

  1. Copy – Do you clearly state what your page will inform someone about? Does your content answer a question (if there is one)? Does it provide efficient information and link to any additional helpful content?
  2. Design – Is your page structured in a way that is easy to read? Is it mobile-friendly? Is there a clear and easy way for the user to contact you or get more information?
  3. Speed – Does your site load quickly? Are your images taking too long to display? Does you page layout continue to shift as it loads?
  4. Distractions – Do you have pop-ups that can distract or turn off users? Are there many ads on the page taking up space? Do any videos or audio elements on the page auto-play?

By checking key pages for these issues, you’ll be better positioned to lower your bounce rate, keeping users on your site so they can convert.

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