What is Bounce Rate, and How Do I Improve Mine?

Bounce rate is the percentage of users that click through to a site only to leave, or bounce, away from the site without interacting with the page or clicking through to any other pages of the site. We’ve all done it before: clicked back from a site because the information wasn’t what we were looking for, or simply because the page was taking too long to load. These are just a couple of reasons that a user might unknowingly contribute to a site or page’s bounce rate.

What Causes a High Bounce Rate?

Too high of a bounce rate may indicate major issues with the site and can signal to search engines that visitors aren’t finding the site helpful, resulting in a negative effect on site ranking. There are many causes for high bounce rate, and some are out of your control. For example, a user who enters a resource page via a bookmark, and then exits after receiving the needed information, is a contributor to that page’s bounce rate.  Some of the more common contributors to a high bounce rate include:

  • Having a site with only one page
  • Lack of or poor keyword targeting
  • Content not meeting visitor’s needs
  • Long load times
  • Poor site layout and navigation

Guidelines and Tips for Low Bounce Rates

Bounce rate best practices overlap within a number of digital fields including design, user experience, search engine optimization, and more. While it’s unrealistic for a site to have a 0% bounce rate, best practices should be used to keep the percentage reasonable and manageable. Here are some guidelines to reducing and keeping bounce rates low:

  • Avoid anything that disrupts the user experience (pop ups and interstitial ads)
  • Make site navigation simple and easily accessible
  • Ensure page load times are as fast as possible
  • Keep content valuable to the user and easily digestible
  • Give the visitor a reason to keep interacting (promotions, sales, special offers)

Have questions regarding bounce rate or tips on how to keep them low? Feel free to leave comment below!