A common question our partners get from their clients is what is an ideal bounce rate?
Having a high bounce rate from search traffic can indicate to Google that your site or landing page might be irrelevant to the search query, has poor information, bad user experience, slow page speed, or it might not indicate any of these things.
What Is Bounce Rate?
In Google Analytics, a bounce is a single-page visit to your site without triggering an engagement. Your bounce rate is calculated by taking the number of bounces divided by the total number of sessions.
This sounds simple enough except that, what if the visitor spent several minutes reading the content on that page before closing the window? There was no engagement but based on the session duration, they found value on your landing page – Google Analytics may consider this as a bounce.
Should that still be considered a bounce? Most of us would agree it’s not a website bounce.
What Is a Good Bounce Rate?
Before we discuss how to adjust the bounce rate is calculated in Google Analytics, let’s talk about what a good bounce rate is. The answer to this question is largely based on two things – the kind of website and the website’s baseline.
A high bounce rate is not a good thing but the definition of a high bounce rate can vary. If a visitor lands on your blog, you want them to click to the next post, or click the CTA to the signup, or enter their email address on a form – in short, interact with your site. However, you also want them to find value on the page they land on. Therefore, an optimal bounce rate is whatever keeps your business profitable and motivates you to think of new, more effective ways to engage your visitors.
Your website will always have bounced traffic because of several factors. It could be because someone mistakenly clicked on your website, or it may simply be because the visitor wasn’t looking for your products or services after all – these happen on a regular basis and are the reason why your website is unlikely to have a bounce rate below 20%.
Your ideal bounce rate should be somewhere between 20% and 50%. A bounce rate around 50% is an average bounce rate. Many websites have a high bounce rate – up to 70% – without it negatively impacting their conversions. Having said that, making efforts to reduce your bounce rate can positively impact your conversion rate.
How Your Bounce Rate Affects Conversions
Bounce rates and conversions are inversely proportional to each other; that is, if your bounce rate is high, then your landing page is likely irrelevant to your visitors. As a result, conversions are likely to be lower.
Ideally, you want visitors to stay long enough to learn about your products and services before moving on to another page or leaving your site altogether. The longer they stay on your site, the more likely they are to complete the actions and goals you set for your website.
The inverse proportion relationship between the two only applies in ideal situations, ones where the bounce rate you track is accurate. However, some visits counted as bounced traffic actually lead to conversions. This is where proper tracking comes in.
The longer the session duration, the more likely a visitor to your website is to complete the actions and goals you set for your website. The inverse proportion relationship between the two only applies in ideal situations, ones where the bounce rate you track is accurate. However, some visits counted as bounced traffic actually lead to conversions. This is where proper tracking comes in.
Tracking Bounce Rates Accurately
There are several ways to track bounce rate – both within Google Analytics and outside of Google Analytics. First, in order to properly measure your bounce rate, you need to adjust Google Analytics to make your tracked bounce rate more accurate. First, go to your Engagement Report section in Google Analytics, and set it to the last four months. Next, apply the ‘visits with conversions’ segment to your report.
1. First, go to your Engagement Report section in Google Analytics, and set it to the last four months. This is a reliable dataset.
2. Next, apply the ‘Sessions with Conversions’ segment to your report.
Here, you will see how long it takes the majority of conversions to happen on your site. This is the minimum time it takes your visitors to profitably engage with your site. You need this figure to adjust your bounce rate.
3. Use this time when adding the following code to your Google Analytics Tracking code on each of your website’s pages:
5. Next, set up a goal indicating the parameters you used in your Google Analytics Tracking code. This way, you can see whether a visit you received was a bounce or was a profitable engagement more accurately.
Expect your bounce rate to change in a few days, and once it stabilizes, you can take that value as your true bounce rate. If your bounce rate remains high after the adjustment, you need to optimize.
Reducing Your Bounce Rate
Set a main goal and three secondary goals for your website. Reducing your bounce rate doesn’t have to be your primary goal – it could be a secondary goal that supports something bigger, like increasing your new signups, your sales, or your generated leads.
Check the layout of your website. Make sure all the pages of your site contain conversion elements that support your main goal. You’ll need the following:
- a good, strong headline;
- authorship tags in your HTML, and an author section with your picture, a non-biased biography, and links to personal social media profiles (this is mainly for blogs);
- primary and site-wide calls to action;
- social media, newsletter and community boxes;
- a featured post section that features your most important post (mainly for blogs, but could also be used for websites;
- a top blog posts section;
- and tags and comments.
Make sure to arrange everything in a way that follows your visitors’ natural way of thinking. Lead them from one element of your web page to another. Make calls to action stand out from the rest of the text, encouraging your visitors to click.
Put your content in the right context. We’ve discussed the importance of context in a previous blog post. Fine-tune and change your content until you find a strategy that effectively lowers your bounce rate and increases conversions. Don’t be afraid to test your content strategies even after you find success – keep in mind that the Internet changes at a fast pace, and you need to stay ahead if you want to maintain high conversion rates. Make your message direct, honest and simple for readers to understand.
Get seasoned professionals to do it for you. If you’re unsure of your conversion optimization methodology, leave it to more experienced professionals to do the job. Call your account manager today or log into your dashboard to get started. Sign up for a free account if you’re not yet our partner!