Simply put, bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who come to your website and then leave without visiting any other page. For example, if your bounce rate is 50%, this means that 50% of the visitors left your website after they viewed only the page that they landed on initially. The obvious issue with high bounce rate is that your website is not retaining the visitors once they come to visit. So, if you’ve had problems with increasing search traffic, acquiring more clients and improving email signups, it’s possible that you are having too high bounce rate.
It is different from exit rate because bounce rate will show you the percentage of people who arrive on your website (e.g. homepage or some internal page) and then leave without navigating to other pages, and the exit rate refers to the page from which they left and that page doesn’t necessarily need to be the first one they landed on as it can be the very last one. So your main focus when checking out your analytics software should be on the bounce rate as is more important. To give you a quick example, a high exit rate on a thank you page is fine as it’s usually the last page a visitor sees after they download the offer, fill out an opt-in form or something of that nature, so is normal that people will exit it from there and not go to browse other pages.
Bounce rate is not necessarily a bad thing because the goals of websites vary. For example, you don’t need to worry if your bounce rate is high if you only require people to visit one page. This is the case for websites and landing pages where there is a single lead form that is not designed to take the visitor to another page once is filled or a contact page where you just have a toll-free number listed which visitors need to call.
One way to combat high bounce rates is to give your content marketing a push. This is because a 2013 study showed that businesses with 40 or more pages get 12 times more leads than those with much fewer pages. A bounce can happen in several ways, including when someone hits the back button, clicks on an external link or closes the window.
Depending on your website, high bounce rate might be a good or a bad thing and if you have a high bounce rate then that means your website is falling into one of these two scenarios:
- Your traffic is targeted and the right kind for that specific page
- Your traffic is completely untargeted and wrong
In the first case, high bounce rate doesn’t need to mean that something is off. If your page is designed to quickly solve a problem or answer a question, then the visitor doesn’t have a need to stay on your website longer and browse around. Visitors come, get their questions answered and then simply leave. Here’s an example of a page that answers a specific query with 71.1% bounce rate: