What is Bounce Rate About?

What is Bounce Rate?

What is Bounce Rate About?


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What is Bounce Rate?

What is Bounce Rate About?


What is Bounce Rate?

Bounce Rate is one of the many metrics found in Google Analytics which can be used as an analysis tool. If you are somewhat new to Google Analytics, you may be overwhelmed by the information offered and not sure exactly what it all means. The best advice that I can give you, is to tell you to relax and slowly take it all in. Once you have given the site the once-over, one of the questions you may have is: What is Bounce Rate About?

Bounce Rate is a listed percentage, which tells you the portion of your visitors who visit your site, but leave without viewing any additional pages or posts. For example, if your Bounce Rate is 80%, that means that regardless of how your visitors have found your site, 80% of your them leave after viewing the page or post that they have entered on. They have not been inclined to visit any of your other pages or posts. This may or may not be a bad thing, depending on how your site is set up. You must first take a moment to take a look at the goals of your website, before you can understand if your Bounce Rate Percentage is good or bad.


When is a High Bounce Rate Good?


If your website is set up with Calls to Action that would naturally lead your visitors away from your site without reviewing other content, then a high Bounce Rate would be a good thing, providing that your visitors are fulfilling your Call to Action.

Some examples of this might be:

    • Telling your visitors to call a phone number for more information about the products that you are promoting.
    • Offering Affiliate links in a Review for where they can purchase a product.
    • Having the visitors fill out a lead form that does not require them to visit another page for confirmation.


As long as you are getting adequate results from your Calls to Action, then a high Bounce Rate is proper, and nothing to worry about.


When is a High Bounce Rate Bad?


When your site is designed to encourage your visitors to view other pages or posts on your site, by including internal links to those other pages or posts for additional information, and you have a high Bounce Rate then you have a problem. Some reasons for this might be:

    • Your initial page or post is not engaging enough.
    • Your Call to Action to visit those additional pages or posts is not clear.
    • You have failed to keep your content or internal links relative to your initial page or post title.
    • You have an insufficient amount of internal links giving your visitors somewhere else to go on your site.


The longer that you can keep your visitors on your site, the better you will rank in Google. This will show Google that the information that you are offering must be interesting enough to keep your visitors engaged.


When to Make Corrections


The worst thing that you can do when you have a relatively new website, is get what I refer to as: ‘paralysis by analysis’. Which simply means, that many people with a new website, that have recently signed up to Google Analytics, try to make corrections to their site, before there is enough data to warrant those corrections. Instead, they should be concentrating on writing more good content.

Do not worry about making any changes until you are getting a sufficient amount of visitors to your site. This will give you better data on which pages or post are causing the problem. If you are only getting a few visitors a day to your site, then you should be concentrating on creating more and better content, along with researching better Keywords, before you begin to make changes based on your Bounce Rate.


Drill Down to Find the Problems


Once you are getting a few hundred people, each day, visiting your site, you can drill down to find the problems for your high Bounce Rate. First, Sign in to Google Analytics. Then, click on: Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. You can view the information based on the date range that you choose, by clicking on the arrow next to the date range shown (upper right corner), and then clicking on the arrow to the right of the window next to: Date Range, and choose what to view (I prefer to view the last 30 days and compare that to the last 7 days.). Click on the ‘Apply’ button below that area to apply your choice.

Your Home Page will be designated by a backslash only ( / ). Other pages will be listed by their name. You can choose the number of pages of information to be shown in the bottom right area, by clicking on the arrow to the right of the window next to: ‘Show Rows’ and choosing the number of Rows to be displayed on one page.

The pages and posts visited will be in order from most to least. You should check the Bounce Rate for each one to assess if there may be a problem. You can click on the column heading for Bounce Rate to show your pages and posts with the highest Bounce Rate first. This will show you which order you may want to make any adjustments in. You should begin making your adjustments to pages or posts with the highest Bounce Rate and the highest Pageviews first. Use the pages and posts with the lowest Bounce Rate and the highest Pageviews as an example for corrections that need to be made. Look for the number of internal links in these, as well as, other factors that may be contributing to their success. Keep in mind, that if you have been visiting your own pages and posts that those visits will also be included in these results, which may affect your results greatly if you have been making alterations regularly.


Source and Type of Traffic


You can also view the Source of your Traffic, as well as, some Visitor Demographics. To view the Source, click on the arrow next to: ‘Secondary Dimension’ at the top left of your list. Then, choose: ‘Source’. The second column in the results will display where your Traffic came from.

In order to view some Visitor Demographics, go to your Main Menu (on left) and click on: ‘Audience > Overview’. This will show you a pie-chart of New vs. Returning Visitors, as well as other Demographics below. Just click on any of the links to view those areas.

You can also click on: ‘Audience > Audiences’ (in your Main Menu) to see Demographics based on: Age, Gender, and Interest.


In Closing


In cases where a high Bounce Rate is bad, and you want to lower it, examine your Bounce Rate from different perspectives. For example:

    • The Audience Overview Report provides the overall Bounce Rate for your site.
    • The Channels Report provides the Bounce Rate for each channel grouping.
    • The All Traffic Report provides the Bounce Rate for each source/medium pair.
    • The All Pages Report provides the Bounce Rate for individual pages.


If your overall Bounce Rate is high, then you can dig deeper to see whether it’s uniformly high or whether it is the result of something like one or two channels, source/medium pairs, or just a few pages.

For example, if just a few pages or posts are the problem, examine whether the content correlates well with the marketing you are using to drive users to those pages or posts, and that they offer users easy paths to the next steps you want them to take. Make sure that your Calls to Action are adequate.

If a particular channel has a high Bounce Rate, take a look at your marketing efforts for that channel. If users coming via display are bouncing, make sure you are using ads that are relevant to your content.

If the problem is more widespread, take a look at your tracking-code implementation to be sure all the necessary pages and posts are tagged and that they are tagged correctly. You may also want to reevaluate your overall site design and examine the language, graphics, color, Calls to Action, and visibility of important page elements.

You can use Optimize to test different versions of your site pages to see which designs encourage users to engage more.

If you have a single-page site, learn about non-interaction events that you can implement to better capture user engagement and identify single-page sessions that are not bounces.


To get more information on Bounce Rate, as well as other areas in Google Analytics that you should look at, see my Post:  What is Google Analytics About?


Please leave a Comment or ask a Question in the Comments section below.


Thank you,

CJ Dodaro


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About Author

CJ Dodaro
I am a semi-retired, 65 year young man who has owned and operated a variety of successful business throughout my life. Starting most from scratch, I have acquired extensive knowledge for what is required for setting up a business properly from the ground up. Since these businesses have been both the brick & mortar type as well as the online variety, I feel qualified to help people in almost any business area that they wish to pursue. I wish to share the information that I have acquired in order to help other aspiring entrepreneurs become successful.

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