What is Bounce Rate and what to do if it’s too high?

Advanced analytics provides a large amount of data in the form of various indicators and charts. On the one hand it enables more effective development of the portal. However, it requires knowledge and experience in reading this information. Find out what the bounce rate is. Find out if its high value always requires your reaction. Also, see how you can improve this statistic and improve your sales results.

What is bounce rate?

As defined by Google, a bounce is a session on a site that is limited to a single page. Technically, it means that a user has only launched one request to the Analytics server.
The bounce rate, on the other hand, is the number of times one page is launched divided by the number of total hits. A user launching just a single request increases this ratio, but it doesn’t necessarily translate into a lower conversion rate.

It could mean that the design of a particular page is scaring away potential customers, who prefer to launch another page. But just as well, the reasons for a high bounce rate could be completely natural.

Does a high bounce rate always require a response?

In analyzing your site, you should remember that the coefficients are calculated mechanically based on specific statistics. Therefore, you should always consider how the indicator is created.

In the case of the bounce rate, all sessions are counted, during which time the user sent only one request to the server. In practice, this does not always mean something negative. Let’s look at the following cases.

Sometimes just one request is enough

So-called one page websites are becoming more and more common on the Internet. They are based on the fact that all information is located on only one subpage.
This means that after launching the page, the user has access to all information. He does not have to run internal links or go to other tabs. Despite the lack of activity, he will get acquainted with the entire content of the site. In this case, Google will read such activity as an abandonment. In practice, however, the page has not been abandoned, and the user may return in the future to, for example, place an order.

The nature of your website

Now think about the nature of your site. Does it require a user to navigate to another subpage or send a re-request to the server in order to reach your intended goal?

If you run a blog or your offer is entirely on one subpage, a high bounce rate may be perfectly natural. It will not have a negative impact on your profits. Therefore, it is not always worth lowering this rate at all costs.

Compare yourself to others in the same industry!

Correctly reading an indicator requires not only knowledge of its structure, but also experience. It is worth comparing yourself to the average indicator for your sector. Depending on the nature of the site bounce rate can vary greatly. For example, average values for selected industries are:

  • food 65%,
  • Information 58%,
  • sports 51%,
  • gaming 47%,
  • stores 46%.

Why is the rate so high on food-related pages? Some people may launch the website of their favorite pizzeria just to remember the phone number. Their visit is marked as a “bounce” but results in a sales transaction.

Bounce rate by source

How to get a low bounce rate?

In many cases, however, a high bounce rate can be a sign that something is wrong with your website. So it’s worth analyzing the results carefully and thinking about what could be the reason why users are rejecting your site.

Below you will find the most common causes of high bounce rates. See how to reduce your bounce rate.

Google Analytics code implementation

In some cases, the reason may be technical. If you have made a wrong implementation of the Google Analytics code, data can be retrieved only from a part of the page. This happens, for example, when the code was included in a template.

In such a situation, the user is visible only on the subpages based on the given template. On the other hand, the indicator does not read visits to other subpages, where Google code has not been added. This causes falsification of the obtained result by overestimating the bounce rate.

Poor site design

Page design can also be to blame. In case of one page sites, the bounce rate practically loses its meaning, because its value will be close to 100%. It will be similar in a situation when one of the subpages is crucial. For example, the “contact” tab on pizzeria pages.

Worse, when the reason is an illegible menu, which makes it difficult to find the right information. Too complicated paths can discourage the user, who will open another Google result instead of wondering about the right tab on the page.

User experience

The design of the website is also of great importance. Too bright colors and flashing buttons can reject the user. They will make him feel overwhelmed by the amount of impressions and simply turn off the page.

Similarly, a user may react with an inappropriate, illegible font that makes it difficult to read the content of the portal. Or in the case when the content strongly deviates from the expectations and title of the site.

This is a case where a high bounce rate is a warning bell. Without changes to the site, it will become less and less visited and lose its position in Google search.

Jumping around the results

Pogo sticking can also have a negative impact. This is when a user jumps between successive search engine results. If your page also closes as soon as it opens, it means that it has not captured the visitor’s attention and has not encouraged them to stay.

In some cases, however, it may be related to opening the first few results in successive tabs. Some users do this to speed up browsing information.

Internal Flows

A high bounce rate can also indicate a lack of internal flows. The user, after entering the site, reads only one subpage without checking other tabs.

To prevent this type of situation, use more internal links and CTAs (call to action). This way you will make users on your website more likely to go to other subpages and learn more about your offer.

Bounce rate analysis

A bounce rate analysis can provide a portal owner with important information about possible changes and improvements that can be applied. However, in order to do so, it is important to take a close look at the statistics obtained. Google Analytics provides several information about the bounce rates:

  • the overall bounce rate of the entire site,
  • bounce rates for specific channel groups,
  • bounce rate for source/medium pairs,
  • as well as metrics for individual pages.

This allows you to do a more comprehensive and complete analysis and draw more accurate conclusions. This will make it easier to keep working on your site and improving it.

What do bounce rate and exit rate have in common?

An exit rate can also help you fully analyze your bounce rate. What do these metrics have in common? The exit rate indicates which subpage was visited last by a user.

The combination of these two metrics allows you to determine on which subpage a user ends up browsing your site. Perhaps it will be the “contact us” tab, which should not be a cause for concern.

In other cases, however, it is worth considering why users switch off the portal on this particular subpage. Maybe it needs some fine-tuning?

How to use the bounce rate effectively?

You can’t take indicator values without thinking. They can often be over or underestimated for natural reasons. With one page sites, the bounce rate always reaches almost 100%, but this does not translate into sales. The user views a single page, but at the same time often uses the offer and performs some action.

In some situations, however, the analysis of indicators allows you to make significant changes to the portal that can increase the conversion rate, which will translate into more revenue for the site owner. Therefore, it is worth improving the bounce rate if its level is not due to natural reasons.