If you are familiar with SEO or own a website, business or otherwise, you may have come across the term ‘Bounce Rate’ many times. But do you know what a bounce rate is and how it impacts your website? Well, you have come to the right place, if you don’t.
The basics of bounce rate
Bounce rate is a reflection of visitors who reached your website and left it without further browsing it. Bounce rate comes in real handy when analysing a website for the content and its relevance towards the target audience. It also helps in determining the source of traffic landing on the website. Depending on the bounce rate of your website, it can either have a negative or a positive impact. But before we get into that, we first need to understand how it is calculated.
Calculating the bounce rate
While you can easily check the bounce rate of your website through Google’s webmaster panel, it pays to know how it is calculated. Having an understanding of the basic calculation will help you make improvements to your website and lower the bounce rate if need be.
The easiest and simplest way to calculate the bounce rate of a website is to divide the number of visitors on a single page with the total number of visitors landing on the website.
Let’s understand this a bit more with the help of an example. Say, a website was visited by 100 people in any given month. Out of those 100 people, only 50 browsed through other pages while the rest left without going any further. This makes the bounce rate of that particular website 50%.
Impact of bounce bate on your website
So, now you know how bounce rate is calculated but do you have any idea about the impact it makes on your website or your SEO efforts? Before you get into its impact, you should know the percentage ranges that are favourable for a website and ranges that are not. If your website falls outside the category of events, blogs or news; you should be worried about bounce rates higher than 70%. Anything less than that in any category is acceptable but can be worked on to improve.
In certain cases, high bounce rates do not signify that your website has irrelevant content or does not interest the visitors. The reasons for high bounce rates could be the opposite. Maybe the visitors found exactly what they were looking for right from the landing page and did not need to browse through other pages on your website or they did not even see your website and just closed the window because they found what the were looking for elsewhere.
Google judges all this by scrutinising the behaviour of your website visitors and improves its ranking in scenarios shared above, despite the higher bounce rate.
Except for the rare instances discussed above, high bounce rates are generally considered bad for a website. You may be facing high bounce rates because people visiting your website are not your target audience or the content of your website does not answer their question or solve their problem. The reasons could be many. But the most negative it can be for your website is when you have a paid campaign running and the bounce rate only keeps getting higher. That’s when you start losing money.
Tips to improve your bounce rate
- Check and improve the loading time of your website.
- Make your content more inclined towards the keywords you are using to attract traffic to your website.
- Improve your content relevance by offering accurate information.
- Make sure your website is easy to navigate, has a more appealing and less complicated design.
- Pop-ups are the biggest turn off for any website. Disable them if you are running any.
- And lastly, meta tags are your websites best friends. Always incorporate them within everything you post on the website.
There are positive and negative aspects to having higher bounce rates and you, as a website owner, should not be alarmed and start revamping your website immediately on the first sign of movement in your bounce rates. Instead, go through your bounce rate reports in detail to understand what kind of an impact it is making on your website.
But if the reports indicate that higher bounce rates are making a negative impact on your website, follow the tips above that will help you improve it.