What Is Bounce Rate in SEO?
What Is Bounce Rate in SEO?
Bounce Rate is defined as the percentage of visitors that leave a webpage without taking an action, such as clicking on a link, filling out a form, or making a purchase.
Bounce Rate is important for three main reasons:
1- Someone that bounces from your site (obviously) didn’t convert. So when you stop a visitor from bouncing, you can also increase your conversion rate.
2- Bounce Rate may be used as a Google Ranking factor. In fact, one industry study found that Bounce Rate was closely correlated to first page Google rankings.
3- A high Bounce Rate lets you know that your site (or specific pages on your site) has issues with content, user experience, page layout or copywriting.
What’s The “Average” Bounce Rate?
According to a report on GoRocketFuel.com, the average Bounce Rate range is between 41 and 51%.
However, a “normal” Bounce Rate depends a lot on your industry and where you’re traffic comes from.
For example, Custom Media Labs found that different types of websites had completely different Bounce Rates.
As you can see, ecommerce sites come in with the lowest average Bounce Rate (20-45%). While blogs and have a Bounce Rate that goes all the way up to 90%.
So if you’re looking to figure out what a good Bounce Rate is, make sure that you’re comparing your site to other sites in your category.
Also, your site’s traffic sources can dramatically impact your site’s Bounce Rates.
ConversionXL discovered that email and referral traffic had the lowest Bounce Rate.
On the other hand, display ads and social media traffic tend to have a super high Bounce Rate.
Bounce Rate vs. Exit Rate
Exit Rate is similar to Bounce Rate, with one major difference:
Bounce Rate is the percentage of people that land on a page and leave.
Exit Rate is the percentage of people that leave a specific page (even if they didn’t initially land on that page).
For example, let’s say someone lands on Page A from your site. And they hit their browser’s back button a few seconds later.
That’s a bounce.
On the other hand, let’s say someone lands on Page A from your site. Then, they click over to Page B.
Then, after reading Page B they close their browser.
Because that person clicked on something on page A, that’s not a bounce on Page A. And because they didn’t initially land on Page B, it’s not a bounce on Page B either.
That said, because that person left your site on Page B, that WILL increases Page B’s Exit Rate in Google Analytics.
And if you notice a page on your site with a super high Exit Rate, that’s a problem worth fixing.
With that, here’s a side-by-side comparison of Bounce Rate and Exit Rate.
Why Do People Bounce?
Before we get into the specific steps to reduce your Bounce Rate, it’s important to understand the most common reasons that people bounce.
Page Didn’t Meet Expectations: For example, let’s say you’re looking for a new blender. So you Google “buy blenders free shipping”.
You see an ad that says “Blenders With Free Shipping”.
So you click on it.
But when you click on the ad, instead of a landing page about different blenders, you’re on the site’s homepage.
What are you going to do? Bounce back to Google to find a page that’s 100% about blenders.
Ugly Design: Ugly design can kill your Bounce Rate. People largely judge your site based on design first… and content second.
So if your site looks like this…you can expect a really high Bounce Rate.
Bad UX: Yes, your site should look good. But your site also needs to be super easy to use. And the easier it is for people to read and navigate around your website, the lower your Bounce Rate will generally be.
Page Gives Users What They’re Looking For: That’s right. Not all bounces are “bad”. In fact, a bounce can be a sign that your page gave someone exactly what they wanted.
For example, let’s say you’re looking for a new baked eggplant recipe.
This page has everything you needed to make this recipe: ingredients, detailed instructions and pictures.
So, as soon as you put your eggplant in the oven, you close the page.
Even though this single-page session is technically a “bounce”, it’s not because the site suffered from ugly design or bad UX. It’s because you got what you needed.
How to Improve Your Bounce Rate
1. Embed YouTube Videos On Your Page
Video hosting company Wistia found that adding videos to their pages more than doubled their average time on page.
We’ve also noticed that embedding videos leads to a lower Bounce Rate and higher time on page.
In fact, we recently analyzed the difference in Bounce Rate for pages with and without an embedded video.
And the data shows that pages with video had a significantly lower (11%) Bounce Rate compared to pages without a video.
Also, keep in mind that these videos don’t necessarily need to be your videos.
You can embed ANY video from YouTube that makes sense for your page.
2. Sprinkle In Bucket Brigades
Bucket Brigades are one of the best ways to improve your Bounce Rate on landing pages and blog posts.
Here’s how it works:
First, find a section of your page that’s not super compelling.
(I call these sections “Dead Zones”)
Pretty much every page on the internet has these little “dead zones” where users get bored and click away.
The second step is to add a Bucket Brigade phrase that stands out and keeps their attention.
Here’s an example from one of my pages:
See how that works?
The phrase “In fact:” makes the reader interested in the next line.
And when you add a handful of Bucket Brigades to your content, you keep people reading your page.
(Which can lower your Bounce Rate significantly).
Here are a few more examples of Bucket Brigades that you can try out:
3. Loading Speed
A Google analysis of 11 million landing pages found that slow loading speed correlated with higher Bounce Rates.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, people online are SUPER impatient.
With that, here are some ways you can speed things up.
Your first step is to gather benchmarks of how you’re doing in terms of speed.
I recommend Google’s free and useful PageSpeed Insights tool.
This tool gives your page a speed score based on your page’s code and how quickly your page loads for Chrome users.
The score is nice to know. But it’s not super helpful on its own.
To get the most out of this tool, check out the specific recommendations (called “Opportunities”) to speed up your page.
For example, you can see that a lot of our homepage’s loading speed issues are due to large images.
Now that you have a benchmark score, and tips on how to improve, follow these best practices for speeding up your site’s loading speed:
Compress Images: Images are one of the main reasons that pages load slowly. That’s not to say you should start stripping out images left and right. They serve a purpose. Instead, use an image compression tool (we use Kraken Image Optimizer) to dramatically reduce our image size.
Use a Fast Hosting Provider: Your host can make or break your site’s loading speed. So if you’re still on a cheap $5/month plan, considering leveling up to a legit host.
Remove Unused Plugins and Scripts: Use a tool like WebPageTest to get a list of resources that slow down your page.
And delete anything that you don’t use or need.
4. Use The PPT Introduction Template
Lots of people decide to leave or stay on your page based on what they see “above the fold”.
Which is why it’s SUPER important to grab someone’s attention as soon as they land on your site.
And one of the best ways to do that?