What is Bounce Rate? Myths and Facts Defined in Detail

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A bounce rate is the percentage of single visits on your page, i.e. if a person lands on your page and exits without interacting with other pages the bounce rate would tend to increase.

How a bounce can happen?

  • The user clicks on an external link
  • The user clicks the browser back button
  • The user closes the browser
  • The user types another URL in the browser

How a Bounce Rate is calculated?

Let me show you how a bounce rate is generally calculated as such:

Bounce rate percentage = Total no of visitors who viewed only one page    x 100

Total no of visitors to that web page

Hence if 100 visitors are visiting your webpage from which 70 visitors went without interacting with other pages, your bounce rate would tend to be 70%

Bounce Rate: Myths and Facts!

It is generally said that a bounce rate of over 50% is a sign to worry. I would take it as a Yes and No. It’s a common cliche that a high bounce rate is considered a bad sign. A bounce rate should never be evaluated in isolation from its core reasons. Hence your actions should always be influenced by the actual reason of happening.

Let us see some of the reasons which can increase your bounce rate, but doesn’t lend anything to worry:

  • If it’s just a single landing page with no other pages to interact with, there is no reason to panic for high bounce rate. The more traffic it fetches, the more bounce rate will increase. It’s inevitable. In order to check the user activity on these kind of pages, always implement Events.
  • If a user has found what he has been looking for, there is a tendency that he might not interact further.
  • If users has bookmarked your page for use on day to day bases, it would generally show a high bounce rate.
  • If the Webpage has become very popular in Google rankings and has been shared over various social platforms, traffic will come to visit that specific page only, hence increasing your bounce rate.

So should we consider the Bounce Rate anyway? YES and always YES!

Let’s understand this with the help of an analogy.

Suppose you run a restaurant, a customer walks in, scans the whole place, checks the menu and leaves immediately. What does that infer? Is something lacking that the customer did not feel to interact with the restaurant, or he just went out because he forgot his wallet at home?

It could be anything. Perhaps the food was expensive, perhaps the ambiance was too loud or there was no one to attend his reception. But the customer bounced back.

Bounce rate increase can happen for a number of reasons and to surmise it as bad sign without looking at the reasons would not be wise. You need to take a more objective look at the website and its metrics to see the whole picture and hence gain a better understanding of the happenings.

How should I decrease my bounce rate?

  • First consider your bounce rate for specific traffic sources
  • Consider tweaking your site layout and navigation
  • See for correct and convenient placement of call to action.
  • Try to give relevant anchor texts in your content for users to have a chance to interact with other pages and increase knowledge base
  • Give a popular blog or related articles list alongside your webpage
  • Limit your outbound links and if you deem it necessary, just give it a target blank attribute in the <a> tag. For e.g.

For more insight on this interesting yet misconceived metric listen to <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/v/ppgfjo6IIf4?version=3&autohide=1&showinfo=0&iv_load_policy=3&fs=1&enablejsapi=1&hl=en&rel=0″target=”_blank”>Avinish Kaushik’s Commentary on Bounce Rate</a>

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