What is Bounce Rate: The Ups and Downs of Google Analytics

Every day as an SEO brobot, I swim around in all types of online data. When I say all types, I’m not kidding. One website alone provides hundreds of thousands of individual data points, if not more. Needless to say, sometimes it can be very overwhelming. Don’t worry, I’m not going to bore you with each and every one (yet), but I do want to touch one specific metric that comes up in a lot of conversations: bounce rate. At face value, this term sounds pretty goofy when you consider that it refers to something web-based, something fairly technical. The first time I heard the phrase “bounce rate” I instantly started thinking about one of those air filled castles and exactly how many kids could bounce at once, that would equal the bounce rate. Right? I was way wrong. So what is bounce rate, exactly? According to Google, “bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits compared to visitors who view more than one page of a website.” So for example, let’s say a potential client visits your site, views only your home page and then leaves your site completely. Your bounce rate would be 100% if that were the only visitor to your site. Now let’s imagine that the same visitor views your site but reads your home page and your contact page before leaving the site completely, your bounce rate would be 0%. The second scenario would be described as an exit, meaning your contact page would have an exit rate of 100%. For you mathematicians out there, here is the equation for determining bounce rate: What is Bounce Rate So now that we have a better understanding of what counts as a bounce, we need to ask how this affects your website, your bottom line, or if it’s even something that needs your attention. Without question, there is a catch all answer for the age-old question of “what is the perfect bounce rate?” I know that may be crushing for some, but it’s just the facts. For example, websites that are built to sell products would most certainly have a different average bounce rate than a website that only existed to provide a customer simple contact information. Granted, this is only true if the e-commerce site was successfully converting customers. Understanding bounce rate, specifically for your website, is an important first step in understanding how your site is performing. It’s critical to remember that there is never a universal, perfect bounce rate, but more of a desirable range for you and your site. In upcoming posts, we will be discussing ways to determine your perfect bounce rate and how to measure your website’s user engagement.

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