Measuring Engagement: Bounce Rates and Why They Matter

When a visitor leaves your website after viewing just one page, it’s called a “bounce”. Your “bounce rate” may be an indicator of a poor user experience, which can lead to frustrated visitors; poor conversion rates; and less search traffic. Let’s take a look.

Bounced

How to Access Your “Bounce-O-Meter”

First, you’ll need a Google Analytics account with at least 1-3 months of accurate data (i.e., not distorted by spam referrals).

After logging into your Google Analytics dashboard…

  1. Go to: Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages
  2. Look at the “Bounce Rate” column

Making Sense of Your Bounce Rates

Let’s take a look at your home page. If your bounce rate is high (70%+), you’ve got a problem.

However, certain types of pages (e.g., blog posts) naturally tend to have higher bounce rates. So, we’ll also want to consider “Avg. Time on Page”.

bounce chart

In other words, there are a few exceptions, but the following guidelines may be good to start with:

  • Bad bounce rate: 70%+
  • Good bounce rate: 40% to 60%
  • Excellent bounce rate: 25% to 30%

How to Improve Your Bounce Rates (and Engagement)

Which pages within your website (i.e., goal pages) are critically important to your success? Those are the ones you’ll want to focus on. As a general rule, the home page will certainly be one of these. And, perhaps certain product or service pages.

Here are a few things to look at:

  1. Content
    • Appropriate for the target audience?
    • Quickly answers the question: “what’s in it for me?”
    • Well written, original, and easy to scan?
  2. Design
    • Appropriate for the target audience?
    • Visually prioritized?
    • Strong calls-to-action?
    • Brand-compliant?
    • Effective use of images, color, typography?
  3. Technical
    • Loads in under 3 seconds?
    • Cryptic error messages?
    • Broken links/images?
  4. Usability
    • Menus, buttons easy to locate?
    • Menus, buttons labeled intuitively?
    • Information architecture well organized?
    • Visitor feedback?

Now, you can accurately identify the weak performers on your website, and take the necessary actions to improve your bounce rates… and ultimately conversions!

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