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Get to know your bounce rates

When it comes to bounce rates on your website, what is high and what is low? Does this really matter and if it does, how can you improve it?

And why can the bounce rate on your Google Account be misleading.

Let's look at how to delve into your data and see where and how you can improve bounce rates.

Now let’s start at the beginning.

A “bounce” occurs when someone visits your website and leaves without interacting further with your site. They visit just one page.

Your bounce rate shows the percentage of your visitors who bounce off your site. The rate in the overview on your Google Analytics refers to your site-wide bounce rate – which can be misleading, and I will come back to this.

What is a Good Bounce Rate?

There are many variables to this. A high bounce rate may be fine if you only want your visitors to go to one page on your site for example. Blogs and landing pages will have high bounce rates.

But as a rule of thumb, I always go for a rate of less than 40% being good. If it’s over 50%, not so good. In between is okay.

That is a guideline only.

The better thing to do is measure your current position and simply have a goal of improving it.

Really Analysing Bounce Rates

Going back to the site-wide bounce rate, this is a vanity metric. To get a better picture, you need to drill down. Without doing this, it will be harder to reduce your bounces.

Compare Bounce Rates for New vs Returning Visitors

Take a look to see if there are differences in new versus returning site visitors.

You may expect a returning visitor to be more familiar with your site and so may go straight to the page they need. But for new visitors, you will want them to navigate more.

However, your new visitors may have a higher bounce rate – and that is something you can address. Take a look at where these visitors coming from (acquisition source) and ask yourself if they are they getting the content they need?

Bounce Rate by Device

Check your bounce rates for both desktop table and mobile devices. Do you see anything interesting in the data? Are there variations in the bounce rates?

If you wish to, you can also view bounces by the “Devices”.

Bounce Rate by Acquisition

Now, let’s look at bounce rates by acquisition. Your analytics will give you a breakdown of where your traffic is coming from and the associated bounce rates.

Take a look at the sources with the highest bounce rates to see if there’s a trend.

Advertising often provides a high bounce rate, so you may want to think about landing pages.

Bounce Rates by Pages

Finally, look at the various pages of your site to see which pages have higher bounce rates. Don’t confuse the exit rate here though.

Reducing Bounce Rates

Once you have done a bit of analysis, you will have a better idea of what to correct. And here are some things you can do once you have done the analysis:

Make Your Pages Easy to Read

It sounds obvious, but as websites get changed, content added to, you just need to have a bit of an audit and make sure it is easy to read:

• Have clear headlines.

• Use bullets

• Short paragraphs

• Add subheadings

• Include images, infographics, and charts

• Bold keywords

• Have clear CTAs and navigation to other pages


Should you focus on bounce rates? Yes, but drill down to see where you really need to improve your rates. Everything can be improved. Use heat mapping tools too, but don’t guess, use your GA account to paint a picture.


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