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Bounce rate

Mar 21, 2023

What Is Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave a website after only visiting one page. Bounce rate is calculated by dividing total website visitors with the number of visitors who left on the first page load. This means someone exited a site before navigating to another page or clicking on the page. A lower bounce rate is better for websites.  

Why Do Marketers Care About Bounce Rates?

Analyzing bounce rate is part of an overall website optimization strategy.

A high bounce rate can indicate problems with your website or broader marketing programs. For example, slow pages, poor design, disjointed ad-to-website experience, and poor mobile optimization can lead to a high bounce rate. A low bounce rate, on the other hand, indicates that your website is effective in keeping users on the site and that you are driving the right people to your website. Additionally, search engines will rank pages higher in organic search listings if they have a lower bounce rate.

How Is Bounce Rate Calculated?

A bounce rate is calculated as follows:

(Total number of single-page sessions / the total number of sessions) x 100 = Bounce rate (%)

bounce rate formula on dark navy background
Bounce rate calculation

How Do Bounce Rates Affect Website Analytics?

A bounce rate is considered “good” when the percentage is low. Average bounce rates are between 26% to 70% for B2B. For the average ecommerce website it’s closer to between 20% and 45%

Keep in mind that bounce rate calculations may be inaccurate if website tracking is not implemented correctly. Bounce rates can also vary depending on the device the visitor is using to access the website. For example, bounce rates are normally higher on mobile devices vs. desktop.

Bounce rate is one of many metrics marketers look at when analyzing website performance. While a higher bounce rate is generally considered worse than a low one, there are many factors that influence bounce rate and what it means for a website. While it is not recommended to only look at bounce rate when reviewing website performance, it can be a key indicator of overall website health.

What Are Strategies to Improve Bounce Rate?

To improve your website bounce rate, consider testing the following strategies:

  1. Reduce page load speed. Reducing page load speed is critical as it directly affects user experience. Slower load times often lead to higher bounce rates, frustrating visitors and giving the impression that a brand is unprofessional or unreliable. By reducing page load speed, brands increase engagement and provide a better user experience (and first impression of their brand), all while ultimately lowering bounce rate.
  1. Consider the source. Bounce rate can vary significantly depending on where the traffic is coming from. Use analytics tools to see where the bounce rate is higher based on where it is coming from. For example, paid traffic tends to have a higher bounce rate than organic traffic. Traffic from mobile devices tends to have a higher bounce rate than traffic from desktop. Understanding how bounce rate breaks down by source can help marketers determine where to focus optimization efforts. 
  1. Make sure the website is mobile-friendly. Building a responsive website that is mobile-friendly will help with high bounce rates. Some platforms have built-in features that automatically make websites mobile responsive, others do not. Marketers should take a look at mobile website experience and see what updates they can make. 
  1. Review the average time on page. Take a look at how long visitors are spending on pages. If less than 3 seconds, it is likely bot traffic, which will drive up bounce rate significantly. Removing bot traffic from website analytics tools should give a more accurate picture of performance. If the time on page is less than 10 seconds, this can mean a few things. If a website takes too long to load, visitors might leave before they even see the page. Another reason is if visitors are accidentally arriving on a site through accidental clicks. This can sometimes happen when running paid ads, especially in display advertising. However, if a website has long on-page sessions, either visitors are getting all of the information they need off of that one page, or it isn’t the right messaging so they don’t want to continue exploring. If marketers have high time on-page sessions with a high bounce rate, it’s worth revisiting the content on that page and overall page structure. 
  1. Employ personalization and optimization tactics. To decrease bounce rate, use personalization tactics to ensure that visitors have an optimal user experience. Identifying headlines that convert more traffic (oftentimes via testing) and providing an overall more personalized website experience will inherently lower bounce rates and improve critical KPIs.

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