Why should we care about Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate is a widely used term in website traffic monitoring and often considered one of the more important measures to take into account when it comes to determining website performance. We will dig deeper into to concept below and explain why it’s in general important to keep your bounce rate low and how bounce rate affects your website performance and revenue.

What is bounce rate?

According to Google, a bounce is defined as a single session that triggers the servers, meaning a single-page session to your website. This means that the visitor visits one page of all potential ones on your site and decides not to move on to visit any other ones on your site. The visit starts and ends with a single-page visit. The bounce rate is calculated by dividing all the single-page sessions by all the sessions to your site. The bounce rate tells you the percentage of visitors who “bounce off” your site immediately, instead of sticking around and exploring. Common reasons for a high bounce rate are poor usage of keywords. This means that the visitor is looking for something, lands on your page due to your choice of keywords, the visitor does not find what he or she is looking for and leaves. A bounce. Other things that cause bounces are awful UX design, poor content, and slow sites.

Is it bad to have a high bounce rate?

In most cases, the answer is yes. A high bounce rate is not something you want to strive for, as this technically means that people are leaving your site after a single visit without any further interaction with your site. Many sites rely on the time spent on site, take for instance new sites, sports sites, e-commerce sites, they all want people to spend time on their site as time spent on site increases their revenue and is a driving factor of income. Here we want to enhance that a site can have a long session length AND a high bounce rate. We will explain below a few examples of when a high bounce rate isn’t harmful to your site. 

In some cases, it’s very normal to have a high bounce rate and it does not harm the performance of the site. Take for example a landing page for an offer, contact pages, or verification pages. They are built in a way that the visitor performs the wished action and then leaves the site and a high bounce rate here is natural and as it should be.

How does a high bounce rate affect website performance?

The Algorithm

This is complex because Google does NOT use the bounce rate as a measure in its algorithm. Wait, what? Bounce rate is not a reliable measure for Google to determine site quality, as explained above, a high bounce rate can in some cases be perfectly normal and does not indicate a “poor” site. However, Google determines their ranking on other SEO factors that the bounce rate do in fact have an impact on. A high bounce rate is often a consequence of underlying issues such as slow page speed, poor optimization, and/or undesirable content. By finding the root cause of the high bounce rate you can decrease it and indirectly rank higher in SERP.

No conversions

This is quite obvious but yet important to mention. If visitors are not moving forward from your homepage a conversion will most likely not take place. We will not explain any further how to improve conversion rates in this post, but visit this and this post for more information about the subject. Note! A high bounce rate on a landing page or contact page probably means a conversion.

No revenue from ads

Many publishers rely on their ad income as their main source of income. If your visitors leave your site without unlocking other available content on your site, you will naturally lose a lot of bucks in terms of ad income as the high bounce rate will result in low CPM and CPC rates. Not does the bad news end here. A site with a high bounce rate is likely to get less approval from demand partners as well, as their primary goal is to get their clients maximum ad exposure, and most likely they will not receive that from a site where the majority of visitors choose to leave.

Valuation

The bounce rate will have an effect on a website’s valuation. There are numerous programs through which you can evaluate a site. Does Alexa, SEMrush, Moz, or SimilarWeb sound familiar to you? They are all website analytics programs that can help you determine a site’s quality and performance. Bounce rate is one of the more vital measures when it comes to determining the website’s evaluation along with monthly traffic, session length, and geo’s. We use SimilarWeb to investigate new sites and pay attention to the bounce rate when evaluating sites we help monetize.

What is a “good” bounce rate?

There is no “one answer fits all” answer on this one. A “normal” bounce rate varies a lot depending on the industry, where your traffic comes from, and whether it’s a B2B or a B2C site, as B2C sites tend to have a lower bounce rate. 

In general, a “normal bounce rate” lies between 40-60%. This is good and an ideal number to strive for. If your bounce rate is too low, we are talking too good to be true low, it probably is. There’s nothing normal with a site having a bounce rate of 0-20%, probably you have just messed up the analytics settings in this case.

A number you do not want to see is 90% and more, as this means only 10% or less of your website visitors actually care to investigate your site. If this is the case, you better start investigating what’s scaring people off your site and fixing those issues ASAP!

Below is a chart presenting industry-wise bounce rate “normals” and as you can see they vary a lot.

Average bounce rate on different website categories

Conclusion

As you can see, the bounce rate is a wide measure and very important in case you want people to scroll around your site and enhance your website monetization. We at Kiosked are happy to help you monetize your site in the best way possible. All our ad units are dynamic, they will not interfere with any existing inventory and they will not slow down your page. Drop a line to sales@kiosked.com or sign-up in order to get started.