Many different pieces of data can be helpful in determining if your website is successful. One of the most critical data points is your bounce rate, which tells you how many people leave your website after only viewing one page (usually your homepage) and without performing any specific actions (such as clicking on another page, spending a certain amount of time on your page, or making a purchase). The lower the bounce rate, the better.
This rate is vitally important. Knowing your bounce rate can help you determine if your website has the right content, is well-designed, and is attracting the right audience.
How Do I Make A Bounce Rate Calculation?
Calculating bounce rate is a matter of tracking how many people visit your website, and then how many of those people perform any action before they leave. You’ll need some data analytics tools to capture these numbers, but the numbers themselves are pretty simple.
Here is how you calculate it:
First, you need to know the total number of single-page visits. This refers to sessions in which a user lands on your site and leaves without interacting further or viewing any other pages. Any user who exits from their entry page without navigating to another page on your website contributes to your single-page visits.
Next, identify the total number of entries on the same page. This is the count of first-page views by users in their session.
Divide the total number of single-page visits by the total entries to a page. Multiply this figure by 100 to get your bounce rate percentage.
Mathematically, the bounce rate calculation is represented as follows:
Bounce Rate = (Total Number of Single Page Visits / Total Number of Entries to a Page) * 100%
For example, if you have 100 total entries on a page and 60 of them are single-page visits (users left after viewing only the entry page), your bounce rate would be:
Bounce Rate = (60 / 100) * 100% = 60%
Bounce rates can be calculated for individual pages, groups of pages, or the whole website.
What Is A Good Bounce Rate?
The most obvious answer to this question is the lower, the better. A common bounce rate ranges between 26-70%. If you have a bounce rate under 40%, you’re in pretty good shape.
But be aware, bounce rates will differ between industries and fluctuate over time. So rather than saying it should always be under a certain number, it will be more helpful for you to compare your ongoing bounce rate to others in your industry. It will also help to compare your bounce rate today to your bounce rate over the last three to six months, to determine if it’s actually improving or not.
What Website Factors Affect Bounce Rate?
If bounce rates are higher than the standard for your industry, or than they were a month ago, you may need to optimize different areas of your website. For example:
If you aren’t attracting the right audience, you’ll likely get people coming to your website who simply aren’t interested in what you have to say or offer. This may mean that you need to tweak your advertising and marketing campaigns, enabling you to attract the right people for your content and products.
If your content isn’t engaging or relevant to your website’s visitors, then those visitors won’t spend any time on it—they’ll just click away. A high bounce rate can therefore be a key indicator of a website that doesn’t have appropriate content for people visiting it.
Usability and design
Let’s say you are attracting the right audience and have content that matches their needs, but your bounce rate is still high. In that case, you may want to examine the usability and design of your website. Your website may have certain barriers that make it hard to navigate. For example, links may be difficult to find, or the website might be formatted inappropriately for certain browsers or browsing methods. In this case, your website will not succeed at keeping users engaged.
How Can I Reduce My Bounce Rate?
Once you understand a good bounce rate and how to calculate a bounce rate, you can begin to enact specific methods that will enable you to lower your bounce rate and get visitors to stay on your website for longer periods.
Update your design
If you haven’t updated your website design in some time, it may have become old, stale, or non-responsive. In that case, you may want to consider updating the design so that it is more reflective of modern times, easier to navigate, and encourages users to take a specific action. Doing so may reduce your bounce rate calculation and enable you to keep visitors on your website for longer.
Create specific pages and landing pages for different uses
If you think you may be bringing people to your website who are not interested in your content, one way to remedy this issue is to create specific landing pages customized by a need. Doing so may encourage you to get an audience more likely to take a certain action, thus reducing your bounce rate.
Consider exit intent pop-ups
You can use exit intent pop-ups to target visitors who are behaving in a way that indicates they may be preparing to bounce from your site—for example, moving their mouse towards the back button or to close a window. In these cases, these “last grasp” calls to action may encourage users to click on something of interest to them. These pop-ups should be targeted and offer a reason (for example a discount, promotion or link to the latest content) for your visitors to stay on your site.
Improve content readability
If your blog posts are comprised of long, unbroken blocks of text, consider breaking them up into shorter paragraphs. Add subheadings and bullet points to make the content easier to scan. The more readable your content is, the more likely visitors are to engage with it beyond the first page, thus reducing your bounce rate.
Optimize page load time
Use relevant keywords
Ensure your content matches the keywords you’re ranking for. If visitors land on your site expecting specific information that isn’t there, they’re likely to leave. Suppose you’ve found that a high-traffic blog post on “vegetable gardening tips” has a bounce rate of 80%. It could be because the content doesn’t match the keyword or the user’s intent. Make sure that the content offers valuable tips on vegetable gardening and isn’t merely promoting a product or service.
Include a clear Call to Action (CTA)
If a product page has a high bounce rate, it could be that visitors aren’t sure what to do next. Adding a clear, compelling CTA like “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now” can direct users towards the next step, potentially reducing the bounce rate.
Ensure your site is mobile-friendly
A clear, intuitive site structure allows visitors to find what they’re looking for quickly, which can encourage them to stay longer. If your website has a high bounce rate from mobile users, ensure it’s optimized for smaller screens.
The text should be readable, buttons should be clickable, and navigation should be effortless on mobile devices.
Improve your site navigation
If your homepage has a high bounce rate. Review its layout and navigation. If users can’t find what they’re looking for quickly, they may leave. Clear, intuitive navigation can direct them to the right place, reducing your bounce rate.
Add internal links
Internal links are hyperlinks that point to another page on the same website. They help visitors navigate your site more effectively, increase engagement, and can help reduce your bounce rate.
For example, if you have a blog post about “the best types of indoor plants,” you could link to other related articles like “how to care for indoor plants” or “benefits of having indoor plants.” This encourages users to read more of your content and can help reduce your bounce rate.
If you have a high bounce rate and are using many pop-ups, try reducing them or making them less intrusive. For example, use exit-intent pop-ups that appear when the user is about to leave, rather than immediately after they arrive.
Segment your audience
If your website caters to different user personas, customize the content and user journey for each group. For example, an e-commerce site might have different sections or product recommendations for students, parents, and professionals.
Regularly update your content
If an older blog post has a high bounce rate, update it with fresh information, recent statistics, new images, or other relevant content. This can make it more appealing to visitors, leading to more engagement and a lower bounce rate.
Engage in A/B testing
A/B testing is how you alter certain aspects of your website for different groups. You keep content identical except for one critical factor, like a call to action, pop-up, or link. Then, you use that group if one group performs markedly better at reducing the bounce rate calculation.
For example an ecommerce website could A/B test its product page by creating two different versions: one with the product image on the left and the description on the right (version A), and one with the description first and the image after (version B).
This can be analyzed by visitor interactions to see which layout keeps visitors on the page longer and leads to more purchases, thereby reducing the bounce rate.