A site’s bounce rate is important because it tells you how well people are — or more importantly, aren’t — engaging with a webpage’s content or user experience.
Bounce rate is calculated when someone visits a single page on your website and does nothing on the page before leaving. More specifically, a website’s bounce rate measures how many visitors leave a page without performing a specific action, such as buying something, filling out a form, or clicking on a link.
If you’re a marketer, it’s important to understand bounce rate and how it impacts your overall digital marketing strategy. For example, a bad bounce rate might indicate technical SEO issues, such as your page load time is too slow.
In this guide, we’ll discuss what makes a good bounce rate and ways to improve your bounce rate, which will improve your conversion rates and your organic search rankings.
What Is a Good Bounce Rate?
To define what a good bounce rate is for your site, you want to understand the difference between a high bounce rate and a low bounce rate.
A high bounce rate means that a visitor’s overall session duration is short; they visit a page on your site and leave. A low bounce rate means that visitors are spending time on a page and clicking on available links.
In terms of good versus bad, a high bounce rate isn’t always a bad thing. A good bounce rate and a bad bounce rate are relative terms whose definition can change according to different criteria, including subjective ones. For example, according to Google:
If the success of your site depends on users viewing more than one page, then, yes, a high bounce rate is bad ... On the other hand, if you have a single-page site like a blog, or offer other types of content for which single-page sessions are expected, then a high bounce rate is perfectly normal.
Another way to think about this is to think about a site’s structure. Let’s consider an ecommerce site. The homepage might have the highest bounce rate out of any page, for instance, because you want your visitors to stay on landing pages where they can make a purchase, like a product page.
So, what is a good bounce rate? A bounce rate of 56% to 70% is on the high side, although there could be a good reason for this, and 41% to 55% would be considered an average bounce rate. An optimal bounce rate would be in the 26% to 40% range.
You can easily check a page’s bounce rate using our Traffic Analytics Tool, which also reveals a page’s average visit duration, page visits, and the total number of unique visitors.
Bounce Rate vs. Exit Rate
When discussing bounce rates, another term that frequently comes up is the exit rate. The difference between a bounce rate and an exit rate is sometimes not well understood since the two are somewhat similar. If the bounce rate is the number of single-engagement sessions a webpage has, the exit rate is the number of people departing a specific page, even if they didn’t originally land on it.
So, if a person lands on page 1 of your site and hits their browser’s back button to the referring page, that’s a bounce. But if they land on page 1, go to page 2, and then quit their browser or jump to another site, that’s considered an exit. Because they clicked to another page from page 1, that can’t be considered a bounce. Neither can page 2 since that’s not the first page the person landed on.
In terms of analysis, a bounce may indicate a lack of interest in a site, but a high exit rate could indicate you’re having problems with conversion rate optimization (CRO). Although someone has shown enough interest in your site to visit more than one page, they’re likely going back to the search engine to find the answer they’re looking for.
How to Lower Bounce Rates
If you want to lower your bounce rate, you should consider what can negatively impact your bounce rate, including:
- Slow page speed
- Unnecessary plug-ins
- Poor usability
- Title tags and meta descriptions that aren’t properly optimized
- Blank pages and technical errors
- Low-quality content
- Pages that aren’t mobile-friendly
- Improperly implemented Google Analytics setup
So, faced with how to get a bounce rate down, there are several things you can do. Here are a few of the most important ones:
Review Pages with the Highest Exit Volumes
In Google Analytics, navigate to Behavior > Site Content > Exit Pages to find the pages with the highest exit volumes. This will reveal the pages where people most often abandon your site and let you know who is landing directly on an exit page or coming from another page on the site. Both kinds of information will help you make changes to improve your bounce rate.
Review In-Page Analytics
Remember that you can easily check a page’s bounce rate using our Traffic Analytics Tool, but you can also run the page through Google Analytics if you want a more nuanced look.
With Google Analytics, you can review bounce and exit problems from different levels. The “All Pages” report provides the bounce rates for individual pages, while the “Audience Overview” report provides the overall bounce rate for your entire site.
You can also use the “Channels” report to see the bounce rate for each channel grouping, and the “All Traffic” report provides bounce rates for each source/medium pair. After making changes, you can turn to the Optimize tool to test different versions of your site pages to determine which ones encourage greater user engagement.
Check Time on Site
To understand your bounce rate data, you need to take it in context with other metrics. For example, it’s important to do a cross-comparison with time-on-site metrics. This can help you determine whether a problem is sitewide or just on a particular page. If you have a blog page with a high bounce rate and low time on site stats, you know that the content isn’t doing its work.
Utilize A/B Testing
If you’ve developed improvement strategies for your site, A/B testing is a great way to see which ones work best. You may have two different sales pages for a product — Page A and Page B — with different designs and calls-to-action (CTAs). Running an A/B test means you would show one page to half your visitors and the second to the other half. The results should reveal which page keeps visitors on your site for a longer time period.
Optimize for Mobile
With the rising number of people accessing the web from mobile devices and Google prioritizing mobile, your site must be optimized for this kind of traffic. A good site design means nothing if a page takes a long time to load on a smartphone, sending the user to find other sources for what they want.
Make Your Pages Easy to Read
You have a dense gray page of type and a high bounce rate — no surprise. You need to make the page more inviting and readable with greater use of white space, larger font sizes, subheadings to break up content blocks, and shorter, easy-to-skim paragraphs. Be more Hemingway than Tolstoy.
Include Clear CTAs and Consider Their Placements
If you have strong, optimized content on a page, you need to think about the kind of action you want visitors to take. A well-placed call-to-action should spark this action.
While you can have more than one, too many CTAs can confuse or turn off people and not work. The CTA’s button placement on the page, color, copy choice, and size is critical. For example, Apple suggests CTA buttons be at least 44 pixels tall.
Revise Your Meta Description
Sometimes, reducing bounce rates is about aligning expectations. If your meta title, meta description, and page URL don’t match what you deliver on a webpage — bounce! Your target keywords should be incorporated into the meta description. If someone is convinced to visit your page because of the search page meta description and deliver what you’ve promised, you have a winning page.
Target High-Value Traffic Keywords
A keyword isn’t just a keyword. Some have higher values than others. These keywords can vary according to the part of the sales funnel you’re sitting in — driving traffic and establishing authority or seeking to convert buyers whose interest you have hooked. If you choose a keyword that drives traffic to your site, you must deliver on its promise with the right content.
Use SEO to Improve Your Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is an important ranking factor, and it's an important metric to be aware of your site's health. Semrush provides proven SEO tools that will help change high percentages of people leaving your site to greater numbers engaged and ready to transact business.
Whether you want to do more effective competitive research, keyword research, link building, rank tracking, or on-page and technical SEO, Semrush provides the solutions you need. For example, with our On Page SEO Checker, enter the URL for the page you want to check for keyword opportunities or see how well the keywords you have in mind will work.
The results will provide new ideas for content, backlinks, strategy, UX, and much more. By implementing them, you can change higher bounce rates into jumps for joy as you get more successful visitor engagement.