Website Bounce Rate

What is website bounce rate? (A web analytics primer)

Bounce rate isn’t talked about as often as “conversions” or “unique visitors,” but it’s a key indicator of how your website is performing.

So what is a “bounce rate?” Is it better to be closer to 0% or 100%? Let’s unlock the mystery.

Bounce Rate Definition

Let’s start with looking at how website analytics products define bounce rate:

Google Analytics:

The percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).

Adobe SiteCatalyst:

The percentage of users who enter on a given page, but then leave without viewing another page.

 

Bounce Rate Simplified

In other words, bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to your website that only viewed a single page and then exited.

 

Bounce Rate Percent

Is a bounce rate approaching 100% good or bad? It depends.

If your goal is to get a visitor off that page and onto another page on your site, then you’ll want your bounce rate to be closer to 0%. (For example, having the visitor go to an email-newsletter sign up page.)

However, if your website is full of information on one or two pages – or the visitor entered on a landing page – you may not want them to visit other pages. In this case a bounce rate near 100% may be acceptable.

No two bounce rates are created equally. The key is to look at the bounce rates for specific pages, with the goals of that page in mind.

 

Is a 0% bounce rate achievable?

Most likely not, and you may not want it to be 0%. For example, a visitor could land on your website, see your phone number, and then call your sales team to place an order. This visit would register as a “bounce,” yet the visitor converted into a customer.

 

What is the difference in bounce rate and exit rate?

An “exit” occurs when a visitor leaves your website. “Exit rate” for a page is the percentage of visits where that specific page is the last page viewed before the visitor leaves your site. (The visitor navigated to that page but then left your site.)

With an “exit” – a visitor could view many other pages on your website, find their way to a specific page, and then decide it’s time to leave the site.

Bounce rate is only recorded when someone lands on a specific page and then leaves without viewing any other pages.

 

Summary

Bounce rate may seem daunting at first, but it’s a straightforward metric that can help you understand how your website pages are performing. Remember, it’s important to think about the goals of your website and each individual page. Those goals will determine how important bounce rate is for your site.

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Adam Steinberg

Adam is a co-founder of Transpose