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What Is Bounce Rate? And How to Quickly Improve It?
What is Bounce Rate?
The bounce rate is the percentage of people who land on a site and leave without doing anything. This includes clicking a link, visiting a second next, buying anyone or filling out a form.
Digital marketers use this measurement to determine whether a page offers the necessary information to visitors.
However, the bounce rate does not measure how long a person spends on their landing page. This means you can have a high bouncing rate despite an engaging page.
A High Bounce Rate is not Necessarily Bad for Your Site
Most people treat bounce rate as an indicator of ineffective content or low accessibility on a site. However, this can also happen due to mismatched keywords. The page’s purpose or content is written with a different intent.
For instance, the bounce rate is predominantly high on a landing page or product launch page. The same trend is witnessed in informational pages such as Wikipedia and Quora.
A high bounce rate on an informational page could mean the visitor has to find the information faster.
As discussed, a high bounce rate only happens when visitors leave the page without clicking anything. Of course, they won’t if they find all the information on a single page.
Now, you may optimize your page by dividing information into different segments. This may persuade visitors to click the following link for more information on the same topic. This might not always be the right solution.
You may do that to improve the analytics, but it may ruin the user experience. In short, you may turn a simple page into a mess.
Does Google Consider Bounce Rate as a Ranking Factor?
No, bounce rate is not a ranking factor for Google. Does it affect ranking in Google SERP? Yes, but not directly.
The bounce rate is a metric to check if users engage with the website or simply leave after landing. However, it has a technical issue. It doesn’t count the time the visitor spends on a single page.
That’s why google has repeatedly stated that it doesn’t directly influence the search engine ranking.
Now the question is should you check your bounce rate and improve it? The answer is YES.
What actually matters is how a higher bounce rate can indirectly ruin your SEO efforts.
Most SEO experts believe that google does not use Google Analytics to determine the traffic and contents of a website. Instead, it has its own tool: the pogo-stick algorithm.
The Pogo Stick Algorithm
This algorithm tracks the pogo-sticking of a user.
Assume a user clicks on your page and realizes it doesn’t have the information they are looking for. They will return to the search results page and click another link from the list. This action is known as pogo-sticking, as the user bounces from a page to the results, again to the results. This back and forth can go on for a long time.
Well, pogo-sticking may sound the same as the bounce rate, but it’s more precise.
For instance, a bounce rate be good or bad, depending on several factors −
Good − The landing page provides all the information the visitors need.
Bad − The page is attracting the wrong audience, or it doesn’t have the correct information. This might make the visitors leave.
Pogo-sticking is only the bad part. Meaning, users are leaving unsatisfied with the page.
How Pogo-sticking and Bouncing Rates are Linked?
Google tracks the number of times a user clicks on the search results before they settle on a specific link. It also counts the number of links the user clicks after a particular result.
If the user clicks on many other links after visiting your site and you have a bounce rate, google thinks you can make people do pogo-sticking. As a result, your rank will get negatively affected. This is because your visitors left unsatisfied.
Google doesn’t count the number of pogo-sticking incidents triggered by bounce rate. Instead, it focuses on the number of long and short clicks generated by the page. So technically, google combines both bounce rate and dwell time.
A long click is when a user clicks on a link and stays for a long time. Meanwhile, a short click is when a user quickly returns to the result results. Meanwhile, long clicks indicate the user left satisfied and happy.
If your site has a high bounce rate, and high dwell time, it means your sites have a good long click percentage. This indicates you don’t need to do anything to fix your high bounce rate.
If you have a high bounce rate and low dwell time, you must fix the bounce rate.
Reasons for High Bounce Rate
The primary reason for a high bounce rate could be due to the following −
Slow Page Loading Speed
Slow-loading pages are the significant cause of the high bounce rate. Make sure to work on your loading speed to reduce your bounce rate. You can check your loading speed in tools like GTmetrix, or Google PageSpeed Insights. You can also check the Core Web Vitals in Google Search Console. It displays the pages with the highest load times, including tips to improve pages’ speed.
Page speed and user experience have a strong connection. A faster page speed improves your SEO, improving user experience.
Poor or Lack of Mobile Optimization
Around half of the web traffic globally comes from mobile users. This makes optimizing your webpage for mobile users extremely important. It is annoying to visit a page, zoom in, and scroll left to right to read the content. Hire a web developer to build a solid cross-platform-enabled, dynamic website that works on all devices.
Contents don’t Match the User Intent
To reduce bounce rate, you need to ensure your content and search intent are relevant to each other.
You must remember what your customers expect just through their keywords. If it’s a top-of-funnel keyword, they are probably looking for broad content.
Example of top-of-funnel keywords −
Fun activities for children
Recipes for breakfast
Teach kids to learn piano
Now imagine people searching for these keywords and landing on a site with a homepage, product, or service page. This will definitely compel them to leave your site immediately.
Tips to Fix High Bounce Rate
Take care of the following to reduce the high bounce rate −
Add internal linking to encourage clicks
Add visual content to make people spend more time
Create interactive experiences such as quizzes, surveys, polls, webinars, e-books etc.
Add search functionality to improve user experience
Improve content readability score
Optimize title tags and Meta descriptions
Optimize call-to-action placements
Reduce using pop-ups
Overall, bounce rate is a very important factor in ensuring that your website is performing at its peak potential. While you can always strive to improve user experience on your website like optimizing load times and improving content quality, analyzing your site's bounce rate could provide invaluable insights about how users behave on your pages. Therefore, if you want to make sure your visitors are engaged with the content on your website, monitoring and reducing the bounce rate should be one of the top priorities when it comes to optimizing your website. Additionally, by taking advantage of advanced analytics tools or even A/B testing different page elements like ad placements or call-to-action buttons, you can further optimize user experience and reduce user drop offs. Ultimately, by better understanding what causes a high bounce rate and learning effective strategies to reduce it, you'll be able to deliver better overall customer experiences while driving up revenue.
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