Meaning Of Bounce Rate And How It Affects SEO

This article broadly explains the meaning of bounce rate, how it is calculated by Google Analytics and its contribution to Search Engine Optimization.

Bounce rate is the percentage of website visitors who move out or bounce away from a website after viewing only that particular webpage which made them come to the site.

For instance, someone searched for “SEO services” on Google Search; he clicks on one of the results Google gave; it linked him to a website. After reading the content on that website page, he navigated out from the site without at least trying to read another article on that website. The percentage of people who do this is referred to as bounce rate.

Although the bounce rate has a negative connotation associated with it, people think that if a visitor visits only one page and then leaves, it is bad for the website. Their logic is not that flawed anyway!

After all, a high bounce rate would mean that a website has lots of irrelevant contents.

Difference Between Bounce Rate And Exit Rate

If you are very familiar with Google Analytics than I am sure that you have encountered with both bounce rate and exit rate.

Bounce Rate: Bounce rate is whenever a user visits a webpage and leaves that page without completing any action such as clicking another link within that site. It will increase the bounce rate of the website; in other words, I can say bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who landed to a page and left from there. It consists only one-page sessions.

Exit Rate: Exit rate refers to the percentage of people who left a website from that page. The exits rate may have viewed more than just one page in a session.

See image below:

bounce rate

If a visitor landed to the website and left without another interaction, it is both a Bounce Rate and Exit Rate.

On the other hand, If the visitor took any interaction and performed any more action on site: say for example saw more pages on that site, or did a transaction and left the page the page left it is an exit page.

How To Calculate Bounce Rate in Google Analytics

Google stated that the bounce rate Google Analytics is calculated by dividing the Bounce rate in a single page session by all sessions.

In other words, the percentage of all the sessions on your website, which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request.

Does Bounce Rate Affect SEO?

The bounce rate shows relevancy to the users’ search. Although most people say bounce rate has nothing to do with SEO and site ranking, they claim it is only a Google Analytics variable.

I do not agree with them completely. Although, the gravity of the bounce rate may not be powerful like most other Google Ranking Factor.
Nevertheless, it still has an effect on the whole site ranking as well as specific page ranking base on keywords.

Take for instance, if someone is searching for a specific term that your website ranks very high for, they click on it but do not like the content. There is a very high tendency that the person will navigate out from your site immediately to search for the information elsewhere.
It will be a vote against your website for that specific term or keyword.

Websites rank for hundreds of keywords or even thousands, some you may never even know.

If a site has a high bounce rate, it mostly means negative things. I don’t think Google will ignore it entirely in its ranking factors.

High Bounce Rate Reasons

  1. When the quality of the page content is poor, or full will grammatical errors. It will make people leave your site.
  2. If your audience does not match the purpose of the page, as they will not engage with your page.
  3. When visitors have seen the information that they were looking for, but no other linked page is found worthy of clicking on your site.
  4. Slow loading site. Most site users will not have the patience to wait for a low loading site; they will immediately exist it.
  5. Too many ads on a webpage will also discourage from visiting another page on the same site. They may even exist immediately in the ads is so annoying.
  6. When the information you are trying to convey is not accepted.
  7. The unsecured site also can make people leave immediately. Always make sure that you install your SSL certificate on all your sites.

Please note that this may not be correct in all cases.

How To Lower Bounce Rate In Google Analytics

To achieve this, focus on your target market by making sure that your website is not just keyword-friendly or user-friendly, instead provide the visitors wants to see.

  1. You will need to Improve Your Content’s Readability
  2. Avoid annoying ads and popups
  3. You may need to create a Compelling Call-to-Action on your site
  4. Regularly update your site contents
  5. Speed Up Your Page Load Time
  6. Set all external links to open in a new window
  7. Make your website responsive to support all mobile devices

Bounce Rate Checker

The best bounce rate checker is Google Analytics. Signup on analytics.google.com with your Google account and add your website. After doing this, the analytics bot will be able to crawl your site and give your site analytics result, which will include your bounce rate.

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