Bounce rate is a statistical metric used in web analytics that characterizes how users interact with a website. Depending on the analytical tool, the interpretation of the bounce rate may vary, but the most common variant is from Google Analytics. Google calculates the bounce rate as all single-page sessions divided by the total number of sessions and multiplied by 100%. In other words, a bounce occurs when a user lands on a site but does not click on any other pages or interact with the site, such as adding items to a cart.
When evaluating the bounce rate, it is important to consider the niche in which the website operates. If it is a single-page landing, news site, or blog, viewing only one page is a quite typical user behavior. In these cases, a high bounce rate does not necessarily indicate any problems with the content or the site. However, in the case of an e-commerce site, for example, users should be «walking» through the site, and if they are not doing so, it is a problem. However, there is no norm regarding the size of the bounce rate, so this metric is often subjective and a high percentage should not always be perceived as something bad.
If you, as a website owner, have decided to reduce the bounce rate, then you should pay attention to several factors:
- site loading speed — this is one of the main factors affecting user behavior on the site, so if loading is too long, people will leave the page;
- design and navigation — users may not understand what to do next due to confusing layout or simply poor page design;
- relevant content — make sure that users get what they expect when they land on a page;
- mobile version — most people use the Internet from mobile devices, so if the page is not adapted for smartphones, users will not be able to use the site and will leave;
- technical condition — it is quite possible that the reason for the bounces is simple and the site stopped working at some point.
Analyze the listed factors, and if you do not find any problems, then most likely, your site's bounce rate is normal. The main thing to remember is that this metric is not a decisive criterion for evaluating website usability. Sometimes problems can be experienced even with a low bounce rate. This is because of the flaws in the setup of analytics tools that incorrectly track events and underestimate the bounce rate. Therefore, this metric should only be considered in conjunction with other analytics and not jump to conclusions.