Bounce Rate – The crucial part of SEO that you are (probably) overlooking
If someone asks you what your ‘bounce rate’ is, there are two common ways to answer this question…
Way #1 – Tell them the amount of times that you can jump up and down on a trampoline in under 60 seconds.
Way #2 – Tell them the percentage of people that visit a single page on your website and do nothing on the page before leaving.
Today, we are here to discuss the 2nd type of bounce rate (sorry trampoline lovers).
But! While bounce rates might sound like a small thing, they are an EXTREMELY underrated part of your website’s SEO.
This is because your bounce rates is an indication of the engagement of your website, and is directly linked with how your users interact with your brand.
So, because of that, if you know how to examine your bounce rates, you will be able to easily identify what types of content resonate with your audience, and what pages on your website need a serious face-lift.
Both of which will result in better traffic 📈, and increased conversions 🤑
Let’s dive into bounce rate a bit deeper (and give you 5 tips to improve YOUR bounce rate)…
Wait… how is my bounce rate calculated?
Your bounce rate is calculated by dividing the number of visitors that exit your website without triggering any action (single page sessions) by the number of visitors that land on your website (total session).
But don’t worry – to figure out YOUR bounce rate, you can easily find it on Google Analytics.
Go to Audience -> Overview, and vualá! Your Bounce Rate awaits you.
But, there are two things to note…
Thing to note #1 – This is the most basic way to find a Bounce Rate, but if you really want to identify core issues in your website’s UX, you gotta make a more detailed Bounce Rate report (more on this later).
Thing to note #2 – Many factors collectively can inhibit or fire Google analytics’ code such as ad blockers, slow loading page, session timeouts, and improper tracking setup. This means that your bounce rate is never going to be perfect, but it will be a fairly good indication of your website’s engagement.
Why does bounce rate matter?
It’s simple – the higher the Bounce Rate, the worse your engagement. And bad engagement is something that Google tracks, which leads to negative SEO consequences (mainly, worse rankings).
This is because Google wants to serve its users the best content it possibly can, and poor engagement can be seen as a signal of poor content.
For example, let’s say for the keyword ‘best trampoline brands’…
If the article in the #1 position has a bounce rate of 78%, and the article in position #2 has a 50% bounce rate, this communicates to Google that article #2 might better serve the user experience for the query.
Which means that article #2 has a great shot of overtaking article #1 😉
What’s the difference between bounce rate, exit rate and dwell time?
All these metrics are essential to make a successful website that grabs users’ attention and leads them to interact with your website. However, they are often misused.
Below is the difference between bounce rate, exit rate, and dwell time:
#1 – Bounce Rate
As mentioned, bounce rate is the percentage of people that visit a single page on your website and do nothing on the page before leaving (aka – bouncing).
#2 – Exit rate
Exit rate can show you where visitors who have viewed more than one page are eventually leaving from.
#3 – Dwell time
Dwell time refers to the length of time a person spends looking at a web page after clicking a link on a SERP page before going back to the SERP results.
The value of this metric to a search engine is obvious – the more time you spend consuming the content of a page you clicked to visit, the higher the probability that the page satisfied your needs.
What is a healthy bounce rate?
Well, this is actually tougher than it sounds.
You hear a lot of ‘SEO experts’ say that a bounce rate between 40% to 60% percent is considered average. And that anything below 40% is great!
These numbers aren’t necessarily true…
However, while these can act as a ‘good rule of thumb’, there is no significant evidence behind these ratings.
Truth be told, there is no universal ‘good’ bounce rate, as it completely depends on your industry, the search queries, seasonality, and many other factors.
So when it comes to your own bounce rates, your goal should be to compare them historically, and look for ways to improve (listed below).
What are the reasons for a bad bounce rate?
While there are no universal ‘good’ bounce rates, it should be noted that higher bounce rates are bad, and a bounce rate above 90% could mean your website has a LOT of work to do.
Also, it should be noted that a bounce rate below 20% is suspicious. If you are getting a bounce rate that is suspiciously low, you should check your analytics setup, and make sure there are no tracking mistakes. Common bounce rate performance problems include duplicate tracking code, heavy websites, incorrect setup interaction events, and not firing the virtual page views.
How can I improve my bounce rate?
Bad Bounce Rates aren’t a problem in themselves – they are an indication of deeper problems on your website.
Mainly poor user experience, and subpar focus on SEO.
Instead of focusing on bounce rates, focus on improving the overall user experience, as well as implementing on-page SEO. Working on both will dramatically help with your bounce rates 💪🏼
Below are 5 tips you can take to improve your SEO, engagement, and user experience:
#1 – Make your content rich and engaging. This means adding infographics, videos, bullet points, etc. The more engaging your content, the longer people will stay on your site, the lower your bounce rate.
#2 – Implement the basics of on-page SEO
#3 – Make your website easy to use on all digital devices (ESPECIALLY mobile)
#4 – Build trust and increase the number of visitors that browse through your website by including sources and links in your copy
#5 – Improve your site loading speed (this one is huge)
Bounce rate doesn’t have to be scary, or overly complicated. By simply focusing on your user experience and SEO, you will naturally improve your bounce rate, which will naturally help your organic rankings. If you are interested in improving your bounce rates and generating INSANE amounts of traffic with SEO, reach out to a digital strategist today.
Which one of our 5 tips will you implement today? Let us know in the comments below!