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Rubber SEO: Bounce Rates Review

May 25th, 2010 | | Analytics

What is the bounce rate?

The bounce rate is the measurement of how how many people visited your site and clicked off your site without going to any other page on your site. Not to be confused with the Exit rate, the bounce rate is mostly concerned with those visitors who don’t do anything on your site. In your analytics software you’ll see that your bounce rate is portrayed as a percentage. The higher the percentage the more people came to your site and left without clicking anywhere.

How is bounce rate calculated?

Bounce rate is calculated by taking the number of visitors who visit a page on your site during a certain time frame divided by the number of single page views for one page during the same time frame. In other words if you have 10,000 unique visitors and 4,000 of those were single page views, you get .40 or 40% as a bounce rate.

When does the bounce rate matter?

Bounce rate matters a lot if you are in e-commerce. You are using your SEO-yness and smooth graphic design, fast loading times and intuitive usability-ness to convert as many visitors into online sales. A high bounce rate means a couple things:

  1. Whatever prompted them to come to your site was misleading and nothing on the site is what they wanted
  2. Your site is poorly designed or e-commerce techniques

If you are directly selling to online visitors, the bounce rate is a prime indication of how people view your site. However, even then there are people that bookmark pages and come back to purchase so don’t think that the bounce rate is a solid rate of acceptance of your page.

When doesn’t the bounce rate matter?

Believe it or not there are situations where the bounce rate doesn’t really matter. Some companies aren’t e-commerce related and people either go to the site to get a phone number or look for updated special deals. Sports scores, stock prices, forum updates, all these tend to increase a bounce rate, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing. If your site lends itself to this, you may want to consider looking at your “returning visitors” number vs. the “new visitors” number.

What are good bounce rates?

This depends on the site, your demographic and industry. While you may try to achieve a 0%, that’s pretty difficult if not impossible. 50% and above is cause for concern. If your SEO efforts are bringing people to your site, you don’t want them to leave due to something
you have neglected
. Make sure your page is clear in purpose and gives a straight line to “call to action.”

Will bad bounce rates affect SEO?

Failing to identify and understand user interests is an SEO Mistake. That’s what the bounce rate quickly measures. If you are clear in your purpose and usability to the right audience, you are being relevant and valuable to those you want to reach. That is the heart of SEO.

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