What is Bounce Rate in Google Analytics?

What is Bounce Rate in Google Analytics?

This is one of the questions that I get asked most.

The bounce rate is simply a measure of how many site visitors only look at one page before leaving your website i.e. they don’t progress any further than the page that they landed on.

Why is Bounce Rate Important?

The bounce rate is important as it can be an indicator of poor quality.  In general if a user finds your content interesting and relevant they will spend longer on your site and visit more than one, if not several pages.

When is Bounce Rate Misleading?

A high bounce rate can be misleading where a user is looking for very specific information, they land on your page, find the information then leave, that could be considered a success i.e. a user may be looking for your phone number and address and get it from the page they land on.

Another example is where you have built specialist landing pages with a defined goal in mind, in this case a user may land on the page, take the required action, then leave.  This would also be considered a success.  In this case it is important to make sure you track this goal in your analytics to measure the success of this page.

How Should I Use Bounce Rate?

In your Google Analytics account, use bounce rate to find under-performing pages.  Look for pages that have an especially high bounce rate, the higher the percentage the worse the page is performing.

Take a look at these pages, you may need to work on the content to improve it, or modify the keywords you are targeting for that page.  Take a look at the keywords that are driving traffic to this page, are they relevant?  If not you may need to do some optimisation and link building to this page.

When using paid ads, like Google Adwords, you should monitor bounce rate very carefully, a high bounce rate may indicate areas where you are wasting money by driving untargeted traffic to pages.

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