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I am a search marketing geek. Work as APM for one of the leading companies in UK. Interested in socializing and helping others.

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March 13, 2009

How to improve Bounce Rate

The Bounce Rate Defined
Simply speaking, BOUNCE RATE is defined as the percentage of the website visitors who arrive at an entry page of the website, and then leave without visiting the other pages of the site.

Approaches for Bounce Rate
There are two approaches to be considered for the bounce rate - the first one is based on the time the user spends on the site and the other one is the number of page views by the user during the visit to the website.

Generally the page view approach is considered by the search engines to count for the bounce rate for the sites using Google Analytics, as it becomes difficult for the search engines to determine the time spent on the site.

A bounce occurs if a visitor leaves a page or a site without visiting the other pages of the website. A visitor can bounce by,
  • By typing a new URL
  • By clicking on a link to a page on a different web site
  • By closing an open window or tab
  • By clicking the "Back" button to leave the site
  • Or session timeout

The Bounce Rate Formula

B.R. = Single Page Access/Entries * 100

The Bounce Metric
A high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance pages aren't relevant to your visitors, ie the user was not able to find the information that they were looking for.

An entry page with a low bounce rate means that the page effectively causes visitors to view more pages and continue on deeper into the web site.

Lower Bounce Rate = More Visitors From Search Engines + Higher Conversion Rate.

The more compelling your landing pages, the more visitors will stay on your site and convert.

Optimum Bounce Rate
An Optimum Bounce Rate depends on the page and the industry. A Bounce Rate of 20% or less is considered as excellent, but anything in the range of 35 - 45% is also considered as OK. But if your site has a bounce rate of more than 50%, then it's the cause of worry.

How to improve the Bounce Rate?
There are a number of ways to improve the bounce rate for your site, i.e., lowering the percentage of the Bounce Rate for the site.
  • Understanding the Business and the Audience - The first and the foremost step is to understand the target audience and what type of information they would be looking for.
  • Informative Landing Pages - After knowing the type of audience, and what they will be looking for create an informative landing page, depicting the exact information for which it is created. Create well optimized and eye catching Titles and Heading to make sure that the user stays longer on the site.
  • Use A/B Testing - To know which pages of your landing pages are performing and what is required or what can be done to increase the performance, use A/B Testing. Try to be creative while designing the pages.
  • Clean Pages - Keep your pages clean and well structured. The important thing to be kept in mind is to provide the visitors what they are looking for, and to make it more informative and easy for them to search for the information what they are looking for.
  • Site Stickiness - Try to increase the focus and devise ways such that the user spends more time on the site. Use Social Bookmarking buttons, or RSS Feeds, to popularize your content.

  • To view the Bounce Rate, in Google Analytics, go to Visitors > Visitor Trending > Bounce Rate.
  • If you’ve not paid any attention to your bounce rate before, try starting today. It might help you to dramatically improve your website.