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What is a bounce rate, and how can you keep users from leaving your website?

To know the effectiveness of your website, the bounce rate is one of the most important metrics you must take into account. Above all, if we consider that this indicator is closely related to search engine positioning. 

In fact, the relevance that online sites gain is due, in part, to the value they generate over time. But how can you tell if your platform is valuable to the public? One way to do this is by calculating the bounce rate of your web page. 

To help you with this task, today we will explain what the bounce rate is, its importance, the acceptable bounce rate, and what factors will help you maintain it. 

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What is bounce rate?

According to Google Analytics, the bounce rate is the percentage of sessions in which the internet user has left a site or has not interacted.

More specifically, we can say that the bounce rate is a metric responsible for evaluating how many users visit a website and leave it after a few seconds without clicking on other content or links on the same website. 

The most important thing is that the user explores and executes actions throughout the platform instead of remaining on it without interacting. In this regard, Inboundcycle explains that the bounce rate will increase even if the user remains on the site for 10 minutes. 

Similarly, it is considered a bounce if the user enters and exits through the same page. Experts say that the bounce rate comprises "all those [users] who enter and exit through the same page. It doesn't matter if they're there for a minute or 10; this metric will be the same if everyone leaves the site once they finish reading it."

To calculate the bounce rate, you must use this formula: 

(Visits that leave without interaction / Total visits) x 100

Bounce rate is a factor that determines the success of a web page. If users leave your website, it indicates that something is wrong and that you should take action. 

Importance of bounce rate

After understanding what bounce rate is, let's learn more about the value it brings to your business. First of all, consider that the bounce rate is a fundamental metric for Google Analytics, which determines how interesting, effective, and useful your platform is.

Secondly, regarding the SEO aspect, the bounce rate is one of the metrics that Google uses to determine a website's position on the search engine results page. That is, if you are trying to position your web page in the first places of searches, you need to reduce the bounce rate.

Do not forget that Google cannot determine the quality of a website by reading information from, for example, a blog, but rather depends on the behavior of Internet users. Therefore, as part of your SEO checklist, you must maintain a good bounce rate.

So, if users immediately jump in and out of a web page, the search engine will understand that it is not useful; therefore, it will not include it as one of the first search results, quite the opposite. 

In other words, the bounce rate is a means of knowing the ability of your website to convert occasional visitors into loyal users. Through it, we can define if the platform's contents are the most appropriate or if they should be changed to enhance the customer experience. 

What is the acceptable bounce rate? 

The ideal bounce rate varies depending on the type of web page. In this sense, the official CXL website proposes the following percentages as acceptable or average according to the type of platform: 

  • Blog and content pages: 65% to 90%
  • Landing pages: 60% to 90%
  • Online stores or Ecommerce: 20% to 45%
  • Corporate websites: 15% to 30%

However, experts indicate that an acceptable bounce rate ranges from 40% to 50%, although, at this point, they recognize that the elements of the website must be reviewed to implement improvements. 

Is a high bounce rate a serious problem?

Do not be scared if you have a bounce rate with a higher percentage than those suggested above; remember that each platform works differently. If you exceed 50%, we recommend reviewing your website's functionality and other factors that we will review later. 

Suppose everything is optimized to generate a good user experience. In that case, it is very likely that the bounce rate you have detected is clearly due to users' natural behavior with the type of page you manage. 

For example, according to CXL, blogs should expect a higher bounce rate since the most frequent behavior of users is that, even if they read a complete post, they do not tend to consult others. In other words, the experts state the following:

"Because most users arrive at a blog post through social media, it is likely that after reading they will return to the social network they were originally on. This natural behavior makes high bounce rates unavoidable."

So, even though blogs do a great job of interlinking, choosing ads, and serving interesting content, they're still prone to high bounce rates. 

The best thing you can do to reduce the bounce rate is to complement the note with valuable resources that are useful to the user. In this sense, you can include downloadable materials, videos, or links with a correctly prepared CTA to capture the user's attention and ensure their interaction with the post.

Factors influencing bounce rate

As we mentioned earlier, it is important to learn to distinguish when the bounce rate occurs due to flaws in the content (or some other factor that is the responsibility of the company) and when it is due to the unavoidable behavior of users.

To identify if the high bounce rate of a page is due to its configuration, these are the aspects that you should consider:

1. Website design

First of all, you should check that the design of your page is friendly and intuitive to avoid confusion among visitors. The appearance of your site must be attractive and interesting to pique the user's interest and encourage them to stay. 

In addition, we recommend that your website has a version for mobile devices, as most users now access the internet through their cell phones. If you don't have a responsive page, your site's bounce rate will likely be very high.

One way to enhance user navigation is by implementing a menu, which must be simple and visible. Including a tool to access information quickly will likely increase the readers' interaction. As a result, the bounce rate will be favored. 

2. Operation of the website

To control the bounce rate of your website, you must be able to verify that it works correctly. In other words, if the page is very slow or does not respond quickly to user requests, many visitors will lose interest and look for a better alternative. 

It is recommended to do an exhaustive analysis of the condition of the web page from a technical point of view to find the flaws causing a high bounce rate. Then, communicate those flaws to the web programming team so that they can be fixed.

3. Popups

To offer comfortable navigation to the user, you must ensure that the elements, such as ads, videos, or sounds, that start automatically when entering your page are not annoying. This reduces the bounce rate by preventing people from leaving the page without generating interactions.

If you flood the user's view with too many elements of this type, not only will the bounce rate increase, but Google will also question the relevance of your web page; therefore, your position in the search results ranking will go down. 

4. Link operation

A good interlinking strategy is also important to reduce the bounce rate. In that sense, you must know how the links on your site work so that the user's visit is not interrupted by a broken link or redirection to another website within the same browser tab. 

Imagine reading a blog post and clicking on a link takes you off the page and interrupts your reading. Of course, if the information is interesting, you will return to the platform where you were; however, it is more likely that you will find it annoying and leave the site.

So, how do you make the bounce rate acceptable? Do an analysis of the links you have used to date on your website to identify if they are still active. Also, you should ensure that everyone redirects to another tab to avoid interrupting visitors' reading. 

5. Interesting and quality content

This is one of the most important factors to consider when it comes to bounce rate optimization because it is pointless to focus on other aspects if you are not providing useful and interesting content to your visitors.

To include valuable information in your content and reduce your site's bounce rate, we recommend researching your visitors' current needs. From there, you'll be able to create articles that are both attractive and can make a difference on the network.

6. CTAs

How many CTAs or calls to action does your page have? Are they crafted correctly to grab the attention of the readers? If you want to reduce the bounce rate of your website, use the call to action (CTA) to invite users to see other content within your platform. 

Of course, these elements must appear organically to reduce the bounce rate. Though its use is vital, do not abuse this resource.

Conclusion

We hope this article will help you measure the ideal bounce rate for your website. Remember that although there are many factors that cause bounces, not all of them are related to negative aspects of your page.

Also, you should consider the type of website you are developing, as the bounce rate will be different if it is an online sales site, a blog, or a landing page for deals. Therefore, we suggest you experiment until you find the best elements for your website. 

Harby Jay | Author

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