What is a bounce rate?
In web terms, a bounce occurs when a website visitor lands on a web page and then leaves the page without taking another action (e.g. submits a form or clicks a link). This is also commonly called a “single-page session”. A bounce rate is the percentage of website visitors who bounce from that page.
Bounce rate vs exit rate
Bounce rates and exit rates are both calculated for individual pages, but the user journey is different. A bounce occurs if a visitor lands on and leaves the same page without taking any action. An exit occurs when a visitor lands on a web page, clicks through to another page on the website, and then leaves the site.
What is the average website bounce rate?
While bounce rate varies greatly between websites, studies have reported the average website bounce rate (meaning, the average bounce rate of all pages within a website) to be between 26% and 70%.
Reasons your website can have a high bounce rate
There are several reasons your website can have a high bounce rate. First, it’s important to note what type of website you have. Certain types of websites will naturally have higher bounce rates than others. For example, blogs typically have high bounce rates because visitors find the information they’re looking for on that page, and may not be interested in visiting another page. On the other hand, a B2B software website may have a lower bounce rate because visitors are browsing through multiple pages to determine if the software solution will meet their needs.
Let’s look at a few possible reasons your website can have a high bounce rate:
1. Content isn’t relevant to the search intent
Irrelevant content is the most common reason for website visitors to bounce. As digital consumers, we expect to quickly find the content we’re looking for. If it seems even slightly off the mark, we usually bolt and look somewhere else.
When you type a word or phrase into Google, you expect to be shown websites that are relevant to your search. For example, if you search for “B2B software website agency”, you expect to see a list of web agencies that specialize in building B2B software websites. If you click on a search result and see that the web agency actually specializes in ecommerce websites, there’s a good chance you’ll hit the back button to go back to Google. That would be considered a bounce.
2. Confusing content
Nobody likes reading content that doesn’t make sense. With an endless amount of resources available on the internet, users are quick to abandon content that’s poorly written or hard to digest.
3. Poor website design
Another reason for high bounce rates is poor website design. If a website isn’t visually appealing, visitors are far less likely to engage. It only takes 0.05 seconds to form a first impression on a website, so it’s critical to have an aesthetically appealing user interface (UI) design.
4. Bad user experience
User experience (UX) goes hand in hand with UI. Website visitors want to see a website that looks good, but they also need it to do what it’s supposed to do. If you deliver a bad user experience, visitors can quickly get frustrated and bounce from a page. For example, if a visitor lands on the homepage of your website and clicks on a broken link, they may simply leave your site in search of one that works better.
What can be done to reduce the bounce rate for a website?
If your website has a high bounce rate, don’t worry. There are strategies you can apply to reduce the bounce rate. Here are a few to get you started:
1. Increase the quality of content
Improving the quality of content on your website is a great first step to reducing your bounce rate. Write clear and concise copy to help visitors quickly understand what you are offering to them. Visuals should also tie into the copy to help bring the story to life. If you aren’t sure if your content makes sense, try asking for an unbiased opinion. It’s always easy to convince yourself that an article makes sense, or visuals look good. But if a first-time visitor doesn’t understand what you’re trying to communicate, it’s probably a good idea to make some revisions.
2. Optimize keywords to match search intent
If your bounce rate is due to irrelevant content or mismatched search intent, keyword research can help. SEO (search engine optimization) tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, or Google Keyword Planner can help you identify commonly searched words and phrases relevant to your content. Weave these keywords into your web copy (particularly in headlines) to help Google understand what your website is about and when it should be shown in Google Search.
3. Improve page load time
Fast page load times contribute to a positive user experience. A great first step to improving page speed is to reduce the number of plugins used on your website. The more plugins you rely on for functionality, the more bloated and slow your site can become. Another way to improve page speed is to ensure all images and videos are optimized for SEO.
4. Create a clear user journey
A bounce occurs when a website visitor doesn’t take action on a page. But do your visitors know what action you want them to take? Evaluate your calls-to-action (CTAs) and make sure it’s abundantly clear what the user will receive if they click it. If it’s a link to another page, ensure the linked text describes the content on the other page. If the CTA is “Get Demo”, preface the button with the value of the demo. Once you are confident in the clarity of the CTA itself, create a clear path to get there with a clear text hierarchy, easily digestible copy, and a visually engaging story.