Bounce Rate: Its Importance & Tips to Reduce it

What is Bounce Rate?

Having a website means you’ve got to deal with a lot of technical details, and one of them is the tricky bounce rate.
What is it, and how does it affect your site?
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website after checking a single page, or it is the percentage of people who do not click on any of the call-to-action buttons when they visit your site.
But that happens a lot of times, right? Yes. That’s why there more to bounce rate than just a definition.

Importance of Bounce Rate for SEO

1. Bounce Rate Data Helps Improve the Site

The bounce rate data is collected through Google Analytics. While it is not 100% accurate, it does help you get an idea about what’s wrong.
A website that has a high bounce rate will suffer at the SERP rankings. Alright! So what’s a high bounce rate?
Well, if your website has a bounce rate of more than 70%, it is considered high. It means that more than 70% of the visitors didn’t find what they want on your site, though there are other parameters involved.
But when you see that most of the visitors are not spending enough time checking your website, you know that the site needs to be improved, be it the design or the content.

2. Pogo-Sticking Algorithm

Google has an algorithm called pogo-sticking, and it uses this algorithm to determine the bounce rate of a website. The SEO ranking of the website will also depend on what the pogo-sticking algorithm finds. But what is this even?
Imagine a user click on the link from the SERP and visit a website. They notice that the site doesn't contain the information they are looking for.
They immediately return to the search results page and click on another link to another site. This bouncing from one website to another in a short span is known as pogo-sticking.
Google checks how many times this happens with your website, measures the bounce rate, and decides to push your SERP rank up or down accordingly.

3. Bounce Rate for Webpage Quality Assessment

As we mentioned in the first point, measuring the bounce rate of your website will tell you about the quality of the website.
If people are leaving one webpage more than the others, it means you've got to rework the page and improve its quality. Something as simple as slow page-loading time can result in high bounce rates.
The average bounce rate for different categories is naturally different. For example, blogs and content sites should have a bounce rate between 40-60%.
If the rate is close to 70 or 80, you will need to recheck the content, the keywords, and the presentation format to make visitors stay back on the page instead of leaving immediately.

Tips to Reduce Bounce Rate

1. Increase Page Loading Speed

A website that doesn't load fast is one of the main reasons for a high bounce rate. It happens when your site is not optimized and has several images, videos, or widgets that take way too much time to load. Users don't like to spend time waiting for a website to download, nor do we, right?
The required site loading speed is less than 3 seconds, with 2 seconds being considered ideal.
If you want to reduce the site's bounce rate, check the page loading speed and increase it. The page loading speed is considered a core factor for ranking a website on Google, and improving this will boost the website's performance in many ways.

2. Present High-Quality Content in an Easy-to-Read Format

Content is crucial for every website. Yes, the landing pages don’t need much content, but whatever little is there has to be catchy, attractive, and intriguing for the visitor to stay on the page for a while.
When it comes to product webpages, the content needs to explain the product in detail, and the language has to be easy to read with no grammatical errors.
Presentation is also crucial. Short paragraphs and bullet points with enough white spaces will provide a better reading experience when coupled with HD images and product videos.
To decrease the bounce rate of your website, regularly update the content, keep it as error-free as possible, and work on presenting it attractively.

Related : Step-By-Step Content Strategy For SEO

3. Embed YouTube Videos on the Webpage

Do you know that adding videos to the webpage is a great way to increase the average time users spend on the page?
It was found that users spent around 2.6x times more on web pages that had videos. Wouldn’t that be a great way to increase user engagement as well?
But should you make videos and upload them to the web pages? It's not necessary. You can directly embed YouTube videos on the page. It allows the video to play on the page where your visitors will spend their time watching it. Cool, right?
Just remember that you need to choose appropriate videos for the content and the target audience. Unless necessary, it’s better to opt for shorter videos.

4. Don’t Overstuff the Sidebars with Widgets and Promotions

It applies more to bloggers who need to highlight their achievements to attract more readers. It is indeed necessary to showcase your awards, and what better than the sidebar for it?
However, cramming too much into these can distract the visitors and even make them feel suffocated. Also, the last thing you'd want is to display an award/ achievement from a dubious platform. That's something you need to be careful about.
Another aspect to consider is the pop-up for newsletters. Imagine opening a website, and even before you can see what it has got, there’s a pop-up staring at your face, urging you to sign-up for the newsletter. How annoying it gets! Don’t do the same to your visitors.

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5. Focus More on Keyword Relevance

Keywords, content, and relevance. If slow page loading speed is one reason for a higher bounce rate, lack of quality content and relevance to the keywords is another.
We’ve dealt with content, and now it’s time to deal with keyword relevance for page optimization.
The focus here is on ‘relevance.' Why did you optimize the webpage for a particular keyword?
Does the content have any information related to it, or did you pick a popular keyword and stuff it into random text?
If it’s the latter, your website is at the risk of having a high bounce rate and being penalized by Google for keyword stuffing. Who are your target audiences, and what are they searching for? Provide them with what they expect from your website.

6. Provide a Clear Call-to-Action Button

Yeah, we know you’ve got call-to-action buttons on your page. In all probability, you’ve got too many of them if your bounce rate shows a high percentage.
The webpage has to be easy to understand for anyone who visits it. Once you’ve got the content sorted, think of the CTA button. What do you want the visitors to do? Sign up for a newsletter, book an appointment, or place an order?
Include a CTA for the same in clear words, and you can even use it in 2-3 places. But make sure the CTAs deal with the same target page.
If there are multiple CTA buttons for different purposes, the user is likely to get confused and leave the page rather than try to make sense of it.

7. Make the Website Mobile-Friendly

According to the latest statistics, 40% of the users rely only on mobile phones to search on Google, and more than 50% of users have discovered a product/ service when searching on their phones.
Imagine having a website that strictly caters to desktop/ laptop users and has not been optimized for mobile phones? Of course, the website will still work on a smartphone, but it wouldn't have the proper layout and design.
Users will be irritated and find another website that looks good on the mobile screen. It just upped your bounce rate. Now, if your website is mobile-friendly, your SEO efforts will give you results, and the bounce rate will go down a little.

8. Work on Relevant Internal Linking

How can you get a visitor to open another page on the website?
By providing them with a link to the other page, right?
That's called internal linking, a must for every website. Having a navigation tab in the header is compulsory, and so is internal linking.
These links encourage visitors to read more content and open other web pages on the site. It proportionally increases the time they spent on your website, thereby reducing the bounce rate.
The internal links should be presented to urge the visitors to click on them, which means your content has to be of high quality to create an impression. Users should feel that they'll gain something of value when they read other pages on the site.

9. Increase User Experience

UX is the most crucial element in digital marketing. If a user has a bad experience on the website (for any reason), your brand's reputation will suffer unless you do something to redeem it. Also, the bounce rate would touch the sky, causing your SERP rank to fall.
Getting user inputs is essential if you want to improve the UX of the website and set up a small feedback form. You will also need to use behavior analytical tools to assess why a user has bounced from your website.
If a major share of users is bouncing away from the cart or a particular page, you need to improve the UX of that page.

Bounce Rate & SEO FAQs

Q1. What Is Considered a Good Bounce Rate for SEO?

There is no such thing as a reasonable bounce rate that applies to every website and webpage. However, the following can be considered as reasonable bounce rates-

  • Websites from the service industry: 10% - 30%
  • Retail and eCommerce websites: 20% - 40%
  • Content sites and blogs: 40% - 60%
  • Landing page of every website: 70% - 90%

Check the average bounce rate of websites in your niche to get a better idea.

Q2. What Is the Difference Between Bounce Rate and Exit Rate?

A bounce rate is calculated based on how many people bounce from your site, and the exit rate is calculated based on how many people exit your website.
When a user spends time on your site, opens another webpage, or performs any action on the site before exiting, it is calculated under exit rate.

Q3. How Does the Bounce Rate Affect the Google Ranking of the Website?

Bounce rate is not an independent factor for Google ranking. It is seen in relation to other aspects like conversion rate, pogo-sticking, engagement rate, etc. Even if your website has a high bounce rate, the Google rank will be high as long as the conversion rate is good.
For blogs, the engagement rate is considered instead of bounce rate as the conversion is not the blogger's goal.

Q4. How Are the Bounce Rate and Page Views Related to Each Other?

While bounce rate and page views are two different elements, measuring them will measure the engagement rate of the website/web page.
Even when users bounce from your site, you will get a page view. However, it doesn't increase the engagement rate or the conversion rate of the site. It would help if you looked at the percentage of bounce rate and page views to improve the site.

Q5. How Are the Bounce Rate and Pogo-Sticking Different from Each Other?

A high bounce rate doesn’t always mean that a website is not good. It could also imply that the user immediately found what they want or maybe bookmarked the webpage to read later.
That said, pogo-sticking is when the user goes back to the search results page and opens another link, and this is a clear indication that your website didn’t give them the answer.
A high bounce rate is okay, but a high pogo-sticking rate is not.

Q6. Is There a Reasonable Bounce Rate for a Blog? What Is It?

Well, that depends on the type of blog you own. The average bounce rate for a technical blog would be slightly different from a personal blog or a food blog.
Nevertheless, to specifically answer the question, a good bounce rate for a blog would be around 60%. It can go up to 90%, though that is rather a little too high and shows that your blog needs some work.

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