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SEO Bounce Rate

A bounce rate indicates the percentage of visitors that look at one page of a website and then leaves. The higher the bounce rate, the lower the value of your website. Search engines view sites that people enter and leave quickly as being irrelevant and unhelpful so they are listed lower on search engine results pages.

Find Out Your Bounce Rate

If you don’t already have Google Analytics set up on your site, you’ll need it to access this data as well as a lot of other pertinent information in regards to site traffic, conversions, and more.

Diagnosing a Bounce Rate

  1. Login into your Analytics
  2. Audience > Overview > Bounce Rate
  3. Bounce Rate is listed under the graph

Say your site has a bounce rate of 33%—that means that 33% of all traffic to your site is leaving after they view one page. Having a high bounce rate is not necessarily a bad thing, depending on what type of site you have or what your goals are. It’s important to look at the other data to have a better idea of what is happening on your site.

For example, blogs that have higher bounce rates may be good if traffic also increased because that means there are more people coming to the blog from different sources. Others may visit the site to find an address or phone number. Overall, it is better to decrease the bounce rate by encouraging visitors to continue browsing your site.

Factors That Contribute to a High Bounce Rate

Before you are able to improve your bounce rate, identify the reasons that people may be leaving so soon. Here are some examples of why people are leaving after seeing one page:

  • Poor Site Design
  • Poor Quality of Design (Looks like a site from the 90s)
  • Low Quality Images
  • Difficult Usability
  • Long Page Load Time
  • Not Compatible on All Browsers
  • Found the Information They Wanted
  • Didn’t Find the Information They Wanted
  • Not interested in Visiting Other Pages
  • A Bookmarked Page for Reference
  • Broken Links and 404 Errors

Diagnosing Your Bounce Rate

Fortunately, there are many ways to improve a bounce rate after diagnosing the problems. Sometimes it’s a quick, easy fix, other times it requires looking at the trees and the forest together. Use Analytics to identify the following:

Which Page People Are Exiting

From Analytics, click on: Behavior > Behavior Flow. Here you can check out how many people are dropping off of which landing pages (in red), as well as where people are going after the first page.

Google Analytics Behavior Flow

Where Are You Getting Traffic From

Check Acquisition > Overview to see where traffic is coming from and the bounce rate of each source (Organic, Direct, Referral, Social, Paid Search, Email).

SEO Analytics Acquisition

Page Load Time

Many people will leave your site if it takes more than 4 seconds for a page to load and never come back. Check your Page Load Time by navigating to Behavior > Site Speed > Overview.

Analytics Page Load Speed

Ways to Improve a Bounce Rate

Once you have a better idea of why your Bounce Rate is what it is, you’ll be able to more accurately improve it. Here are ways to improve your website bounce rate but be sure that you are choosing a solution to an actual problem.

  • Redesign the Website
  • Redesign the Landing Page
  • Reorganize the Navigation and Sidebars to be More User Friendly
  • Use Events Conversion Tracking for 1-Page Sites
  • Swap Out Poor Quality Images with Higher Quality Ones
  • Check to Make Sure Your Google Tracking Code is on All Pages
  • Improve the Quality of the Content and/or Add More to Pages That Are Lacking
  • Optimize Content
  • Choose Better, More Relevant Keywords to Optimize With
  • Update Your Meta Tags
  • Set Up Internal Links to Encourage Browsing
  • Add Links to Related Articles

Some of these fixes may require the help of a development or SEO team. If you need help improving your bounce rate or have questions about it, just contact us and we’d be happy to help you out.

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