bounce rates guide

Google Analytics: all about bounce rates[ 5 min read ]

All lot of people get hung up about bounce rates but what exactly are they and how can you improve yours?

The way Google Analytics calculates bounce rate, which is a measure of the quality and relevant content of a website is the Total Number of Visits Viewing One Page divided by Total Number of Visits to that Page. 

Which let’s face it, doesn’t mean an awful lot by itself and some of you look at the percentage on your analytics overview, and think ‘is that good’?

And so, you want a low percentage to demonstrate that someone who is landing on a page on your website is then moving on to another page or post on your website. I.e. staying on your website longer. 

What is a good bounce rate score?

The average bounce rate is about 43% on desktops but it goes up to around 51% on mobiles and 45% on tablets.

Measure your score using the table before, to find out how well you’re doing.

Bounce Rate Guide

0 – 25 %Excellent – You’re doing great, keep it up! It’s really not easy getting this low.
26% – 40%Pretty Darn Good actually!
40% – 55%Average, you’re doing as well as most sites on the world wide web
55% – 80%Terrible, you need to make some serious changes
81% – 100% Drastic improvements are needed ASAP!

How to improve your bounce rate

If you’re below 25%, it’s not easy to get it to this level so give yourself a reward. Now all you need to do is keep it up  – that’s right, it doesn’t just stay like this, you need to keep producing relevant content to ensure your bounce rate doesn’t slip.

On the plus side, really good content will do a lot more for your site and business than just keeping your bounce rate low. It will also improve your search engine ranking and more importantly, it can improve sales!

Average bounce rate score

If your score is anything under 55% you’re on the right path but there are a few steps to take to claw back a few more percent;

  • Try increasing the frequency of your content additions
  • Try taking your customers on a journey by suggesting the next page they should read in a call to action
  • Try increasing the length of your content but don’t make them too long without clear headings as research suggests people often scan read
  • Improve design, navigation or page loading speed of the site
  • Try introducing different media like videos and make sure they reflect the quality of your product/service
  • Review your keywords to make sure they’re attracting the right type of traffic
  • Or, simply really think about the type of content your clients want to see and read – getting feedback from your current customers is a good way to come up with some ideas.
  • And finally, make sure it’s known about by sharing it on social media, in conversation, in newsletters or even in your email signature – shout about the great content you have at every opportunity!

Bad bounce rate score

If your score is above 55% then consider having a full marketing strategy or website review carried out by a professional, as something is going wrong somewhere and people just aren’t interested in staying that long on your site.
If this is the case, it be due to a number of reasons;

  • Your content isn’t interesting enough
  • There’s no clear customer journey or call to action
  • People can’t find your content
  • The design or layout of your site is putting them off
  • There’s a fault with your site stopping them from looking
  • The site isn’t loading fast enough and they’re getting bored of waiting
  • Your site is attracting a lot of spam traffic
  • Your keywords and images aren’t accurate so they are looking for a completely different type of content

Using the Analytics overview to find the cause

Finding out the issue and then addressing it could the key to improving your bounce rate and getting the right type of website traffic to your website.

Your analytics report won’t tell you directly that your content isn’t interesting (if only it was that easy!) but it will tell you which pages are viewed most often, which pages people are landing on and from where they are coming from, and which pages people are exiting on. All this information, together, should give you a better indication of where things are going wrong (or right!).

Using Google Analytics

How often should bounce rates be monitored?

Monitoring the whole of your Google Analytics should be part of your marketing strategy – especially if you’re spending a lot of time and money on marketing. How would you know it’s working if you don’t monitor the results?

By keep a note of when you release content, or social media campaigns and then review them and the correlating analytics regularly you can see if they’re working or if they need tweaking to improve the results.

Set up Google Analytics Data Alerts

Consider setting up Google Analytics Data Alerts to save time and to keep you informed of any issues. For example, you could set one up to alert you (via email) should your bounce rate rise above 45% and then you know something isn’t going right and you can act immediately.
Or, in reverse, set one up to alert you if your bounce rate hits 10% or below so you can buy yourself a nice treat and give yourself a pat on the back!

These alerts can be setup by navigating to Intelligence Events Overview -> Custom Alerts -> Manage customised alerts within your analytics.

And, there are a range of options to choose from not just bounce rate alerts, so you can keep on top of all your analytics easily and overtime hopefully learn how to improve them.

Suzi Smart Bear

I'm Suzi - the owner of The Smart Bear.

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