The bounce rate describes the percentage of users who leave the homepage of the homepage after a few seconds. The user comes to a website via organic search, is not satisfied with the result of the content displayed, and navigates back to the search engine. The user does not consider calling up another page of the homepage, and his jump is included in the bounce rate. The bounce rate is, therefore, another measure of the success of a website.
Possible reasons for a “bounce” by the user:
- The landing page must offer the user at a glance what he needs. A bad and confusing page design, long loading times, or insufficient content demotivate the user to go to other pages. These factors have a significant impact on the bounce rate.
- The user was generally not interested in the content offered.
- Not only loading times but also functionality and server accessibility determine whether the user stays on the site.
- If the user is directed from a particular page to the homepage, he expects to find relevant content. If this is not the case, a jump is to be expected.
Bounce rate – exit rate – return-to-SERP rate
However, the bounce rate should not be confused with the exit rate at which an entire session of a user is viewed. Bounce rates calculate the percentage of users who left the site immediately. However, the exit rate calculates those sessions in which a specific website was the last page of a visit. In connection with the bounce rate, there is also the return-to-SERP rate. This calculates the number of users who navigate back from a website to the search engine. The return-to-SERP rate describes three different, negative user signals to search engines:
- The user navigates back to the search engine because he has not found the content he is looking for on the website. He, therefore, continues to search on other websites.
- The user navigates back to the search engine because he could not find the content he was looking for. He thus changes entered keywords in the search engine.
- By returning to the search engine, the user wants to search for something different.
Not everything that glitters is gold: This also applies to search engine optimization. Some values in Google Analytics can take a completely new perspective on the bounce rate of the website. When looking at values in Analytics, the circumstances that cause bounces are also important. Generally, it is a big mistake to consider the bounce rate as a single measurement.
Here are some examples that show that bounce rates need to be seen in the context of the overall website analysis:
- No additional page views are possible for a single page. These are, therefore, not recorded either. Reloads of a single page are also not noted.
- If the tracking code for analyzing the website is incorrect, it must be adjusted. This prevents the playing of a bounce rate that is too high.
- Caution is advised for mobile users: they generally jump off a page more quickly and are therefore to be regarded as separate.
- Bridge pages, as the name suggests, serve to move the user from one landing page to the other. As expected, the bounce rate is higher here than on landing pages that offer relevant content.
- The average length of time the user stays on a website differs depending on the industry and cannot be specified as a fixed value. When in doubt, a comparison with the market leaders is a good way to estimate your own length of stay.
- New visitors have to be differentiated from regular customers of the website, as they have a higher bounce rate.
- The reading depth is another aspect to look at the dwell time from a different perspective. If the content of the website is kept short and the user has already consumed it, it is understandable if the user leaves the website. Even if a conversion has happened, this pageview is counted at the bounce rate. However, the content of the website was seen as useful.
Lower a high bounce rate
It can, therefore, be stated that the user wants to recognize and consume content at first glance. Adjusting the landing page, making the content, high quality, and optimizing the user experience are the most important steps to lower the bounce rate permanently. Also, an attractive layout and a clear design are essential for reducing the bounce rate.