What's a Bounce Rate?

What’s a bounce rate for Better Conversions? To understand how to analyze your website bounce rate to increase your conversion rate, you must first understand what a bounce rate is. In this blog, we will take you step-by-step through the meaning of bounce rate analytics, how to measure your bounce rate, where to access and assess the numbers 

We dive even further by teaching you how to lower your bounce rate and how to make sure the user experience on your site is one that leads to sales conversions.


Bounce Rate Definition


bounce, as defined by Google, refers to a single-page visit to your website. In Analytics, the bounce is calculated by counting the number of users who spend time on one page of your site and exits. Bouncing occurs when, for example, a prospective client clicks on your website and never leaves the home page. They leave before searching for your products or visit your blog or see how to contact you. The number of your bounce sessions divided by all sessions, or website visits, gives you the bounce rate. If a visitor views at least one additional page on a website, Google Analytics considers that an effective interaction. 


What should a Bounce Rate be?

Typical bounce rates differ across industries. The average for a tech company will not be the same for a local ice cream parlor. Likewise, particular pages on your website actually should have a higher bounce rate than others. For example, say you run an e-commerce website. It’s expected that your product pages will have higher interaction than your home page. Users are more likely to spend more time clicking through what you are selling than reading about your company history. You’d want to implement a segmented bounce rate analysis versus a complete overview in situations like this. More on this later! 

Bounce Rate by Industry

A myriad of variables goes into determining an ideal bounce rate. Some of these include the type of company you have, the industry you’re in, what country you live in, and the kind of device searches are conducted on. According to ezoic.com, the average bounce rate for content websites ranges between 40-60%. Retail and service-based websites average between 10-40%. And blogs come in with an extraordinary bounce rate of 70-98%. Other analytic authorities, like Brafton, list the average wide-scale bounce rate at 58.18%.


As you can see by the wide range of “good” bounce rates, there is no exact number. Instead of focusing on the percentage, industry experts like Black Raven Media LLC suggest using the metrics as a guide. Follow the bounce rate trends over a given period. The goal is to show improvement over time. Watch the weakest rates on your site. What pages need improvement? Is your content weak on those pages? How can you enhance the user experience? Do you need to revamp some of your pages completely? What can you change to boost conversions into sales?


Why are Bounce Rates significant?

Here’s the part where the confusion sets in on the relevance of website bounce rates. Industry experts like SEMrush rank bounce rates as the 4th most important factor in ranking a website on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). However, in Google’s algorithm metrics, bounce rates are not a determining factor. So, how is this possible? We’ll let you in on the secret: Both are significant. 


While bounce rates may not be directly be measured by Googles’ ranking algorithm, their significance is immeasurable. To completely understand, we have to backtrack to 2016 and discuss RankBrain. RankBrain is Googles’ name for the artificial intelligence system they use in processing search engine results. This machine-learning software teaches itself how to perform a task, rather than being taught by humans or following intricate programming. This software improves the user’s search results by deciphering the search intent of the user. RankBrain is the third most influential factor in search engine results. 


What does this have to do with bounce rate analytics? Everything! 


If a website visitor clicks on your page and then moves to a new site without interacting with other pages, it tells RankBrain that your site was not relevant to your search. As a result, it will give your site less credibility in future internet keyword searches. 

So, while it remains true that bounce rates are not directly responsible for Google Analytics – that’s not the whole story. Bounce rates are one of the most critical pieces of the puzzle.


Where do you view your Bounce Rate?

Bounce rates are on the overview report on your Google Analytics page. Bounce rates can also be tracked on specific pages of your site and by segments, or small groups, of pages. These results show up in Google Analytics through segment reports. Additionally, Google Analytics shares a visual overview of what it believes your industry is by using benchmarking


To see these results, you need to set benchmarking up on your Google Analytics page. Benchmarking only takes a few minutes and is an easy process. First, click on “Account Settings” and check the box for “Benchmarking.” You can now compare averages for your industry. To navigate the behavior report, click on “Site Content” followed by “Landing Pages.” Your website-wide bounce rate should instantly appear.


Now, we have already established that this number may be too broad. Google Analytics allows you to condense these results and see bounce rates that are section-specific. To narrow down the rates, use the advanced filter feature or select the Content Drilldown Report. This report also shows you a breakdown of where users interact on your website, how many page views a specific URL gets, the exit rate, and the amount of time spent on each page. It gives you an accurate overview of what sections are working on your website and pages to improve on and shows you if you have any duplicate content on your domain pages. 


Google Analytics also allows you to compare the industry average bounce rate for specific pages, like your company blog, contact page, or e-commerce pages. To see this report:

  1. Navigate to the “Audience” section.
  2. Select “Behavior.” 
  3. followed by “Benchmarking.”
  4. “Under this tab, click on “Channels.”
  5. Once here, select your vertical to compare particular periods.

This process shows you a clear picture of your site’s bounce rate performance by channel compared to the industry average. 


To delve deeper into the analysis, go into the “Acquisition” tab, select “All Traffic”, and then “Channels”. Click on the “Comparison” icon on the right side of your screen. You will want to filter by “Bounce Rate”. The results that appear show you which channels are below or above average. From there, you may select the specific channel for an even more detailed breakdown.

Now that you have a better understanding of what a bounce rate is and how to view it, your marketing strategy can be altered to make your content more effective and engaging. 


Segmented Bounce Rates

Because the analytics and score of bounce rates are broad and fluid, it can be challenging to get an accurate idea of what changes need to be made. This is where segmented bounce rate analyses come into play. (We told you we’d have more on this later!) To get the most transparent picture and proper measurement of your website’s bounce rate, you have to group it by different variables and narrow down the parameters. Without fully grasping why your rate is high, you cannot begin to start lowering it. To modify your bounce rate metric in Google Analytics, you have the following options:


Segment Bounce Rate by Age

Bounce Rate

To determine the bounce rate by your site’s users’ age, select “Audience” and then “Demographics”. This will be located on the left sidebar. Afterward, select “Age”. The report produced shows you whether or not the bounce rate is higher within individual age brackets. This helps you determine your company’s demographics and allows you to develop a marketing plan to target the ages with a higher bounce rate. 


Segment Bounce Rate by Gender

The “Gender” button can be found in the same place as “Age”. The resulting report gives you the bounce rate for males versus females. If one gender is bouncing from your site more often than the other, you may unintentionally be targeting one gender over the other. 


Segment Bounce Rate Among New Visitors

We highly recommend viewing the “New Vs. Returning” segment bounce rate. In Google Analytics, select “Audience”. This is located under the “Behavior” tab. Just like its name, this segment report shows how long new users stay on your site compared to returning visitors. To get more information from this bounce rate segment, select “Secondary Dimension” along the top of the table and choose “Source” from the list. This shows you the acquisition source. 


Segment Bounce Rate by Acquisition

The acquisition source shows you where your visitors are coming from rather than who your audience is. To view this segment report, go to the left-hand menu and select “Acquisition”, “All Traffic”, and finally “Source/Medium”. The acquisition bounce rate is arguably the best tool to help you see the big picture of your pay-per-click advertising. If your ads result in a high bounce rate, your ad is not as effective as you want it to be. This occurs when your targeted demographic is too broad or your landing pages do not match your ad message. 


Segment Bounce Rate by Landing Page

To view this table, click on “Behavior”, located on the left-hand menu. Under that, select “Site Content” followed by “Landing Pages”. The breakdown of each landing page will appear in a table. Remember, it isn’t uncommon for specified pages to have a much higher bounce rate than others. This segment report highlights any design problems that could contribute to the poor user experience. 


Segment Bounce Rate by Affinity

The affinity segment groups result based on the interests of the visitor. There may be key marketing groups you are missing out on reaching. For example, your photography business may be targeting business professionals and photography enthusiasts but are missing the mark of stay at home moms. 


Segment Bounce Rate by Location

Within “Audience”, you will find the section labeled “Geo”. Further filtered by “Location”, a color-coded map shows you the location of your visitors. Scroll further down to receive a breakdown of your visitors by geographic region and specific country. Apply more filters to see which provinces have a higher engagement rate. 


Segment Bounce Rate by Browser

The purpose of the segment rate by browser report is to show you any glitches or technical issues that are bouncing users from your website. To view this report, select “Technology”, “Audience”, and then “Browser and OS”. If specific browsers have a high occurrence of bounces, your website needs reconfiguration for that particular browser or browser version. For example, the Internet Explorer 8.0 browser may have a regular bounce rate, but the 11.0 bounce rate may be above average. If this is the case, check for UX issues within that browser. 


Segment Bounce Rate by Device

Similar to segment rates by browser, the device’s segment rate shows your bounce rate across devices like cell phones, tablets, and desktops. If there is a problem on one platform over another, you likely never correctly optimized your site for those specific devices. To delve in further, view the devices report. 


About Black Raven Media

For more than 20 years, Black Raven Media LLC has helped hundreds of home building and remodeling companies with their digital marketing needs. From the creation of stellar advertising campaigns, innovative media buying, and digital superiority, no other marketing firm can match Black Raven Media LLC’s skill and expertise. 

Our team of expert web designers and developers, combined with industry-leading marketers, SEO optimizers, and social media and blogging gurus, put together a cohesive marketing program that rivals any digital marketing agency throughout the country. For more information, contact us today!