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What is a Bounce Rate?

on December 11, 2012

Bounce Rate

What a bounce rate means for you

The bounce rate is determined by how many viewers are only looking at a single page when they visit a site. Google uses this as an indicator of site quality. They may hit the back button, type in another web address or click a link to an outbound site. All this effects bounce rate.

Another factor is what is called a “time out,” where a viewer is inactive longer than 30 minutes. They could be viewing things in another browser and be saving the page for later. When they switch back to view the page it is considered a new session, but this can hurt your bounce rate. Make your content engaging enough that people continue their session.

A typical bounce rate is somewhere in the 50% range. When a site hits a 60% bounce rate is is generally a cause to be concerned. Where a site really gets hurt is when that number hits a 70% bounce rate. It risks being penalized by search engines. A good tool to use to measure the bounce rate over time is Google analytics. They provide the bounce rate of pages and can track the bounce rate of each keyword that turned up your website.

What Google pays the most attention to however is the entry page bounce rate. Is the layout appropriate for your content? Are the titles eye catching? Most people judge a site by its cover, so it should be designed with the user in mind.

Whatever you do – avoid splash pages and popup advertisements. These create high bounce rates because they drive away users. Unless you are a subscription site there is no reason for them. Most browsers come with preinstalled popup blockers for a reason. Popups of any kind are unpopular with the majority of people, since they want fast and easy access to a page. Put something optional in the corner of your site instead.

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