Meaning of Bounce Rate and How it Affects SEO

This article broadly explain bounce rate, how it is calculated by Google Analytics and its contribution to Search Engine Optimization.

Bounce Rate Definition / Bounce Rate Meaning

Bounce rate is the percentage of a website visitors who move out or bounce away from a website after viewing only that particular webpage which made them come to the website.

For instance someone searched for “best SEO techniques” on Google Search, he clicks on one of the results Google gave, it linked him to a website, after reading the content on that website page, he navigated out from the site without at least trying to read another article on that website. The percentage of people who do this is refer to as bounce rate.

Although bounce rate has a negative connotation associated with it. Most people thinks that if a visitor visits only one page and then leaves, it is bad for the website. Their logic is not that flawed anyway!, after all, a high bounce rate would means that a website has lots of irrelevant contents.

Difference Between Bounce Rate And Exit Rate

If you are very familiar with the Google Analytic than I am sure that you have encountered with both bounce rate and exit rate.

Bounce Rate: Whenever a user visits a webpage and leaves that page without completing any action such as clicking another link within that site. This will increase the bounce rate of website, in other word, I can say bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who landed to a page and left from there. It consist only one page sessions.

Exit Rate: Exit rate is refer as the percentage of people who left a website from that page. The exits rate may have viewed more than just one page in session.

See image below:

If a visitor landed to the website, and left from the page without any second interaction it is both a Bounce Rate and Exit Rate. In other hand, If the visitor took any interaction or/and performed any more action on site: say for example saw two or more pages on that site, sent any event or did a transaction and left the page the page left is an exit page.

How Bounce Rate is Calculated in Google Analytics

Google stated that the bounce rate Google Analytics is calculated by dividing Bounce rate in a single page sessions by all sessions, in other words, the percentage of all the sessions on your website which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request.

How Bounce Rate Affects SEO and Rankings

The bounce rate shows relevancy to the users search. Although, most people says bounce rate has nothing to do with SEO and ranking they claim it is only a Google Analytics variable.

I do not agree with them totally. Although, the gravity of bounce rate may not be very strong like most other Google Ranking Factor.
Nevertheless, it still has an effect on the whole site ranking as well as specific webpage ranking base on keywords.

Take for instance, if someone is searching for a specific term that your website ranks very high for and they click on it but do not like the content, there is a very high tendency that they will navigate out from your site immediately to search for the information elsewhere.
This basically is a vote against your website for that specific term or keyword.

Websites rank for hundreds of keywords or even thousands, some you may never even know. If a site has a high bounce rate it mostly mean negative things, as a result of which I don’t think Google will ignore fully in its ranking factors.

Possible Indications of a high Bounce rate

  1. It may mean thay quality of the page content is poor, as a result of it people leave your site.
  2. Your audience do not match the purpose of the page, as they will not engage with your page.
  3. Visitors have seen the information that they were looking for but no other linked page is found worthy to click on your site.

Please note that this may not be correct in all times.

How to Reduce Site Bounce Rate

To achieve this, focus on your target market and making sure that your website is not just keyword friendly or user friendly but as well provides the your site visitors wants to see.

  1. You will need to Improve Your Content’s Readability
  2. Avoid annoying ads and/or popups
  3. You may need to create a Compelling Call-to-Action on you site
  4. Regularly update your site contents
  5. Speed Up Your Page Load Time
  6. Set all external links to open in a new window
  7. Make your responsive to support all mobile devices


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