Writing by Brick Marketing in Internet Marketing
Many website owners that notice a high bounce rate in their analytics start to panic. A high bounce rate means that a website isn’t good, right? Not exactly.
A website bounce rate is the rate at which a website visitor lands on a page of a website and then leaves (bounces) without visiting another page of the website. In many cases, the first webpage that a visitor lands on is the homepage, but not always. A bounce occurs when the visitor leaves the page for another website or when the session times out. Typically a session time out occurs at 30 minutes.
What website owners are worried about is that bounce rate can be a measure of page quality in the eyes of the search engines. A high bounce rate can indicate that the entrance page is not as relevant to the search query as it should be. But- is that really true?
If a visitor lands on a web page and then “bounces” it doesn’t necessarily mean that the content wasn’t relevant- in fact, it could mean that it was very relevant. The searcher found exactly what they needed on that one page and didn’t have to go to another page of the site.
Of course, this could depend on the industry and how your website is set up. Local businesses with small websites shouldn’t worry so much about bounce rate. Most information can typically be found on one page. If the website is optimized well, a search for “Shirley’s Diner menu” will bring up the menu page, a visitor will click on it, check out the menu, and then “bounce”. This bounce doesn’t mean that the website didn’t serve its purpose. In some cases all a visitor wants is a phone number or an address, which can usually be found easily on the homepage.
Bounce rate may be more of a performance indicator for a website that offers a variety of products or services that cater to different needs. If a visitor is going to need to spend some time reading and researching on your site to figure out what suits their individual needs best, a very high bounce rate could be more problematic if it means that the site isn’t converting.
The bottom line is that a high bounce rate isn’t always an indicator of a poor website, especially if your website is set up in a way that is simple and allows people to find all that they may need on one page. Instead of becoming so consumed with bounce rate, focus on traffic and visitor growth and on actual business success. Don’t think of someone that “bounced” as someone that didn’t buy or convert, because that may not be the case and isn’t an appropriate way to judge the success of your business website.