Bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors who enter the site and “bounce” (leave the site). A “bounce” occurs when a web site visitor only views a single page on a website (usually the homepage) and leaves the site without visiting any other pages before a specified session-timeout occurs. There is no standard minimum or maximum time by which a visitor must leave in order for a “bounce” to occur; it is determined by the analytics software being used by the site to track visitors.
A visitor may “bounce” by:
• Clicking on a link to a page on a different web site
• Closing an open window or tab
• Typing a new URL
• Clicking the “Back” button to leave the site
• Session timeout
A website’s bounce rate helps determines the effectiveness of an entry or landing page. An entry page with a low bounce rate means that the intended audience is finding the page and is compelled to click to other pages of the site. A high bounce rate means that the wrong visitor is being directed to the landing page and doesn’t find the site to be relevant to their search query.
However, a high bounce rate isn’t always a signal of a poorly performing website. On sites where the page’s objective can be met without viewing more than one page, such as encouraging the visitor to call a specific phone number, the bounce rate would not be as meaningful for measuring success.