Is A High Bounce Rate Good Or Bad?

September 7, 2011
Topic: Blog

Many business owners, internet managers and webmasters will look at their Google Analytics data and wonder, is a High Bounce Rate Bad for their website rankings.  In this post we can take a look at the bounce rate and what factors help you measure a bad high bounce rate from a high bounce rate that shouldn’t be a concern.

With Google’s Panda Update many people are taking a better look at their website content and the overall quality of their website.  Ultimately we all want the best website conversion rates possible on our websites.  So it helps to have engaging content, quality content and valuable content.  This is something we constantly strive for at the Top Marketing Agency, “After-all Content Is King”.

Let’s take a quick look at the basics: Is a high bounce rate bad?

While there are several variations in how you define the bounce rate, ultimately a website bounce is when a website visitor views one page and then leaves the website.  However, assuming the bounce is automatically bad would not be accurate.  Sometimes a bounce results due to the page answering their questions, giving them the information they needed or giving them the opportunity to contact your company directly.  So in theory a bounce can be a good thing and could mean that your website is doing a great job.

Here is an example of success with a High Bounce Rate:  We manage many websites for our clients and over the years we have redesigned many websites with better call to action and better customer engagement.  One example in particular is with a website we manage for an Auto Service Shop who before our redesign had a 7 year old website.  The old website was easy to navigate and did an okay job for several years but it was very plane and lacked engaging content, call to action, appointment request forms, comment forms, etc..  We redesigned the website, added tons of quality unique content and we added great call to action with customized forms.  After the redesign was complete the bounce rate increased from 51% on the old site to 61% on the new redesigned website.  And even though the bounce rate increased from 51% to 61%, our clients leads increased by over 30%.  They went from not receiving any email leads on their old website to receiving multiple email leads daily on the redesigned site, they received more phone calls from the new website too.  For this customer the 10% increase in bounce rate was specifically due to the the quality of the website, the added content and the call to action.

Let’s take a look at some actual bounce rate numbers.  Here are some statistics from my website analytics showing a few high bounce rate pages:

As you can see the 100% Bounce Rate is really high.  And if you were to judge a website by just the bounce rate you may consider optimizing these pages better, changing the content or even deleting the pages.  However, if you look at the Average Time on the page, you will see the average visitor spent a good amount of time on each page. And because the visitors are reading the pages, there is some value to the pages.

Let’s take a look at another example of pages:

As you can see on the above pages, the bounce rate is high and the visitors to these pages are not staying on the page for any long duration.  In fact, they are leaving immediately when they arrive to the page.  From a search engine’s perspective this could be a bad signal, so these pages are ideal for re-optimizing, updating, adding content or deleting.  If you need help with your monitoring your bounce rate or website conversion contact us now for a free website analysis.

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