What is Bounce Rate? All You Need to Know About Bounce Rate Do’s and Don’ts

Kaushal Thakkar is the Founder and MD of Infidigit. He has developed award-winning search strategies for various organizations, ranging from large enterprise and e-commerce websites to small and medium-sized businesses. Before Infidigit, he was leading digital marketing, product, and eCommerce initiatives at Myntra (a Walmart Company), Times Group, ICICI Group, Tata Group. Being an engineer and product manager in his earlier days, he loves to hack growth for websites via technical SEO strategies. He is a speaker at various forums and a Pro bono guest lecturer on Organic Search, Digital Marketing, Analytics & eCommerce. In X @

What is Bounce Rate? All You Need to Know About Bounce Rate Do’s and Don’ts

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    What is Bounce Rate

    Bounce Rate can be referred to as the percentage of visitors that leave a website without taking any action, such as clicking on links, filling a form, subscribing to a newsletter, or making a transaction. The website bounce rate increases when visitors come to your site and leave almost immediately, without further interaction. To check your bounce rate, Google Analytics displays the percentage of site visitors that “bounced off” the site.

    Google Analytics for SEO defines visitor interaction as visiting at least one additional page.

    The bounce rate mentioned on your site overview report on Analytics is the website bounce rate collectively, the average of bounces across all the pages divided by the total number of visitors across all pages in the same time period.

    One can also find the bounce rate of a single Web page, a segment, or a particular section of the website.

    Is Bounce Rate a Ranking Factor? 

    There is no direct evidence that Google uses bounce rate as a ranking factor. However, there are a few reasons why bounce rate may indirectly affect rankings:

    • User experience: A high bounce rate can indicate a poor user experience, negatively impacting rankings as Google’s algorithm backs websites that offer a smooth user experience.
    • Dwell time: It is the time users spend on a website, which is often correlated with bounce rate. A longer dwell time can positively affect rankings as it signals to Google that users are engaged with the content.
    • Pogo-sticking: Pogo-Sticking It occurs when a user quickly returns to the search results after clicking on a website. This behavior can indicate that the website did not provide the information the user sought, which can result in a lower ranking.

    Bounce Rate Vs. Exit Rate 

    The bounce rate and exit rate are almost identical to one another. Bounce rate is the percentage of users that land on a page and leave without visiting anything else on a particular website. Conversely, the exit rate describes the percentage of users who click and move to a different website from a particular page after visiting several website pages.

    Example of bounce rate: A user visits a website and just a few moments later presses the back button of the browser. This will be considered as a bounce. The bounce rate is calculated by determining the total number of bounces on the website divided by the total number of entries on a site.

    Example of exit rate: A user visits Page X from a website. Then, they further click over to Page Y, and after studying the information, they close their browser. This will not be viewed as a bounce for Page X as the user moves further ahead from the page. It will be considered as an exit for Page Y and will impact the exit rate of Page Y.

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    How to Check Bounce Rate in Google Analytics?

    Knowing the overall bounce rate for your website is relatively easy. You can analyze your bounce rate on Google Analytics. To do this, go to your Google Analytics account, click on ‘Audience’, and then visit ‘Overview’. The result would be a graph depicting the overall bounce rate for your website.

    One website will have more than one bounce rate since each page on your website is tracked individually. You can easily evaluate the performance of individual pages on your website by analyzing their bounce rates.

    Why do we need to track bounce rates in Google Analytics?

    Bounce rates are crucial because they reflect whether your page content is relevant or not, or if it is attracting the visitors to take any action or not. A high bounce rate implies that the visitors are only coming to your website and not clicking on anything. They are even ignoring your Call To Action or CTA, which means that you are losing out on conversions.

    Thereafter, you can make optimizations to your website and deploy marketing strategies based on how the visitors are behaving after visiting your web pages. Tracking bounce rates can also help you know the impact of your active marketing campaigns and analyze whether they are converting the traffic or not. 

    Do high bounce rates affect websites?

    The answer to this question depends upon the type of website that you have. If you have a website that requires visitors to visit more than one page and take some actions, then a high bounce can be detrimental to your website’s success. However, if you have a single-page website that does not require the visitors to take any action, a high bounce rate should not matter much.

    Reason people bounce from your site 

    Now that we know what bounce rate means, let’s take a look at the reasons why visitors are bouncing off of your website without interacting.

    • UX Issues

    If you have read the new update for Google’s page experience and UX rolling out in 2021, you will understand the importance of providing visitors with a memorable user experience. One of the important metrics for site rankings depends on the overall user experience that a site provides to a visitor. This means you have to pay attention to aesthetics, navigation speed, load time, quality content, and adherence to accessibility guidelines.

    • Sufficient Content on the Said Page

    Visitors can bounce from your page if the page they arrived at provides them with all the information they need. For example, a visitor diverted from a third-party site and arriving at a resourceful blog may find adequate information and be not interested in browsing through the site more than that. Such bounces cannot be helped much, but internal linking may coax them to visit another page.

    • Technical Errors

    Technical errors such as 404, 303, bugs, and others where the domain can temporarily not be reached or access have been denied to a visitor due to an SSL error can increase the bounce rate.

    • Bad Content Quality

    Arriving at a page only to find that the content is sub-par and not good enough to be perused further is one of the biggest reasons visitors leave as soon as they arrive at a page.

    • Misleading Titles and Descriptions

    The bounce rate of your website is impacted by three elements – meta title, meta description, and body content. If these elements are not aligned, your website will experience a high bounce rate.

    Let’s assume you wrote a blog on ‘What is Bounce Rate’ but the meta title and the meta description highlight ‘Bouncy Castles’. This is not only misleading but might also confuse audiences who end up on the page only to discover something entirely different from what they were expecting. If this is an honest mistake, you can fix it by changing the meta tags or the body content. 

    Sometimes, Google can change the meta description for your page. If you find a disparity between the description for your page and the on-page content, make sure you fix it immediately.

    • Unqualified Visitors

    Getting traffic on your website is not rocket science. Theoretically, if you have enough affiliates, a half-decent advertising budget, and a pleasant landing page – you should get traffic. The metric that moves the needle is conversion. And, unfortunately, traffic is not equal to conversions.

    Before you start bringing prospective customers to your page with ads, affiliate links, or other means of communication, make sure you qualify them. Otherwise, your pages will have a disproportionate gap between the number of visitors and the conversions. 

    The underlying problem would be people visiting the page but not taking the relevant action because you attracted the wrong leads in the first place.

    • The Page is Not Optimized for Mobile Experience

    A large percentage of your traffic comes from people using smartphones. Often, users searching on their phones have a stronger intent of purchase. But you can benefit from this source of traffic only when your webpage is optimized for mobile browsing. 

    Responsive web design templates are a good solution to this problem. They save time and often help in delivering a robust mobile experience. However, you cannot blindly rely on these templates. Sometimes, despite a responsive web design template in place, the web page will not load as expected when a smartphone user visits. This is because the page is not optimized for a mobile experience. It leads to UI anomalies like information getting lost in the design and difficulty in navigation. 

    An easy way to solve this problem is by testing your UI frequently and checking what the user experience is like when accessed from a mobile device. You can use this tool developed by Google to verify how your webpage works for a mobile user.

    What is a Good Bounce Rate 

    Ideally, any number below 40% means that your website has a  good bounce rate. A bounce rate of 40-55% is an okay score, while 55-65% needs improvement. Any figure above 80% is an unacceptable rate and could point towards an installation or tracking code error.

    Many different factors can help determine what a good bounce rate means.

    For example, Brafton’s research shows that the average bounce rate is 58.18%. The said research also mentions that bounce rates are higher for B2B businesses as compared to B2C businesses.

    If you’re not sure regarding the bounce rate you should be aiming for your website, Google Analytics is an effective tool that can help you figure it out.

    What is the “Average” Bounce Rate? 

    The “average” bounce rate can vary widely depending on the industry, website type, and page content. According to a study by SEMrush, the average bounce rate for e-commerce sites is 20-45%, while the average for content sites is 35-60%. However, these numbers can fluctuate based on factors such as the quality of the traffic, the audience demographics, and the specific goals of the website.

    In addition, Google Analytics provides benchmark data for various industries and device categories. For example, the benchmark for the bounce rate of desktop traffic is 45%. However, these benchmarks do not necessarily indicate an ideal bounce rate as they are based on aggregated data from various websites.

    Ultimately, the ideal bounce rate depends on the website goal and the specific pages being analyzed. For example, a landing page with a form submission as the goal may have a higher bounce rate than a product page, as visitors may only be interested in learning about the product before navigating to other aspects of the site. Analyzing the bounce rate alone isn’t enough to determine website performance. It is essential to consider other metrics such as time on page, conversion, and exit rate.

    How To Create A Bounce Rate Benchmark?

    To figure out the appropriate bounce rate for your website, you have to set up benchmarking on Google Analytics. Google Analytics illustrates through visualization the average bounce rate for what it perceives to be your industry by using its benchmarking techniques.

    Go to the admin section, click on “Account Settings” and then the “Benchmarking” box.

    This will help you compare industry averages.

    Next, navigate to the site’s behavior reports. Go to “Site Content” and then “Landing Pages.” Once you click on Landing Pages, the average will pop up along with the site-wide bounce rate.

    How to Reduce Bounce Rate

    • Improve Page Load Time

    The first thing to pay attention to is the user experience you provide, which means being aware of the page load time. Optimising the website speed will lead to a smoother browsing experience for the user, which along with good content, will help you retain them.

    • Content Needs To Be Readable

    Content plays a pivotal role in reducing the bounce rate of a website. If you provide valuable and well-structured content backed up with correct sources, infographics, images and visuals, the visitor will surely have more reasons to stick around. Employ the help of SEO services to curate stellar content for the site if you need it.

    • Optimize For Mobile

    Mobile optimization of a website is also essential since your audience would like to access your site on-the-go. Most people view websites on their smartphones these days, whether or not they are at home. 

    • Good Site Navigation

    The layout of your site and the navigation adds to the user experience. Ensure that your website consists of a simple, compact and smooth navigational experience for the visitors, on desktop or mobile. Also, optimizing your website navigation as per accessibility guidelines will help you reduce the bounce rate.

    • Avoid Pop-Ups

    Pop-ups are a big no, as they create distractions and can be irritating to visitors.

    • Good CTA

    A good call to action (CTA) statement will encourage visitors to perform the next action, such as subscribing for or purchasing your services.

    • Create a Better Internal Linking Structure

    Internal linking is a simple strategy that can yield almost unbelievable results. The idea is relatively straightforward – link the keywords, phrases, and CTAs on your pages with other pages on your website.

    First and foremost – interlinking expands the performance of your best web pages. Let’s assume you wrote a great piece on ‘how to blog for your target audience’. If you have not used any internal linking measures, a visitor will come, read the blog, and leave. With an internal link, the same visitor will have the opportunity to read more or learn more. And since they have already found your content interesting, there is a high probability they’ll explore further. This improves the performance of other pages.

    The same strategy works well for solving specific customer queries. For instance, assume that you run a very niche website that uses industry terminologies and jargon, which is difficult to understand for consumers. To counter this, you have dedicated pages explaining such jargon. You can interlink the technical terms to the pages explaining them every time you mention them. This has an added benefit – whenever someone searches a straightforward query seeking a definition for the term, there is a high chance your definition page’s featured snippet will be showcased on the SERP. 

    It can also help in retaining different categories of traffic. For instance, most blog readers might not be ready to buy your product. But they might be ideal to be nudged further into your conversion funnel. A well-executed interlinking strategy can help you achieve this. 

    • Include Images & Videos

    Images and videos make the information on the page digestible. Case in point – what would you prefer, a 2-minute video on how to change tires or a 1,200-word blog post on how to do the same thing?

    Even if you are not using images and videos to replace the text or simplify the navigation, you can use them for establishing the right context. 

    • Write an Appealing Introduction

    our introduction should engage the users to read further by iterating the problem, managing the expectations, and giving them a reason to read further. 

    • Embed Youtube Videos 

    Embedding Youtube videos on your website page is one of the best ways of reducing the bounce rate of your site. Many studies suggest that the average time spent on a web page by a visitor doubles when you add videos to your page. Videos serve as an easy way to acquire information and have a higher engagement as compared to the text. Therefore, to lower your bounce rate score, you must embed Youtube videos on your page.

    • Use Heatmap Data to Improve Landing Pages 

    Another effective way to increase the time spent by visitors on your website is by using a heatmap. Heatmaps are tools that help track the activity of users on your website. They work by adding a small piece of javascript to your website, which helps you see how people click, scroll, and read the content of your page. 

    There are numerous heatmap tools available on the internet, such as CrazyEgg, Hotjar, etc. Heatmaps help lower bounce rates and make the needed modifications to your website. 

    • Use a Table of Contents 

    When a user wants to stick to your page and move away only after obtaining the information they are looking for can be considered a good bounce rate. To acquire a good bounce rate, you can use the table of contents on your website. Suppose you uploaded a blog informing about different types of speakers on your website.  However, due to the extensive blog length, users are bouncing away without finding the needed information. In such a case, if the table of contents is available, users can find the information they are searching for quickly. This invariably reduces the bounce rate of your page, leading to a higher user time on your web page.

    Bounce Rates: An Important Metric For UX 

    The bounce rate is a good analytical metric to factor in while trying to boost your site traffic, interactions, and the conversion rates. By keeping bounce rates at a minimum, you can help your brand gain greater recognition and improve search engine result pages (SERP) ratings by coming off as a reliable and note-worthy website. We hope our article helped you understand what to avoid and what to work on to reduce your bounce rates.

    Difference between Bounce Rate in Google Analytics: UA & GA4 

    • Definition: In UA, the bounce rate is calculated as the percentage of single-page sessions where the user left without interaction. In GA4, the bounce rate calculation is based on the percentage of sessions with only one engagement hit.
    • Engagement hits: In GA4, an engagement hit is defined as any interaction with the site, including page views, screen views, events, and e-commerce transactions. That means if a user lands on a page and interacts with any of these elements, it will not be considered a bounce, even if they leave the site immediately after.
    • Event-based measurement: In GA4, event-based measurement is the default tracking method. That means Google Analytics tracks every interaction with the site as an event. It allows for a more granular understanding of user behavior and engagement. However, it also means that the bounce rate can be more difficult to interpret since a user may interact with the site without triggering a pageview.
    • Cross-domain tracking: In UA, cross-domain monitoring requires specific implementation through linking and auto-linking. GA4 enables cross-domain tracking automatically via the global site tag, simplifying implementation. However, it also means that visits from multiple domains can affect the bounce rate.
    • User-ID tracking: UA allows optional user-ID tracking to track user behavior across multiple devices and sessions. In GA4, tracking all user activity across devices is mandatory to gain visibility into sessions potentially affecting the bounce rate if users interact on one device and leave without further action on another.
    • Machine Learning: GA4 incorporates machine learning into its tracking and reporting, which can impact how the bounce rate is calculated and reported. Machine learning algorithms determine which engagement hits are most crucial and predict user behavior, which means that the bounce rate may be more accurate in GA4 than in UA.


    Bounce rate is a crucial metric providing valuable insights into website performance and user behavior. It is not a direct ranking factor but can indirectly impact search engine visibility and user engagement. High bounce rates can indicate poor user experience, irrelevant content, or technical issues on the website. To avoid high bounce rates, website owners and marketers should focus on website design and user experience, bettering website speed and mobile responsiveness, and ensuring accurate tracking and measurement with tools like Google Analytics.

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    What is Bounce Rate? All You Need to Know About Bounce Rate Do’s and Don’ts