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Bounce Rate: Definition, Importance In SEO and Best Practices For 2022

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SEO is necessary for the success of your website or blog.

It’s very expansive and can be challenging to master.

Learning all the terms and how they apply to SEO takes time, but it’s gratifying.

One of those terms is bounce rate.

You need to understand your website’s traffic flow to optimize the customer journey.

Helping your bounce rate can help your search engine optimization.

What Is a Bounce Rate?

A bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave your website after looking at one page.

For example, if someone clicks a link to your website, then back out immediately, which is a bounce.

Difference Between Bounce Rate and Exit Rate

A bounce rate is very different from an exit rate, although interconnected.

An exit is when someone exits a website from a page.

A bounce is when a person visits a single website page and then leaves.

The bounce happens on a single page, but your visitors can visit any number of pages before leaving.

Thus exit rate indicates less engagement than the bounce rate.

When it comes to bounce rates vs. exit rates, they are both important KPIs for SEO.

How Does a Bounce Rate Work?

A bounce rate can be a good indicator of engagement on your website, depending on your industry.

The goal is to get it as low as you can, but bounce rates vary by your type of website and industry.

So you should research what’s a reasonable bounce rate for you.

SEO for WordPress sites rarely includes the bounce rate.

Most websites are blogs or other informational sites.

What Is the Purpose of a Bounce Rate?

A bounce rate measures the number of people who leave your website after only looking at one page.

It’s not bad, as it may mean your customers can find what they need immediately.

WordPress SEO often has high bounce rates for that very reason.

Users find what they need and then leave.

Websites that focus on conversions, like eCommerce, want low bounce rates.

Different Types of Bounce Rates

There are several types of bounce rates.

You can differentiate them by how long the consumers stay on the page.

  • Hard Bounce: These people come to your website. Then leave immediately after realizing it’s not what they wanted.
  • Medium Bounce: This bounce is where consumers aren’t confident about having the right website. They stay a bit longer, around five to ten seconds, to see if the website has what they need.
  • Soft Bounce: These people have the right website, find the information, then leave. They spend a couple of minutes engaging with the page and then leave satisfied.

Example of a Bounce Rate

Bounce rates can be fickle due to consumer mistakes and technical errors, such as in this bounce rate case study.

At the end of the day, you want them to be low, but low bounce rates mean a technical error is causing them.

Do Bounce Rates Affect SEO?

In previous years, the bounce rate was essential for content engagement.

But now, bounce rate matters less than other engagement factors like dwell time which measures how long each user is on a page.

In fact, the GA4 bounce rate is getting dropped altogether.

Why Is a Bounce Rate Important for SEO?

While the bounce rate doesn’t affect SEO, it’s still an essential indicator for relevant content and consumer engagement.

It can help you discover when and where to place content, inform you of pain points on your customer journey, and help you improve the UX of your website.

Working on the bounce rate for high-ranking pages can improve your on-page SEO and increase site engagement.

Is Optimizing Bounce Rates Necessary?

Yes, you can not look at the bounce rate in your analytics.

Bounce rates are a significant KPI of customer engagement.

It depends on your industry.

Ecommerce sites want to keep bounce rates as low as possible, so they must optimize and track them.

How Long Does it Take for a Bounce Rate Optimization to Work?

Once you’ve put the best practices into place, you should begin to see results immediately.

Bounce rates should go down as users come in and start interacting with your content.

If you do not see the desired results, you should test design elements to see what works for you.

Process of Tracking Bounce Rates

You should first sign up for an analytic service, or you can try and track your bounce rate yourself.

  • Sign Up for Analytic Tracking
  • Calculate Bounce Rate

How To Track Bounce Rates

You can try and keep track of the bounce rate yourself or sign up for an analytic service that gathers, organizes, and tracks the data.

It’s up to you, but analytical services usually keep track of tons of other data and are the best way to gather data for your website.

Ensure you sign up for a service that offers bounce rate calculation and data gathering.

Sign up for Analytic tracking

We’ve listed some of our favorites below, but any SEO data tracking service will do, as long as they offer bounce rates.

Even if they don’t, you can customize the service to see numbers and calculations you usually can’t.

Calculate the Bounce Rate

If you want to calculate the bounce rate yourself or need to set up the calculation on software, you need to know the formula to get the bounce rate.

Take the number of one-page sessions by the total sessions, then express that number as a percentage.

For example, your number of bounces is 340, and the total number of sessions is 550.

The best way to express this is to round up to 0.62 and move the decimal right two places, so your bounce rate would be 62%.

Bounce Rate Best Practices

Now that you understand the bounce rate, why it’s essential, and how it’s calculated, you can start optimizing.

Optimizing your bounce rate means improving your website for UX and customer engagement.

So if you’re wondering how to improve SEO, you can use these best practices to help.

Create Relevant Content

While bounce rate may not be the number one KPI for relevant content anymore, it’s still important to see if your content resonates with people.

You want to ensure you’re putting the right keywords into your content and matching the search intent of those using the keywords.

If you optimize your page for keywords on lawnmowers, but the page is about a lawn mowing service, people will bounce fast.

They’re looking for information about lawnmowers.

So you should ensure the keywords match those looking for information and content search intent.

Optimize Pagespeed

Your website’s loading speed and bounce rate are directly connected.

If your page speed is slow, users will click away without ever seeing the content, but it still counts as visiting, making them bounce.

Optimize your page speed so this doesn’t happen to you.

Optimizing page speed is also an essential aspect of SEO, so you should take your time to ensure fast loading on various devices.

Sound Design and Great Navigation

You can write the secrets to life on your website, and if the design is ugly or the menus are hard to navigate, users will still bounce.

Design is one of the first things users look at when trusting a website, so you should take time to elevate it to the next level.

Don’t just shoot for good design.

Go for a fantastic design.

Navigation on your website should be easy, fast, and intuitive.

Not only does it help UX, but it also decreases bounce as it makes it easy for users to explore your website and convert.

Use Exit Pop-ups

Pop-ups when users first get to the website are a terrible idea.

Instead, you should place pop-ups when they’re leaving.

You have nothing to lose, and a small subscribing box can help them take that next step.

You can also place extra content in the pop-ups, like a free checklist, pdf, or guidebook.

It’s not always easy, but putting content relevant to the content on the page they just read can increase conversion immensely.

Bounce Rate Tools to Save Time and Money

Website analytic tools can calculate and track bounce rates and other relevant SEO data.

Helpful in optimizing their website for SEO.

What Is a Bounce Rate Tool?

A bounce rate tool mostly means using analytic software that calculates and tracks it automatically.

You can create the function inside the software easily enough.

Many tools come with bounce rate tracking, so you can start seeing your numbers as soon as you get them.

Our Favorite Bounce Rate Tools

Here are our favorite analytic tools that you can use to track your bounce rate and other factors related to SEO and UX on your website.

1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the gold standard for people tracking their website’s numbers, and it’s free.

Unfortunately, the new Google Analytics 4 does not automatically track bounce rates and show them to you.

You can still set up the function separately and see the bounce rate, so there are just a couple extra steps.

Ultimately, it’s one of the best tools for visiting and tracking important KPIs on your website.

2. Zoho Analytics

Zoho Analytics is self-service analytic software that pools data from several different sources.

Then express it in beautiful graphs and visual data.

The number one selling point of this software is integration.

You can connect to several other services, tracking your financial and business data.

3. Google Search Console

Google Search Console isn’t just analytic software.

You can improve your website’s ranking and get tips for creating relevant content.

Type in your website domain and verify it’s yours.

Then you can access all the tools Google offers to optimize your website.

Other SEO-Related Terms to Know

  • A/B Testing: If you’re unsure what elements you need to change to improve your bounce rate, it’s time for some A/B testing. It’s essentially changing a page component to precisely see what affects the bounce rate.
  • Topical Relevance: Topical relevance means content that matches what the users want. It’s relevant to the other content on your website and matches users’ search intent so they can get the information they need.
  • SEO Writing: This is SEO writing. Writing for SEO means incorporating keywords in articles. At the same time, presenting important information for readers like you.

Frequently Asked Questions

So you know a little bit more about bounce rates, but you still have questions, like what is a reasonable bounce rate to have?

Is a 5% bounce rate good?

No.

While you want to get your bounce rate as low as possible, 5% is unrealistic, meaning you probably have a technical glitch that artificially lowers the rate.

Since the glitch affects the numbers, you can’t see your actual bounce rate.

You should probably fix it to see your bounce rate and whether it’s good.

Is an 80% bounce rate good?

This bounce rate is suitable for blogs, dictionaries, and news sites.

For Ecommerce, this is horrible.

Check your industry to see what an average bounce rate is.

Wrapping Up

Bounce rates are great for gauging customer engagement.

Optimizing it can lead to better UX and more conversions.

So you should do your best to cut your bounce rate with good practices.

You can calculate the rate yourself or use an analytic tool to track and calculate it for you.

Abnormally low or high bounce rates mean there’s likely a technical error.

A reasonable bounce rate depends on your industry and website type.

Ultimately, whether your bounce rate is an important KPI to track is up to you.

Visitors only visiting a single page before leaving is unimportant for many websites.

But following this metric is critical if you’re in an industry where conversions are essential.

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