According to BrightEdge Research an estimated 52 percent of clicks on non-branded queries will go to the top 3 sites listed on the SERP. The higher your site ranks, the more clicks you will naturally receive. When Google ranks websites, they use their algorithm to try and identify the sites that best answer the needs of users. This means that they take into account engagement metrics, including a good (lower) bounce rate. This ranking factor assumes that sites with a low bounce rate do a better job of engaging readers and encouraging them to further interact with the content. When users engage with the site, Google assumes that this indicates they answer the user’s intent and needs.
Obtaining a good bounce rate involves a firm understanding of what Google measures when they discuss this factor, how bounce rates can differ between sites, and how you can improve your bounce rate. Here is what we want the BrightEdge community to understand about a good bounce rate.
What is bounce rate?
Google uses the term ‘bounce rate’ to describe single-page sessions on your website. This means that if someone starts at Google, clicks on your site, engages with the content on your page, but then clicks back to the SERPs or closes the window, they will be counted as a bounce and their buyer's journey ends there. Activity that does not involve clicking through to another page on your website or otherwise engaging with your domain counts as a bounce. The type of content you create, your industry, and even where the visitor originates before they land on your page will all influence your bounce rate.
What is a good bounce rate?
A good bounce rate can be a challenge to determine and it can vary widely between sites, and even pages within the same site.
Take, for example, blog sites. Blogs tend to have high bounce rates because their purpose generally consists of answering a specific question that people ask. If someone wants to learn about optimizing their site for the holiday season, for example, they might click on a blog post that professes to answer that question. That does not mean they ever had any intention of engaging further with brands that produce the content, they just wanted an answer to their question.
Similarly, pages that provide specific information, such as contact information pages, will generally see high bounce rates. People looking for this information often search Google for it, click on the page to find their answer, and then click off once they have satisfied their needs. These people want to contact the business, and now they have the means to do so. They have no reason to look elsewhere on the site.
Types of websites and their industry will also impact what can be classified as a good bounce rates. E-commerce sites, for example, will generally expect people to navigate through their website as they shop for particular products and compare their options. For this reason, these types of sites should aim for bounce rates that fall below 45 percent. Non-ecommerce types of websites should consider their bounce rates to be average to good if they fall below 60 percent.
Remember that certain pages on your site will have different bounce rates than other pages. Your blog and landing pages will have higher bounce rates than content that helps people travel the journey to understand your products and services.
Determining a good bounce rate for your particular site
Determining a good bounce rate for your site will involve taking into account all of the factors that will influence people’s levels of engagement, including the industry, type of page, and how people landed on your page. This metric will be highly individualized to your site.
Google Analytics offers helpful information about how other sites perform within these criteria. You can look at average bounce rates for other sites in your industry, for example, to gain a better idea of where your target goals should be for your site.
Track also where your site falls currently. Record your bounce rates for various types of pages including website pages, landing pages, and blog pages. This will give you a starting point that you can compare to as you begin to optimize your site further to obtain a good bounce rate.
Use the data from Google Analytics as well as the information specific to your website to create goal bounce rates. See where you have the most room for improvement by finding the pages that perform worst within specific categories of pages (so you compare blog pages to other blog pages, for example) and working to understand what separates them from the pages that perform best. To be confident your site is properly optimized and ensure a healthy bounce rate, check out this BrightEdge site audit checklist.
How do I earn a good bounce rate?
The key to improving your bounce rate lies in better understanding what customers want to see so that they engage with your content and feel interested in exploring your website further. If your bounce rate does not fall where you want it too, here are six ideas you can implement to improve it.
1. Make sure the page is well linked to the rest of the site
You want people to have easy access to relevant links that will help them move throughout the site. Including links to other pages that might interest your readers based on the content they are currently consuming. Content that gives more information about particular topics or offers them greater depth concerning this particular subject will all work well. Be sure to avoid linking to broken pages such as orphan pages.
2. Have a highly relevant CTA
Your CTA should tie in closely with the content your reader consumes. Links to gated content that offers more information about the topic at hand, for example, would be a good place to get started.
To take this strategy a step further, see if you can analyze where your readers pay the most attention on your site. If you see, for example, that people pay more attention to the top of your page, you can place your call to action higher on the page.
3. Maximize the user experience
You want to make an optimal user experience those who land on your website. This means that your site should be:
- Easy to navigate
- Relevant to their needs
- Easy to read
The material your visitors see should reflect what you know about them. If the visitor has visited the site before, offering content suggestions based on past interests can help. Clear navigation and site maps can guide people around the site. Content that aligns well with the query that brought people to the page and thus fills their needs will also benefit your bounce rate. Finally, using features such as headlines, bullets and lists all make the content easier to digest and understand, which makes it more engaging for your visitors.
4. Improve your page loading speed
Fifty-three percent of your site visitors on mobile will leave a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Such little engagement will make it difficult to rank well in the SERPs. You want to try to minimize your load times as much as possible.
To reduce load time, consider factors such as:
- The type of files you include on your site
- Whether you should compress files on your page
5. Make sure your page has been optimized for different audiences
6. Use engaging images and videos to drive engagement
Images and videos naturally increase engagement, which is why Facebook posts with images receive 2.3 times as many shares as those that do not. Adding relevant, optimized images that encourage people to fully engage with your content can also entice people to learn more about your brand, and help you achieve a good bounce rate.
Just remember as you add these visuals to ensure that they do not hurt your load time. Carefully consider the type of file to ensure it will not hurt a good bounce rate.
Convincing people to remain on your page and further engage with your site make a tremendous difference in the performance of your content. It will make Google look upon your site more favorably and it encourages an increasing number of people to enter your buyer’s journey. Gather data on the bounce rates you want to see for your content and consider how these tips can help you achieve a good bounce rate for your domain.