The two types of bouncers on your web site

On most of the blogs I own, I have a high bounce rate, between 80 and 90%.

I recently wondered – is it OK to have such a high bounce rate?

I’ll give you below what the general theory says, and then I’ll suggest how I view things.

Erik Schepers - Bounce UP!, https://flic.kr/p/pvUYGb
Erik Schepers – Bounce UP!, https://flic.kr/p/pvUYGb

Regarding the high bounce rate, some people just accept the problem, they think it’s normal to have a high bounce rate:

In fact, some sites receive a high bounce rate that Google considers normal. Here are the averages of bounce rates across difference types of websites and web pages that Google has learned to view as normal:

  • Landing Page | Average bounce rate is 70 to 90 percent.
  • Blogs | Average bounce rate is 70 to 98 percent (what the what?!).
  • Content Websites | Average bounce rate is is 40 to 60 percent.

What Is Bounce Rate, Is It Important, and How Do You Lower It? | Elegant Themes Blog

Official Google Analytics explanations:

  • Single page site
  • Incorrect implementation
  • Site design
  • User behavior

Bounce Rate – Analytics Help

Others suggest a technical solution to the problem, by considering the people who spend 30 seconds reading a text as non-bouncers:

Just paste the following code before the tag of your site, or tell your developers to do it.

setTimeout(function(){_gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ‘Control’, ‘Bounce Rate’, ”])},Time in milliseconds)

All you need to do is just replace Time in milliseconds for your desired timeout, for example 30000 (30 seconds). They won’t be bounces anymore!
Trick to solve High Bounce Rate of Google Analytics in a One Page Site | Around Analytics

I’ve also read a suggestion to split long posts into several blocks (an idea I don’t agree with, based on what I wrote here: Scrolling is better than clicking – OlivianBreda.com).

So, how do I suggest to look at the bounce rate? I’d advise you to consider two different types of bouncing:

  • Scenario #1: A person goes on Google, searches for terms on issues which you write about, goes to your web site, is completely satisfied, and never goes back to Google. The article was so good, that no additional searches need to be done. When they see you brand again in online, they click on it, because the first time you produced a good result. From time to time, they link to you. They subscribe to the social networks you are present in, and join your newsletter.
  • Scenario #2: A person goes on Google, finds your web site, clicks on it, and it is unpleasantly surprised to see something about your article – it is not on topic, it is not a good quality, it is not a good match to what the person looked for, or, while a good match, it is not the content they are looking for (see the photo below, with details and video, from Moz.com, on the matter). They bounce back, go back to Google and do another search. They avoid your site in the future, they almost never link to you. They avoid any subscription, either on social networks, or newsletters.

See the difference between the two scenarios? In both cases, you see in Analytics that the bounce rate is high. But you should also look at:

  • (important) How many people who bounce go from your page back to Google, and how many exit the page, happy with what they found? So, how many leave because they’re happy, or leave because they’re unhappy. (solution for measuring this »)
  • Click through rate whenever you post a link online. (100 people see the link, 10 click on it)
  • Returning visitors to your web site (how much people come back to your site?)
  • Direct traffic percentage (although some of this traffic is actually, still, Google searches), people who like your site so much, that they come to your web site by directly typing your address.
  • Newsletter/RSS signup ratio (how many people, after visiting your web site, subscribe to your news).
  • Social networks velocity and interactions (how many new people follow you; do they engage with you)?
  • Number of comments, although this is a tricky one, some types of content tend to attract more comments than others.
  • Social shares / links / email recommended links to your web site (do people like your content so much, that they share it with others?)

Not all of the above can be easily measured, but it’s important to make the difference between the two types of bouncers on your site. You’ll want to have the good kind, of people who, although they bounce, they do this being happy with what they found, and eager to come back for more and recommend you to others.

Google can measure some of the things above. Google sees if a person finds your web site, and closes the page only to look further for information, unsatisfied with the result. It also measures other things in the list, also.

Sursa: https://moz.com/blog/links-built-arent-helping-page-rank-higher-whiteboard-friday
Source: https://moz.com/blog/links-built-arent-helping-page-rank-higher-whiteboard-friday

Two videos on quality content:

And some resources:
What Kind of Content Gets Links in 2012? – Moz
Why Content Goes Viral: the Theory and Proof – Moz

Or it might not match expectations of searchers. This is distinct and different from searchers’ questions. So searchers’ questions is, “I want to know how artificial sweeteners might affect me.” Expectations might be, “I expect to learn this kind of information. I expect to find out these things.” For example, if you go down a rabbit hole of artificial sweeteners will make your skin shiny, they’re like, “Well, that doesn’t meet with my expectation. I don’t think that’s right.” Even if you have some data around that, that’s not what they were expecting to find. They might bounce back. (Why the Links You’ve Built Aren’t Helping Your Page Rank Higher – Whiteboard Friday – Moz)

Also, on quality:

And an infographic (via How to Decrease Your Bounce Rate):
bouncerate-infographic


Note: Also see the Yahoo! Group on which I present similar issues:IMRo. To join, email imro-subscribe@yahoogroups.com and reply to the confirmation email.

I am a Freelancer. My expertise is in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) / UX (user experience) / WordPress. Co-founder of lumeaseoppc.ro (series of events on SEO & PPC) and cetd.ro (Book on branding for MDs). On a personal level, I like self-development - events, sports, healthy living, volunteering, reading. I live in London, and lots of things live in me.

2 Comments

  • Adrian

    27 May 2015 - 14:43

    Interesting article. I was fighting in different ways to reduce the bounce rate for one of my sites. The main issue I have is that the info on the site on each page is limited meaning that I have the definition of a hashtag. The reader will get to the page read the definition and leave which may be in under 30 seconds even when they’ve got what they were coming for. As you said before, the bounce rate varies very much with the type of site, the content posted and type of users so there cannot be a “one measure fits all” bounce rate benchmark.

  • Olivian Breda

    27 May 2015 - 14:48

    Thank you for your observations, Adrian! :)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.