Heard about the shocking bounce rate, 90% or more? Some people really panic when they see it over 50%.
Most people in the world assume that if a bounce rate is over 50%, it is their fault, meaning their content or landing pages just aren’t performing the way they should.
Hey, Guess what? It’s not true or at-least it is not always true. There is nothing wrong with their content, yet many still have a high bounce rate.
Keeping a low bounce rate is vital in today’s optimisation. Most people don’t know what bounce rate means for conversions.
What bounce rate didn’t tell you?
Google considers a high bounce rate as an indication of low quality web pages.
A bounce rate is any session that triggers a single request to the analytics server.
If a user’s primary action is a site visit, arrives at the landing page, but doesn’t interact a second time within 30 minutes, it is a bounce.
A bounce rate is simply the percentage of single page visits. It is calculated using this formula:
Total number of visits viewing one page only
Bounce Rate = ——————————————————————– x 100
Total entries to the page
But, Google can’t provide you the difference between a good and a bad interaction.
Google only watches the interaction for 30 minutes.
If someone visits your website home page, closes it and stepped away there for 15 minutes, then spent some time checking their emails and after that revisited the website to click on another page, the first visit is still counted as a bounce.
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If a user is using multiple tabs, then it is also registered as bounce, because Google doesn’t know the difference.
If a user buys something using one tab but browses the website in another tab and is unengaged for 30 minutes, then its count as bounce.
But you get a conversion; Google doesn’t give credit for it because it happens in separate browser tabs.
Another issue, not all traffic sources are accurate.
Often Google lumps different types of traffic together under “Direct Traffic” – email traffic and referral traffic can be included in this
Google forces website owners to buy SSL Certificates as part of their ranking process. Many sites redirect from non-SSL HTTP to SSL HTTPS pages.
This must be taken as referral traffic, which wouldn’t count against the bounce rate because there is no real interaction on the HTTP site. It is taken as direct traffic and automatically penalises the site with a bounce.
This type of traffic misclassification really hurts bounce rate.
Timing and traffic sources also hurt you.
Google is not as intelligent as we think; it doesn’t know the difference between a good source of referral traffic that converts and a non-converting visitor who is browsing the website.
The good news is you can get Google to tell the truth about the bounce rate:
1. Track in-page events, not page views
Google must track both page events and page views to calculate the exact bounce rates.
Events – track how a visitor engages in the website. Suppose they watch a video, sign up to a newsletter or click a link, Google knows.
Events play a vital role because they let you count interactions that don’t involve other pages loading.
But events require custom code in the website to track.
How to set up an event?
Click Admin Dashboard in Google Analytics; Choose the “Goals” link under the “view” column.
Next, create a new goal and choose “Custom” option and then click “next step”
Then provide Title to your goal – easy to identify – finally select “Event” type
Click continue, you will find more options to customise the event.
Save your goal. This creates a unique event that you can track on the website.
Then insert the code (Google Analytics Code) on the website with the help of developers. Code varies depending on the platform you are using.
If you are really worried about the bounce rate, then creating events gives you much more accurate results of what visitors are doing on the website.
This notifies Google – an interaction took place, so the visit won’t be treated as a bounce.
2. Test your site speed
There are other things that you can check for that may be causing a high bounce rate. If your bounce rate is above 50%, then first you need to check your domain speed.
Use Google Page Speed Insights
As a general rule, the faster your website, the lower the bounce rate should be.
Research from Google shows, 53% of mobile ad clicks never results in page views – when the page loads in more than 3 seconds.
Another study shows a brand that moved their domain to a better top hosting service saw their bounce rate go from 50-60% down to 2-5% overnight.
In addition to this, they also saw other improvements on,
- Mobile user page views 132%
- Overall page views increased by 100%
- Average page viewed per session increased 113%
- Average page viewed by mobile users increased by 145%
Before the move they saw high bounce rate what they are known as Phantom Bounces, because the site didn’t load in time and visitors clicked away.
Google doesn’t know the difference between a standard bounce, and phantom bounce.
If you not sure why your bounce rate is too high, test your page speed.
You could just make a small adjustment to your loading page speed which might drop your bounce rate enough and then you don’t need to concentrate on complicated solutions
Google is smart, so instead of trying to figure out an algorithm lets focus on serving our website’s visitors the best we can.
First, set up event tracking. This informs you which elements are causing people to leave.
Test your website speed. It could be the reason for sure.
Finally, what changes have you made to your website, share your changes here and what results you achieved.