What is Bounce Rate? And Why is it Important?

If you currently own a blog, you know how distracting stats can be. When I first started out, I probably spent at least 30 minutes a day checking how many visitors I had, did I get any new subscribers, how long does the average person stick around on my site, what country do I appeal to most, which page did most of my visitors come from….. etc etc..

If you really dig into it, you could probably find hundreds of different measuring tools for your site! I would say that most of them are completely unimportant, and that if you only focused on a handful of the stats, your site would still see a ton of growth.

What Is Bounce Rate?

Today, let’s focus on bounce rate. First of all, what is it? In general terms, it basically tells you what percentage of visitors left your site after only visiting one page. This doesn’t quite tell the whole story though. Let’s dig in a little further. In what ways could they be leaving your site?

  • They closed their browser
  • They hit the “Back” button on their browser
  • They typed in a new URL on their browser
  • They clicked on one of your external links
  • They clicked on one of your ads

So, if your visitor decided to either close their browser, hit the “Back” button, or put in a new URL, that’s obviously not good news for your site. But, if they clicked on one of your external links, that’s not necessarily a bad thing – that just means that they were also interested in some related content that you purposely put there. And, it’s obviously a good thing if your visitor are clicking on your ads – that’s the lifeblood of your blog!

So Which Is It?

Are your ad clicks going up along with your bounce rate? If so, I wouldn’t pay too much attention to it. Your revenue is up and your ads must be closely related to your content. Good job! However, if you have recently seen your clicks go down on your ads and had an increase in your bounce rate, your site is in big trouble and you’d better figure out the problem before things get worse.

Why do I say that you’re in big trouble? The answer is simple. If people are leaving your site after one click (and it isn’t due to ad clicks), then you can be pretty confident that they aren’t going to return to your site unless it’s by accident. With fewer people returning to your site, you’re pretty much guaranteed to see a decline in overall visitor numbers in the near future.

What Can You Do?

If I were you, I’d take a honest look at my site design. Does it look well put together? Or do you just have a bunch of options and tabs on the page that look like a jumbled mess? If it’s the latter, I wouldn’t stick around on your site either. Take some time to organize your site and give it a professional look. Sites that appear crisp and clean more quickly earn the respect of your visitors.

The other issue may be your content. If you have spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or if your writing just doesn’t flow well, this could easily be the cause of a departure as well. Take a good hard look at your content and make sure it’s top notch.

If you can develop a great looking site with kick-butt content, then you should quickly see your bounce rate decrease in the near future.

What’s your bounce rate? Has it increased recently? Why do you think that is?

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2 Responses to What is Bounce Rate? And Why is it Important?

  1. My bounce rate has hover in the 60 percent range. Luckily I will be getting my site redesigned by Andrea at nuts and bolts media at the end of the month and hopefully that helps!

    • Derek says:

      60 percent isn’t too bad actually. I have seen mine inflate as my SEO has improved, which just happens sometimes. The more strangers that pass by your site, the more your bounce rate will be naturally. I have noticed that much of the clicks are going toward my Adsense ads though, so I’m not overly disappointed with that. 😉