What Is Bounce Rate?
Whether we’re shopping online, hunting for a service provider or trying to get our questions answered, first impressions of a website really do count. Thankfully, there’s a way of measuring how well your site is performing in this regard: bounce rate. This handy percentage figure tells you what proportion of website visitors leave before exploring more than a single page.
Numerous studies suggest that our attention spans are shorter than ever – so websites really have to grab our attention if we’re to stay for longer than a handful of seconds!
Why are bounce rates so important?
Bounce rates are a great indicator of how engaging your site is. The lower your bounce rate, the more visitors are hanging around to learn more about your business – just what you’re looking for.
It’s all well and good getting your page to the top of Google’s search results pages, but if your site isn’t appealing when people click through, they’ll soon jump ship and take their business elsewhere. Sites with lower bounce rates are much more likely to generate conversions – be it sales, sign-ups or contact form entries.
What is a good bounce rate?
This is very much a ‘how long is a piece of string’ kind of question. Think for a minute about how you use the internet. Perhaps you’re sometimes curious about the answer to a specific question, like ‘can chickens fly?’ You input the query and hit the top result. Once you’ve read the answer, you’re unlikely to then explore the remainder of the site (unless you’re particularly interested in learning more about chickens).
Purely informational sites tend to have higher bounce rates for this very reason. This doesn’t necessarily make them bad websites – they simply serve a different purpose to the likes of e-commerce sites.
With all of the above in mind, it’s tough to precisely define what a ‘good’ bounce rate is. But to give you a rough idea, HubSpot has created a useful infographic. According to the company, lead generation websites typically experience bounce rates of between 30-50%, retail sites average between 20-40% and service sites 10-30%.
As always though, these numbers don’t apply universally – there will always be exceptions and outliers. It’s important not to focus too much on individual metrics but instead to look at the bigger picture. Sites with low bounce rates aren’t automatically successful.