SEO is one of the hottest topics in the web world today. It is the reason your website is at the top, or bottom, of the search engine results. It is also the reason the number of visits to your website has either skyrocketed or, in some cases, plummeted. When looking at how effective your website is though, it is important to go beyond SEO. Website developers have a number of factors they track to determine how successful your website is. Today we'll examine bounce rate and exit rate.
Bounce rate and exit rate
Google Analytics officially defines bounce rate as “the percentage of visits that go only one page before exiting a site.” Bounce rate is calculated by dividing the total number of visits by the total number of exits for a particular site. For example, if people visit your “Products We Offer” page, from there they may choose to visit your “Contact Us” page which will lower the bounce rate of your “Products We Offer” page.
A 0% bounce rate means that no one started on that particular page. The more bounces you get from one page, the higher your bounce rate will be for that particular page. A lower bounce rate is often considered a good bounce rate, but not always. A good bounce rate can be higher or lower and is determined by many factors.
Websites will always have an exit rate. No matter how interesting your content, the customer has to leave your website at some point - to eat, to sleep, to go to work. Believe it or not, life outside your newly revamped website does exist. The point of tracking exit rate is to determine where exactly people are leaving. For example, if a sales website has a 100% exit rate on their “Thank You for Completing Your Purchase” page, it would be considered a successful site. However, if the same site had a 100% exit rate on their home screen, it is safe to say it is doomed.
What is a good bounce rate?
As mentioned before, what is considered a good bounce rate varies from website to website and is determined by a number of factors. First, a bounce rate varies based on the number of pages you have. The more pages you have, the greater chance you will have a lower bounce rate, but it is not guaranteed. Just because a visitor lands on your home screen does not mean they will be compelled to visit another part of your website.
Similarly, if you have a one page site there will be a higher chance you will have a high bounce rate. For one page websites, instead of bouncing from page one to page two, the only way to lower a bounce rate would be to have your readers refresh the website, so it technically “bounces” back to itself.
Another factor that goes into a good bounce rate is the kind of website you have. The table below categorizes the average bounce rate for websites based on their industry.
|Site Type||Average Bounce Rate|
|Service Sites||10% to 30%|
|Retail Sites||20% to 40%|
|Lead Generation Sites||30% to 50%|
|Content Sites||40% to 60%|
|Media Sites||40% to 60%|
|Simple Landing Page Sites||70% to 90%|
How to achieve a good bounce rate
Clean up the ads
Regardless of how and whom you target, there are general guidelines to achieve a good bounce rate. The most suggested way to improve your average bounce rate is to focus on the number and location of your ads. Too many ads may generate profitability for your business but at what cost? Remember, customers who do not stay on your page will not be customers for long.
Keep it simple
The next way to achieve a good bounce rate is to simplify your website design. Readers like clean content with a clear message. Your auto play videos of dancing cats may be entertaining, but it will likely cause your customer to exit your website before they ever really receive your message. Likewise, customers will gloss over your large walls of text like a boring schoolbook and will completely miss valuable content. A better bounce rate is another reason why simplistic website design was one of the top website design trends for 2013.
Update keyword research
The last key component to achieving a good bounce rate is website maintenance. Telling your audience that only 17% of Americans have a smartphone is a laughable notion now - but back in 2008 it was true! Statistics from 5 years ago have much less relevance than statistics that came out in August and readers notice. Just like statistics change, your keywords may change too. See which words are still working for you and change the ones that are not.
Why bounce rate and exit rate matter
Bounce rate and exit rate are great ways to take the pulse of your consumer base by seeing where they leave, where they stay, and where they bounce. When reviewing these statistics, make sure to keep in mind realistic goals for your website and for each particular page. Feel free to bounce around our website for more interesting blogs. However, if you must exit, read more about bounce rate on your way out with the websites below!