Beginner's Guide to Bounce Rate - SEO's Most Confusing Metric

The bounce rate number that appears beside each page of your website is undoubtedly visible to you if you’ve spent time in Google Analytics.

Before making changes, you must understand what causes a high or low bounce rate. Although it isn’t a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm for various reasons, it can be a helpful tool for assessing how well-usable and relevant a website is. As a result, your total ranks will rise.

What is Bounce Rate?

A “bounce” occurs when a visitor to your website views one page and does not interact with it in a predetermined amount of time. 

Events involving user interaction events include watching a video, downloading files, or following your blog. However, they need to be set up correctly to fire so that they don’t skew your analytics results.

Bounce Rate VS Exit Rate

Exit rate, often referred to as drop-off rate, and bounce rate, which measures the percentage of sessions terminated on a web page, are two metrics that need to be clarified. However, the main distinction is that the departure rate considers single-page and multi-page sessions.

Sadly, the definition of bounce rate is quite broad, which is precisely why it’s a measure that needs to be more frequently understood.

Additionally, users are occasionally intended to bounce. Consider informational websites like Wikipedia or WebMD. Informational websites have a bounce rate as high as 90%. However, this does not imply that those websites have terrible usability. The page has succeeded as long as the visitor feels content after leaving.

Why is Bounce Rate Important to Consider?

The bounce rate shows your content’s engagement, making it an important SEO metric. A high bounce rate could indicate that website visitors need help discovering what they’re looking for. It could also enhance your website’s user experience or content. Whatever the cause usually means you are passing up chances to convert.

You may enhance the navigation, call to action (CTA) placement, and website content quality by thoroughly examining your bounce rate.

It’s beneficial when comparing several pages on your website. 

For instance, an exceptionally low or high bounce rate on a particular topic could mean that your audience prefers or detests that subject.

A valuable technique for contrasting different traffic segments is bounce rate. Which digital marketing channel operates better than others? Is the bounce rate of organic search traffic higher than that of Facebook? You can choose which channels to concentrate on by A/B testing different channels against one another.

Calculating the Bounce Rate of Your Site

Divide the total single-page sessions by the entire page sessions to find the page’s bounce rate. The percentage can then be obtained by multiplying by 100.

Google Bounce Rate = (Single Page Sessions / Total Sessions) * 100

Example: (500 / 1,000 = 0.5) X 100 = 50%

Remember that a page’s bounce rate might vary significantly based on the traffic source and the time frame you select to view.

Although each page impacts the total bounce rate for a website, we define bounce rate metrics per web page. Knowing how each page performs decreases a website’s bounce rate.

What is a Decent Bounce Rate?

In general, it’s better if your website has a lower bounce rate. The difference between a “good bounce rate” and a “poor bounce rate” has no established standard. Simply put, the measure varies greatly depending on the sector, type of content, search intent, and landing page. To determine how well your website operates, it is more helpful to concentrate on other metrics like time on page and conversion rates.

It’s best to compare your bounce rates to the industry standard when assessing them on your website. Check out these strategies to reduce your bounce rate if you feel it is too high.

Use the benchmarking tool of Google Analytics to see how your website stacks up against the norm. Be sure to set your niche or industry first. To determine whether the bounce rate on your website is typical, Google Analytics will provide its industry benchmarks.

Is It Bad to Have High Bounce Rates?

You should use caution when posing general queries like, “What is a terrible bounce rate?” because it has a broad definition. For instance, different content types will have different bounce rates within the same business.

As you study the measure, keep the search intent driving each page in mind.

For instance, a lot of branded search traffic, direct traffic, and referral traffic undoubtedly go to your homepage. Users frequently need to research to learn more about what you do.

Blog entries, however, are more educational. Long-form material typically has more single-page sessions since it allows you to cover topics more deeply.

However, a high bounce rate impacts conversions within eCommerce SEO. For instance, customers may return to the Google SERP in search of something better if your e-commerce site has low-quality images, insufficient content, or bad load times.

Decibel and Mouseflow are two behavioral intelligence tools that can reveal how visitors use particular pages. You can pinpoint the precise location on a page where users bounce by watching user interactions.

These technologies also provide precise information on the average user’s stay on a page. Therefore, it is safe to assume that viewers find the page beneficial if it has a 95% bounce rate but an average recording time of six minutes.

Neutral Reasons for Bounce Rates

A high bounce rate might be okay in the situations listed below. These factors are a standard element of a search engine user’s decision-making process rather than problems with your website’s usability.

User Finds the Solution Quickly

If you resolve a visitor’s issue, they won’t need to look around your website any further and are more likely to leave. Informational websites like Wikipedia, Dictionary.com, and others frequently use this technique. The good news is that even if visitors leave your site, they’re much more likely to return because you quickly addressed their issue.

User is Doing Rapid Research

Because they are still researching before making a purchase, users may leave your page without taking action. After reading your page’s content, they return to the search engine results page to conduct additional research. This is typical of the purchasing procedure and isn’t always a concern.

This is particularly true of blog posts. Users prefer to examine a variety of information sources, and journalists may be gathering material for their pieces.

User is Merely Browsing

Additionally, visitors who are merely window shopping may leave your website. Including a “add to wish list” button on your website can help you finally convert window shoppers into paying customers.

Bad Reasons for Bounce Rates

Unfortunately, there are undesirable motives for someone to leave your website. The majority of them are focused on bad user experiences.

The level of user engagement on your site can be dramatically increased by recognizing and fixing these issues.

Misunderstood Search Result

Because the material does not match the search intent, visitors may leave your site quickly. In other words, the page’s content doesn’t correspond to the user’s actual search.

If someone searches for “best trail running shoes,” for instance, and your page lists the most excellent running shoes overall, they are not looking for that. They want to avoid sifting through other shoe categories; they only want to compare trail running shoes.

The page content must match the intent behind the search phrases if you want visitors to stay on your site. This also includes producing a clear title tag and meta description for a searcher to know precisely what they will discover on your website.

It is not sufficient to conduct keyword research; you must examine competition SERP results and comprehend the motivations behind those phrases. This procedure will assist in boosting the proportion of qualified organic search traffic, which can raise engagement and conversion rates.

Slow Web Page Load

People expect online sites to load quickly because broadband internet is widely available, and mobile devices support 5G cellular connectivity. People will only leave if the page loads slowly before viewing the content.

Too Many Ads

Users will immediately press the back button if your page is loaded with too many adverts. Multiple adverts on a page that interfere with the user experience and lengthen the time it takes for the page to load are annoying for website users and can erode their faith in a company. 

Additionally, ads might unexpectedly change a page’s structure, making it challenging for consumers to browse the page. Since Google considers page movements part of the Page Experience ranking criteria, this irritates users and might lower your search engine rankings.

This also applies to e-commerce websites, not simply blogs. Users find popups for mailing lists or adverts about sales to be equally overwhelming. Ensure that any adverts on your website don’t interfere with the user experience.

Low-Quality Information

Your visitors will only stay on your pages if they have thin, out-of-date material. After all, if their first impression of your site is harmful, why would they want to explore it further?

You need high-value, high-quality content showcasing your expertise and covering the subject to prevent people from leaving your site.

One of the best ways to keep customers interested in your business is through a clearly defined content plan. Blog postings should provide in-depth coverage of pertinent subjects, provide following clear actions through internal links, and address essential queries throughout the user experience.

Questionable Website

Your website must appear reliable and credible to attract more visitors. This entails having a polished design, excellent photos, social proof (testimonials, reviews, etc.), and a simple menu. Include all your contact details and in-depth information about your business and the people behind it to increase visitor trust.

Include appropriate trust seals, such as the Norton SSL badge or Better Business Bureau certification.

Include the authors’ credentials for your work as well. This assists in meeting Google’s E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness) standards, ranking factors that are becoming more and more crucial.

How to Accurately Measure Bounce Rates

Considering consumers leave sites for several reasons, analyzing your website’s bounce rate isn’t beneficial. By analyzing the bounce rate of a single page, you can gain some vital information, but you still need to understand why visitors could be leaving the page. Here are three other methods to assess bounce rates to supplement the information you obtain from single pages:


Measurement of bounce rates can be done quite effectively via audience segmentation. It provides information on how various demographic groups interact with the pages on your website.

Examine how each group uses the various pages on your website. 

Do some segments visit your site more frequently and prefer certain types of material over others? Do some segments have much more significant or lower bounce rates than other topics? You can modify the pages most likely to cause a bounce by analyzing how various user groups interact with your website.


Analysis of bounce rate according to traffic source is also beneficial. For instance, you can discover that most visits come from a specific source, like social media. In contrast, you can discover that visitors from organic search have a substantially lower bounce rate.

You can modify how you utilize a source, scale back how often, or stop using it entirely if it has a higher bounce rate. Low bounce-rate traffic sources present a potential growth opportunity. Think about increasing your investment in those specific channels.


Bounce rates can also be examined for the content type. This gives you knowledge of the content that visitors find more or less attractive. Do readers favor blog entries or videos? Are there any product pages that receive more or less activity than others?

By analyzing the bounce rate by range, you may choose which content to concentrate on and which isn’t worth the effort.

Going to Behavior > Landing Pages and using the Organic Sessions filter is another effective technique for using Google Analytics to measure your bounce rate from organic visitors accurately.

You can view the bounce rate solely from organic visitors, which can be a valuable measure of how well your website performs. Implementing bounce rate improvements based on all you have learned above will be the next step to your success.