Wondering if your bounce rate is good or bad?
We’ve got you covered.
In this bounce rate guide, you’ll learn:
- What a good bounce rate is
- Why a very low bounce rate could be a bad thing
- How to improve a high bounce rate
I’m sure you’re excited to get started, so let’s dive in.
Hold up, what is bounce rate exactly?
Bounce rate may not be what you think it is.
For many analytics platforms, including ours, bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who viewed only one page before leaving.
Some platforms also factor in the duration of the visit. For instance, a visitor who only views one page but stays longer than 30 seconds wouldn’t count as a bounce.
Google Analytics uses an even more complex calculation that also factors in events, such as download clicks, opt-ins, and eCommerce transactions. For instance, a visitor who opts into your email list wouldn’t be counted as a bounce even if they only viewed one page and left in under 30 seconds.
It’s important to know exactly how your analytics tool of choice calculates bounce rate so that you fully understand what it means.
The next thing you need to find out is what value qualifies as a good bounce rate.
There’s a lot of variety in how analytics tools calculate bounce. Here’s how we do it.
Bounce rate benchmarks
A “good” bounce rate depends largely on the type of site you’re running.
For example, a blog is likely to have a high bounce rate because many visitors will read one article and leave. On the other hand, an eCommerce store should have a lower bounce rate because it’s more common for visitors to browse the products.
Here’s what a good bounce rate is for a few common types of websites:
- Blogs: 65-90%
- Landing pages: 60-90%
- B2B websites: 25-55%
- eCommerce: 20-45%
This data was provided by Customedialabs.
As you can see, what qualifies as a “good” bounce rate changes drastically on the type of site.
If you’re running a blog, don’t worry about having a 90% bounce rate because successful interactions can often count as bounces, e.g., someone enjoys an article and then leaves.
On the other hand, eCommerce stores should have much lower bounce rates because a successful visit will require browsing and visiting numerous pages, like the checkout and “thank you” pages.
Now let’s talk about what to do if your bounce rate is outside of a healthy range.
Why is my bounce rate so high?
If your bounce rate is high, this means too many visitors are leaving your site before visiting a second page.
The first step to addressing your high bounce rate is to figure out what’s driving people away. One of the best ways to figure this out is to get live recordings of visitors using your website.
Watch visitor recordings
You can add a tool like Hotjar to your site to get video recordings of users on your website.
Session recordings can be extremely helpful because you can actually see people struggle with bugs and confusing site elements.
Just by watching a dozen clips, you can get a decent idea of what might be turning people away. If there is a negative element of your site causing people to leave, like a broken popup form, it will be glaringly obvious, and you can fix it.
The next thing you’ll want to check is your site speed.
Check your site’s performance
Run your site through a tool like Google’s PageSpeed Insights and check how quickly it’s loading. If your site is slow, visitors may be getting frustrated and leaving.
It won’t take long to run a few performance tests and check if your site is lagging.
Check your geodata
You may want to check if your bounce rate is significantly higher in certain countries, as this can be a sign that your site needs translation or is loading slower in that region.
If you find a significantly higher bounce rate for certain countries, check your site’s performance in those regions. If it’s loading more slowly, you’ll want to start using a CDN so that your site is delivered quickly in all parts of the world.
Lower your bounce rate by adding internal links
If you can’t identify any particular issues leading to a high bounce rate, the next step is to incrementally improve it by adding internal links.
The idea is pretty simple: the more internal links on each page, the more likely visitors are to click one.
There are a few quick and easy ways to add more internal links:
- Add a list of your most popular articles to your sidebar
- Add recommended products to your product pages
- Include an exit-intent popup recommending a popular article or product
Start by implementing these easy tactics, and then watch how your bounce rate changes. You should see it decrease almost immediately after including more internal links.
Is a high bounce rate bad?
It’s important to see bounce rate for what it is and nothing more: the percentage of single-page visits. A high bounce rate, like 90% for a blog, isn’t necessarily bad.
For instance, imagine a visitor arrives at an article on your site, loves it, and subscribes to your email list before leaving. That visitor technically “bounced” because they didn’t view a second page, and yet, it was a very successful visit.
Some platforms, like Google Analytics, also factor in events like form submissions so that these types of visits don’t count as a bounce. It sounds like a good idea until you try to optimize your bounce rate. You could make a change that increases email opt-ins but leads to fewer second-page visits, and your bounce rate would go even higher. You might think it was a negative change and undo it without realizing the positive effect on subscriptions.
This is why bounce rate should be kept simple and used only to understand the percentage of single-page visits. If there’s something else you want to know then you’re looking for a different metric.
Why is my bounce rate so low?
If your bounce rate is really low, like 1-5%, then there is likely something wrong with your tracking script.
If you’re using Google Analytics, this is usually a sign the analytics script is included on the page twice. You can make a mistake like this if you add the script manually and then install a WordPress plugin that adds the Google Analytics script too.
If your bounce rate is a bit higher but still very low, like 20%, a few things could be happening.
Firstly, it’s entirely possible that this bounce rate is accurate if you have a site like a forum or eCommerce store that gets a high number of Views Per Session.
Otherwise, this can occur with Google Analytics since it includes both pageviews and events in its bounce rate calculation. If you are tracking a lot of events, including things like scroll percentage, these all contribute to lowering your bounce rate.
If you want to further you’re understanding of web analytics, check out our guide on bounce rate vs. exit rate next.
Time to optimize your site
So how did your site stack up?
Is your bounce rate looking healthy, or does your site need some optimizing?
Or maybe you’re not sure because your bounce rate is being affected by all sorts of events and time limits. If you want something simpler and more straightforward, you can try out Independent Analytics:
It’s a free alternative to Google Analytics, and it’s made exclusively for WordPress. It might be just the thing you need to get excited about analytics again.
Thanks for reading our guide on what a good bounce rate is, and if you have any questions, feel free to post in the comments section below.