Interpreting bounce rate

What's bounce rate?

Bounce Rate is defined as the percentage of visitors who leave a website without taking any action, such as purchasing a product, clicking on a link, or filling out a form. 

Why is this important?

Bounce Rate is relevant for three key reasons.

  1. Someone who bounces from your site (clearly) has not converted. So, if you prevent a visitor from bouncing, you can also boost your conversion rate.
  2. The Bounce Rate can be used as a Google Ranking metric. One research study found that Bounce Rate was strongly associated with Google's first page rankings. 
  3. High Bounce Rate allows you to know that your site (or particular pages on your site) has content problems, user interface, page layout, or copywriting issues.

How Is Bounce Rate Calculated?

It is a percentage of the total visits made during the time. If you had 100 visitors to your site on day X and 500 left without taking action, your bounce rate on day X is 50%. This involves visitors that stayed on the page until the session was scheduled.

Bounce Rate = Single-Page Visits (Bounces) ÷ Make Total Visits (Sessions)

To use this metric effectively, you can calculate and monitor bounce rates for individual pages or groups of pages. This is key to understanding how people communicate and can be a great aid in optimizing the pages.

What is the average bounce rate?

A lot of people are wondering what the perfect bounce rate or conversion rate is and whether their website metrics are in the right range. One size doesn't suit all of them. In this article, I fish out the industry's normal conversion rates and bounce rates. Even though you're supposed to be your only competitor, getting an understanding of industry metrics might help.

In general, you should expect your website bounce rate to be somewhere between 26%-70%, with an average of 45 percent-65 percent. However, if you're in eCommerce, this might not be good enough.

As a rule of thumb, a bounce rate of between 26 and 40 percent is outstanding. 

41 to 55% is roughly the norm. 56 to 70% is higher than the average but does not cause concern depending on the website. 

Anything above 70% is frustrating for anything outside of news, blogs, events, etc. 

Is a high bounce rate a negative thing?

It depends. If your site's popularity depends on users visiting more than one page, then a high bounce rate is bad. For instance, if your home page is a portal to the rest of your site (e.g., product pages, news articles, your checkout process) and a good percentage of visitors view just your home page, then you wouldn't want a high bounce rate. 

But on the contrary, if you have a one-page website like a blog or have other types of content for which one-page sessions are scheduled, then a high bounce rate is completely normal.   

Bounce rate vs. Exit rate 

bounce rate vs exit rate

The Exit Rate is comparable to the Bounce Rate, with a big difference: Bounce Rate is the number of people who land on a page and leave. Exit Rate is the number of people who quit a particular website (even though they did not originally land on that page). 

For context, let's say someone's going to land on Page A from your website. And they press the back button of their browser a few seconds later.   This is a bounce.   

On the other end, let's presume someone's going to land on Page A from your blog. Then switch over to Page B. After viewing Page B, they close their tab.   

Because that user clicked on something on page A, that is not a bounce on page A, and since they didn't originally land on page B, that's not a bounce on page B either. 

That said, since that person exited your site on Page B, it will increase the Google Analytics Exit Rate of Page B. And if you see a page on your web with a crazy high Exit Rate, that's an issue worth solving. Here's a side-by-side analysis of the Bounce Rate and the Exit Rate.  

Adjusting the bounce rates

site guru page analysis

Your site-wide bounce rate vs segmented

To quantify and compare the bounce rate, you need to narrow it down and group it into different variables. You're not going to be able to start lowering your bounce rate until you understand what makes it high. You can change the bounce rate metric you see in Google Analytics in a few ways. 

As I described above, the first approach is to segment your bounce rate. We'll explore nine different segment alternatives that will help you analyze and boost your bounce rate.  

Segment bounce rate by age

bounce rate by age

There are a number of important various demographics that Google Analytics monitors and contributes to high bounce rate. You can't cater to all age group, so the idea is to segment them to understand what age group is causing higher bounce rate than the others. 

 To check the bounce rate by age range under "Audience" and then "Demographics" on the left sidebar. Then click on the "Age" button.   

Segment bounce rate by gender

gender bounce rate

Gender segmenting with different languages may affect viewing and buying behavior. If you have a higher bounce rate for one gender, make sure you don't unintentionally build the impression that you're just targeting the other gender.   

Segment bounce rate by affinity


The next category in the "Audience" category is "Affinity Categories "and "Interests." 

These classify bounce rates depending on the interests of a visitor. 

Try looking up which affinity categories have the highest bounce rates to see if you're losing out to key marketing groups.  Engagement with movie lovers, music lovers, and green living lovers might not be suitable for b2b sales. This awareness will help you better target groups for your content and imagery.  

Segment bounce rate by location

bounce rate by location

Still, in the "Audience," somewhere below "Interests," you will find the "Geo" section. In that section, you can click on the "Location" button for another segment report. 

Next, you'll see a color-coded map showing you where the majority of your visitors come from. This gives you a bounce rate by country. You can drill deeper into it to see if any provinces are engaging worse off than others. Then, you can tailor your marketing campaign to the places that you want improvements.  

Segment bounce rate for new visitors

bounce rate by new vs returning visitors

The "New Vs. Returning" category is a good section to check out. It's also in the "Audience" section just under "Behavior." You will now find if your new visitors are bouncing at a higher rate than your returning visitors.  

Segment bounce rate by browser

bounce rate by browser

The browser breakdown report is a fantastic way to know if you have any technical problems that make your visitors bounce. If one browser has a higher bounce rate than the other browsers, this could mean that you haven't configured your site well for that browser. You will need to remember the versions of your browsers.  

Segment bounce rate by device

bounce rate by mobile

Below the section called "Technology" (still under Audience), you can see the section called "Mobile." To see your bounce rate across devices, click "Overview." If you notice that your bounce rate is notably higher on smartphones or tablets, it may mean that you have not properly configured your site for these devices. You can also see the "Devices" report. This also breaks down the smartphone brand and the operating system.  

Segment bounce rate acquisition

bounce rate by source and medium

Now, let us focus on segmentation by acquisition instead of Audience. In the left menu, go to "Acquisition," then "All Traffic," and after that, "Source/Medium." It will show you an overview of where your traffic comes from and the corresponding bounce rates. Take a look at the outlets with the highest bounce rates and see if there is a pattern.  

Segment bounce rate by landing page

The final alternative we're going to explore is segmentation by landing pages. Under "Behavior," in the left-hand menu, click "Site Content" and then "Landing Pages."  

Why do people bounce?

Until we take concrete measures to reduce the Bounce Rate, it's important to consider the most common reasons why people bounce.

Page does not meet expectations

Let's say, for instance, that you're searching for a new espresso machine. So you Search "best espresso machine." You will see an ad that says, "best espresso machine under $100."   Then you click on it. However, when you click the link, instead of a landing page for various espresso machine that are over $100. 

Ugly design

Ugly design is going to ruin your Bounce Rate. People mostly judge your site based on its design first and content second. You should expect a very high Bounce Rate, if its not aesthetically pleasing.

Poor UX

Yeah, your site is expected to look fine. But your website needs to be pretty easy to use, too. And the easier it is for users to read and search your website, the lower your Bounce Rate should be. If your bounce rate is incredibly high and you see that people spend less than a few seconds on the website, your page is likely to be blank, 404 will be returned, or otherwise not loaded properly

Bad link from a different website

You could do all things right at your end to get an average or low bounce rate from search engine results and yet have a high bounce rate from your referral traffic.  

Building adjusted bounce rates from Google Analytics

You can change what Google Analytics sees as an interaction. For instance, you might notice that a visitor has engaged on your site if they watched a video. In Google Analytics, you have the option of setting up an event, such as clicking a button, playing a video, or finishing a download as an interaction.

Users who follow through on these "events" will no longer contribute to your bounce rate. Even then, you need to take extra care with this. Make sure the programmed events do not distort your results. If you set up your videos to play automatically, you don't want to recognize video views as interactions.

The easiest way to adjust how Google records interactions is by submitting events to your Google Analytics that notify you when a user invests a certain length of time on a webpage, scrolls through a given percentage of a page, or sees a particular feature on a page.

You can submit events from Google Tag Manager.

Adjust your bounce rate via scroll percentage events

The "Scroll Depth" trigger enables you to produce custom events based on how much a visitor scrolls down a page. You have to create a new tag first.   

Name your tag, choose "Universal Analytics" for tag type, and select "Event" for the track type. 

First, you need to type the event category and the event action. To get the action, just click the small plus sign next to the field and click "Page Path." 

For the event label, select "Scroll Depth Threshold." If you do not find this option available, scroll to the "Built-In Variables" screen and allow scrolling variables:   

Now, click "Non-Interaction Event" as "False" and add your tracking ID to your UA. If you have covered all of these areas, it should look like this:   I suggest adjusting the scroll to 75% of the page for this tag. This means that Google would consider a visitor interacting with your blog if they scroll 75 percent of the time through the page.   Make sure you have selected "Scroll Depth" as the form of trigger. Then, in percentages, set down "75%." Once completed, you can now save, preview, debug, and publish.  

Modify your bounce rate using the timer function

You could also dictate that Google should approve a visitor engaging on a page if they spend a certain amount of time on a page. 

Create a new tag and label it, such as "UA—Adjusted Bounce Rate—Timer."   

You can pick the amount of time you want to begin with. I recommend starting in 30 seconds. Insert a new trigger and rename it "Timer—30 seconds" to do this. The interval is in a millisecond. So, for 30 seconds, you need to input "30000". Choose a limit of one. Then set it to "Page URL matches RegEx*" in the conditions section. 

This will ensure that Google Analytics incorporates all of your pages in the tracking process. Before publishing, make sure you preview, save, and debug. You may also use Google's PageSpeed Insight for additional tactics to boost site speed.

How can I lower the bounce rate?

Embed youtube videos on your webpage

Pages with video had a slightly lower (11 percent) bounce rate compared to non-video pages. Bear in mind, though, that these videos don't always need to be your videos. You can insert any YouTube video that fits best for your page. But for better load page, try adding a video image instead of embedding and when they click on the video, it popups.

Loading speed

A Google evaluation of 11 million landing page study showed that slow loading speed was associated with higher bounce rates. 

  • Image optimization: Images are among the major reasons for slowly loading pages. That's not to suggest that you should start removing images in all directions. They serve a purpose. Learn more about images and pagespeed.
  • Utilize a Fast Hosting Provider: Your host can greatly affect the loading speed of your site. So, if you have done everything you can to increase your site speed, it might be time to upgrade or change your hosting provider.
  • Merge or Delete Redundant Scripts and Plugins: If you did not build your website from scratch, chances are that you are utilizing lots of CSS or functions you might not be using. Trim and merge tools as much as possible.

Above the fold attention grabber

A lot of people choose to exit or stay on your page depending on what they see "above the fold." That's why it's really important to get someone's attention as soon as they arrive on your website. And one of the easiest ways to do so, is to write an intro to motivate someone who wants to continue reading. 

Make your contents pretty easy to read

Or, as I prefer to say, Hard to read = would not read. So if your content appears like this, your Bounce Rate is bound to be on the roof.

  • Plenty of white space and images: offer your content room to breathe. Utilize whitespace and images so they can take a break.
  • Smaller paragraphs: break down broad paragraphs in 1-2 sentence fragments.
  • Font size: Any font less than 15-17px, people need to pinch and zoom on their screens. Worse if your website can't zoom in.
  • Subheadings: Utilize sub-headers to break down your content into different sections. This makes it convenient for people to follow your content.
  • Bullet points: Make your content digestible in easier formats.

Satisfy search purpose

Google is ( by a wide margin) the number 1 online source of traffic. That's why all of your main landing pages and content pages must satisfy the Search Intent. (In other words, your webpage should provide Google searchers what they're searching for). If not, Google users will be bouncing back to the search results. And a page that doesn't satisfy the Search Intent isn't only bad for your Bounce Rate. It's also terrible for SEO. In reality, low Dwell Time and high Bounce Rate can harm your Google rankings.  

Turn the bad bounce rate into good ones

No matter how diligently you work on your Bounce Rate, you're bound to have webpages with really bad Bounce Rate. You are also going to have webpages with a very good Bounce Rate. And converting the bad into good is the best way to increase the Bounce Rate. 

Let's now break it down. 

First, sign in to your Google Analytics account and enter Landing Pages.   

Next, select the "Comparison" button.   

compare landing page bounce rate

This compares the Bounce Rate of each page to the average of your website.   Notice those pages with green bars beside them?  

if you have red ones, those are the bad ones. And when you concentrate on optimizing them, you can transform your website's overall Bounce Rate around in no time. 

Again, without the actual user info, it's difficult to know what is going on. So, to get a real sense of why so many people are bouncing from a particular page, you would have to use a heatmap. 

Use data on the heatmap to enhance main landing pages

Heatmaps are a pretty good way to see how people are using and engaging with your site. (Particularly if you want to find out why so many people are bouncing from your webpage) There are a million and one heatmap resources out there. No matter what heatmap tool you're going for, they all operate pretty much the same way. You add a small chunk of javascript to your website. And the tool will start monitoring how people read, scroll and click across your website.  

Add internal links to your webpage

You probably have heard that the internal links for SEO are amazing. But what you may not realize is that internal links can also significantly improve your Bounce Rate. Why? Since internal links take users to other pages on your site. In other words, the pageviews automatically increase. Plus, as soon as anyone hits another page on your web, they're no longer counted as a bounce. If you're using WordPress, you can use tools like Linkilo, that provides helpful link suggestions.

Entertain visitors with a breathtaking design

I've already asserted that people bounce off pages with a bad design But what I didn't mention is that the beautiful design will keep people stuck on your webpage like adhesive. So if your website design is just okay, think about investing in an awesome design. And when you contrast this webpage to a regular article or blog post, it stands out. That professional design is among the major reasons this page has a very low bounce rate.  

Use a table of contents

table of content

When it comes to getting social shares and links to your content, nothing rivals long-form content.  

That said, there's one major problem with the long-form. It's very hard to find a particular tip, technique, or move. That means that finding one strategy out of this article is going to be a challenge. And if anyone can't find what they're searching for in only three seconds, they're just going to bounce. 

Okay, that's where the Table of Contents steps in, just like in this article. A table of contents allows users to find the important stuff they want from your webpage. And when they press on a link in your table of contents, they instantly jump to that part.  

Optimize your mobile UX

According to Search Engine Land, 57% of all internet traffic is derived from mobile devices So if you want a low bounce rate, your website needs to run very well on tablets and mobile devices.  

Link to similar articles and posts

related posts

If you want to stop people from bouncing off your blog posts, try linking to other content from your website. This is closely related to internal linking. But with this method, you have unique posts that your guests may want to read next. This way, you give visitors something to do after they end up reading your blog post.  

Use exit-intent popups

You might have read that popups might increase your Bounce Rate. And that's a fact. (At least for popups that disturb and bug people) Yeah, there's another group of popups called Exit-Intent popups. And, in fact, Exit-Intent Popups can REDUCE Bounce Rate. 

Unlike irritating popups, 

Exit-Intent popups only pop up when someone exits your webpage. That user is leaving anyway. But you don't have anything to lose by tossing up a popup. 

Use content upgrades

Content Upgrades are ultra-specific lead magnets. So, instead of selling the exact ebook to every visitor, you advertise something that's 100 percent similar to what that person is reading. If you don't want to create a checklist for every article, you can give a PDF version of the post they're reading, or turn one of your blog into an ebook so they can read it later. Check out Designrr's ebook creator to help you create and reduce bounce rates.

Clear navigation

Clear navigation takes people where they need to be, as soon as possible, with minimal stress and contemplation. If you're in e-commerce that has multiple products and genders, you might need to organize a bit more than a SaaS company. However, take your time to understand the flow of your menus, categories, breadcrumbs, tags.


Hopefully, this article has helped you identify what causes your high bounce rate, and you have a clear idea of how to resolve it. Make your website user-focused, useful, and fast—successful sites attract good users.