Bounce rate is a measurement of how many visitors come in to a web page, and leave without going to a second page.  It is generally regarded as a disengaged visitor who is not finding the information they are looking for, and leaving the site.

How do we measure bounce rate?

Bounce rate is calculated by the cookies and java-script calls a visitor triggers as they move from page to page within a site.  If the java-script does not register more than one page view, then the visitor is counted as a bounce.  Bounce rate is a percentage of total visitors to the page.  Bounce rate is simply if they visit more than one page on a site, and has nothing to do with the amount of time which they spend on the page; a visitor on one page only  for 28 minutes still qualifies as a bounce.   Bounce rate data is apart of most analytic reporting programs for web pages.

What should bounce rate be for a page?

Bounce rate really depends on the page’s function.  If people only come to the page for one specific piece of info then the bounce rate will be higher; they come / they get / they leave.  If the page is a part of a larger topic where visitors are trying to gather info, the bounce rate is generally lower.

There is no set rule for what bounce rate should be for a page, because every page has a different goal.  If bounce rate is seems very high for a page, we begin to look at the keyword level.  Generally, I am not concerned as long as bounce rate is be below 55% if the page is about general information.

How can we improve bounce rate?

Looking at the keyword level of bounce rate, we can begin to understand what specifically people are feeling they aren’t finding on our pages.  If, for example only, the highest bounce rate keyword for Vail’s spa page  were the following, I would recommend:

Keyword Recommendation
“Vail Spa deals” Add a call to action about any current spa deals/package; link to another page to measure visitor interest.
“Massages in Vail” Add/edit text to include more about massages, add images that communicate that the spa offers massages, and add a call to action about a massage package.
“Vail Restaurants” Review all page elements and back links to the page, try to figure out why this page is come up at all for anything about ‘restaurants’ in the first place.

Reviewing bounce rate at the keyword level is a powerful way to ensure we’re meeting our web visitors needs.  Our visitors are clearly communicating to us what they need from us (via keyword data) and bounce rate allows us to measure our success in responding.


Post filed under SEO.