Bounce Rate Demystified

If you are doing business on the web and have Google Analytics setup for your website, it’s very likely that you know the bounce rate for your website. But, do you know anything about how it’s calculated, what your industry’s average bounce rate is or even what factors affect your bounce rate? Inspired by common questions that we’ve heard, this infographic is meant to give you answers and some tips to help you improve your bounce rate.

Bounce Rate

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  1. Don’t always see Bounce Rate as a bad thing. Sometimes the user found exactly what they wanted and left. Especially true if they wanted contact details or a specific piece of information.

    • I couldn’t agree more to many people view the number of visitors and the bounce rate as the ‘complete picture’. People may well have found the information they were looking for. The best way is to track users via goals its about the quality of visits

      • If you have a page/site with lots of links to affiliate products or services… you WANT a high bounce rate.

      • Very true, where the come from what they do etc.

      • I couldn’t agree more to many people view the number of visitors and the bounce rate as the ‘complete picture’.

      • That’s exactly correct, we did a mini survey of our potential web design clients and they said they liked the home web page. It had all the information they required, so they just used the phone number listed on the page to contact us.

    • I agree with that… but as you said, it depends on what kind site you have. If you offer something that you know takes more time or requires more effort and the bounce rate isn’t right, then obviously you need to fix it.

    • What are the bounce rates of pricing and plans pages?

  2. I agree with Jason. Placed telephone number in a visible area for a service business, Bounce rate increased and so did call volume and paying clients – which would you prefer?

    • Very good point! Although I think the two can work hand in hand. Good increase in telephone leads, but customers who are more informed. More lead generation of refined customers!

      • There are definitely ways to tweak the setup where you still get high call volume and at the same time, get more higher website conversion, lower bounce rate etc. It all depends on the testing you integrate.

  3. Informative post – I feel a lot better about my bounce rate numbers! I also had the experience of making contact information much more visible on the home page of a site and the bounce rate went up but so did the leads.

  4. I think bounce rate should be defined as “single page visits where no other action occurred”. I have landing pages with forms that have ajax confirmation pages. The visitor can view the page complete the form and leave. They only complete a single page view, but they still completed the action I intended.

  5. Bounce rate could always mean that they wrote down your phone # and left.

    Thanks for this post, it’s always important to know what you are measuring.

    • I agree, it could be as simple as something like that which means they got what they’re looking for and so did you ;).

  6. Concerning the note about “visits to your subdomain will count as someone leaving your site” – wouldn’t the proper GATC hacks prevent subdomain visits from registering as a bounce?

  7. Kevin,

    Since you’re using an AJAX form, that is the only action that Google Analytics will see.

    However, a neat way for you to improve the quality of the statistics that Google Analytics is collecting & also provide more useful information long term, would be to trigger a virtual pageview when the form is submitted successfully.

    Now you can:

    1) have a better indication of your true bounce rate
    2) setup a Google Analytics goal for form success for ongoing monitoring

    Everyone wins!

    Al.

  8. Google Analytics does present things in a slightly confusing way for people who do not know. It shows on the dashboard total page views to the site or page on further reports next to bounce rate (which is just a % of entry page visits) so bounce rate of 50% does not mean half site traffic bounced. It means half the entry traffic bounced. This graphic does show this and looks very good.

    • Yeah that can be a bit confusing at first which is why it’s worth taking the time to read into it and learn about how everything works. The more you know the easier it’ll be for you to convert.

  9. Another (and possibly more useful) measure is % of visitors who view the page and then leave…which is a different view. They may come to the page from another page and then leave. What’s making them leave? Can you engage them more. Pages with high exit rates should definitely be reviewed. But, as it’s been pointed out and quite rightly so, it also very much depends on the objective of the page. If it’s a cart and thats the final page, exit is going to be high, bounce low. So the two taken together are a good indicator of whats really happening.

    • Right, that’s always one of the most important factors. The tighter you have things down, the easier it’ll be to understand.

  10. Cool infographic…enjoyed reading the industry metrics about Bounce rate.

  11. Great info graphic… thanks so much. Often times I find clients can’t get a good grasp on bounce rates. I’m going to send them to this page for more info now!

  12. Wait a second, where is the time factor in all of this? I could have sworn that I’ve read on numerous occasions that bounce rate calculations factor in people that leave within X amount of seconds (e.g. 5). Otherwise, the metric becomes useless since your exact goal might be for your audience to read something or engage in a particular action right on your landing page.

    Can someone please elaborate on this?
    I always liked Avinash Kaushik’s analogy of bounce rates: They came. They puked. They left.

    • Assuming you’re not triggering pageviews yourself – i.e. you’re just loading up the standard tracking code on your pages – the amount of time spent on a single page in your domain has no role in whether a visit is counted as a bounce.

      This is because Google Analytics only tracks once, when a page initially loads. So if I load a page on your domain and stay there for an hour, then close the tab, GA never registers anything but the initial page load, and my visit is counted as a bounce.

    • Just a quick follow-up for clarification.

      Time is taken into account in one respect, but it’s a bit of an edge case.

      If I open your domain in a tab and only look at a single page, then I leave the tab open for a few hours (or overnight), come back to it and navigate to another page on your domain, the initial visit will be counted as a bounce, and the subsequent navigation to the second page will be counted as a visit.

      GA counts activity that occurs after a 30 minute pause as a new visit, per default.

      From: http://code.google.com/apis/analytics/docs/concepts/gaConceptsCookies.html
      A visitor session ends after 30 minutes of inactivity on your website, or when the browser exits. Google Analytics is able to determine the start of a new session by the absence of either session cookie. You can customize the length of the default session time using the _setSessionCookieTimeout() method.

  13. Excellent infographic – Bounce rate is for sure one of the most important metrics in web analytics.

  14. Very good! I’m bookmarking this to show clients. Good clarity of information. Much better than me trying to explain it!

    Thanks for the good post!

  15. Hey guys – excellent content to share with my Web Design and Web Content Management classes. One question though – would it be possible to get a vector (.eps) file of the poster so I can print an enlarged copy to post in our projects room. I’ve been collecting and printing things like this so I always have one hand to show. Makes for wonderful conversation with students and a neat way to influence them as they work. THanks for the great info -

  16. Just wondering if you have your own website set as the home page and you
    launch your browser many times a day then leave the page, does that effect your bounce rate?

  17. A blog can have high bounce rates and still be a great blog. People only come to read a blogpost and then leave. That does not mean that they puked and left.

    • That’s exactly why it’s so important… if they just come, read, and leave, you’re missing out potentially sales, subscriptions, or whatever it is your’re trying to accomplish.

  18. Great way of showing this information, will be great to show this to our sales force who regularly make up what bounce rate is!!

    Thanks

  19. Great to see an infographic that isn’t re-hashed. This is good info for our small business clients who still don’t have a good grip on what influences bounce rates.

  20. That graphic is brilliant, makes it very easy to understand.

    It concerns me a little about my site though – the landing page is a long copy sales letter with the call to action embedded so I’d imagine my bounce rate is going to be unusually high and impact my search engine ranking…..

    • For sales letters, the bounce rates is usually higher than other pages. Take a look at the graph again and you’ll see that the type of website you have also makes a huge difference.

  21. Great post and even more interesting comments. Like others here I never read to much into bounce rates either but it is very good to know what the averages are across different types of pages.

    Right I’m off to check out the rest of KISSmetrics as I have never seen this blog before and want to keep your bounce rate down. If the rest is this interesting I’ll be tweeting and posting links on my site.

    Thanks

    • Well it’s good to have you on board with our blog. Hopefully you get a ton of value and learn something you can easily apply. Thanks for helping us keep the bounce rate down ;)

  22. Neil:

    This was very helpful! I particularly like the idea of a glossary section defining terms. Sometimes, I need that myself!!

  23. Nothing like an infographic to simplify complex matters!

    Thanks for this, very helpful.

  24. Hi, thank you for sharing these data.

    One question : industry metrics are a rare info to have. How did you get them ?

  25. Great infographic! I’ll definitely take that into consideration when I’m looking at the analytics statistics of my site from now on.

  26. Arlen Ritchie Dec 14, 2010 at 8:26 am

    The infographic states:
    “Google takes your bounce rate into account as one of many factors when determining how to rank your site.”

    However, Google has gone on the record to state that they do not use Google Analytics data in ranking websites:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgBw9tbAQhU

  27. I love how your articles always have a nice complimentary infographics.

  28. I have 1.55% bounce rate in my Greek dating blog for previous month. It is possible? Tell me your opinion.

  29. Nice infographic!

    I came across Avinash’s definition of bounce rate a while ago that takes the visit duration into consideration.

    For Eg: Visitors who stayed for more than 5 seconds are not considered bounces according to this definition.

    Source: http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/2007/08/standard-metrics-revisited-3-bounce-rate.html

    • hmm, that’s interesting. There are many different variables to take into account since people perceive them differently.

  30. very helpful, I was unclear (due to bad definition by Google and disagreement with my former boss) if a site’s bounce rate was effected by a visitor going to another page on your site (same primary domain). According to this the visitor must exit the site within 5 seconds to be considered a bounce. Let me know if I’m incorrect.

  31. R G Deshpande Feb 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Hi Neil,

    this is very interesting esp. to a GA beginner. Couple of questions-

    1) Sharing cookies across Domains and Sub Domains to get an accurate bounce rate- if i have a link to a sub-domain or a link to a different domain on my site, do i need to allow cross domain tracking to ensure an accurate bounce rate? from the above conversation, it sounds like if i do not make any effort to share cookies across domains and sub domains, then clicking on links that take me away from the current page (Even though they are part of the client’s ecosystem) will count as a bounce. Is that true?

    2) Impact of using the same tracking code on a domain and a sub-domain and its impact on the bounce rate- What is the impact of using the same tracking code across a domain and sub-domain, without making modifications to share cookies?

    In order words, if i dont make modifications to share cookies across domains and subdomains, will navigating between these properties, which have the same tracking code, count as a bounce?

    Thanks in advance!

  32. Not all bounce rates are the same. I have a high bounce rate because I have a lot of images in Google. When people do a search on google for images google will display the image in front of the page and that counts as a hit. Then the user leaves the image and you get a bounce so the bounce rate could be higher and if the keywords are the same for web/image then you can’t decipher between the two.

  33. This is a great and very useful infographic. Thanks very much for putting it together!

    Is it possible to get deeper definitions of the types of sites? “Service Sites” is particularly vague (I know there’s only so much room in an infographic!).

  34. How much extrenal links is normal to have? I think below 100 in index page is ok but what is happend if you have 300 external links?

  35. A helpful visual primer, but I would caution anyone using those industry benchmarks since they come from a 2006 forum post based on the data from a consultant who clearly states that they should be taken with a “huge pinch of salt”.

    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/webanalytics/message/6116

  36. As a pro blogger, I try to keep the bounce rate under 50% but IT IS TOUGH. These days I don’t bother about it much. I just make it a point to deliver interactive content and let the Analytics do its job :)

  37. Great post. Really interesting stuff. Thanks

  38. This helped me understand bounce rates a lot!

    thanks

  39. I am not sure I agree with the section in the Infographic on Improving Bounce Rate. It is more of “fix the page” approach and not “correct the source”.
    I see Bounce rate as a measure of effectiveness of marketing campaigns (or sources of traffic) and not necessarily the page itself.

    Inherently, bounce rate talks about entries to the page. Some of which we control, some we do not. So, looking at an aggregate metric across all sources of traffic is not the right approach.

    I wrote a small post on Bounce Rate some time back where I elaborate on the above. http://subhash.tumblr.com/post/15344288944/misused-metrics-bounce-rate

    ~Subhash Surampudi
    PS: Saw this posted on getelastic.com.

  40. IT would be very interesting to see the average figures broken down to industries…

  41. Generally I do not read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, very nice article.

  42. Thanks for your article it is very informative – a great overview of bounce rate. We have added you as a useful link in our own infographic on website success.

  43. Great Info Graphic! Wrote a post about bounce rates in e-commerce not to long ago. http://www.searchspring.net/blog/importance-of-engagement-for-seo.html
    Bounce rates can be controlled by improving the quality of a site and by better understanding the ways your traffic uses your site.

  44. SEO is a very effective marketing tool that can help big in optimizing a site’s visibility. And once the site becomes visible on the search engines, traffic must be come! Hence, SEO is not only important for online businesses, it’s crucial.

  45. Bounce rate seems like one of those things that really needs to take into account a variety of factors and cannot be used a stand alone measure from what I read here. Great article too!

  46. Splendid article, this is the 8th in a row I’ve read about bounce rate and how to improve it, and it is the best by far !!!! Congrats.

  47. Do you believe that links from bad site is have affect your site, after panda effect?

  48. The infographics is very upon representing bounce rate, the lower the bounce rate the better.

  49. The infographics is very clear upon representing bounce rate, the lower the bounce rate the better, Cause you give users comprehensive content and the traffic that you have has something to go with or it might be leads.

  50. The bounce rate on my website has increased 10 fold in the last month since utilizing stumbleupon. This could be viewed as both a negative and positive, negative in that traffic is not searching my site and the positive is they are hitting my site and the pages submitted to stumbleupon are relevant enough to come up in the search.

  51. Think it’s important to differentiate between “forward” bounce rate (where the visitor may be referred to a related site via a link) and “backward” bounce rate (where the visitor simply hits the “back” button on his or her browser, or closes window). The former may actually be desirable in some circumstances (e.g. directory sites sending traffic to third parties, web portals etc.)

  52. Is it safe to assume Google doesn’t negatively view pages with high bounce rates because it’s intelligent enough to realise it doesn’t give a reliable picture? I searched about bounce rates and found this page because I was concerned Google might think pages are no good if people exit straight away.

    Also, I link extensively between my sites, so if people come to one of my sites and immediately click a link to one of my other sites that counts as an immediate bounce doesn’t it? Is this good or bad?

  53. We have a high bounce rate on a page that takes a long time to load. Does google count it as a bounce if a visitor leaves the page before it is fully loaded’

  54. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this excellent blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will share this site with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  55. Thanks for your article it is very clear, but I have inquiry why some times the bounce rate on my website get increased

  56. yes it’s true, google count how many visitor coming in the post. and than your post come in fist place in google search.

  57. Thank you for the exceptional infographic and statistics.

    I’m sure this has been said in the oodles (and oodles!) of prior comments, but a bounce rate can be high for any number of reasons. And while it’s undesired in many cases, this is not *always* a bad thing. Key factors to consider are your industry, the type of site you have (content, direct sales, etc.), and your website’s primary purpose.

    Just looking at this at it’s most rudimentary level, if you have a content-based site, then clearly you would expect a lower bounce rate (unless the content solely exists to get visitors to strategically placed affiliate links), for instance.

    I think the better question (or concern) in any case, then, is… where do they “bounce” TO?

  58. I dropped the bounce rate on one of my main sites from average 66% to 0,63% and it’s been this low for about three weeks after I made a few changes. It helps to change your perspective from site owner to site visitor.
    Try to look at your page layout through the eyes of a first time site visitor, note down all these things that you notice first (not what bothers you as an owner, maybe your website isnt perfect but whose is). Look especially at landing pages, do your new visitors understand what your website is about at a first glance or are you making them guess? Make notes on your experience, then go and ask some friends and family what they think, those who you know always have an opinion. Take stock , sit down and recreate focus on making visitor eyeballs move where you want them, don’t clutter with too much text on landing pages, get them in and let them move on, show them the how immediately (righthand corner above the fold). Focus on creating visuals that lead people to explore. Nobody leaves my website after visiting at least 4 pages.

  59. Great Info-Graphic. Quite a few good key recommendations to fix Bounce Rate issues and the reasons behind them.

    I have just written a more comprehensive blog post on Bounce Rates:
    http://gitgrow.com/blog/?p=92.

  60. A high bounce rate is not generally bad. Just think of high Quality content sites that provide Information for the very early stage in the buying cycle. Like Wikipedia. People only want one Information and then jump off to search again with a refined query.

    That’s ok, for users and search engines. Keep this in mind when you judge about your pages. Dont kill them for a ev wrong reason.

  61. Thansk for the information. I find it very useful.

  62. Great info…. thanqs….

  63. If someone clicks on an AdWords ad and then they fill out the form on a landing page and submit it and close the browser or continue onto a new website of their choice, will this be recognized as a drop off in the visitors flow chart on google analytics?

  64. Great post, I think Bounce rate could be used to control improving the quality! however are there any connection with Google Analytics?

  65. Most likely a visitor will leave your website. Indeed someone staying on there forever ist most likely to have died in front of the screen of his computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. That would allow for little business even if you are a funeral services company.

    Bounces have always to be seen in connection with the specific site and what it strategically aims at. If you give information and people leave after 30 seconds then your may be doing a good job if reading your info does not take long. You do even better if you get a like along the way. If you have long detailed informations that take 90 seconds to read then 30 seconds are not a good sign unless there is a bookmark or read-later action along the way.

    Figures about a website only have value along the context in which they are created. The context indeed is what determines if a number is reason for celebration or some weekend- overwork.

  66. I am going to use the glossary idea.

  67. Nice info-graphics! If a user leaves the website say via a link and comes back again to the website, is it considered a bounce?

  68. You have expressed nicely the bounce rate with your infographics, highly appreciated.

  69. I couldn’t agree more. Too many people view the number of visitors and the bounce rate as the complete picture. There is so much more to analytic data and this infographic demonstrates that.

  70. I have just started blogging and this post helps me understand Google analytics term “BOUNCE RATE”..

  71. Hey,

    Excellent infographics. you have explained a great method here. The way you have explained the bounce rate is awesome. It would be better if you could give some methods to decrease bounce rate of eCommerce website.

    Thank you

  72. Thanks for sharing. I really like what you write and look for good resources as well. I think bounce rate play an essential factor when we talks about entries to the page.

  73. Hi there,

    Thanks for the infographic – very interesting!

    I have a question you might be able to answer:
    Do html elements with a onclick=”window.location” contribute to bounce statistics (they link to an internal page)?

    I’ve had a look at the in-page analytics for the site I’m working on and the onclick elements don’t provide any percentage of clicks. This makes me wonder if GA thinks the user is bouncing, when really they are clicking on a different kind of hyperlink.

    What do you think?

    Cheers
    Nick

  74. I such as the worthwhile data you deliver into your reports.I will bookmark your weblog and investigate again the following routinely.I’m somewhat guaranteed I’ll understand considerably of new things appropriate listed here! Excellent luck to the subsequent!

  75. Diane Vukovic Dec 28, 2012 at 1:08 am

    I think that this is going to start mattering much more for SEO in 2013, especially as Google will devalue cheap links like directory submissions.

  76. This is a great infographic, but based on comments, it looks like this was posted back in Nov 2010.

    Do you have updated data you can share?

    Thanks!

  77. I second Colin K. I’d love to know how to reduce bounce rate this year.

  78. This infographic is very helpful… thanks a lot…,

  79. i have a private website where users have to log in. after logging they land on a specific page based on their user profile. there are 8 different pages they can land on after logging in. how do i get a bounce rate on the page they land on AFTER logging in?

  80. Hi Guys,
    My site is http://www.londonescape.com and I got high bounce rate because google does not track
    visitors when they use my search box to find apartments…I mean when a visitor come across the site and select checkin and checkout and click on search after google consider it as bounce rate. Why ? Can anyone help me ?

    Best,
    Giuseppe

    • MY eyes are glazing over on this. As a new online business owner, I am again overwhelmed by what I should be knowing and doing!

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