When it comes to your website, it’s important to monitor how it’s performing. Tracking performance allows you to adjust different tactics. Thereby ensuring that you have the best chance of attracting high-quality leads and converting them while they’re exploring your site. One metric that you should be sure to monitor is the bounce rate. However, the bounce rate benchmark isn’t as easy to read as you might think.
What Is The Bounce Rate?
A “bounce” occurs whenever someone who has visited your webpage leaves the page without engaging further. This is generally seen as a bad thing since visitors who leave without engaging may not be interested in your content, may have a poor first impression of your website, or did no0t find what they were looking for. A bounce can be triggered when a visitor returns to their original search results, closes their browser, stays inactive on your page and the session times out, clicks on an outbound link, or enters a new URL into the address bar.
While a high bounce rate might indicate that there’s something wrong with your page (for example, it’s not loading fast enough, resulting in visitors returning to their search results in frustration), it’s not always a bad thing. In some cases, certain pages simply have naturally high bounce rates. For example, contact pages often have high bounce rates. This is not because the visitor is leaving as a result of a negative experience — instead, they may simply be using the contact information they’ve found to reach you. With that in mind, you’ll want to set a different bounce rate benchmark for different types of pages.
Setting Your Bounce Rate Benchmark
Setting a bounce rate benchmark is important. When you monitor your bounce rate of certain pages, you’ll want to be able to identify if the bounce rate is too high or not. A bounce rate under 40 percent is considered normal, while a bounce rate between 20 and 30 percent is excellent. However, there are other factors to consider as well. Sometimes a 50 percent bounce rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing. With that in mind, the following are some of the factors you’ll need to consider when setting your bounce rate benchmark for different pages on your site.
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The type of page
As previously mentioned, some pages are going to have higher bounce rates than other pages because of the type of page that they are. Content-based pages, such as blog pages, tend to have higher bounce rates. A visitor might spend some time reading a long-form blog post and then leave after finishing. Unfortunately, this can trigger a bounce if all they did was read the post. But this isn’t necessarily a negative thing — if they stayed on the page and finished reading the entire post, then there’s always a chance they’ll come back to your site in the future.
Additionally, content pages are often visited via links posted on social media. This means that someone who came to your site, via a link to your blog that you posted on Facebook may go back to your Facebook page after they’re done. Just because they didn’t engage further on your website, doesn’t mean that they’re not engaging on your social pages afterwards. In addition to content-based pages, reference pages tend to have high bounce rates as well. For example, FAQ pages, form submission pages, and sales confirmation pages.
The device used
The device the user is on affects the bounce rate as well. People using a desktop are more likely to engage with a webpage that they are visiting because they have more time. Mobile users tend to be in more of a hurry and are more likely to bounce as a result.
The origin of the traffic
Knowing what channels your traffic is coming from is helpful since the origin of the traffic can affect the bounce rate. Visitors coming to your site from social media pages tend to go back to the social channel they came from. It’s why social media bounce rates are usually two to three times higher than bounce rates from other channels. The highest bounce rates come from display ad traffic. As far as the lowest bounce rates go, they tend to come from referral and email traffic. This is because visitors coming to your site from a referral or email link, are more likely to have an existing interest in your brand and are more likely to continue engaging on your site.
Although bounce rates are an excellent metric to track in order to monitor your website’s performance, it’s important to understand the factors that contribute to your bounce rate. Understanding why the bounce rate is what it is will make it easier to judge the performance of your pages.
The landscape of the Internet is ever changing and Nicole has the energy and aptitude to keep Stevens & Tate Marketing out in front of the pack. She leads an enthusiastic team in strategic planning, development, search engine marketing, online promotions and advertising for the web.