November 11, 2017

What is Bounce Rate? Understanding the metric and its usage.

We last covered the topic of Audience Engagement and discussed how a proper understanding of metrics is very necessary. To help you out with it we decided to deep dive in these metrics. This blog will discuss Bounce Rate and some methods to improve it. Also we will see how a high bounce rate is not always a bad sign.

Bounce rate is also one of the  factors considered by Google’s algorithm for ranking.But before we talk about fixing it, its essential to understand the term clearly.

What is Bounce Rate? How is Bounce Rate measured?

Bounce Rate is the percentage of your audience which navigates away from your website after viewing only one page. It is often confused with the definition of ‘exit rate’. The thing is exit rate does not consider the fact that the visitor may have been led by some other page from the same site.

Bounce Rate Equation:

R_{b}={\frac {T_{v}}{T_{e}}}

  • Rb = Bounce rate
  • Tv = Total number of visitors viewing one page only
  • Te = Total entries to page

Low bounce rate signifies that the website/page encourages the audience to see more. Now you would surely want your audience to stay and check out more of your website. The more content the audience checks out the better chances you have of converting them into customers or regular visitors. Thus low bounce rates are always preferable.

Its important to note that there is no industry standard time duration for a visitor to leave in order to be considered as a bounce.
Thus, different analytics software might deliver different results. In case you do so make sure to verify & match the time parameters considered by both software.

Its not so apparent.

Interpreting Bounce Rate:

What a Bounce rate at the end of the day points out that your website isn’t retaining its visitors. These leads to these possibilities:

  • Visitors who come to your site are finding what they want but don’t get interested in anything else.
  • Not being able to find what they want at all.
The key is to make sure that once visitors land on a page, they are drawn to visiting even more pages. Click To Tweet

But its also important to consider whether high bounce rate for your website is really a bad thing? If you have goals that don’t require  visiting more than one page of your website, then high bounce rate shouldn’t be bother.This is unless of course the number of conversions are extremely low as compared to people leaving the page.

Interpretation of the Bounce rate measure should be relevant to type of website and its business objective as well. For example websites on which specific page deliver specific knowledge on a subject,high bounce rate would not be as insightful.

eg. Dictionary, Specific Recipe, Sites which solve specific queries.

The Bounce Rate benchmark varies with type of industry. Know what is the average for your industry. Click To Tweet

What is a good Bounce Rate?

It is very common to ask what is a good bounce rate. Know that it is really hard to get a bounce rate under 20%. If you have a bounce rate under 20% then its too good to be true and in most probably your analytics implementation has a glitch.

In general a bounce rate of

  • 25- 40% is considered good.
  • 50-60% Average and
  • 60-75% is bad while
  • anything above 75% is the worst.

You can get more specific and find out whats the normal benchmark for your industry. This Hubspot infographic is a great help for this.

Benchmark Averages for Bounce Rate as per industry.

In case you use Google Analytics then you can go a step further. Use Google’s Bounce Rate Benchmarking prowess. Google with this capability offers over 1,600 industry categories which can be picked for comparison. Although only a limited number of stats are available for such study it covers important  performance metrics like avg session duration, new sessions and Bounce Rates.

Use this feature to set-up the parameter and then match it up with yours to decide where you need to work. This feature allows to make as close a comparison as possible with options available even for choosing geography.

Google Benchmark


So that’s all about Bounce Rate for today. It is very essential to know these performance metrics in depth to really bring out the most of this data. This data then delivers actionable insights for improving the website performance. There are various strategies for improving Bounce Rate, right from website structure to colors and links. But the most crucial one is sticky content, proper placement and avenues for engagement.

Santoshkumar Pandey

Engineer by qualification, content & marketing expert by profession. Meditate, blibliophile & a creative geek.