SEO Glossary > Bounce rate

Bounce rate

The percentage of direct visits to a particular web page which ends in the visitor leaving the website. The percentage is calculated by dividing the number of visits in which the user entered and left the website through the page by the total number of entrances to that page. The Bounce Rate is considered one of the most important metrics to gauge the quality of the content of a page.

Is bounce rate important for SEO?


John Mueller of Google stated more than once that Google does not look at the Google Analytics bounce rate when ranking sites.

How is bounce rate calculated?


Bounce rate is calculated by the number of visitors that only visit a single page divided by the total number of visits to a website. For example, if a single page on a website receives 100 visits over the course of a month and 50 of those visitors leave after only viewing that one page, the bounce rate for that page will be 50%.

How can bounce rate be reduced?


The majority of users judge a website within a few seconds of arriving. This judgment is made when looking at the above the fold area at a glance. Understanding this, a webmaster should do everything in their power to make their content clear and simple to understand at a glance.

This can be done when writing long-form content, by making sure the content is formatted in a way that is easy to scan and consume. Simply put, users find long blocks of text intimidating. This means break long paragraphs into smaller ones, and use paragraph headings, sub-headings, bulleted lists and images to create visual relief. This will not only create a clear structure for the content but will also help users scan through to find specific information.

This can also be achieved when creating home pages by using bold clear text surrounded by white space that is designed to let users know what the site is about. This in proximity to clear call to action buttons will help the user to understand what to do next.

Another way to reduce the bounce rate is to increase site speed. The reason increased site speed helps with bounce rate is users expect pages to load within seconds. Slow site speed therefore can result in the user losing patience and leaving the site before ever seeing the content. A webmaster can optimize pages on their site by using sites like GTMetrix and Google Page Speed.

It is vital that a site is designed to be relevant to the user's query. A user will click through to a site with a tangible gain in mind. If the site doesn't immediately satisfy the user or provide a way to satisfy the user, they will look elsewhere. Therefore another way to reduce bounce rate is to understand what the user is looking for and to focus the page on satisfying the user intent.