Optimize bounce rate – How to correctly interpret the bounce rate?

The bounce rate indicates how many visitors leave a page without any interaction such as clicking on a subpage or entering a search.

It is considered one of the most important performance indicators for website and shop operators. Why is she so important? Because something is obviously wrong: the visitor entered the shop URL or clicked on a link for a specific reason. But then he must have seen immediately that he couldn’t find what he was looking for there – or expectations were raised beforehand that were not met. Both should be avoided. Once a potential customer has landed on the website, everything should be done to make them happy.

A high bounce rate can have numerous reasons

The first step should therefore be to look for the reasons for the jumps. There are many of them: for example, poor user guidance or navigation, advertising overkill, poor readability and a failed page structure. And of course: boring content. Annoying audios and videos or compulsory registration also deter many, even if the site is potentially interesting for them. Other reasons such as long waiting times, errors in page programming and a lack of calls to action.

A bounce rate of zero sounds ideal, but it’s not achievable because you can’t please everyone.

High bounce rates don’t always have to be negative

However, the question arises as to which bounce rate is still tolerable and at what level it becomes questionable. The clear answer is: It depends. The example comparison between an online shop and an online dictionary is plausible: The shop aims to make a purchase, but high bounce rates are poison for the business. In the case of the dictionary, however, a high bounce rate can be positive, as one can conclude that the user quickly found the translation he was looking for.

There are benchmarks for classification. Shows significant differences between different industries. According to Google data, while the bounce rate in the auto industry was around 46 percent in 2017, it was 65 percent for news sites. But it shouldn’t play too much of a role: the focus must always be on what the website is supposed to do and whether a high bounce rate is good or bad in this context. Another tip: It can also be helpful to compare the overall website bounce rate with that of individual pages.

Lower the bounce rate quickly and effectively

Suppose you run an online shop. Then it can usually be assumed that a high bounce rate is negative because you want to retain your customers and those who might become customers as much as possible. Many recipes for reducing the bounce rate result from the reasons listed above: A clearer design of the page, good user guidance and original content are just a few of them. Technical performance should also be kept in mind. If the page loads for too long, this is reason enough for many to turn around and look elsewhere, where they can be served faster.

Anyone who surfs the web with their smartphone rarely wants to wander through cumbersome page structures or look for navigation elements with a magnifying glass. Whether and how Google uses the bounce rate as a ranking factor is controversial. However, the experts agree that it plays an important role in SEO.

Use the bounce rate as an early warning system for necessary optimizations!

As soon as the visitor is there, he is already gone again: This frustrates operators of online shops and can also have negative consequences in the long term. Because if the potential customer later searches for a product again and sees the shop at the top of the hit list, he may not click on the link from the outset. Bounce rate shouldn’t drive anyone crazy, and it shouldn’t be considered the sole factor in a website’s success or failure. However, shop operators should be aware of them and, if necessary, take countermeasures instead of simply letting bad things run their course. Optimizations are possible with little effort and quick success.