Bounce Rate – What Is It? What’s Good? And How to Improve It

Bounce Rate

You’ve probably noticed something called bounce rate in Google Analytics, and maybe you’re wondering what it is, whether it’s good or bad, what’s average and how to improve it?

Well hopefully I can help you to better understand bounce rate. First things first let me just say that if you are trying to make money blogging with display advertising networks like Mediavine or Google Adsense then it’s important that you maximise the pageviews on your blog or website.

What is Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate is a percentage measurement, or rating, of how many of your website or blog visitors leave after the first page view. For example, if you get 10 visits in one day and 8 of them leave without viewing a second page, or piece of content, then your bounce rate would be 80%.

This isn’t always an accurate way to measure how engaging or great your content is, because sometimes a high bounce rate can actually be a good thing. Let me explain.

Example where a high bounce rate could be GOOD:

If you write a post about a new iPhone and include links from an affiliate network then you will be hoping for a high bounce rate because that means the visitor has clicked through your links to purchase a new phone, and that means cash in your pocket. That’s exactly what you want.

Example where a high bounce rate could be BAD:

If, however, your blog posts contain no affiliate links, or very few, and you’re only monetising your content with display ads on a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) basis then you will want the lowest bounce rate possible to maximise your revenue. Now it’s important to lower it.

What is a Good Bounce Rate?

Again, as shown above, this really depends on the type of website or blog you are running, what type of content you’re putting out, what industry you’re in, and how it’s monetised.

Since I’m a blogger, I’ll focus on content websites and blogs. I’d say an exceptional bounce rate for a blog would be between 20-40%, a good bounce rate between 40-60%, an average bounce rate between 60-70% and a poor bounce rate anything above 70%. So many varying factors.

What is the Average Bounce Rate?

The average bounce rate for blogs and content websites is in the region of 70-90% – meaningful blogs like mine would be on the lower end of average, or lower, whereas viral sites driven by social media, with some exceptions, are much higher. Scarily high. Some at 90% and above.

What Does Bounce Rate Mean for Your Website?

Again, this depends entirely on what your goals are, and what you write about.

But generally, all things aside and considered, you want to actively work to keep your bounce rate as low as possible, even if you’re using a lot of affiliate links, because you want to maximise the revenue from your display advertising (which you should be running, too) as well.

If your bounce rate is high and those visitors are not clicking through your affiliate links to make purchases, then there’s a problem you need to address. It’s important that you work to fix it.

How to Improve / Lower Your Bounce Rate

You can actually lower your bounce rate overnight with just a few simple steps.

Totally hypothetical, but imagine you wrote a post about the best places to go Fishing in Lancashire and people were arriving in their droves from Google, totally loving it, and then leaving because they got the information they needed. But what if you wrote another post, maybe the best places to go Fishing in England, and linked to this post within your current one.

Genius, right? Not really. Pretty simple. But it’s the most effective and rewarding simple thing you will ever do on your blog. And your bounce rate will decrease instantly.

If you use WordPress there’s a great plugin called YARPP (Yet Another Related Posts Plugin) that automagically inserts a bunch of related posts below your post content. Give that a try, I use it myself and think it’s a must-have for all bloggers. Great for SEO, and for bounce rate.

Don’t have a WordPress blog? Read this: How to Start a Blog (see what I mean?)

Ways to lower your bounce rate:

  • Write and link to closely related, helpful content within your posts
  • Use pagination for your longer posts
  • Write in short paragraphs and avoid large chunks of text
  • Make use of headings and sub-headings
  • Avoid popups (ANNOYING)

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