Why Bounce Rate Is One of the Most Important Metrics

It has been said many times before and in just about every sector of the business world that you need to have a firm grasp on your numbers. How many times has a presentation on Dragons’ Den or Shark Tank flopped because the business owner didn’t know how much revenue he earned last quarter or how much is his cost per unit?

Making money online is no different, regardless of whether you’re an affiliate marketer or a professional blogger. There are a lot of numbers to keep front of mind in this industry. For a lot of us, we pay the most attention to at least a couple of them. We keep an eye on how much money we are earning and we keep tabs on our total unique monthly visitors. You might also be keen to know your total monthly page views, your click-thru rate or your conversion rate. One other metric that is incredibly important but oftentimes overlooked is your bounce rate.

Let’s start with a couple of key definitions. The bounce rate represents the percentage of visitors to your website who leave after only viewing one page on your site. They don’t stick around. They don’t read some of the other content you have. They don’t inquire any further. They just come in and “bounce” away. This is related to but different from the exit rate. The bounce rate is more about your website as a whole, whereas the exit rate is for a specific page. A visitor might have already read a dozen of your blog posts, only to exit on post #13.


So, why should you care?

Consider this. You might be putting in a tremendous amount of effort into search engine optimization, working so hard to rank for your target keywords. You finally get your website to the top of the Google rankings and the visitors start pouring in. However, many of them “bounce” away, never to return. If you have a high bounce rate, you’ve lost a huge opportunity.

You’ve lost the chance to gain a loyal follower and reader. You’ve lost the chance to convert that passive visitor into an active buyer. You’ve left money on the table, because you couldn’t retain their interest. What’s the point of putting in all that effort into your SEO if you blow your one chance at attracting and retaining a customer? In business, as I’m sure you’ve heard, it’s far more cost-effective to keep a customer than it is to gain a new one.

But even if we don’t get that far, a high bounce rate can be indicative of a very pressing problem. It means that the content you providing is not engaging enough or it’s not sufficient enough to retain the visitor. You are not necessarily providing the value or solution that this person is seeking. What it means is that you may want to consider tweaking your content strategy or site layout as to encourage greater engagement and interest.

Of course, this isn’t going to be true in all cases and under all circumstances. Sometimes search traffic is just looking for a single answer that just one of your web pages can provide. Maybe they’re looking for that one product and your landing page suitably directed them to an external sales funnel. That’s possible. But if you want to maximize the return on your efforts and maximize your revenue potential, you’ll want to do everything possible to shrink that bounce rate down.

The further a visitor digs into your site, the more likely you’ll gain a fan and a follower for a long time to come.

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16 thoughts on “Why Bounce Rate Is One of the Most Important Metrics”

  1. Great article! Thanks for the information. It was very helpful.

  2. I’ve had issues with bounce rate. Mostly due to the lack of content I’m working on lowering it this month. Thanks for the valuable post!

  3. Great work John. Liked all the tips and would like to try them. Hope it will help me. Thanks for the awesome content.

  4. Rudy says:

    If you create a original and interesting content then your bounce rate will be high!

  5. Saint Jose says:

    Absolutely masterpiece article.Looking forward to see more useful and informative post in future.Thanks for giving knowledge about bounce rate important/not. Keep going.

  6. Aden Clark says:

    Hey Michael,

    How are you?

    Bounce rate is a weird subject really as I’ve experienced, especially with several review websites I manage.

    I believe the bounce rate depends on what type of website you have.

    For example:

    I have a web hosting review website and placed the top 5 ranking web hosts on the homepage, along with links to the review page and a separate link to visit the provider directly.

    As the website ranks for high converting keywords, the user found exactly what he/she was looking for and visited the providers I listed within a few seconds of landing on my website, which caused a very high bounce rate.

    Although my income did not suffer, I noticed a stick in the rankings, more than likely due to a high bounce rate in Google Analytics (which I had installed).

    What I noticed is that the links to the providers from my website did not open in a new window, so the user left my website almost instantly, but when I added the code to open the links in the new window, the length of time someone stayed on my website increased, as my site was in another tab, while a person is viewing the provider.

    As my bounce rate reduced, my rankings also seemed to increase a few spots, which I really do believe is directly due to the improvement in bounce rate.

    My advice is, always open any external links in a new window, as you may be a ninja and you are providing the exact content your visitors are looking for, even though they have to leave your website to fulfill their needs.

    Hope that helps!

  7. Matt G. says:

    Good article, bounce rate is something many new bloggers (and even some seasoned bloggers) ignore or just don’t care about.

    I probably would have also mentioned a couple ways to help reign in a bounce rate. The easiest ways to do this are to add links to other posts in each of your blog posts. I’ve been testing graphical links on my blog instead of regular “boring” blue html links.

    Another easy way to help this to make use of your sidebar by adding a tags and/or categories widget. A search bar is also useful.

    And don’t forget quality content!

  8. faisal says:

    Time on site is very very important indeed

  9. Great post John. Thank you so much for sharing this.


  10. Matheus says:

    Thanks for the Article!

    Well, which percentage should be considered as a good bounce rate? Because i have two blogs:

    BLOG “A”: Bounce Rate 7%
    BLOG “B”: Bounce Rate is 45%

    And what I want to know is: What is the maximum that a Bounce Rate could be to be considered ideal?

  11. Oge says:

    I never took bounce rate to be that important until I read your post. Thanks so much John! Will review mine and improve on it.

  12. quality content is very important..and not to forget your website template

  13. Yasin Rishad says:

    Hello Michael,

    Glad to see your content on bounce rate is an important metrics. If bounce rate increase it mean your content is no good. Your visitor going away from you just because of low quality content and bad web design. Google will kick your content with their new metrics Name Dwell Time.

    So less bounce rate mean you have high quality content. Thank you for your clear description on bounce rate.

    Kind Regards
    Yasin Rishad

  14. Shamsudeen says:

    Hi Micheal,

    Bounce rate is an important metrics to watch out for, no doubt about it.

    But I believe there are certain things to first evaluate before judging if higher bounce rate is good or bad for your business, as in some cases, higher bounce rate does not automatically translate to onsite bad user experience.

    Depending on your blogging goals, if your goal is to get readers just clicking on ads, then fine, don’t worry over higher bounce rate since readers are just doing exactly what you expect them to do – clicking away.

    But if your goal is to get people interact with your content before taking positive actions, then higher bounce rate is something you shouldn’t take for granted.

    I have successfully reduce my blog bounce rate from 97% to 22% in less than two months. I did this by writing more in-depth long form articles, and keywords rich targeted contents that are targeted at search engines visitors.

    This strategy has really worked out fine for me, and I believe it should also for anyone who write detail post.

    Thanks Mic, nice reading.

  15. Thank you very much, nice sharing

  16. pagalpantii says:

    Thanks for this nice article. Its useful for all ..

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