The bounce rate is the percentage of people who visit only one page on your website in a single session. It is one of the most important metrics that you should be tracking and improving on for your website.
What is a session?
A single session is otherwise known as a visit. A session is a users interaction with your website within a period of time. If a user visits your website and then doesn’t interact with your website for 30 minutes, the session will expire (as far as Google analytics is concerned). So a single user could have more than one session in a day.
If a user continues to interact with your website, the session will automatically expire after 4 hours.
Why is the bounce rate important?
If a user leaves your website after visiting just one page (without visiting anymore pages), it is an indication that they are not engaged with your website. Engagement is important, because the more engaged a user is, the more likely it is that will become a fan of your website.
Engagement and membership sites
If you run a membership or educational site, engagement is critical. The more engaged a person is, the more they will feel part of your tribe and the less likely they are to churn (cancel their membership). Therefore, it is critical to monitor and optimise the bounce rate.
How can you improve the bounce rate?
Bounce rates are one of those metrics where lower is better. A lower bounce rate means less people are leaving your site after just one visit. To improve the bounce rate, you typically want to find ways to give them more of a reason to stay and visit more pages (or interact in some other way). This could include:
- Recommending content that is relevant for them
- Provide a useful and relevant tool that helps them solve a problem
- Providing an educational resource that is multiple pages
- Making it easier to navigate around the site
- Simplifying and reducing confusion (a confused visitor is likely to bounce)
- Improving the speed of your website