What is bounce rate?

Mar 9, 2021Website Tips

This article explains what is bounce rate in Google Analytics. Maybe you’ve heard the term ‘bouncing’ and ‘bounce rate’ and wondered what it means, so this article explains what is bounce rate of a website and how it affects your Google rankings.

What is bounce rate in SEO?

What is bounce rate

Between lockdowns last year I took my niece to a comedy club to watch and support my friend who was in the line-up.

We arranged to meet at the venue as my niece was meeting up with work colleagues beforehand.

I was directed to a room upstairs in the pub venue.

At the top of the stairs was a door with a glass window so you could peer inside without actually opening the door.

I could only see 3 people and the room was laid out like a classroom with tables and chairs.

Am I in the right place?

It looked like this was the performers green room – a side room to the main event where the performers could leave their stuff and hang out until their time on stage.

I spotted my friend so, I opened the door and peered in to ask if I was in the right place for the comedy night.

I was assured this was the room where the action would take place (and wasn’t the green room!)

My niece was nowhere to be seen and they hadn’t seen her either, so I went off to find her.

Where was my niece?

She had already arrived earlier, but because she also saw through the door’s window the unlikely layout she didn’t go in the room and instead hid in the ladies toilets to wait for me there.

This is what can happen when people land on your website.

When you follow a link

You follow a link from a Google Search (go up the stairs where you were directed)

Take a moment to see what loads up (peek through the door’s window)

Think you must be in the wrong place because it’s not what you were expecting (my niece didn’t see what she was expecting through the window – a classroom style layout with 3 people was not exactly the image she had of a comedy club)

Hit the back button without scrolling any further – (did not open the door to explore/enquire and instead hide in the ladies).

This is bouncing

Same applies if they’ve seen your stuff online, clicked through and think they’re in the wrong place so leave – known as bouncing.

You may have heard the term ‘bounce rate’, it refers to the percentage of people who land on your website then click immediately off without participating any further (peeking through the window).

Potential customers not seeing what they were expecting when they first arrive on a website and bouncing right off is one reason your website isn’t converting visitors into customers.

High Bounce Rates are bad

Not only is that bad for business, but if you have a high bounce rate then your search ranking is negatively affected, because Google takes that as a signal your website can’t be relevant.

You can see your bounce rate in your Google Analytics report and if it’s high, then that could be a reason your rankings are dropping and your conversion rate is poor.

Back to the Comedy Club

The room was laid out like it was so that we audience could sit socially distanced.

Which meant that the maximum capacity was just 10 and indeed, it did reach capacity that night.

My niece and I agreed that my friend was the best act of the night.

Bounce Rate in Google Analytics

So that explains what is bounce rate in Google Analytics. Now when you hear the term ‘bouncing’ and ‘bounce rate’ in SEO you know what it means, and how the bounce rate of a website affects your Google rankings.

If you’re worried that your website isn’t converting then get my guide ‘6 steps to increasing website conversions without increasing traffic


Photo by Memento Media on Unsplash