If you manage the analytics of your website there are a few key indicators that tell you how well your site is performing, and if you have a high bounce rate. There are of course multiple tools and features you can use with Google Analytics but the following four are your core.

  • Sessions – The number of visits to your website
  • Goals – Pre-set target destinations that indicate a sale or successful user interaction
  • Conversion Rate – The percentage of users on your website that complete a goal
  • Bounce Rate – The percentage of users that leave your website without interacting with any other pages.

All four indicators are interconnected to some extent. Poorly set up analytics goals, for instance, will mess up all of your hard work. This potentially ruins your conversion rate accuracy and could make a successful website appear to be under-performing.

The focus of this blog post however is simple…

Tackling a High Bounce Rate

As mentioned, your bounce rate if the percentage of users that engage with only the first page they land before leaving the site. For most people this will be your homepage but it could just as easily be a product page or a blog post depending on what the user typed into the search engine or if they clicked one of your adverts.

If your website is performing well, sales are coming in and you’re AdWords campaign is generating lots of business, it’s easy to ignore bounce rate as irrelevant and just plough on with your advertising.

The problem is that as your bounce rate increases, so too does the cost per click of all of your advertising. Not to mention the fact that your organic listing on google will also be penalised, pushing you further down the page rankings if left unchecked.

What Actually Is A High Bounce Rate?

“If the number falls between 26-40 percent, your bounce rate is healthy. Anything over 70 percent may be a cause for concern…”

Itamar Gero, Siteoscope Founder.

Review Your Work Regularly

The reason for this is twofold. When you create an AdWords campaign your maximum cost per click is multiplied by your quality score in order to work out how often your avert will appear at the top of the page rankings. This system means that although companies willing to just pour thousands into advertising will still rank consistently high, a website with a much smaller budget has the chance to outperform them by delivering better and more relevant content and increasing their quality score multiplier.

One of the key indicators to Google when determining your quality score is your bounce rate, in particular the bounce rate of the page your adverts take users too.

If users are bouncing straight off your website when they first arrive, this suggests to Google that your adverts are misleading or irrelevant and will therefore continue to reduce your quality score, meaning you will either need to pay more for every click to stay at the top, or just accept that you’re going to slip down the rankings if you’re not prepare to improve the quality of your adverts.

However, not all High Bounce Rates are bad…

As shown in this article, sometimes a high bounce rate can be an indication that your site is working in the way it should.

If you’re using Analytics to track a blog, news site or events page, you may notice a high bounce rate. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your content is bad; in fact it could be exactly what your users are looking for, which would mean that they don’t need to go anywhere else.

It Could Affect Your Organic Results, too…

In the same instance, the high bounce rate caused by your advertising campaign will have most likely raised the bounce rate of your website on the whole. Although Google haven’t said for certain that this is the case, it has been heavily implied in the past that having a high bounce rate will also affect how high up your site appears on organic listings as well, meaning a poor performing AdWords campaign can have a far-reaching impact on how your site ranks in future.

This may seem scary to those new to AdWords and made the prospect of advertising online that little bit more daunting. Please don’t be discouraged and remember the reasons why this system is in place.

By penalising those who don’t care about the quality and relevance of their content, the cream will rise to the top. Those who were around before Google dominated the internet will remember how irrelevant adverts would appear everywhere on search engines. As a result, when Google came along and prevented this from happening, we all left in droves.

If you take only one thing from this blog post let it be this:

Improving your bounce rate will not only save you money and get more organic visits to your website, you will also be helping make the internet a better place, one website at a time.

Indiespring have written more helpful material about ranking highly with Google here, and you can check out our PPC expertise here.