what is the bounce rate in google analytics

What is the bounce rate in google analytics? We love the metrics. They are the best tool to know if we are improving or not. Today we are going to focus on one of the most forgotten web metrics: the bounce rate or percentage. But not because it is less known than other vanity metrics, such as the number of visits, it is less important. On the contrary, the bounce rate is key within the pyramid of web optimization.
If you want to know what the rebound rate is and why its importance is important, read on.


what-is the bounce-rate-in-google-analytics
what-is the bounce-rate-in-google-analytics

What is the bounce rate

According to Google, the bounce rate of your website is calculated as the number of sessions that visit a single page of your website with respect to the total number of sessions. In other words, a bounce occurs when you receive a visit to your website and the visitor leaves without visiting any other page of the same website.
If someone visits a page of your website and then leaves without interacting or visiting any other page, we will say that this visit has bounced.


Scooby Doo Hello GIF by Boomerang Official - Find & Share on GIPHY
Enter your website, take a quick look and leave.

As an example, if half of your visitors only visit a page of your website and then leave, your rate or bounce rate will be 50%. Therefore, to improve the engagement of the web we are interested in reducing this bounce rate.

How to know the bounce rate of a page?

To know what the bounce rate of our website is, what we need is a web analytics tool, such as Google Analytics.
Log in to your Google Analytics account and go to the Behavior menu, then to Site content and finally to All pages. There you will find different information about your pages, including the bounce rate.

Sample of the metrics provided by Google Analytics for a specific page, including the rebound rate.
what-is the bounce-rate-in-google-analytics

Sample of the metrics provided by Google Analytics for a specific page, including the rebound rate.

So easy you can see the percentage of the bounce of your pages with Google Analytics. If you use a different tool, surely also offer this metric, since it is quite common.

What is an optimal rebound rate?

This is the one million question. And it depends on the type of web you have and the traffic that reaches it.
For example, if you have a blog where you write content, it is usual to have a high rebound (as you could see in the previous capture where one of our entries was seen) since many readers directly enter to read the content (come from social networks or from Google) and then they go.
On the other hand, if you are analyzing the main page ( landing page ) of your website, it is more usual that its bounce rate is lower since the task of this type of pages is to direct you to another action (visit the price page, complete a form, etc.).
And if you want specific numbers, there are many websites out there that comment that bounce rates between 26% and 40% are excellent, that the average is between 41% and 55%, and that 56% to 70% is above the average. They also indicate that with a bounce rate above 70% you have a problem as long as you are not a blog or a news page (pure content, as I explained before).
Although this analysis seems a bit simplistic, I leave the numbers and then you decide whether you believe them or not.

The bounce rate and the exit or abandonment rate

When looking at your web analytics tool, be careful not to confuse the metric of the bounce rate with the exit or abandonment rate. They are not the same, and they can mess you up.
Both measure similar concepts related to the exit of a visitor from a specific page of your website. But, I repeat, they are not the same.
As I said before, the bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who land on a page and leave it before interacting with it. On the other hand, the exit or abandonment rate measures the percentage of visitors that leave the page after having visited it, but they may have come from another page of the same website. Therefore, all bounces involve outputs from the page, but not all outputs are bounces (because they can come from other pages of the web).

On what occasions can a bounce not be a bounce?

There are many reasons why a visitor can generate a bounce. These are some of the most common:
  • Click on the back button of the browser to return to the previous web.
  • Enter a new URL in the browser.
  • Close the browser or the tab.
  • That the session expires after a certain time (usually after 60 minutes of inactivity).
However, there are times when our web analytics tool may be counting wrongly.
Google Analytics puts in the same sack the visitor that enters in your page and leaves running; who enters your page, spends a while reading the contents, and eventually ends up leaving thanks to a link that you have included there; and the one that arrives at your page, reads all its content in detail, and then, satisfied, it goes away.
For Google Analytics, all these cases generate a bounce of equal conditions, but it is clear that what is really happening is not the same ...
Also, if we look at it from the SEO point of view, would it be fair for Google to position the first example as the second and the third? Surely your answer is no.
Well, be quiet, because, in addition to the bounce rate, Google takes into account the time spent on the page to decide how good it is and position accordingly.
That is why despite having a very high rebound, the page that we have shown you in the capture of our Google Analytics has good positioning. The average time of stay of visitors in it is more than 7 minutes. It's not bad at all!

Adapt Google Analytics to measure "well" the rebound rate

If it bothers you that Google Analytics counts as a bounce the visitors that are in your page a certain amount of time to indicate that they have read the complete content, you are in luck: it is possible to modify Google Analytics so that you avoid counting those sessions as a bounce that have a minimum duration. To do this you only have to send an event to Google Analytics after the time you decide (for example, 30 seconds).
Assuming that in your website you use the Google Analytics script by default, which defines the JavaScript object, what you have to do is put the following line after including the tracking code:
setTimeout( ga( 'send','event','Arreglo de la tasa de rebote', 'Tiempo de permanencia mínimo de 30 segs.'), 30000 );
I'm not going to lie to you, it's a hack, but you decide whether or not to apply it to your analytics. After doing this you will see that your bounce rate starts to drop since you will stop marking as bounce those visitors to your website that only come to read content and then leave.
We do not have it applied to our website because we like to see the complete data, although that implies that in blog entries we have high rebound rates.

How to reduce the bounce rate of a page?

As I said, once you have applied the previous modification to better adjust the way to track your visitors with Google Analytics, your bounce rate should decrease, showing the pages that really have a bounce problem.
In those pages, you should carefully analyze what is happening so that your visitors leave without further interaction. We leave you a couple of tips so you can work on those pages and the best ones.

Improves content and its link structure

Think of the visitor and put yourself on their skin. Only then can you get to understand why it leaves your pages. Are you providing him with value? Do you solve a problem?
One of the best ways to see a decrease in the bounce rate is to improve the content of the page. And when we talk about the content, I also include links or calls to action. It is possible that the visitor does not interact with the page because he does not know or does not understand what he has to do there.
And if you're selling something on that page, remember to review the highest level of the optimization pyramid, of which I spoke earlier. You will have to persuade the visitor to end up becoming a client; show testimonials, give him confidence, tell him how good you are and how much your product or service needs ...

Make A / B Testing

It will be of little use if you make changes in the content or design of your pages to try to improve their usefulness and thus reduce the bounce rate in them if you do not compare the changes made and the current version in the same conditions and following an appropriate method.
Find an A / B testing tool with which you can test the different modifications on your website. At the end of the tests, you will be able to see if your modifications have improved or worsened your bounce rate, and the best thing is that you will make decisions based on scientific data and not opinions.

Summary

The bounce rate is useful data to measure the level of satisfaction of your users, along with the time of permanence. If someone enters your page and leaves it without clicking on a second page, that's a rebound.
You should not worry about SEO if you have a high bounce rate but the time spent on the page is also high. The search engines will take into account the combination of these factors to the position.
But if you have high rebound percentages with low dwell times, you should keep an eye on your pages. Surely something is happening that is causing your visitors to flee from your website. In this case, propose improvements in your content and structure and validate them through A / B tests.

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