A High Bounce Rate Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

Worried about your bounce rate? It might not be as bad as it seems..

Mr. Bounce isn't always bad
Mr. Bounce isn't always bad

A bounce is when a visitor to your website lands on a page and then leaves (bounces) without visiting another page of your site.    Looking at your bounce rate on key landing pages can help you ascertain the quality and relevance of your content (whilst bearing in mind the acquisition source).

So what do you do when you see a higher than average bounce rate on certain landing pages?  Firstly, don’t panic, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  If you’re checking out your latest analytics stats and seeing huge bounce rates check our list below to see when a high bounce rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing:

  1. Does your page encourage people to call a telephone number?  If so reading the telephone number from the page could be your visitors last interaction with your site before making a call.  To add metrics to this consider using click to call to trigger an event in Google Analytics for your mobile visitors and/or using a dedicated telephone number on your website and tracking calls via your telco provider.
  2. If your lead generation or contact form submits details on the same URL and doesn’t redirect to a thank you page then you will see these as bounces unless you set up an event or virtual page view to trigger a goal.
  3. Perhaps they clicked a link that took them off your site, this might be a paid advertisement (generating you revenue) or a link to buy something from one of your partners.
  4. Maybe your visitor simply found the information they were looking for as soon as they hit your site, for example perhaps they searched for “dimensions of widget X” and landed on a page that gave them the information they needed straight-up, no fuss.  In this scenario it might be hard to push the visitor to another piece of content or to fill out a lead form since the purpose of their visit was highly specific and fulfilled by the page they landed on.

That’s not to say bounces aren’t bad, ever, it’s just important to consider the context of why people are bouncing.

Before worrying about your bounce rate figures for a specific page always make sure you consider these three things:

  1. The type of content on that particular page
  2. The objective of the page
  3. Where the visitor came from – do the traffic source and landing page match in terms of relevance?