Bounce Rate – What is it and How to Improve it?

Bounce Rate is widely used by Digital Markters and is readily available in Google Analytics report.  In this post, I will answer several common questions about Bounce Rate metrics. Specifically, I will answer:

  • What is bounce rate?
  • What's the formula for calculating bounce rate ?
  • What's a good bounce rate?
  • What's a bad bounce rate?
  • What does 100% bounce rate mean?
  • How to reduce bounce rate?
  • (Bonus) Bounce rate in Google Analytics (GA4)


What is Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate is the percentage of sessions who enter a site or a page and then leave immediately.  Generally, “leave immediately” means that the user landed on the site and left without going to any other page.

Bounce rates are calculated both at the individual page level and at the site level. For an individual page, bounce rate is the ratio of visitors who enter the site from that page and leave without going any deeper, to the total number of visitors who enter the site through that page. In other words, it is single page visits/ total entries to the site through that page.
At the site level, bounce rate is simply single-page visits/total site visits.

In Google Analytics you will find bounce rates ate both the individual page level as well as the site level.


How is a bounce rate calculated?

Bounce rate is calculated by taking the total number of single-page visits (visits or sessions that only view one page on the site) then dividing it by the total number of visits on the site in a given time period. The bounce rate is expressed as a percentage.

At the page level, the Bounce rate is calculated by taking the total number of visits that enter the site from a given page and then leaving the site without going to another page and then dividing it by a total number of visits entering the site through that page.


The formula for Bounce Rate on the site = (Total Single Page Visits/ Total Visits)* 100

The formula for Bounce Rate on the site = (Total Single Page Visits entering from a particular page/ Total Visits entering from that page)* 100

To see an example, watch the video at the end of this post to see an example.


What is a good bounce rate and a bad bounce rate?

  • 30% is a great bounce rate for almost any site. That's what you will expect from a very well-designed site.
  • Anything under 50% is good.
  • Bounce rate bove 50%, is an indicator of a problem with the site or the landing pages.
  • Bounce rate of 100 or 100% indicates that there is a big problem on your site or landing page and it should be investigated immediately. 100% bounce rate means that means every user who's coming to your site is leaving immediately without going any further.
  • Anything lower than 10% indicates a problem with the tracking on your site.


Why is a 10% or lower bounce rate generally not good?

A bounce rate of lower than 10% indicates that you have put double tracking on your web pages. As a result of double tracking, when a user lands on a web page or your site, you are immediately, sending two hits to Google Analytics. Since there are automatically two hits (page views), it tells Google Analytics that it's not a bounce. Bounce means only single hit or single page view. If your whole site is double tagged, then you will see a 0% bounce rate, so pay attention to that and make sure to audit your Google Analytics tracking.

If you are interested to know how to audit your Google Analytics tracking, contact us for details. Bounce rate is also impacted by the type of the site or the page.


Bounce Rate by type of site or pages

  • Blogs generally have 50% to 70% bounce rate because most visitors come to read a blog post and then leave.
  • Contact us pages also have a 50 plus percent bounce rate. They might even be closer to 70%.
  • The homepage of a site should have a lower bounce rate 30% or less.


Most common causes of Bounces and how to fix them

  1. Wrong Clicks - This generally happens when users accidentally click on your links in search engines, ads, emails, et cetera. In that case, when users realize that they are in the wrong place, they will immediately go back. That means they'll bounce. There's not much you can do about it. That's why you'll never get 100% because you will get some users who have accidentally arrived on your site.
  2. Mismatched expectations - This generally happens when there is a mismatch between the source where the user came from and where the user landed. For example, if you are promoting an offer in your ad, let's say you're saying 50% off when a user arrives on your landing page on your site and does not see that 50% off banner or call to Action or Wordings on your side. That's mismatched expectations. This is something you control. Make sure all your links, all your ads, all your emails are pointing to the right landing pages with the right experience. If not, then you will find a very high bounce rate on those landing pages.
  3. Page/Site Speed - Another reason for bouncers is slow Loading pages. If your website loads very slowly, users will lose patience and they will generally bounce back. If you're seeing a very high bounce rate across your site or on certain pages that you know should not have a very high bounce rate, then look at the page loading speed. An experiment by Microsoft showed that improving the page speed by even a few microseconds can lead to higher engagement and conversions. So pay attention to the page loading speed.
  4. User Expectations are met  - In this case, rather than mismatch expectations, their expectations are met. For example, if I'm searching for a phone number for a local Bank, I'm likely going to go to Google or Bing and search for it the results that are likely to contain their Contact US page with the phone information, in that case, I'm going to go to the site, grab the phone number and bounce. This is called a good bounce rate because you're expecting the users to find that information on that page, you should not be worried about such a bounce rate. It's a good bounce rate. Can you further improve it? Sure, you can try to put more information on that page that can drive users further. However, if the user only went there for the phone number, they got what they were looking for. I won't worry too much about those pages till you improve the other parts of the business.


Bounce Rate in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

So now let's talk about bounce rate in Google Analytics 4 (GA4). As you might have already noticed, there is no bounce rate in GA4 what you have instead is engagement. So here when you go to the acquisition, traffic acquisition, or user acquisition, you'll see engaging sessions, engagement time per session, et cetera. If you step back and think about what was bounce rate. Measuring bounce rate was measuring the lack of engagement, which means it's the opposite of engagement.

However, engagement metrics that Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has created is not directly the opposite of bounce rate. It involves more than just bounces. Engaged sessions are calculated by looking at all the sessions that spent more than 10 seconds on the site or had a conversion event or did not bounce. So it's taking all of those to find engaging sessions. I will talk about GA4 engagement in another post.

How to determine if you have a bounce rate problem?

Evaluate every page and see what are you expecting users to do? That's how you can determine whether you are getting the right bounce rate or not.

Some pages are destination pages, their purpose is to provide the information uses are looking for and will naturally have a higher bounce rate. For example, a contact us page with the phone number on it. If a user is looking for your phone numbers, they will lead there directly, via email, search engines, etc. Once they have the phone number, they will leave.



If you prefer video then here it is


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Learn and Master Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and more.


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