What is Bounce Rate in Google Analytics: How Google Analytics Calculate Bounce Rate

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What is Bounce Rate in Google Analytics? Bounce rate is a metric that measures the percentage of people who pass through or land on your website and does completely nothing on the page they entered. That is, they don’t click on a menu item, a ‘read more’ link, or any other internal links on the page. This means that the Google Analytics server doesn’t receive a trigger from the visitor.

What is Bounce Rate in Google Analytics

What is Bounce Rate in Google Analytics

A user bounces when there has been no engagement with the landing page and the visit ends with a single-page visit. You can use bounce rate as a metric that indicates the quality of a webpage and/or the “quality” of your audience. By the quality of your audience I mean whether the audience fits the purpose of your site.

How Google Analytics Calculate Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is single-page sessions divided by all sessions or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the Analytics server. In other words, it collects all sessions where a visitor only visited one page and divides it by all sessions. Note that having a high bounce rate can mean three things:

  • The quality of the page is low. There’s nothing inviting to engage with
  • Your audience doesn’t match the purpose of the page, as they won’t engage with your page
  • Visitors have found the information that they were looking for.

Bounce Rate and SEO

Although we are talking about bounce rate in Google Analytics, there’s been a lot of discussion about whether bounce rate is an SEO ranking factor. I can hardly imagine that Google takes Google Analytics’ data as a ranking factor, because if Google Analytics isn’t implemented correctly, then the data isn’t reliable. Moreover, you can easily manipulate the bounce rate.

Google doesn’t use Google Analytics’ data in its search algorithm. But, of course, you need to make sure that when people come from a search engine to your site, they don’t bounce back to the search results, since that kind of bouncing probably is a ranking factor. It might be measured in a different way than the bounce rate we see in Google Analytics, though. However, from an SEO perspective, you need to optimize every aspect of your site. So, looking closely at your bounce rate can help you optimize your website even further, which contributes to your SEO.

Bounce Rate and Conversion

If you look at bounce rate from a conversion perspective, then bounce rate can be used as a metric to measure success. For instance, assuming you changed the design of your page hoping that it will convert better, and then make sure to keep an eye on the bounce rate of that page. If you’re seeing an increase in bounces, the change in the design you’ve made might have been the wrong change and it could explain the low conversion rate you have.

You could also check the bounce rate of your most popular pages. Which pages have a low bounce rate and which pages have a high bounce rate? Compare the two, and then learn from the pages with low bounce rates.

Another way of looking at your bounce rate is from a traffic source’s perspective. Which traffic sources lead to a high or a low bounce rate? Your newsletter for instance or a referral website that sends a lot of traffic? Can you figure out what causes this bounce rate? And if you’re running an AdWords campaign, you should keep an eye on the bounce rate of that traffic source as well.

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