What is the Bounce Rate?

posted Jan 7, 2012, 2:40 AM by Stefano Acquafredda   [ updated Nov 16, 2017, 3:57 PM by Elio Mondello Anza ]

The Bounce Rate is the percentage of bounced visits to your site.

A bounce is calculated as a single-page view or single-event trigger in a session or visit.

The following situations qualify as bounces:

  • A user clicks a link deep into your site sent by a friend, reads the information on the page and closes the browser.
  • A user comes to your homepage, looks around for a minute or two and immediately leaves.
  • A user comes directly to a reference page on your site from a web search, leaves the page available in the browser while completing other tasks in other browser windows and the session times out.

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that see only one page during a visit to your site.  There are a number of reasons why you might have a high bounce rate.  For example, visitors might leave your site from the entrance page in response to site design or usability issues. Or it might be that just certain pages on your site have a high bounce rate for very valid reasons. The following items cover some issues that can contribute to a high bounce rate. 

Single-Page Sites

If you have only one page on your site (a blog, for example), Google Analytics doesn't register multiple pageviews unless visitors reload that page. As a result, single-page sites tend to have high bounce rates.

Verifying Your Tracking Code

If you're seeing a high bounce rate from a multiple-page site, check to see that you've added the tracking code to all your pages. You can use the Google Analytics Site Scan tool to verify that all pages on your site include the tracking code. See Verifying Your Setup for more information.

Site design

If all your pages contain the tracking code but you're still seeing a high bounce rate, consider:

  • Redesigning the entrance (or landing) pages
  • Optimising those pages so that they correlate better with the search terms that bring users to your site, with ads that you're running or with keywords that you've purchased
  • Changing the ads or keywords to better reflect page content
Learn how to experiment with site-wide changes to optimise your site with Website Optimiser.

User Behaviour

Other factors may be solely attributed to the visitor's behaviour. For example, if a user bookmarks a page on your site, visits it and leaves, then that's considered as a bounce.