For those who have a website to manage, you know that there are many Analytics indicators, and bounce rate is one.
For those who like to observe the metrics, the conversion rates to extract, the percentage of visitors who stopped on specific content or even SEO … you will not be insensitive to the famous bounce rate!
The bounce rate is nevertheless relatively unknown and often poorly defined. We often focus on the number of page views or the number of visitors related to unique visitors, but many others are important. Each can improve the user experience or allow measurement and analysis of specific segments such as conversions.
Let’s start by defining this KPI and see why it is important to follow it when producing content on a website.
What is the bounce rate?
To put it simply, the bounce rate corresponds to the number of people who will arrive on your website via a link and who will leave it without consulting other pages (articles or others). This is why the lower this rate, the better it will be. The rebound thus corresponds to the departure of the site.
The goal is to have a maximum of people who will browse your site after having consulted a page on which Internet users have arrived. They arrive on your site via a link on a search engine, a link shared on social networks, or via another site.
Example: High bounce rate of 75% – This means that 75% of Internet users who visited your site via a clickable link (social networks, Google, website, etc …) left it without consulting other pages. Clearly, they either came to seek information or read an article out of interest or curiosity, etc … and then left the site. The rebound is high here.
By deduction, we can say that 25% of people visited at least a second page (or more) after arriving on the site.
Understanding the bounce rate
While the bounce rate remains high, it also doesn’t reflect a good website or relevant content, as some people think. This is where most people go wrong, associating bounce rate with pseudo relevance. Of course, the bounce rate is important, but it should not be analyzed in isolation and interpreted as an indicator of relevant content. It also has no real direct impact on natural referencing, except that Google likes the user to navigate from page to page on your site.
The many indicators linked to a website are all important. They should be brought together to better understand and know your audience. When it comes to the bounce rate, I think there is nothing without metrics like “average session time” and “average time spent on a page.” Even the latter has big gaps when it comes to actual measurement.
A bounce rate taken separately reflects only a weak indicator! Let’s take a simple example of a bounce rate advertised at 40%, which is obviously very good on paper. 60% of Internet users will then see at least 2 pages of the site visited.
- However, how long will they stay on the pages?
- Will they read the articles to the end?
- Will they find the information or information they are looking for?
- Is there a device to improve this rate?
Thus, we can draw up a long list showing that the bounce rate is not a good indicator if it is presented alone. Let’s see below how to make it more relevant and meaningful:
The average time of a session to be compared to the bounce rate
The average time of a session corresponds to the time spent by a person on a website before leaving it, but according to specific criteria. It is actually not possible to define the time spent on the last page visited since no action indicates the site’s departure.
If you navigate from one open tab to another, Google does not know because you do not indicate that you have left the site.
This means that only going from one page to another during a visit will allow the average time spent on the site to be counted. The last page visited will not be counted. Insofar as or after this, the visitor will leave the site. To date, there is no way to know that a user is leaving a site after having gone there.
Therefore, it is essential to ensure that an Internet user browses your site from page to page to improve the average time spent there. This will improve your bounce rate and the average time spent on your site.
The average time spent on a page
The average time spent on a page will complete all of these indicators to obtain values that your analyses can significantly use. This is the time that an Internet user will spend on a page of your site. The page views will inform you about the content pages visited.
Of course, insofar as the Internet user will navigate several pages of your site during his visit. The last page before leaving the site will still not be counted.
The number of pages per session
This last indicator will inform us about the number of pages that an Internet user will visit on average during his navigation. A very variable figure which will not be whole. You can have values like 1.2 – 2.5 etc … but it gives useful information for a good interpretation of its measurements.
Accounting is done by going from one page to another, and we can consider here the last page visited. This is indeed a simple visit to a page and not a visit time to a page.
2 examples which show that the bounce rate is not to be measured alone
Let’s now see 2 simple examples to illustrate his words:
- A bounce rate of 35%. A rather excellent rate if we refer to the simple indicator number. Here, we can say that 65% of Internet users were, therefore, at least on a second page.
- Average session time of 50 seconds. A rather short visit time if you consider reading an article takes on average 4 to 5 minutes per 1000 words. Let us not forget that the last visit will not be counted, which decreases this time.
- A bounce rate of 65%. A rather average rate if we refer to the simple indicator figure. Here, 35% of Internet users have been at least on a second page.
- Average session time of 2 min. A rather good visit time because it shows that Internet users spend time on the site.
From these 2 examples, one can conclude by privileging the sd example and improving it on these bases. It is better to have an Internet user who spends time reading than another who navigates from page to page without being aware of the content. Therefore, we can see that the bounce rate is to be compared to the average session times and beyond on a page.
Some tips to improve your bounce rate
There are several techniques to improve your bounce rate and get people to spend more time on your site.
- Alternate feature articles and short articles. To broaden your audience and not burden your audience with reading, provide them with diversity in content. Alternate feature articles and short articles are known as snacking content. It is easier to read a short article to the end than a long article.
- Set a reading time indicator. By indicating a reading time, you will help the Internet user see the time to devote to reading content. 4 to 5 minutes per 1000 words on average.
- Set up an auto-load system for your articles. This is one of the ideal ways to improve the bounce rate and the average time spent per session. It allows you to load several articles one after the other without having to change pages. When the internet user gets to the bottom of your article and continues to scroll, they will arrive on the next article. Your bounce rate will improve because it is considered a page break.
- Create inserts (widgets) with categories. On the right or left part of your site, you can have a sidebar. You can present the latest articles in a particular category or simply all the latest articles on your site. You can also put your best articles forward. Inserts can also be white papers to download, resources that your audience can access, etc. All these little inserts can generate more time spent on your site with a better bounce rate.
- Offer a newsletter and a push notifications system. The newsletter and the push system will retain your audience. It will also allow you to maintain several visits to your site. While they do not directly improve the bounce rate, internet users will be able to view content.
- Suggest videos. We like to take more time to watch a video than to read an article. A good way to retain Internet users longer on your site. At the end of the video, do redirect them to another page on your site.