What is Bounce Rate and How to Handle?

When using Google Analytics visitor tracking software or a similar analytics package from a competitor, one of the key metrics will be the site bounce rate. But what is a bounce rate exactly?

Bounce Rate Explained

A bounce rate is an indication – usually shown as a percentage of total site visitors – who have arrived at one page and left from the same page. This means they did not click through the home page or visit any internal links on the website. They simply came and then left.


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Why Does a Bounce Happen?

Here is a shortlist of possible reasons that a site could have a high bounce rate:

  • The visitor closed their web browser.
  • The visitor hit the “Back” button on their web browser.
  • The visitor manually typed in a new website address into their browser.
  • The visitor selected a bookmark stored in their web browser.
  • The visitor performed a web search using the search box in the browser.
  • The visitor clicked on an advert.
  • The visitor clicked on an external affiliate link.
  • The visitor clicked on an outbound external link.


All of these actions count as a bounce because the visitor arrived on the site somewhere and then did not visit another page on the same site. They carried out some action that ended their interaction with your site or transferred their interest to a different site altogether.

How to Calculate Your Bounce Rate

To calculate your bounce rate, you would take the number of site visitors for a given month and divide that by the number of visitors that arrived and left from the same page. Therefore, if for last month there were 12,000 visitors to a site and 4,000 of those visitors left from the same web page that they arrived on, then the bounce rate would be 33.33%.

Reducing Bounce Rate With Visitor Tracking

This is where visitor tracking is so useful in understanding visitor behaviors including which pages were visited the most, how long visitors stayed on the site, how many pages were viewed on average, the most frequent entry/exit page, and so on. Review all the tracking data and dig deep to see where you can make improvements to the site to increase attention and reduce the bounce rate.

Bounce Rate Matters To Search Engines

Google and other search engines now consider a high bounce rate to be one indication of a site with low-quality content, too many adverts displayed on the main pages, or confusing navigation. If the bounce rate is too high, a site owner should look into the reasons why and take action to remedy it.


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