What does Bounce Rate mean?
Google provides the best definition of “what does Google Analytics bounce rate mean?” – bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.
“Bounce rate” is always a measure of the quality of your site from your visitors perspective.
Imagine a ball bouncing – as soon as the ball hits the ground, it immediately bounces back to where it came from, or it goes off in a totally different direction. This is the equivalent of what bounce rate means when someone lands on your website – if they go back to where they just came from, or leave in a totally different direction, they have just bounced from your site.
Another way to explain the bounce rate in Google Analytics is to say that a visitor, as soon as they arrive at your website, immediately leaves without visiting any other pages within your website.
So bounce rate is really a measure of whether people are visiting your web pages beyond the first page that brought them to your site initially.
Understanding Bounce Rate Percentage
Google Analytics presents your bounce rate as a percentage. So for example, if 10 people visited your site the past hour and 8 or those people left your site without visiting any other pages, then your bounce rate would be 80%.
There isn’t a set percentage of what defines a good or a bad bounce rate percentage, so I’ve always looked at it from the 50/50 perspective.
If my bounce rate is more than 50%, then the majority of visitors who show up at my website are leaving without visiting any other pages. Because anything more than 50% is a majority.
Likewise, if my bounce rate is less than 50%, then I’m doing pretty good because the majority of visitors to my site are finding it interesting enough to visit other pages (or articles, for those of you with blogs), as well.
Improving Your Bounce Rate
The best way that I have found to improve your bounce rate is to find ways to encourage visitors to remain on your site and engage with more content.
If you use a self hosted WordPress blog, then using plugins that present related articles, or “article series” plugins will help you to dramatically improve your bounce.
On this site, I use an “article series” plugin (see the series on the right hand side bar), and when visitors land on one of my articles that are part of series, my bounce rate can be as low as 17% – which is mostly unheard of for any website.
Beyond that, just focusing on providing good quality content, and delivering that content on a consistent basis will help build your website’s reputation. And as your reputation grows, your audience will start to attribute more value to your site and be compelled to dive deeper beyond the first page they land on.
Google Adsense And Your Bounce Rate
Now I cannot verify this, it’s only my theory, but I’m convinced that a website’s bounce rate has a lot to do with how much earning potential that site has in regards to Google Adsense revenue.
There are a lot of metrics that come into play when determining how much earnings your website can generate with Google Adsense. And these metrics are being calculated literally on a second by second basis.
Of those metrics, I believe that bounce rate plays a major role in your Google Adsense earning’s potential.
If your bounce rate is high (which is not good), then your site will not attract the higher paying advertisers. After all, Google Adsense automatically determines the best (or highest paying) ads to show on your site. And the most profitable ads will only be shown on the site that is delivering metrics that indicate it is a high quality site.
If your bounce rate is low (which is good), then your site will typically have the attributes of a high quality website and in turn, higher paying ads will be presented on your site.
Again, I can’t verify this in anyway, but considering the metrics and calculations that Google must perform in order to maximize revenue and ad payments, this only makes sense.