Many website operators have the wrong idea about the bounce rate and its relationship to the overall performance of the associated Google Ads account. Why is that, and what bounce rate can you call good? I will explain these and other questions to you in more detail in my post today.
What is the bounce rate?
The bounce rate is a percentage value. It is obtained by dividing the visits to a website with just a single page view by all visits to the page.
For example, if the bounce rate is 73%, this value means that 73 out of 100 visitors left the website immediately without having accessed another subpage of the domain.
However, one should not confuse the bounce rate with the exit rate, at which not only a single page view is considered.
The percentage of users who exit on a particular page is calculated here. In practice, the last page of the user is viewed after several pages have already been visited.
What’s a good value for bounce rate?
This question can not be answered on a general basis. Some websites have a comparatively high bounce rate and are still successful. Other sites have a lower bounce rate but are not automatically successful as a result.
In order to be able to assess how high the bounce rate should be, one should know how it is calculated (see above) and for which page types which value is acceptable.
When is a high bounce rate disadvantageous?
- The following is an example: A user searches for a bluetooth low energy usb dongle using the Google search. If he finds the right dongle, he clicks on the search ad and gets to a product page for the dongle. However, if he is shown only a bluetooth usb instead of the Bluetooth low energy dongle in the overview, he will jump off the side again.
- If the success of a website depends on the visitors to the page interacting with it, e.g. ordering products, subscribing to newsletters or an offer. In this case, a high bounce rate is not advantageous.
When the site does not require any further interactions from the user to be considered successful. For example the page “Wikipedia”. Someone searches for a specific topic, arrives at the respective Wikipedia page, reads the article through from top to bottom and jumps off the page satisfied.
Google now measures that the user has not accessed any other subpages on the page. There is thus a jump.
So is a high bounce rate unfavourable for blogs or sites with a lot of content, such as Wikipedia? No, because the users leave the page satisfied without having to go to another subpage.
Reasons for jumping from a website without visiting another subpage
A high bounce rate usually indicates that page visitors consider various points on the website to be irrelevant. Which points are particularly decisive for this are explained below.
First of all, a different asking price is a big determinant, which is why a user does not visit another subpage.
Another reason a visitor leaves a specific page directly without visiting another subpage is information and images of the product or, if available, shipping and payment information. If these do not match the expectations or ideas of the potential buyer, he leaves the site and looks around for other products or even providers.
Another determinant that can lead to a high bounce rate is a lack of purchase intent. Many users find out about products without wanting to make a purchase. The reasons for this are, for example, the procurement of various offers or the interest in the products for learning purposes for school and university students, for example.
When a user comes to the site via an ad on the Google Ads search network, the quality of the ad naturally also plays a role. If the ad describes the product very well, there is a good chance that the user will not jump off the page immediately. However, if the ad doesn’t match the landing page that it’s related to, it’s more likely that the bounce rate will be higher.
The bounce rate of the example domain www.example.com is 73%. Since this value usually looks quite high for laypeople at first glance, the fact can be assumed that the Google Ads ads directed users to the page who were not interested in the article at all. This is not always the case, as you can read in the previous paragraphs.
Bounce rate depending on the user source and the Google Ads campaign types
An acceptable bounce rate varies depending on the type of campaign that the page visitor uses to get to the website. For shopping campaigns, an average bounce rate can be over 80%.
Why this is so can be explained relatively easily. “Pictures say more than 1000 words” – everyone knows this saying, and so it also applies to the different bounce rates between Google Ads campaigns in the search and shopping network. Accordingly, images in shopping ads initially entice many more users to click this image to find out more about other images or items on the product on offer.
If the product page called up does not contain the information expected, the page is often left directly without calling up a further subpage. Navigating to the desired product from a third-party subpage is usually more time-consuming than simply looking for another provider with the desired item in the Google search results.
Another difference is the respective landing page.
While the user is often redirected to a page with a product selection when clicking on an ad in the search network, users are redirected directly to the product page by clicking on the Google Shopping ads.
On the page with the product selection, the visitor sees several products and then has to visit a subpage for specific information on the individual product by calling up a product page. Via the shopping ad, the visitor immediately lands on the product page and has an overview of additional images and information.
He usually decides directly whether it is the right product he is looking for (in this case, he buys it or navigates to other subpages) or not (in which case he leaves the site and possibly looks for other products in the Google Shopping results) Providers.
Here the page with the Google Shopping results is the page on which you can find products from various online shops. The respective device from which the page is visited also has an impact on the bounce rate.
You click on an ad more quickly and more quickly from mobile devices and then quickly jump off again. The page load time is also an important aspect in order not to let users jump off a website prematurely.
If the page is not completely loaded within a few seconds, the user loses patience and jumps off. This is an important point, especially with mobile devices and tablets.
Optimization of the bounce rate
Basically, one can say: the better a product or service is described, the more user-friendly the page is, and the bounce rate can therefore be lower.
- On pages where interaction plays a significant role (buying a product, subscribing to a newsletter, etc.), the user should be encouraged to visit other subpages by means of an appealing and professional design.
- Of course, you can also design a page with a lot of buttons and little content so that the users are forced to click on several subpages, but that does not necessarily mean that the website’s success increases as a result of this low bounce rate.
- Therefore, it should be made as easy as possible for site visitors to find the product they are looking for.
- Correct and precise information about the price of the product is also essential. For example, if only net prices are seen on the product page in a B2B shop, and there is no information about the gross price, this confuses the user and will jump off.
- The prices should be not only correct and clear but also competitive. Otherwise, many users will find the price too high and therefore jump straight off the page.
- The website should be designed as user-friendly as possible and match the target group of the products or services offered. Too much information or small texts are not advantageous for visitors to want to stay on further subpages.
- The way to other pages should, of course, also be clearly visible and easy to find. The labelling and design of the buttons and links that lead to the subpages should have an appealing design depending on the target group.
A final aspect, which you will certainly often notice yourself when researching the Internet, is the advertising, which can “get on the nerves” of a user. Therefore too much of it should be avoided to distract your site visitors from the relevant website content and thus lead them to jump to the page prematurely.
Ultimately, it can be summarized that the assumption that a bounce rate of, for example, over 70% is bad is not always correct. It’s worth taking a detailed look at the landing pages and doing some tweaking if you get the impression that your bounce rate is too high.
The optimization of the mobile website also offers important potential. For this purpose, Google provides an easy-to-understand tool to test the loading speed of your mobile site and then see how you fare in an industry comparison https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/feature/testmysite/