3 Reasons Why A High Bounce Rate is Bad For Business

Although nearly everyone and their grandmother has a personal or business website in these modern times, not a lot of people know how to track their website statistics.

Ask a couple of webmasters what Google Analytics is and most of them will look at you questioningly.

After all, they argue, shouldn’t you start making money online as soon as you put up a website and start driving paid traffic to it? Isn’t that what the gurus tell you? Isn’t website marketing supposed to be “simple”?

Not quite.

The harsh truth is, the art of getting visitors to your website is by far the most involved and complicated task. Realistically speaking, most webmasters will not make a dime unless they track their website stats effectively.

One of the more important web statistics is the bounce rate. Formally speaking:

Bounce rate essentially represents the percentage of initial visitors to a site who “bounce” away to a different site, rather than continue on to other pages within the same site.

As you can imagine, a high bounce rate suggests that your website is not doing a good job of “entertaining” your visitors.

I personally admit that I have never had a bounce rate of lower than 40% (which might be OK according to some people) but a bounce rate of over 80% is simply bad news.

Here are 3 reasons why a high bounce rate is bad for business:

1. Bad or ineffective content: One of the most common reasons for a high bounce rate is that your visitors think your content is crap. Either that or your visitors do not think your content is related to the keywords you are ranking for.

Your visitors might be searching for some non-promotional info on Eczema, but if they come to an affiliate Eczema course website, they will most probably click back without spending another second on your website.

It is precisely for this reason that affiliate websites find it very difficult to sustain their rankings in Google. After all, nearly every person out there can differentiate between a sales-oriented website or an informational website, simply by looking at the first 5 lines of text on the website.

And adding insult to injury, most savvy people do not like huge hype-filled sales letters which exaggerate their product effectiveness to unbelievable levels. All this results in a very high bounce rate for affiliate websites.

2. Ranking penalty: Google is now known to take the bounce rate and time spent on the website into account to determine your rankings.

This means that even if you have the most amazing looking website but your visitors exit the website quickly, you will get into trouble.

This is Google’s way of ensuring that only relevant content is served in the search results.

If your bounce rate is very high or the time spent on your website is very low for a prolonged period of time, you can expect Google to drop your rankings by around 30-40 positions (sometimes even more).

3. You are leaving money on the table: A high bounce rate suggests that most visitors do not like your website enough to spend time on it. This translates to the fact that you are leaving money on the table.

Think about it: If 80% of your visitors leave your website quickly and never come back, would that not make a huge dent in your sales?

The first rule of making money is to give your prospects something they actually care about. A high bounce rate in this case is the exact opposite of what you want.

In conclusion, high bounce rate can break your online business and will make it extremely easy for more savvy competitors to easily push you out of your market.

Bounce rate can be lowered by ensuring that you post content which your visitors like. If you have affiliate websites, try to give the image that your on-site content is actually informational instead of promotional and then discreetly add your sales message in the ending paragraphs.

Did I leave anything out? Do you have any personal anecdotes or suggestions on how to lower your bounce rate? If so, comment!

15 thoughts on “3 Reasons Why A High Bounce Rate is Bad For Business

  1. The bounce rate is the rate at which someone hits your site and leaves without clicking on the page. If you have 100 visitors to your site and 80 leave without clicking on another page, then you have an 80% bounce rate.

    With a good article, tech support or contact page, your bounce rate can and probably should be high. Your page provided so much information that the person did not need to go anywhere else.

  2. A “bounce” occurs when a web site visitor enters a particular page and then leaves the site without visiting any other pages before a specified session-timeout occurs. In actuality, the bounce rate can be quite arbitrary depending on the website. For some, a bounce rate of 44% is quite high.

  3. Great post. What is “high”? Google’s Avinash Kaushik claims that bounce rate is the “sexiest metric ever”. It’s “brilliantly dumb” he says before going on to state that it’s a visitor’s way of saying “I came, I puked, I left”.

  4. I take the bounce rate and incorporate it right into my seo strategy. If I have a page that has more than 50% bounce rate, I get to work on it. I think it’s safe to assume that the page is not meeting the needs of the searchers and deserves to be modified and given a little attention to make it better. I consider it a challenge to lower the bounce rates of my client’s pages, to figure out what is not working and fix it.

  5. It is no doubt that a high bounce rate is bad for business.This article has given us detailed explanation.Now the question is how to avoid high bounce rate .

  6. I am worried, because if I get it right, one of our competitors could even manipulate our Bounce Rate by using bots or other automtic tools. If he or she only stays one secon on my site each time, just to open it again, my sites could get ruined by that.
    Isn`s that a possible concern even to the SE`s to make these things impossible?

  7. To add to the Bounce Rate issue, there are a lot of factors to be considered.

    The Bounce rate which we see in the Google Analytics is not something the search engines consider for quality purposes. Search engine consider the “Dwell Time” which is nothing but the time spent on a page by the visitor before leaving back to the search results page or closing the page (without going to any other page on the site).

    Also, there are two types of bounce rates: Actual Bounce Rate and Standard Bounce Rate

    Actual bounce rate: user visiting your page from search results page and leaving within a few seconds without navigating to any other page on the site. The bounce rate what you see in the Google Analytics program is nothing but the Actual Bounce Rate. This is a negative sign as the Dwell Time is just a few seconds.

    Standard bounce rate: A person visits a page with high quality content, reads the full content and then leave (spends more than 10 mins). Also, he doesn’t visit any other page on the site. This is still a bounce, but “Standard Bounce Rate”. Here this is not considered as a negative sign by the search engines as the Dwell Time is more than 10 mins!

  8. Thank you Vikas. That’s a very important point to consider — bounce rate often doesn’t mean anything. Another important point is spam bots can increase a bounce rate exponentially…

  9. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I’m very glad to see such wonderful info being shared freely out there.

  10. FromThisSeat:

    That sounds about right. However you do have to consider that a good chunk of your bounce rate will come from spam bots, especially if you run a blog. Thus while over 50% isn’t good, it’s not necessarily an indicator of a real problem.

  11. I get pleasure from, result in I found just what I used to be looking for. You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

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