On the Internet, a high bounce rate is the kiss of death — and a sure sign that your website and marketing strategy need a major overhaul. In order to better understand and analyze the success of your marketing campaigns, there are a plethora of web analytics tools to measure everything from time spent on site to cost per engagement, and it’s easy to become paralyzed by the inundation of data. But bounce rate is one metric savvy marketers can’t afford to ignore, as it measures how effectively your brand is resonating with visitors.
By definition, bounce rate is the percentage of site visitors who leave after visiting one page. Why would these users “bounce”? It’s probably an indication that your site isn’t providing the information the user seeks, the site could be taking too long to load or hard to navigate, or perhaps there’s some larger disconnect between your site and your users. The simple metric is a general way to gauge the efficacy of your site.
Bounce rate is closely related to time spent, as it’s a measure of engagement that demonstrates the degree to which people are enjoying and interacting with content in a deeper way, says Stephanie Fried, VP of digital insights and marketing at Discovery Communications.
Your site is up, and your product is out there for the world to see. Before you know it, you have visitors trickling in to see what you have to offer.
Despite the depths of the Internet and the billions of pages offered, users are arriving at your website, and then without any explanation—they’re leaving.
They come and then they go, maybe after a minute, maybe even less. After all of the hours you’ve put in, the majority of your visitors aren’t staying around long enough to get past your landing page. Many of them visit once and never return.
Your Bounce Rate is the number of visitors who leave your website after visiting a single page. Each page has its own bounce rate, but initially you probably want to address look at the bounce rates for three pages:
- Landing pages that you’re sending paid traffic to through ads
- Pages where you are attempting to make conversions happen
- High traffic pages–pages that most of your visitors see
The higher your bounce rate, the lower your percentage of engaged users. Your bounce rate can be affected by your page, but also by the quality of the traffic coming to your site.
All of the following ways of leaving your site constitute a bounce:
- Hit the back button
- Type a different URL
- Close the window or tab
- Click on an external link
- Timeout 
Here’s how you can decrease your bounce rate:
Infogrphics Source: QuickSprout
If you don’t have much time to focus on decreasing your bounce rate, first look to see where you are in comparison to other sites in your space. For example, the infographic above shows that blogs typically have a bounce rate of 70% to 98%, and e-commerce sites have a bounce rate between 20% to 40%.
Once you know where you stand compared to other sites within your space, you can determine if you need to focus on decreasing your bounce rate or not. If you do need to decrease your bounce rate, consider implementing the following elements:
- More white space to help increase engagement
- Larger headlines to draw your visitors in
- Bulleted lists to make your text more readable
- High contrasting colors to increase usability
- Faster load times to prevent people from leaving in frustration
How else can you decrease your bounce rate?