What’s a Good Bounce Rate on Your Website?

Q: What’s a good bounce rate? Higher or lower?

A: When tracking the traffic to your website, you should be aware of your bounce rate, which is literally when a visitor lands on your website and bounces right off.

Typically, you can expect a higher bounce rate if you are running a pay-per-click campaign, or if you are getting a lot of traffic through search engines. Why? Because you cannot control how people conduct a search and you certainly can’t know what people are looking for (not exactly anyway). This is why it’s so important to be very targeted with your blog post titles, title tags, tags, keywords, and description tags—it’s one thing to draw people in, it’s another to keep them there.

PLUS, you need to deliver what you advertise. If you have relevant content, you are less likely to experience a high number of bounces. I once worked with a client whose desired search term was “Spousal Support” (meaning the book offered tips to support your spouse in a healthy marriage), but as it turned out people searching for that term were looking for divorce attorneys, not marriage support. Had we optimized the client’s site for that term he would have experienced a high bounce rate.

Any bounce rate above 70% is BAD. With that said, anything below 30% is equally bad because that tells me no one is finding your site organically. I typically shoot for something between 35 and 55%.

Remember, too, your bounce rate is just a small part of what to look for when you gauge the effectiveness of your site and whether or not you are creating sticky content.

See where your traffic is coming from before you worry too much about your bounce rate. If your traffic is coming in direct and yet people leave right away, I would assume that you need better content to draw them in and keep them there. If you have a 78% bounce rate (for example) and your traffic comes mostly through search engines, then you might try to play with your keywords and title tags and ensure that your content is relative to your tags. You can learn more about writing effective title tags here.

 


Karla Olson, founder of Book Studio, Inc.Thanks to Karla Olson of Book Studio, Inc. for submitting this question.

Karla Olson has been in the publishing industry for over 25 years and has been involved in the creation and development of hundreds of books representing traditional and custom publishing and packaging.

Before founding BookStudio in 2005, she was the Creative Director of Tehabi Books; principal of Via Press, an editorial and publishing consultant; Editorial Director of The Michael Friedman Publishing Group; and Assistant Editor at Putnam Publishing. Olson is the President of Publishers and Writers of San Diego, an affiliate of Independent Book Publishers Association, and Founder and President of Read Local, a marketing coalition for authors.

 

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6 Responses to “What’s a Good Bounce Rate on Your Website?”

  1. Kristy@Kristy's Place says:

    Thank you for this. Now I know that the bounce rate I have is considered in the good range, and I understand it even better.

  2. kallum says:

    thank you very much for this information. my new website is getting an avg bounce rate of 50% so now i know this is a good sign :)

  3. Corey Avery says:

    Jennifer,
    Thanks for the post. I agree with a lot of it regarding post what you advertise. I think any seo campaign needs to start with valid, quality and unique content relative to the keyword you are targeting. What I have to disagree with though is that line where you say anything below 30% is also bad.

    Over the last month, my site SoberNation.com has averaged a bounce rate of 19%. With your model that would tell you that not much of my traffic comes from organic search results. To the contrary however, 48% of that traffic comes from organic search results.

    Basing calculations of just the organic search results my bounce rate drops another point down to 18%. I guess your below 30% calculation might work for the “general” website, but for a quality niche related website, I think the bounce rate should be below 30%. You could also factor the genre of the website and other things such as whether the site is selling products or providing informational resources.

    Who knows though, maybe my site is just that good :)

  4. Jeniffer Thompson says:

    Hi Corey – thank you so much for this comment. Clearly you have a very targeted message and a successful website. I’m so glad you brought this up—it’s always so awesome to see a fantastic success story and remind people to reach for more. Like you say, I think any benchmark needs to be taken with the grain of salt, and as authors and business owners we need to constantly strive to be better. Stay in touch and let me know if you’re ever interested in posting a guest blog about your strategies and successes! All my best, Jeniffer

  5. Jeniffer Thompson says:

    Hi Kallum, its important to gauge all of your traffic stats to get a clear picture or what’s working and what is not. It’s the big picture that gives you most accurate story. Wishing you success! Jeniffer

  6. Angela Hutchison says:

    Hi, thanks for this post – its posts like this that ibspired me to msje inorovements, my bounce rate was originally 80% but after a few minor changes to site layout this has decreased dramatically – it is now at 20% (average) with 70% traffic from google. I completely agree with what you say about titles, tags etc being relevant but just wanted to share my story for any one else wanting to improve bounce rate.