Google Analytics Bounce Rate – What Exactly Does That Mean?


The measurement known as the Google Analytics bounce rate is a key metric for anybody who is serious about measuring the performance of their website with respect to site traffic, and more specifically, site behavior. Learning about this rate and how to use Google Analytics is an important part understanding your site’s “audience”. Best of all, this powerful tool is free from Google.

The first thing to understand about this rate is that it directly relates to the relevance and effectiveness of your keyword research and how that is reflected on your chosen landing page. Simply put, if users don’t see what they are searching for easily when they land on your site, they will literally “bounce” and leave the site within a few seconds.

This is the origin of the term bounce rate, but a more “scientific” definition is probably in order. Ok, here it goes science fans…’Bounce rate is the measurement of single page visits, or visits in which the visitor left the site from the entrance or landing page. This rate is expressed as a percentage.’ Does that make sense?

Therefore, for an affiliate commerce or review page type of site, a decent bounce rate may rest somewhere between 50-60%. This means that roughly that percentage of people who visit your site is going beyond the entrance page, at least according to Google. However, I have noticed in my Analytics reports I may have several visitors who do not go beyond page 1, but still have a very low bounce rate, usually less than 50%. From this, I can only deduce that the bounce rate reflects both depth of site usage, as well as time on the site, as in the case of a long single page visit. From my observation you tend to credit for both. What is the ideal amount of time onsite? Not sure, but appears that anything under: 30 seconds may be considered a bounce.

Either way, the important “take away” here is that you want to keep your bounce rate percentage as low as possible to increase the amount of time your traffic spends on your site. One important way to do this is to use Google Analytics to understand what keywords visitors are using to get to your site, and how you can use this information to tailor your landing page keywords for maximum relevance (and low bounce rate) for your visitors and the search engines that bring them.

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