Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

How to Interpret and Improve Your Bounce Rate

29 August 2022 Maxence Pezzetta
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A company with an online presence has to measure its performance by analyzing various indicators. One of these is bounce rate. This indicator can be found on Google Analytics. In this article, we take the time to unravel this concept and explain it so that you can improve it.

What is bounce rate?


First things first, let’s clear up the concept of “bounce”. Bounce actions refer to users clicking on a link and only viewing one page of the website they arrive on. In other words, they take no further action on the link’s landing page. After viewing a single page, the user either closes the browser window, returns to a previous page or clicks on a link that leads to another website.


As the name suggests, the bounce rate is the percentage of page visitors who leave without performing any additional actions on the site. As such, the rate is calculated by dividing the number of sessions with a single page view by the number of total sessions. The result is then multiplied by 100 to obtain a percentage.

A high bounce rate isn’t always an indication of poor performance

A high bounce rate means that many page visitors leave without even viewing other content. This doesn’t necessarily indicate negative website performance. The interpretation of the bounce rate depends primarily on the nature of your website and the objectives of each of its pages. Two interpretations are possible if you have a high bounce rate:

  • A high bounce rate can imply that the user got the information he was looking for quickly. This is often the case with dictionary websites or those that publish articles: in a few seconds, the sought-after information is found by the user, who then leaves the page without venturing through your site. This doesn’t mean that the page is inefficient, quite the contrary.
  • On the other hand, a high bounce rate can be worrying if the users left the page without finding the information they were looking for.
  • Now imagine that your goal is to generate as many calls as possible. If you reach your goal, it’s possible that users are landing on your content and calling you immediately. Your site will be performing well but your bounce rate will be high.

How do you know which interpretation is the right one? We recommend comparing your bounce rate with session duration.

If both your bounce rate and session duration are high, the most logical interpretation would be that your users take the time to read your content because it interests them.

However, if your session duration is short, it implies that the content wasn’t relevant to the user and that they left the page almost instantly.

Factors that account for a high bounce rate

The factors that account for a high bounce rate can take various forms:

  • Your title tags and meta description may not have anything to do with the content of the page. When clicking on your link in the SERPs, the user expects to find content that is relevant and consistent with the title and description he has read. If the content does not meet his expectations, he will probably leave the page immediately.
  • Internet users can also leave your site if its appearance doesn’t inspire trust. An outdated design, an overload of advertisements and spelling mistakes are all elements that harm a website’s aesthetic and make people flee.
  • You give your visitors too many opportunities to leave your site with external links. These are important for enriching your content and increasing your domain authority. However, they must be used sparingly to avoid losing traffic.
  • Your page loading time may be too high. This inconvenience pushes the user to abandon his journey and to retrace his steps.

Here are several ways to improve the bounce rate

Fortunately, having a high bounce rate is not inevitable. There are many ways to improve it.

1.      Optimize your title tags and meta description

It is essential to think first and foremost about meeting your visitor’s expectations. To do this, make sure that your page content matches the title and description you have given it. Don’t forget to insert a relevant keyword to ensure that your page is relevant to the user’s search. Long tail keywords are usually a great way to deliver content that precisely fits the query.

2.      Place your external links wisely

Although they direct your visitors to other sites, external links are very useful for the success of your website. They enrich your content, provide additional information to your visitors, and help increase your domain and page authority. Just avoid placing them at the beginning of your page. It’s a good idea to insert them in the middle or even the end of the content rather than encouraging the user to leave your site before even reading your content. It is also recommended to have external links open in a new tab so that the user can continue reading on your site.

3.      Speed up the loading time of your pages

It is estimated that 53% of Internet users leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. This is essentially one of the main causes of a high bounce rate. Be sure to test and improve your page load time to make sure the problem doesn’t stem from there.

4.      Insert relevant internal links

If you want to encourage your visitor to explore your site, be sure to include some relevant internal links on the page being viewed. Just like external links, favor a position in the middle or at the end of the page content to avoid shortening the view time of the original page.

5.      Call for action on your page

Filling out a contact form, sharing the article on social networks, writing a comment or reading an article related to the page viewed are all actions that your users can complete and reduce their chances of bouncing.

6.      Spruce up your website design

Finally, don’t neglect the design of your website. Make sure to look after its appearance to inspire user trust and make their experience more enjoyable. To do this, you can apply certain web design trends, reduce the number of ads and pop-ups to clear up the content or write the content with care and eloquence.

In summary about bounce rate

What’s important to remember is that the bounce rate can be a very useful performance indicator for a website provided that it is well interpreted. We must not draw hasty conclusions but instead compare this rate with other indicators to interpret the causes of its level. Before you get into this analysis and its interpretation, also make sure to clearly define the goal of the page to better judge your bounce rate.

Feel free to contact us if you have questions or if there are points that need to be clarified.

Maxence Pezzetta
Cofondateur et Spécialiste Web Marketing et acquisition de clients Diplômé d’une double Maîtrise en Marketing et Communication, Max cumule plus de 10 ans d’expérience en Marketing digital. Ancien employé de Microsoft, sa mission est de « mettre le Web à la portée de tous » pour aider les entreprises à améliorer leur présence en ligne.
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