Minimizing bounce rate is one of the best ways to improve your website performance and customer experience. By definition, bounce rate is “the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave (‘bounce’) rather than continuing to view other pages within the same site” (thanks, Wikipedia!). More specifically, we like to look at bounce rate as the tool to best identify your most- and least-engaging pages. While the metric seems simple on the surface, it gives valuable insights into areas of future growth and improvement. We'll take you through how to calculate this metric, how to understand it in the context of your website, and how to apply it to the platforms you're using now.
How to Calculate Bounce Rate
You can calculate bounce rate by dividing the total amount of one-page visits by the total amount of entrances. Bounce rates can be calculated for various time-periods (i.e. day, week, month, year), and can measure performance for the entire website as well as individual pages (simply make the equation: total one-page visits for page A by total entrances for page A).
If you’re confused about how to define the total amount of one-page visits and the total amount of entrances, we’ve included some nifty explanations below:
- The total amount of one-page visits is how many people left your website after viewing one page. For instance, suppose I visited Lido Home, then left the Lido domain. From this, I created one bounce for the Lido Home page.
- The total amount of entrances is how many people viewed a certain page as the first touchpoint of their website visit. Again, suppose if I visited Lido Home, then left the Lido domain. From this, I created one entrance for the Lido Home page. However, suppose, the next day, I took the path: Lido Home > Blog > Metrics, then left. From this, I also created one entrance for the Lido Home page (but no bounces). If I’m the only traffic to the site, then Lido Home a 50% bounce rate (1 exits / 2 entrances).
At this point, it’s also worth mentioning exit rate, which gets commonly confused with bounce rate. Exit rate includes all exits from users that visit a certain page within the website. So, my first path (Lido Home > exit) would increase the exit rate for the Lido Home page, while my second path (Lido Home > Blog > Metrics > exit) would increase the exit rate for the Metrics page. To calculate exit rate, you can divide the total amount of exits from a page by the total amount of visits to that page. If you’d like more of an explanation, visit our exit rate metric page.
When choosing what to include in your calculations, remember: consistency is key! That means, if you track your bounce rate on a weekly basis, you should compare weekly bounce rates over time. Having consistent metrics will allow you to better identify patterns and the causes of good or bad performance. For instance, if, over the past few weeks, you’ve restructured your navigation and bounce rate for the Home page decreased, then you’ll know that action was effective in keeping traffic on your website!
Connecting Bounce Rate to Your Business
Again, as you begin (consistently) monitoring bounce rates, you’ll be able to find insights specific to your strategy. Of course, it’s also important to understand bounce rates in the context of your website. For instance, a high bounce rate for a comprehensive blog post isn’t the end of the world. While it would be ideal to keep people on your website for longer, the specific user may have gotten what they needed from your post upon first read. On the other hand, a high bounce rate for your Home page or any other landing page may cause some alarm. At that point, it would be worth investigating what’s making people leave, whether it be slow page speed or mobile-unfriendliness.
While you can find your bounce rate in a variety of ways, we’ve identified popular platforms that are particularly relevant. These may be good places to begin if you’re getting started with this metric:
- Google Analytics: As a platform made for website data, finding bounce rates is a simple process. For instance, the bounce rate for your entire website is featured on your dashboard by default. For more specific data, go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages to see bounce rates for each page.
- Facebook Analytics: Similar to Google Analytics, once you’ve set up Facebook Pixel, its analytics page provides a real-time dashboard of website information. You can find your entire website’s bounce rate at the bottom of the “Overview” page. For more details, you can go to Activity > Active Users > Sessions section. Next to “Show By:”, you can segment bounce rate data on a variety of variables, like device type, demographics, etc.
Tracking Bounce Rate with Lido
While bounce rate is easy to calculate, it’s important to keep in mind that bounce rate is one of many valuable metrics to track your performance. If you don’t want to spend hours at the end of the month juggling numbers from your Google Analytics and Facebook accounts, consider trying Lido. Lido can help you build a dashboard to monitor your data and give a look into how your key metrics (such as bounce rate) change over time.
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