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Bounce rate is a digital marketing metric measuring the percentage of single-page sessions. It’s calculated by dividing the number of single-page sessions by total sessions. The average bounce rate is around 53%. According to Google, bounce rate is not a ranking factor.

Last Updated November 13, 2023
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Metrics like bounce rate can provide immense insight into your search engine optimization (SEO) performance. With bounce rate, you measure the percentage of users that visited your site without viewing other pages and can then work backward to evaluate your page and site’s SEO health.

Learn more about bounce rate’s meaning, averages, role in SEO, and improvement strategies now!

What is bounce rate?

Bounce rate is a website analytics metric that measures the percentage of single-page sessions — or the percentage of users that visit the site without viewing other pages. Bounce rate is calculated by dividing the number of single-page sessions by the number of total sessions.

What is the difference between bounce rate and exit rate?

The difference between bounce rate and exit rate is the interaction rate. Bounce rate measures when someone lands on a URL and then leaves, while exit rate measures when someone lands on a URL, visits one or more additional URLs, and then leaves.

Is bounce rate an SEO ranking factor?

Expert Insights From Google logo

“There’s a bit of a misconception here that we’re looking at things like the analytics bounce rate when it comes to ranking websites, and that’s definitely not the case.”

John Mueller, Google

According to Google, bounce rate is not an SEO ranking factor.

Google’s John Mueller shared, “There’s a bit of a misconception here that we’re looking at things like the analytics bounce rate when it comes to ranking websites, and that’s definitely not the case.” Google Analytics documentation hints at this, too, by stating that a high bounce rate is not necessarily bad.

While not a direct ranking factor, many SEOs see a relationship between bounce rate and SEO.

That’s because bounce rate can provide insight into a website’s health. As Google says, “If the success of your site depends on users viewing more than one page, then, yes, a high bounce rate is bad.” For example, a page that doesn’t answer the search intent typically experiences a high bounce rate.

So, while bounce rate isn’t a ranking factor, SEO and bounce rate are related. You can use various SEO analytics tools, like Google Analytics, to check your bounce rate.

Why is bounce rate important?

You know bounce rate’s definition, but why is it worth your time? Bounce rate provides insight into:

  • Users: When users choose to leave your website without visiting any other pages, they provide feedback. This feedback can reinforce your site’s purpose (like sharing food recipes) or go against your site’s purpose (like delivering emergency services).
  • Design: Bounce rate can also provide feedback on web design choices, like font, colors, and page layouts. A high bounce rate, for example, could reveal poor color contrast, which makes your content difficult to read.
  • UX: Does your site have usability issues, like a non-responsive layout for mobile devices or unresponsive buttons? Your bounce rate can hint at these issues, with higher bounce rates often indicating usability issues.
  • Content: Is your content engaging, easy to read, and focused on the user’s needs? Your bounce rate can provide insight here, with users leaving your site in response to poor content. In comparison, good content can encourage users to stay longer and explore your website more.
  • SEO: Bounce rate is also important in search engine optimization by providing feedback on your optimization efforts. For example, a high bounce rate can result from poor internal linking, search intent matching, or keyword stuffing.

With the above factors playing a significant role in SEO, bounce rate becomes even more important.

What is the average bounce rate?

According to a study by CXL, the average bounce rate is 53%. Averages vary drastically by industry (44%-65%), website type (20%-90%), and traffic type (35%-56%). Look at your website type and industry averages for the most accurate average.

What is a good bounce rate?

A good bounce rate depends on multiple factors, like your type of website, traffic, and industry. Most marketers, however, say a good bounce rate is 40% or lower, and anything higher than 55% is “bad” and viable for improvement.

Is a high bounce rate bad?

A high bounce rate is not bad. Whether a high bounce rate is “good” or “bad” depends on your site.

Some studies have found as much as a 20% difference between industry bounce rates.

For example, if you operate a cooking website, you’d expect higher bounce rates (people get their recipe and leave), but if you run a website for emergency plumbing services, you’d expect lower bounce rates (people land on your site, verify your services and reputation, and then contact you for assistance).

That’s why what’s even considered a high bounce rate varies by industry.

As an example, some studies have found as much as a 20% difference between industry bounce rates. In one study, the average bounce rate for real estate websites was 44%, while the average bounce rate for food and drink websites was 65%.

How to improve bounce rate

Learn how to improve your bounce rate (and SEO) with these nine effective tips:

1. Segment your bounce rate

Segmenting your bounce rate at the site- or page-level can help you troubleshoot bounce rate by:

  • Channel
  • Source/medium
  • Device
  • Location
  • And more

For example, if you notice higher bounce rates for mobile devices on a URL, that could indicate a usability issue. With a free tool like Chrome Dev Tools or Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, you can quickly verify if the URL displays incorrectly on mobile devices.

Taking this proactive step can help you narrow and focus your troubleshooting efforts.

2. Check your tracking code setup

If you notice a high bounce rate across your website, verify your tracking code setup for Google Analytics 4 (GA4). For reference, follow Google’s walkthroughs for how to set up GA4 and troubleshoot GA4’s installation.

3. Enhance your content with videos

Videos offer great engagement, providing users with a new way to engage with your content and learn about a topic, like how to prepare an omelet. Placement is critical when using videos to improve bounce rate, though. Place videos near the beginning of your page for maximum impact so users see them sooner.

4. Increase your page speed

A good bounce rate is directly influenced by page speed.

If you have a slow-loading website, users are more likely to leave your site without exploring it further. Determine your page speed by entering your URL in PageSpeed Insights, which will provide actionable tips for improving your speed (which will also benefit your SEO).

In most instances, you’ll need the help of a web developer to improve your bounce rate.

5. Optimize your above-the-fold area

Your above-the-fold area is what users first see when they land on your website. Supercharge this area by answering the search intent, including a video, and offering a call-to-action. You’ll have limited space, so use it well for SEO and bounce rate by keeping your content direct and to the point.

6. Improve your content’s readability

Readability matters and a free tool like Readability Test can help you evaluate your content’s readability fast. For online content, we recommend an eighth-grade reading level, which will make your content accessible to a broad audience.

7. Meet your audience’s intent

No matter how you drive traffic to your site, from paid to search to social to email, people visit your website for a reason. Deliver on their needs by optimizing your above-the-fold area and the remainder of your content. Research user intent by reviewing the top-ranking results for your query.

8. Scale your internal linking

In SEO, bounce rate can increase because of poor internal linking. Internal links help users traverse your site (and stay on it!). Review your content and add at least three internal links to other pages. You can also add link hubs for related content, so users can pick what to read from a library.

9. Make your content easy to traverse with jumplinks

Jumplinks help users navigate your content by linking to different sections on the page. You can think of jumplinks as an interactive table of contents. Add jumplinks to your content — especially longform pieces — so users can find what they need faster.

Learn more about bounce rate’s definition, tips, and tricks

Congrats, you’ve learned the basics of bounce rate! If you want to learn more about bounce rate’s definition, plus tips and tricks for improving it, follow our blog to hear from industry experts on search engine optimization!

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Explore more bounce rate data below:

Average bounce rate by website type

Learn more about the average bounce rate by website type below:

Website type Average bounce rate
Ecommerce 20% – 45%
B2B 25% – 55%
Lead generation 30% – 55%
Landing pages 60% – 90%
Blogs 65% – 90%
Informational 35% – 60%

Average bounce rate by industry

Learn more about average bounce rates by industry:

Industry Average bounce rate
Food and drink 65.52%
Science 62.24%
Reference 59.57%
People and society 58.75%
Pet and animals 57.93%
News 56.52%
Arts and entertainment 56.04%
Books and literature 55.86%
Beauty and fitness 55.73%
Home and garden 55.06%
Computers and electronics 55.54%
Hobbies and leisure 54.05%
Internet 53.59%
Autos and Vehicles 51.96%
Finance 51.71%
Sports 51.12%
Travel 50.65%
Business and industrials 50.59%
Jobs and education 49.34%
Online communities 46.98%
Games 46.70%
Shopping 45.68%
Real estate 44.50%

Average bounce rate by traffic type

Learn more about bounce rate averages by traffic type below:

Traffic type Average bounce rate
Display 56%
Social 54%
Direct 49%
Paid search 44%
Organic search 43%
Referral 37%
Email 35%