Bounce rate definition: Calculations, benchmarks & more

What is bounce rate

Bounce rate calculates the percentage of users who leave – or bounce off – a webpage without viewing any additional pages. This could mean visitors:

  • Close their browser
  • Hit the back button
  • Type a new URL
  • Remain inactive for more than 30 minutes

Low bounce rates could suggest a webpage is effective in capturing, retaining and converting visitors’ attention. Meanwhile, high bounce rates may indicate that calls to action (CTAs) are unclear, that load speeds are slow or that on-page content is low quality.

This said, bounce rate should be combined with other metrics like pageviews, time on page and conversion rate to provide extra context about your performance. Comparing individual pages against site average will also help.

How is bounce rate calculated?

Although there are some discrepancies in the data from different analytics tools, bounce rate is calculated by dividing the number of single-page sessions by the total number of sessions.

For example, let’s say a product page has 3,000 pageviews in the last month and 1,500 of those visitors left without visiting another page on your site.

In this scenario, your bounce rate would be 50%.

What is the average bounce rate for ecommerce?

Average bounce rates can be difficult to benchmark across industries because of the different purposes and target audiences websites – and individual web pages – serve. Nevertheless, somewhere between 40% - 60% is what ecommerce businesses generally shoot for.

Bear in mind that conversion-focused product pages will likely have a much lower bounce rate than a blog post describing the benefits of that product. One of the key reasons for this is the intent of the searcher:

Someone ready to buy an item is much more likely to click through, whereas someone who’s yet to be convinced may need to conduct further external research before making a decision.

How can you improve bounce rate?

By optimising these factors, you’re likely to see an improved bounce rate:

  • Website design
  • User experience
  • Page loading speed
  • Mobile friendliness
  • Content quality
  • CTAs

Leveraging A/B testing and other forms of testing will help you iterate and improve even further.

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