“What is a good bounce rate?” is a pretty common question these days, and a lot of marketers have (often unrealistic) bounce rate targets as part of their performance indicators.
The truth of the matter is that there is no such thing as a good bounce rate, as it totally depends on two things: user intent, and what your page is designed to do.
How is Bounce Rate Measured
You can’t improve something you can’t measure, nor can you improve something effectively if you don’t understand how its measured.
Bounce rate is no different, but there seems to be a lot of confusion over what constitutes a bounce, many people confuse it with page exits, but in truth its really simple!
A bounce is when a visitor arrives at a page on your website, and leaves without going to any other page on your website.
An exit, is when someone arrives on your website, then reads another page, and exits on that page. There could of course be any number of pages read in a session, but the one that gets the exit is the last one thats read.
Why is a High Bounce Rate (sometimes) bad?
Lets look at two examples:
1) Your site is content heavy, and you want users to read/engage a lot.
This very site is a great example, I would rather people navigated around a bit, read some more, perhaps took part in the community and so on. If thats the case then your objective is to have as low a bounce rate as possible.
2) Your site provides smaller, easy to digest snippets of information.
Examples might be the yellow pages, weather sites, TV listings or so on. In this circumstance you really want the user to land on the right page, and get the information they want as quickly as possible. If this is the case, then a high bounce rate is in no way a bad thing!