Let’s talk about one of the oldest metrics in SEO, bounce rate. Have you ever visited a website, and upon opening the first page, you decided to leave?
If your answer is yes, what you did is regarded as a bounce. For your visit to our website to be considered as a bounce, you would not have clicked on anything on the page; not even a read more button.
Hence, the bounce rate can be described as a metric used to indicate the quality of your website by quantifying the quality of engagement with your audience.
Google analytics calculate your bounce by dividing all your single-page sessions (bounce) by all sessions on your website.
If the bounce rate on your website is high, three things are involved:
- First, the quality of the contents of your page is low or uninteresting to your audience.
- Your content does not match your audience. That is, people coming to your page do not find your information relevant.
- Your visitors find their information on the first click.
Does Bounce Rate Affect SEO?
A lot of beginners tend to think that the bounce rate is used to rank their page. However, looking at the three causes of a high bounce rate above, it is obvious why the bounce rate is not an accurate tool for ranking a page.
The truth is Google will not use your bounce rate in the search algorithm’s page ranking. However, your bounce rate might indirectly affect your ranking. It just doesn’t bode well that most of your audience bounce right back to the search page once they land on your website. The ranking factor might not directly use the bounce rate to rank your page; however, it might be a variable in their calculations.
Before getting into a panic over a high bounce rate, first examine the purpose of your website. If the purpose of your website is strictly to inform, a high pulse rate might not be such a bad thing. However, further engagement on your page doesn’t hurt.
It is much better that after getting the information that brought them to your page, please subscribe to your newsletter or read more content on other pages of your website. Only then will the visit on your website not be registered on the google analytics server as a bounce.
Increasing Your Engagement
If the purpose of your page is to attract further engagement, then you can use the bounce rate analytics as a direct indication of the performance of your page. For instance, if you have a page meant solely to get more subscribers for your newsletter, a high bounce rate is a clear indication of poor performance. Then, you need to fix the situation with measures like a clear call-to-action, or a subscribe button, and so on.
If you boil it all down, directly on its own, the bounce rate says little about the quality of your page. It doesn’t necessarily mean your page is doing poorly. What the bounce rate is telling you is the audience’s reaction to your page. It is left to you to decide the purpose for which you have set up the page and whether or not the reaction is desired.
A general rule of thumb, however, is to get as much engagement as possible because no matter what the purpose of your page might be, engagements engagement cannot be bad for your Google ranking. You can ensure a consistently high google ranking by getting familiar with the top 5 SEO analytic tools.