Bounce Rate Definition & Meaning

What Is Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate is the percentage of website visitors who navigate away from the site after viewing only one web page. The bounce rate for a website is calculated by single-page sessions divided by all sessions.

A 100% bounce rate means that every single visitor who landed on a web page left the site without navigating to another page (i.e., a single-page session). A 50% bounce rate means that half of the visitors who landed on a web page left the site without browsing another page.

The average bounce rate for all website industries is between 26% to 70%. If a website (or web page) is experiencing a single-digit bounce rate (e.g., 0% or 1%), it could indicate that there is an issue with the Google Analytics tracking code. A good average bounce rate to aim for is between 26% to 40%.

A high bounce rate is not necessarily a bad metric for a website. The same thing is true for a low bounce rate. If a single-page session is expected, then a high bounce rate would be normal. For example, this bounce rate definition page would naturally have a higher bounce rate percentage than other web pages on the SEO Chatter site because most new users who land on this page only want to get the quick meaning of bounce rate for research or educational purposes.

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However, if the success of the website depends on new users navigating to more than one web page, then a low bounce rate should be the goal. For example, if the homepage of a website is the gateway to other areas of the site, then a high bounce rate would indicate that the homepage is not designed correctly to send users deeper into the site. In this case, a high bounce rate is a bad user experience signal.

Note: Bounce rate is often confused with Exit rate in Google Analytics. Bounce rate refers to sessions that start and end on a specific web page while Exit rate is the percentage of users who exit the site after viewing the web page (i.e., it is the last page in the session).

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Go to the SEO Glossary to find more terms and definitions that relate to the field of search engine optimization.