Can Bounce Rate Really Affect Your Rankings?
As a website owner, you may have dabbled in trying to optimize your own site. And you may even understand some of the lingo. How about “bounce rate”?
Most website owners understand that the longer someone spends on their site, the more conversations they are more likely to see. Bounce rate is simply when someone leaves a single page without engaging with any other page on your website. And while a high bounce rate is not necessarily good, can it affect your organic website rankings?
Well, that depends on who you ask. Because, these days, there are SEO “experts” hiding in all manners of nooks and crannies of the big wide internet world. You can find all sorts of conflicting internet “expertise” out there, just waiting to take your hard-earned dollars. And, unfortunately, much of the expertise out there is in furtherance of their own agenda, not necessarily yours.
How is Bounce Rate Calculated?
The bounce rate of your website is calculated by the number of single-page visits divided by all visits. So if you have 100 users go to your website, but 20 of those users leave without going to another page on your site, this would be a bounce rate of 20 percent. This can be easily tracked with Google Analytics.
But does your bounce rate have anything to do with your organic rankings, which is one factor in how your users find you to begin with? The simple answer appears to be: probably not. In fact, this is supported by numerous people at Google. So should you care about bounce rate then? Absolutely!
Why You Should Care
First of all, bounce rate may not affect your rankings, but it can be a strong indicator of your user engagement. If your bounce rate is high, your user engagement is just the opposite. If your bounce rate is low and the amount of time your users spend on a page is high, you are in better shape from a potential conversion standpoint. And bounce can indicate other things that Google DOES care about, such as a lack of quality website design, slow page speed, poor optimization, and other things that will invariably affect the entire user experience.
Is There a Perfect Bounce Rate?
Given the variety of website types and different industries represented on the web today, it’s difficult to generalize what a great or even good bounce rate is. Informational articles will have a vastly different bounce rate than a website selling a local service. Sites relying on purely paid advertising will have a different rate than those with multiple different ways of reaching users. A high bounce rate may just mean that the user has found what they needed quickly without the need to go to another page.
What Your Bounce Rate Tells You
What your bounce rate can give you is an indication of your user engagement. Using Google Analytics, you can identify what pages receive the most organic traffic. This can help decide what content is most engaging so you can feature it in your design. If most of your traffic comes from returning visitors, you particularly want to keep content fresh and constantly updated. Using a responsive website design that is mobile-optimized is also critical.
Getting Help From an Expert
Depending on your website and industry, bounce rate, while not something that will affect your organic rankings, should be used to discern possible weaknesses or places where your site does not engage your user. For every site, this can mean different things.
And while you may know a little about things like bounce rate and search engine optimization, in the digital world, things change rapidly. The last thing you have time for is to keep constantly updated on key SEO strategies and Google updates. That’s where we come in.
At Fuel Web Marketing, we know that you are far too busy running your business to stay on top of digital marketing updates and what can affect your rankings. At Fuel, you have found an expert whose agenda is your agenda. How about a complimentary web audit, just so you can see for yourself what your strengths and weaknesses are? Contact us online or call (888) 375-3835 to learn how we can identify ways to increase your user engagement and your conversions.