Is Having a High Bounce Rate Bad?
There have always been plenty of variables to worry about when fine tuning your site for the major search engines and the release of Google’s Penguin has not made things any easier. While juggling backlinks, content quality and balancing the mix of paid and organic exposure, you may have little time to worry about anything else. Many obsess over a variable known as the bounce rate, or the percentage of people who come to your site, look at one page only and leave. When it comes to bounce rate, there are several reasons why it may be high and not all of them are bad; we will discuss some examples of each to give you an idea of whether it is a serious problem or not for your website.
Possibility: Content is Bad
The worst case scenario for many webmasters is there being low quality content that visitors are turning away from in droves. This could be a possible factor in your webpage’s high bounce rate, but you will want to check a couple of other issues before diagnosing it. You can look at the average time individuals are spending on the page; if the average time is low, then chances are people are simply finding said content unappealing or irrelevant to their initial interest. Pages that have high bounce rates and low average times spent on the page should be investigated.
Possibility: Content is Great
Quite the opposite from the above scenario, a high bounce rate can also indicate that users are enjoying your web page and found everything they needed in one place. When you check the average amount of time spent on the page, there may be a high average. In this case – especially with longer articles, tutorials and other blog-style entries – users may simply spend time reading your content, finding out what they needed to know and then proceed to leave the site. It is not always bad to have a high bounce rate and in cases like this, can be success more than failure.
Possibility: Website is Slow
In some cases, people come to your site and upon arriving, discover that it is slower than many others. This can be for a number of reasons and is best addressed with your hosting company or provider, but the end result is a bad experience for visitors. When someone comes in and finds a slow site, they are far more likely to leave the site without exploring. If you are curious about your site’s speed and whether or not this may be a factor in your high bounce rate, check out Pingler’s Website Speed Test tool for a free diagnosis.
Possibility: You’re Making Money
If you are running advertisements on your web pages, it is possible that your high bounce rate may be driven in part by effective advertising. If individuals are coming to your site, reading the content on one page and clicking on a relevant advertising, then this would contribute to an elevated bounce rate. Obviously this is not bad, seeing as how you should be earning money from those affiliate clicks and purchases.