Is a High Bounce Rate Always a Bad Thing?

A goal for many marketers is to decrease the bounce rate on their website. Bounce rate is one the most important and popular web metrics but sometimes a high bounce rate does not always give an accurate representation of behaviour. 

What is Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate is the percentage of people that enter your site and leave immediately, without viewing any other page. The reason it is so important is that it is one of the few simple metrics that measures behaviour. If a visitor leaves immediately it is likely that they didn’t like what they saw.


Blogs can really disrupt your analytics data. They are pretty unique when it comes to metrics and require a completely different set of rules and goals. One of the main reasons for this is that your readers will often come to your blog, read one post and then leave. Think about how many times you see a link on Twitter, go through to the site, read the article and then exit. 

If you have a high reader base then you are likely to witness high bounce rates. This is not always such a bad thing. However, it is very important to differentiate between existing visitors and new visitors. Existing visitors will often read just one blog post and then leave because they have already read everything else so why read again? New visitors have not read anything. You will want them to navigate throughout your blog and consume as much great, valuable content as possible in order to attract them into returning. 

Traffic Sources

Take a look at your traffic sources and see which sites give you bouncing visitors. Is there an unrelated referrer that sends a reasonable number of traffic that bounce? If so, this link(s) will be inflating your bounce rate. This is a common occurrence but many do not think to delve deep into traffic source analysis. If you find the link, try to contact the webmaster and ask for the link to be removed. You can also exclude the traffic source from being included in your results so that you get a ‘truer’ analysis. Be careful to not just omit poor performing traffic sources though - this must only be used if you are getting links from spam sites etc. 


Are some keywords artificially inflating your bounce rate? Have you created some content that is attracting non-targeted keywords? 

Content that is targeting long-tail keywords often attract completely unrelated traffic. This is the nature of long-tail, its unpredictable. It is important to always look at your referring keywords so that you can gain an insight into how people are discovering you. If you are receiving high bounces from related keywords then it may be that your existing content is not valuable to your audience. In this case you would need to go back and analyse your existing content and match it up to your referring keywords. High bouncing keywords are also a great opportunity to come up with content ideas.