Smartlook is now part of Cisco

Bounce rate

What is the bounce rate?

The bounce rate regarding websites is the percentage of visitors who leave after viewing only one page. 

What does a high bounce rate mean?

A high bounce rate isn’t a good thing. It indicates that people are leaving your site without taking further actions, such as clicking on links, filling out forms, or making purchases.

Simply put, a high bounce rate means your website isn’t fulfilling visitor needs and/or provides a bad user experience. 

Typical causes of high bounce rates include problems with your website such as poor design, irrelevant content, or technical issues.

Although, generally speaking, a high bounce rate is a bad thing, there are exceptions. One exception to this rule would be if you had a one-page website or landing page with a very specific purpose (such as getting visitors to sign up for a free trial or contact us page).

How to calculate bounce rate

Bounce rate is defined as the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.

The most common formula to calculate bounce rate is the number of single-page visits divided by the number of total visits. So, if you received 100 visits to your website and 40 of them were single-page visits, then your bounce rate would be 40%.

Why is the bounce rate important?

The bounce rate can be a useful metric for assessing the overall health of your website and identifying areas that may require improvement. It indicates whether a page is relevant to your visitors and if you’re effective at communicating what your website is about. Put simply, it shows how good your landing page is at keeping users engaged.

While the bounce rate is important, it’s important to keep in mind that this metric varies depending on the type of website and the goals of the visitor. For example, a website with a lot of content may have a higher bounce rate than a website with less content, as visitors typically don’t want to scroll through heaps of content to find what they’re looking for. Similarly, a website with a lot of interactive elements may have a lower bounce rate as visitors may want to explore all the features.

Bounce rate vs. exit rate: what’s the difference?

While both bounce rate and exit rate are helpful metrics for understanding how users interact with a website, they actually measure different things.

Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e., sessions in which the user left your site from the entrance page without an interaction). Exit rate refers to the percentage of visitors who ‘exit’ to a different website from a particular page after visiting any number of pages on your site (thus ending their session).

In general, you want to keep your bounce rate as low as possible and your exit rate as high as possible. However, there are always going to be users who ‘bounce’ and others who leave from specific pages. The important thing is that you track both metrics over time, keeping an eye out for any sudden changes or trends. If you see an increase in the bounce rate or a sudden decrease in the exit rate, it could be an indication of an issue with your conversion funnel and, subsequently, your conversions.

Try Smartlook for free

Use Smartlook to see how your users really interact with your website. Uncover the why behind high bounce rates with screen recordings, heatmaps, and more.