Bounce rates in SEO can be a hard cookie to chew, especially for people who have absolutely no idea what it is all about. Come to think of it, even those considered as experts in the industry have a difficult time explaining this SEO metric in a way that will be easily understood by consumers and their clients.
But what are bounce rates, really? According to one expert, it is the percentage of visits on a single page where the user leaves the website from the landing or entrance page. It is a way to show the inverse of a page’s engagement rate by measuring how visitors engage with a website.
Bounce Rate Explained Simply
This metric, which is usually tracked by Google Analytics, is basically a way to determine the pages that have “high engagement rate” and those with “low engagement rate.” Simply put, it is used to measure how many users come to the page and browse other contents offered therein.
Because of this, many consider bounce rates as something that is used to determine the usefulness of a page, and, therefore, the ranking.
Some SEO experts even put this theory to the test by intentionally increasing a bounce rate of certain websites for several days. Unfortunately, their experiment didn’t yield conclusive results. Aside from that, Google’s former Webspam head Matt Cutts has previously debunked this theory, explaining that bounce rates aren’t used to rank pages in the SERPs.
With that in mind, the question of how bounce rates impact a page’s SEO efficacy comes to light. While it may not directly affect a website’s rank, there are certain instances when it serves as a factor in determining whether a website is useful to users or not. After all, Google’s priority is to improve user experience and make it more meaningful.
Bounce Rate and Its Effects on SEO
Bounce rate isn’t considered as a ranking factor by Google, but it does have some implications when it comes to aspects of SEO the Internet giant cares about.
According to experts, high bounce rates is a sign of weakness in your SEO. If a website experiencing high volumes of bouncing visitors, there may be a problem with certain aspects of the page, including the quality of the page design, mismatching keywords with the actual content, poor optimization for mobile devices, and dragging loading speed.
If you notice, these possible problems are indicators that users aren’t having a great time exploring the website since
1) they aren’t inclined to read other related content, and 2) they seemingly did not find anything useful and worth sharing on the page.
While these problems can be easily solved by updating the website, optimizing it for mobile, and making sure the content matches the targeted keywords, there is still a chance that the “disease” can’t be cured as it would only be like treating the symptom rather than the illness itself. Still, knowing the symptoms put webmasters and administrators one step closer towards solving the problem.
Tips For Reducing Bounce Rate
1. Enhance Readability and Content Quality
Since one of the possible reasons why visitors leave pages shortly after they open it is poor readability and slow loading, it is important to optimize for these factors. Make sure that your page can be easily digested by using straightforward language and clear fonts. The page layout and web design should also be both eye-catching and simple.
2. Avoid Visitor Disruptions
Among the most common disruptions for visitors are pop-up ads. While this may be a way for the website or blog to gain revenue, it doesn’t help the page’s bounce rate as it usually makes visitors turn away from the website as quickly as they entered.
3. Deliver Fresh Content That Match The Targeted Keywords
Since Google’s priority is to make user experience optimal, make sure that your website’s content matches its targeted keywords while delivering fresh content. Doing so means avoiding click-bait titles or headlines that often cause visitors to leave the website without so much as a click on one link.