Making sense of bounce rate on a website

In most cases the bounce rate you see is false.

This is because of the way it is tracked. Google Analytics by default does not track how long a person is on the page. They often count a bounce when there is no bounce because of this. To get a more accurate metric create “time on page” events with Google Analytics. The easiest way to do this if you don’t know how is to use the reduce bounce rate plugin for WordPress.


One downside to this is if you have a high traffic website you will be eating into your total allotted events allowed by Google Analytics for a free account. So to account for this you may need to increase the time intervals for checking the “time on page” for each “Event”.

The obvious best way to get better engagement with your page is to create high quality content that gives the information a person is seeking.

Also, the interface and design of your website will have a lot to do with this (especially the above the fold content). You might also want to check how long it takes the page to load. If it takes too long this could be a major reason for high bounce rates.

And finally, if you have a landing page with high conversions and high bounce rates, the bounce rates are irrelevant because you reached the goal. So in this case I would not be concerned with bounce rates. It is all about what people are doing on a page, not necessarily which pages they visit. If they only visit one page, and you are getting high conversions, you should not care if they visit other pages. So I don’t look at the bounce rate of the entire site. I look at the bounce rate of a page coupled with the “traffic flow” in Google Analytics. This gives a better picture on what people are doing on a website. So just looking at the bounce rate metric is not very useful in and of itself. You need other metrics to give you a more complete picture about what is going on. All analytics is about conversions and how to improve them.

what is website bounce rate