By Eoin Harmon –

One of the more underutilised but interesting pieces of data in website analytics is what’s known as the bounce rate. This percentage calculates how often a visitor has visited just one page of your website before leaving again. The higher the rating, the more people that have exited your website after reaching one page.

Ideally, you will want to assign a target percentage to aim for on your analytics. As included in this Kissmetrics infographic, your target varies depending on your needs. A website offering information for its customers can aim for a 10-30% bounce rate, while a landing page with a single command or call-to-action can be effective with a 70-90% bounce rate.

Web analytics expert Avinash Kaushik says of bounce rates: “It is really hard to get a bounce rate under 20%, anything over 35% is cause for concern; 50% (or above) is worrying”.

If you are struggling to get the response you want from customers, the chances are your bounce rate is too high. The first adjustments that can be made is to double check how quickly your web page loads.

If the largest items of data are placed at the top of the page, the browser will have to spend longer readying the files for display. The average user will become impatient and will close your website down and move on. An intrusive advert or pop-up may also cause aggravation.

Once these problems are dealt with, you can dig deeper into your website and study other potential reasons for high bounce rate.

If an ad you are running does not fully reflect what is said on the designated page, a person browsing might get confused and leave abruptly. Occasionally, a person will intend to come back to your website by bookmarking it, exiting it, and then return as planned. This does in fact register as a bounce rate.

Finally, a person might have left the first page they were on by accident (unintentionally clicking ‘x’, sudden browser crash etc.)

As previously mentioned, a high bounce rate is okay in certain scenarios, but it should be monitored for consistency. A user who is slowly getting on board with your message could become a regular visitor in time. Be careful about suddenly changing your website layout, as these users will be thrown off course.

By giving due care to your bounce rate, you can better understand your website traffic and make their experiences more expansive in future.