When a user visits your site and leaves it without going to another page on the site it is called a “bounce”. The ratio of such bounces to the total number of visitors to the page is called the ‘bounce rate’. For instance if 1000 users land on a page and then either hit the back button or leave the page for another site, they’ve ‘bounced’.
Some bounces are to be expected. Perhaps the landing page has all of the information the user wants, or they bookmark the page for later examination and then leave or if the landing page is a blog page with posts, then often all or most of the relevant content is on one page.
When you have a multi-page site and a high bounce rate that’s an indication that changes are indicated and it’s time to make some experimental changes to evaluate how they affect the bounce rate so that you can increase the effectiveness of your online marketing.
Sometimes you can infer a problem by examining the page and determining what the expectations of most of the visitors might be. For instance if the title of your page is “Short Sale Listings in North Snowridge” and the page has slideshow dominating the page, and the link to Short Sales is one of many located below the fold, the visitor might conclude that this is not what they’re looking for and hit the back button to try the next link in their search results even if they really do want to know about short sale listings in Showridge.
Improving your bounce rate is a logical way to increase your sales and it becomes increasingly important if you are paying for clickthroughs from ads on search engines, directories or social media sites. That’s where you pay for the clickthrough even though the user may bounce and may only be on your site for a few seconds.