How Do Your Website’s Blog Posts Impact Your Website’s Bounce Rates?

What is "Bounce Rate"?

Simply put, Bounce Rate is counted when a visitor leaves from the same page that they came from, without taking further action. "Further action" can be described as moving to another page in the website or taking some actions on the page such as downloading a document or submitting a form, in short: clicking something.

You can really drill down in GA to find the bounce rates per channel (eg from Search Engines, Direct, from other sites etc) as well as per visitor segment, page, time frames and much more.

Now,despite what many people think, time spent on the webpage is not the key parameter for "bounce rate". So, you can have a bounce recorded if a person reads a page for 5 minutes but then leaves without taking additional action. It's all about the interaction of your visitor with your site, not the time spent on pages.

What is Organic Bounce Rate?

The organic bounce speed metric shows the number of people who return to search results (Google search results importantly) from your website. Google can of course measure this, and I believe, uses it as a ranking factor. This makes sense, if we think about it. Someone searches for your service or product on Google and the search yields a bunch of results, of which your site is one. The customer clicks your search result and goes to your landing page. Now, say that visitor doesn't find what they are searching for on your page and returns back to the Google search results. (We've all done that right?) Well, Google sees them return, or "bounce" back. This is an Organic Bounce. Now further, say 80% of individuals who land on that page from the Google search results (SERPs) view the webpage and bounce back to the search results. Of course those men and women who go back to the Google search results will try other outcomes and visit those pages. What if one of these results is much better suited to their search and less people bounce back, say only 40% of visitors to that page bounce back to Google? Which page do you think Google will consider more valuable, your webpage with an 80% bounce rate or your competitions bounce rate with only a 40% bounce rate (everything else being equal)? Theirs, so Google may well lower the rank of your page against theirs. And if your entire website has a high average Organic Bounce Rate then Google may see your whole site as lower value and your whole website may have lower SEO potential than is desirable.

Is it better to have a high or low bounce rate?

Generally, having a low bounce rate is better. A low bounce rate implies that the men and women that are visiting your entrance pages are going on to visit and interact with other pages or content on your website — which increases time on amounts, improves dwell time and in theory may increase your conversion rate (i.e. the speed at which your visitors choose the desired action).

But things aren't always as simple; occasionally a high bounce rate might be a great thing as it would indicate that visitors rates acquired the information they needed from the entrance page (such as contact info, event information etc.). A low bounce rate, on the other hand, could also mean that your visitors are finding it hard to find the information they require on your site. But for simplicity's sake, we want Bounce Rates to be a slow as you can.

What's a "good" bounce rate on a website?

A 26 to 40 percent bounce rate could be considered to be desirable; we want to try for that. A bounce rate of 41 to 55 percent is typical and generally needs work. A rate that is between 55 and 76 percent has to be looked at but if it ought to be a source of concern will depend on the type of website. If a bounce rate is80% that is a cause for evaluation. Typically, anything above 70% should be worrying for everything outside of news, events, blogs and similar sites that generally attract single-page visits. If the bounce rate is too good to be true (less than 20%), it probably is and may be the result of an analytics implementation that's broken.

A high bounce rate may mean two things: either your visitors are getting what they need within the entry page — negating the need to delve deeper into your website — or the content that's contained in the entrance page is not related to the visitors. In the latter case, the traffic your site gets won't lead to any conversions, leads or sales making your site to be of diminished commercial value for that search term. If your website depends on your visitors viewing more than one page, then, having a high bounce rate means that your website is not performing as it should. For example, if the gateway to the rest of your

A primary objective of your blog is to be informative, we want people to read those posts, and often they will spend several minutes doing this before leaving and …going back to the search results creating a "bounce"! This is the reason our blog posts frequently have a good "time on page" value (live value) but a poor bounce rate. Those posts are great to read but these people simply don't take any further action on your site, after reading your article. If you have many posts then your site section average bounce rate may be high, such as this:

And this high Organic Bounce Rate to your site section can push up your websites overall average bounce rate and potentially lower your SEO and rankings.

There're several reasons why your website has a high bounce rate. These include:

  • A slow loading website.
  • Self-sufficient content on entrance pages. This is content that doesn't require the user to look for more information on other pages. Visitors will leave as soon as they find out the content on the page is not what was described in the meta tag and meta description (which generally display in the Google search results). Users will bounce if they do not find anything on the page they visit.
  • Bad backlinks from other websites. A referring site could be sending unqualified visitors to your site, or the link may have a deceptive or out-of-context anchor text.
  • Low quality and/or under optimised content.
  • A poor UX that turns visitors off. A website that's difficult to navigate will turn users off.
  • An incorrect Google analytics setup that is producing false data.

How do you reduce your own Organic Bounce Rate?

It is logical that we want to decrease the instance of individuals leaving our website as soon as they have read our blog articles (or some other page really) and increase the amount of traffic going further into our website — this will reduce the bounce rate for the blog posts. That is what we often want anyway: for people to our blog, then into our site and become a client, right? But from just an SEO standpoint, we would like to find that bounce rate down. So how do we achieve this?

Here are some ideas:

  • Obvious: make sure your blog post page loads quickly and is visually appealing
  • Focussing on creating fewer but more (more substantial) blog posts. To put it differently, it would be better to spend the time writing one premium article that engages the audience, instead of several average posts. For these longer Source article posts put a fast menu at the top which readers can click to jump down to the sections within the post. Like I have with this post on top.