Website Bounce Rates Demystified

Owners of e-commerce businesses are constantly hunting for ways to improve the performance of their sites. One of the most common analytical measures is the bounce rate. however, as helpful as this stat can be, it can also lead you astray. A few variables mix with the bounce rate and it does not stand alone as a barometer of success. As with any piece of information, it is just a piece of the puzzle, not the entire picture.

Defining Bounce Rates

What Is Bounce Rate?

A bounce is defined as when a visitor lands on your site and does not click through to a second page. The bounce rate calculation is the number of visitors that only record one hit (i.e. landing on a page) divided by the total number of hits—or entries—to the page. In theory, this raw data can then be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the site.

But, take a breath, because this can sometimes be very misleading. The bounce rate metric is meant to measure engagement and visitor behavior; yet it does not include visitor expectations. In other words, bounce rate analysis can be highly subjective.

What Is an Ideal Bounce Rate?

Whether you have a professionally designed website or used a free website maker yourself, many e-commerce business owners want to know if their site is effective and what a good bounce rate is. Well, that depends—and that’s not a cop-out answer, either! Logic tells us that a lower rate would be best. An average bounce rate is about 50 percent, but that may be a very good or very poor percentage, depending on visitor expectations.

One of the main drivers of those expectations is the industry in which your business operates. An ideal bounce rate is industry dependent. Some industries naturally generate a high number of new visitors to sites, and are therefore likely to have higher bounce rates, while others are prone to more repeated visitor traffic.

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