You might be surprised to learn: there’s no one good or right bounce rate for a blog.
Whether or not a bounce rate is good mostly depends on your goals and where your website traffic is coming from. If you want your blog to drive revenue through affiliate links, for example, then you’d want a “bad” (aka high) bounce rate because that means visitors are clicking your links and going to a different website (but if you have “bad” bounce rates and low revenue, that’s a different story). In terms of traffic sources, it’s common to see good bounce rates from visitors coming from your newsletter, and it’s common to see not so good bounce rates from social media because scrollers are typically less engaged.
When it comes to bounce rates (and in fact, most things), context is key. There’s no one right bounce rate because it genuinely depends on your unique business and blog. So let’s dive in a bit deeper to understand what a bounce rate even is.
Let’s start real quick with what a bounce rate ISN’T.
It’s NOT a measure of what someone thinks about your website or blog.
A high bounce rate DOESN’T automatically mean you’re doing things wrong.
And it’s NOT the end-all be-all of websites.
So what exactly is a bounce rate and why is there so much hype around it?
By Google™’s own definition, a page’s bounce rate is the amount of visitors who first land on the page and then close it without doing anything else but scroll up and down.
So if Michelle checked out the blog post ‘What is Email Marketing?’ and then closed the page without interacting with any elements on it, that would be a bounce and the page would get a 100% bounce rate from her visit.
But if she hopped over to another blog post or to anywhere else on the website, that wouldn’t count as a bounce for that blog post and the page would get a 0% bounce rate from that specific visit.
On a scale of 0% to 100%, 0 is generally better and 100 is generally worse.
Because Google™ put a website’s bounce rate in such a major spot within Google Analytics (if your account was created pre-October 2020), people naturally place a heap ton of importance on it. But Google Analytics’ design doesn’t necessarily mean a website’s bounce rate is one of the most important pieces of data to track.
Because bounce rates and exit rates are so similar, it’s really easy to confuse what they actually mean when it comes to your website and blog.
By Google™’s own definition, an exit rate is the percentage of visitors who close a specific page out of all the visits that page gets.
So if Michelle read ‘Why Consistency Matters on Social Media’ (A) and then ‘5 Ways to Show Up Consistently’ (B), the bounce rate for A would be 0% (because she didn’t close that page without doing anything else) and the exit rate for page B would be 100% (because she closed the page after reading it and learning what she wanted to learn).
If your blog’s main goal is to market your business (aka content marketing), then you want visitors to stay engaged, explore more of your blog posts, and ideally take an action like signing up for your newsletter. This means having a low overall bounce rate across your blog.
To see which pages or blog posts have the highest bounce rates and exit rates, open up your Google Analytics and click on Behavior -> Site Content -> Content Drilldown.
Now, if your blog has a high bounce rate, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. For a blog intended to drive revenue with affiliate marketing, or a blog that has strong call to actions that lead people away from the blog post, a high bounce rate is a good thing. A high bounce rate doesn’t automatically mean a “bad” bounce rate.
And vice versa, a low bounce rate doesn’t automatically mean it’s “good”.
On average, blogs have an overall bounce rate of 82.4%. If your blog’s overall bounce rate is around that and you just want to lower your blog’s bounce rate as quickly as possible, the most impactful thing you should do is add in a ‘Related Posts’ section at the bottom of every blog post.
This is a relatively easy way to intrigue readers to keep reading and stay on your website for longer. As they explore, they’ll keep learning about what they’re interested in and they’ll be way more likely to subscribe to your emails or check out your offers (especially if your content is great). And because they’re clicking around, your blog posts will naturally get lower bounce rates. It’s literally win – win!
Now, while it can be helpful to keep an eye on your website’s overall bounce rate, the gold nuggets are really found in the bounce rates of each blog post over time. The key is to look at a blog post’s bounce rate trend – is it trending up or down? And does that trend fit your goal for that blog post? In other words, is the trend towards the direction you want?
If you have 100+ blog posts, this process may get tedious so I’d recommend finding your top 10 blog posts in terms of revenue, engagement, or conversions, and tracking those over time.
That way, the trend lines will clearly show you how your blog posts are doing over time and you can tweak bits and pieces accordingly.
Jan 4, 2022
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