bounce rate

Online marketers are obsessed about search engine optimisation.

There’s nothing wrong with that, after all they wouldn’t get anywhere without keywords, backlinks and a decent website structure. But by spending every waking hour worrying about them you could be missing the bigger picture.

Google analytics is vital if you want to know what’s going on on your website – where your traffic comes from and the behaviour of your visitors.

One of its key stats – even more important than where your visitors come from – is how effective your website is, i.e. its bounce rate.

What is bounce rate?

The bounce rate shows the percentage of visitors to your website that leave within the first 10 seconds. And that’s not good.

If visitors are leaving that soon it means they aren’t finding what they’re looking for. A site with a low bounce rate (say below 30%) will be a website that is converting its visitors into customers. A site with a bounce rate of 50% and higher is one that isn’t converting – it’s failing.

Factors affecting bounce rate

Traffic to your website comes from a number of different sources:

  • organic search results
  • backlinks from referral sites
  • repeat visitors
  • social bookmarking traffic

As a freelance copywriter it won’t come as any surprise that that is one of my keywords. So if people Google freelance copywriter they’ll find me.

But consider what would happen if I’d targeted a phrase like ‘marketing agency’. Many of the people who found my website that way would be looking for a company to deal with all their design and branding needs?

After landing on my home page they’d find great information about my freelance copywriting services but no mention of design or branding. The result would be that they would click away from my site which would lead to a high bounce rate.


But a high bounce rate might not caused by just your keywords. There are other factors that may be causing people to click away from you site:

  • too much advertising
  • videos and music – especially if they are on auto play
  • navigation choices – too many and your visitors will get confused
  • slow loading speed
  • excessive jargon in your copy will be a huge turn off
  • bad design

Check our your Google Analytics page now. If you see your bounce rate is high take a look at your site and compare it with the list above. Take another look at your keywords – are they really reflecting what your site is about?