Your Website “Bounce Rate” has big impact on Search Engine Placement
If you’re a bit unclear about something called a website “bounce rate”, you’re not alone… but learning what it is and how it affects your business could be one of the most important things you do to keep your website high in the rankings of search engines. Eric Enge with searchengineland.com reports that a study conducted by SEO Black Hat, a website that examines SEO techniques, shows that a website’s search engine rankings may be influenced by its “bounce rate.” The study does not conclusively prove it, but the statistics indicate that “bounce rate” could have some impact. So what exactly is a bounce rate? In essence, a bounce rate is measured by a visitor to your website who looks at only one page… and then leaves. They could be leaving because: they navigate to a different site in their browser; they back-button out of the site; they close the browser; they click a link on the page that takes them to a different site; their session times out. Or, delving into the psychology of the user just a bit, it could mean they are not liking what they’re seeing, so they high-tail it outta there. This goes to the basic marketability of your website and whether you are actually giving visitors a quality experience with it. By checking the bounce rate, you can possibly determine where more and less time is being spent – giving you some idea of where your site needs improvement. According to analytics blogger Avinash Kaushik, a bounce rate of under 20% is good and a rate of over 50% is worrisome.
Virtually all web analytics tools will give you the bounce rate of your website, so it should be easy to check. Plus, don’t be confused by “bounce rate” and “exit rate” – they are very different things. Everybody has to “exit” the site at some point, but “bouncing” is another story.
Search engines use all kinds of data to determine how many people and how much time is being spent on a website. Plus, they know that certain sites, such as reference sites where a user might be looking for one specific thing, are apt to have a high bounce rate. But, while it’s unknown as to whether search engines put much stock into bounce rate when determining rankings, they may end up doing just that in the future. So, it’s not a bad idea to keep an eye on the bounce rate of your website’s pages. It can’t hurt, and will only give you better information as to what can be improved for your visitors, and possibly the search engines, too.