What Are Google Analytics Bounce Rates? – Semalt Gives The Answer

Website owners need to know how many people visit their sites daily to assess their performance. One of the metrics used to measure these percentages is the bounce rate which records the number of people that land on the page and do nothing on it.

Such activity by visitors does not trigger any reaction from Google Analytics. Jack Miller, the Semalt Senior Customer Success Manager, explains that bounce rates help website owners assess the quality of a page or their audience. The audience quality refers to whether a site fits its own purpose.

Calculation of Bounce Rates by Google Analytics

Google calculates bounce rates by dividing a single page session by all the available sessions.

Having a high bounce rate for a website or page can have any of the three implications:

  • The quality of that particular page is substandard.
  • The targeted audience is wrong for the content posted on the site.
  • The information on that particular page was sufficient enough.

Bounce Rate and SEO

There has been much debate as to whether search engines use the bounce rates as a ranking factor. It is hard to imagine Google taking data from Google Analytics to use it when ranking websites. The reason for this line of thought is that if the owner does not implement GA correctly, then the information is unreliable. In any case, it is easy to manipulate bouncer rates. It is important to make sure that people land on a site from the search engine. That kind of bouncing can be a ranking factor, but not the way we see it in GA.

Interpreting Bounce Rates

If the purpose of the page is to inform, a high bounce rate is not necessarily a bad thing. Experts advise owners to create segments which only include the new visitors. A high bounce rate from new visitors is a nudge to improve the engagement on the site.

If the page is meant to engage visitors, then an increase in the bounce rates is bad for business. Optimizing the page itself is one of the ways to rectify this mistake. There are other causes for high bounce rates, and top of them is a pretentious advertisement. If the description does not match with content, visitors will turn away on the page. If one is clear about the site's activities, then a low bounce rate is an indication of the quality of the audience.

Bounce Rate and Conversion

Bounce rates measure success, and an increase should help the owner change the design to improve on conversion. Also, traffic sources could assist in determining why there are so many people bouncing. Newsletters, referral website, and AdWords can all contribute to bounce rates. Keeping a watchful eye on these could help alleviate the problem and improve on conversion rates.

Careful when Drawing Conclusions

An unnaturally low bounce rate is mostly something that sends a trigger in GA meaning that it has a faulty implementation. They could be pop-ups or auto-play videos implemented by the owner. Having a low bounce rate with events that monitor scrolling accounts in place is a good thing.

Lowering Bounce Rates

The only way to do this is to amp the engagement quality on the landing pages. High bounce rates from individual sources should lead the owner to observe and assess what the visitor expectations are in that regard. If the expectations are okay, but you still experience high bounce rates, then a complete page makeover is imminent.

Exit Rates

Some people mistake bounce rates and exit rates. Exit rates refer to the last session of the user and why they terminated it at that particular page


Bounce rates should help determine if the site lives up to the expectations of the target audience. Also, they should assist in creating a more inviting environment for users.