Bounce Rate Or Single Page Access Industry Averages

This question was asked in Web Analytics Demystified forum. I answered there, but also here so you get the benefit of the booty!

What is bounce rate?

A bounce rate or single page access is where someone arrives at your website (from whatever source) and then leaves without taking any action, be that clicking a link, buying a product, adding to the cart whatever. Nothing. They basically leave without doing anything, in other words they arrive and bounce away.

What is an average bounce rate?

The question was posed;

“What’s an acceptable bounce rate? I know the question
sounds too vague but I just want a number to measure
our own bounce rates against acceptable industry
metrics.
I know that worldwide ecommerce conversion rate is
about 2.5% so that’s what we measure our own
conversion rate against for reference purposes.”

Firstly this is highly dependent on the type of site you’re running.

I feel it’s not possible to call as an industry standard as even among similar kind of sites there are just too many variables. It’s even harder I would suggest than conversion rates which should also be taken with a huge pinch of salt. I can however give you some numbers based on our experience.

Retail sites driving well targeted traffic 20-40% bounce. (One vendor told us anything above 33% should be a flag)

Simple landing pages (with one call to action such as add to cart) I’ve seen bounce at a much higher rate, anywhere from 70-90%.

Content websites with high search visibility (often for irrelevant terms) can bounce at 40-60%.

Portals (MSN, Yahoo groups etc) have much lower bounce rates in our experience 10-30%.

Service sites (self service or FAQ sites) again usually lower 10-30%.

Lead generation (services for sale) 30-50%.

I must stress that all the above figures are based purely on our own experience after working with clients. I wouldn’t advise you base an optimization model around these numbers. We advise that when forming a benchmark, that you do it internally. Take the average bounce rate over a given period on your current site. You need to have at least 1000 entries coming from normal sources to get reasonably actionable data.

Measure what the average bounce rate is and then work to get that down.

Steve is a well known analytics specialist, author and speaker. A pioneer since 2002, he established one of the first European web analytics consultancies (Aboavista), later acquired by Satama (now Trainers’ House) in 2006. In 2008 he wrote his first book Cult Of Analytics published on May 14th 2009. He currently serves as CEO at Quru and has presented and keynoted web analytics topics across Europe. These include The Internet Marketing Conference (Stockholm), The Search Engine strategies (Stockholm), IIH (Copenhagen), the IAB Finland (Helsinki), Media Plaza (Amsterdam), Design For Conversion (Amsterdam) The eMetrics Summit (London, Munich, Stockholm), Divia (Helsinki) in addition to sitting on dozens of panels.

Posted in General, Metrics/measurement, Web Analytics
8 comments on “Bounce Rate Or Single Page Access Industry Averages
  1. What should the bounce rate be on a blog?

  2. Hi Beverly,

    Bounce rates on a blog is something I think is misleading. By their very nature a blog is a long list of posts and articles. I think bounce could quite easily be 80-100% on blogs because people tend to be reading one article or post at a time. However that doesn’t mean that people aren’t finding value which is why i think it’s misleading.

    I wrote another post to a similar question. Check out;
    http://www.blackbeak.com/2007/09/27/the-problem-with-bounce-rate-alone

    In it I discuss ways you might want to measure bounce rates and do mention again why I think Blog bounce rates are misleading.

    Also Avinash Kaushik wrote a good post on measuring blogs;
    http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/2007/05/tips-for-measuring-success-of-your-blog.html

    Hope this helps.

  3. stephen kewn says:

    I have only just start with Google analytics.
    And I think it’s good
    I have not got much of clue what things mean.

    I have had 30 visits in two days which I think is poor but considering I have done no advertising as yet it’s not that bad.

    My bounce rate is 30% which I suppose is good considering the small amount of visitors

    Regards,

    Stephen

  4. @Stephen;

    Thanks for the comments. You might find the latest article interesting if your just starting with Google. It may help get you started.

    http://www.blackbeak.com/2008/03/26/drilling-down-into-analytics-data/

  5. poromenos says:

    well,my bounce rate is between 65 to 75%
    I have a gaming blog

    Should i be worried?

  6. @poromenos:

    No I don’t think you should be too worried. Blog posts by their very structure encourage “bouncing”. I would use different measures of engagement like a comment index (how many comments your posts get), time spent on site and incoming link index as well as the usual subscription and readership numbers. This gives a greater indication of the success of your work.

  7. I have a silk plant website and the bounce rates on average are 38% but there are pages that have bounce rates as high as 45% but ironically those pages are where my highest conversion rates are. Why is this?

  8. @SilkPlant Man

    That’s a fairly unusual situation and not something I could answer without doing further research on your sites analytics.

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