Bounce rate is the percentage of users who visits a site and then leaves it without interacting with it or being interested in any other page.
Ranking well on Google and other search engines are very important for those who invest in SEO. After all, organic traffic coming from these channels is vital to a successful online strategy.
But one question that hangs in the heads of many Digital Marketing professionals is: does bounce rate affect a site’s position in Google rankings?
To answer this question once and for all, let’s take a deep look at how bounce rate affects your business and how it relates to the criteria Google uses. Come on!
What is bounce rate?
Bounce rate is the bounce rate, ie when a person visits a site and then leaves it without interacting with it or being interested in any other page.
Usually, the idea of bounce rate is negative, especially for sites focused on offering content. After all, the higher the rejection rate, the less interaction with the materials produced.
Since this goes against what Google wants for the pages it ran at the top, the question arises at the beginning of the article.
There are several factors that can contribute to a high bounce rate, from a lack of solid content planning, poor design, lack of links, etc.
However, it is always worth remembering that not all pages are equal. While some are made to receive a high volume of interactions, others do not need it.
For example, by comparing an article with a contact page, for example, the article has a “greater responsibility” for getting the visitor to access other pages of the site.
The contact page, on the other hand, is focused on giving the contact information, and the person does not necessarily need to interact or access another page after that.
What about when the user finds exactly the information they were looking for on the first page they visit? Could this be considered a failure?
With valid points on both sides of the discussion, how do you know if bounce rate really affects your ranking? This is what we will find out now!
Does the bounce rate make any difference to your Google rankings?
In the face of such great doubt, nothing better than to consult those responsible for this analysis, don’t you think?
Considering what Google says about it, the answer is that bounce rate does not affect your position in search rankings!
Were you surprised by the answer? Yes, but there are valid reasons behind this statement, which clarify the question satisfactorily:
Not everyone uses Google Analytics
Only pages that have Google Analytics code can have their bounce rates captured. Since not all sites use Analytics, this metric is not used.
But of course this is not the only factor preventing the use of the bounce rate as an evaluation criterion, nor is it the most important.
After all, if this were really an important point for Google, it would find a way to include it in the assessment, wouldn’t it?
Visiting time is too vague an indicator
The second reason is that website visit time is a very vague indicator. Even if you had this information available to 100% of the analyzed sites, how do you determine the actual experience the visitor had?
The company itself takes this into account when talking about bounce rate on its official website :
“Users can also leave the site after viewing a single page if they have found the desired information on it and have no interest in accessing other pages.”
A visitor can spend 10 minutes on your page because they are reading and rereading the content or because they started paying attention to another activity and even forgot what they were doing.
How does the bounce rate affect your site?
In most cases, seeing visitors leave your site on the first page is not a good thing.
In this scenario, it is very important to understand how bounce rate can be detrimental to your digital strategy.
So here are 3 ways a high bounce rate can get in your way:
Difficulty holding visitors
Success on the internet today is the exclusive privilege of those who can attract the public and gradually build a close relationship with them.
If your site is well ranked in Google you are probably getting the first part: attracting people to your site.
However, the problem is that with a high bounce rate the job of retaining visitors is almost impossible. How will these people be interested in what you produce if they are not even the first page they visit?
Therefore, the priority should be to identify what is causing the public to lose interest in your message and fix these issues quickly to keep them on your site longer.
Significantly greater effort to achieve goals
Whatever your niche market or your marketing strategy, you have a well-defined goal for your site.
Whether this goal is for the public to read your blog regularly, subscribe to a newsletter, download free material or make a purchase, to achieve the bounce rate it must be low.
After all, any of these actions we cite require interaction, clicks, searches, etc. Therefore we can say that each rejection is a missed conversion opportunity.
The higher the bounce rate of your pages, the more effort you need to achieve your goals.
Bigger ad spend
If you invest in sponsored links you know that there is also a ranking to ensure that the most relevant ads appear prominently.
One thing to consider for this is the quality of the landing page experience, that is, how much your page really is relevant to the ad clicker.
If the majority of people who click on your ad leave the page without interacting with it is a sign that they didn’t find what they were looking for.
This all goes into the calculation of Adwords, which defines the quality score of your ad. The lower the quality, the more expensive the cost per click.
Basically, this means that while it doesn’t affect your Google ranking, a high bounce rate can mean big problems for the success of your marketing strategy.
Because of this, it’s important to keep following this metric closely and use it to optimize specific points on your pages.
What are the current major ranking factors?
Since bounce rate isn’t the big villain of good search engine placement, what does Google take into account when deciding who ranks in the highest positions?
There are 3 main factors that determine the ranking of a site in Google. Here’s what they are and how to make sure your pages pass the review:
The content has never been so important as now to have a good placement in search engines, and this pattern will only increase as the algorithms are more advanced.
After all, the ultimate goal of any search can only be fully achieved with quality content, and that’s what Google takes into account to separate who gets the most prominence on the main pages.
So you always want to be at the top of the first page of searches? In addition to whimsical SEO, produce the best content possible on the topic at hand!
Another crucial element for good search rankings is the number of quality links to your page.
Links act as trust votes from other sites, ensuring that your page is relevant and reliable.
When sites linking to your content already have a good reputation in Google ratings, those links carry even more weight.
Guest posts are, among other things, a good way to get links to relevant sites and increase your placement.
RankBrain is one of Google’s newest ranking algorithms, responsible for reading and separating all webpages to deliver the most relevant search results.
More practically, this means that it learns itself to be more efficient as it learns from search, and ranks websites accordingly.
Undoubtedly, there is still much more that RankBrain will change in content ranking, and what it really is worth is creating pages that deliver what your audience is looking for.
Thus, the idea that bounce rate affects your rankings on Google is a myth, although this is an important indicator to note. Regarding search positioning, be aware of the 3 criteria mentioned here and you will get along with the search giant.
In addition to Google, there are other incredible sources of organic traffic to your site, such as Facebook. See the complete guide to increasing your traffic on the world’s largest social network!