We frequently get asked by our B2B clients “Is my site’s bounce rate of X% acceptable?” I will explain bounce rate in some detail in this space, but first I will directly answer the question: A bounce rate of 40% is good for a B2B site. Anywhere from 25% – 55% is normal, depending on how aggressively you are marketing your site online.
So why do I say that? Isn’t that too high?
As defined by Google Analytics, a site’s bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who visit one page and leave after seeing only that page. Many people think of a “bounce” as a bad thing – a signal that the person was uninterested in the page and left in a hurry – but that’s not the full picture. If, for instance, you had a 1 page website, you would always have a 100% percent bounce rate. Also, if a person saw one page, got everything they needed, and left a happy camper, that would count as a “bounce.” So bouncing can be a sign of a page that is not useful, too slow to load, or other negative things, but not always.
Given that bouncing is not always bad, and given that if you do a lot of marketing there are bound to be some people who are not interested in your content, a bounce rate of 0% would be preposterous. So would a bounce rate of 10%. In fact, I wouldn’t be happy if any site I were working on had a bounce rate of less than 20%. That, to me, would mean that the only people looking at the site were the company’s own employees or customers who already knew about the brand. Because the fact is, if your marketing generates 100 new visitors to your site, 20-50 of them are likely to not be particularly interested. I don’t know of any online marketing campaigns that attract only people with a deep interest in the website. Marketing is a numbers game that invites many and hopes to convert few; it is not a hand-selected dinner party. For that reason, the correct range for a bounce rate on a B2B business’s website is between 25% and 55%, as stated above.
There is one other sneaky reason for a high bounce rate that occurs every now and then: incorrect Google Analytics code implementation. If your web developer has forgotten to install Google Analytics tracking code on any page of the website, Google will interpret visiting that code-less page as exiting the website. That can screw up Bounce Rate, Exit Rate, Time on Site and other very important metrics. It is not uncommon for a new section of a website to get developed and for the developer to forget to add code to that entire new section. Make sure to take a peek at the code of any new pages if you see an uncommonly high bounce rate.
If you do feel that your Bounce Rate is too high and have ruled out the reasons above, it means you need to do some conversion optimization.