As I've stated before I do not consider myself a guru or expert when it comes to social media or blogging. I have however, read a lot of articles from a bunch of different sources; some more credible than others and I've once again noticed a trend that I feel I must comment on. There appears to be a very big misconception about Bounce Rate and how to get it lowered.
The Biggest Misconception About Bounce Rate
What is Bounce Rate?
Before we jump to the misconception that I've noticed, lets start with what Bounce Rate actually is (annoying, I know - just get to point right?)
Bounce Rate is a term used to describe "the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave rather than continuing to view other pages within the same site".
When a visitor visits a site and leaves after viewing 1 page that's a 100% Bounce Rate.
When a visitor visits a site clicks onto another page that as 0% Bounce Rate.
Bounce Rate is calculated by taking the number of visits with 100% Bounce Rate divided by the total number of visits.
Bounce Rate Does Not Equal Length of Time Spent on One Page
So what is the biggest misconception about Bounce Rate?
The biggest misconception about Bounce Rate is thinking a visitor staying on one page of a blog for an extended period of time will lower that blog's bounce rate.
I see it all the time, requests for people to visit a site and then stay there for X amount of minutes before continuing on.
Having one visitor (or multiple visitors) stay on a blog's page for 60 seconds, 2 minutes, or 5 minutes doesn't change that blog's Bounce Rate if they only visit one page.
What Effects Bounce Rate?
What does have the potential of lowering a blog's Bounce Rate is having a visitor (or visitors) enter a site and then visiting other pages.
If we, as blog readers click on to a blog post, read the entire thing (could take as long as 10 minutes) and then leave (bounce) the blog's Bounce Rate will not be lowered.
If we, as blog readers click onto a blog post, lose interest in the post we initially clicked on in 10 seconds BUT THEN click onto a different post in that same blog, the blog's Bounce Rate will be lowered (or rather could be lowered, this all depends on volume of visitors).
The length of time spent on a single page doesn't matter.
I repeat. The length of time spent on one single page in a blog does not matter.
I can click on a blog post and leave it open in a tab for 24 hours and I will still not lower that blog's Bounce Rate unless I click into a a different post within that same site.
Is Having a High Bounce Rate Bad?
A blog visitor is usually sent there for a reason. The visitor saw a link on a social media feed or typed in a question in Google and found the answer on someone's blog.
Chances are after that visitor gets their question answered, they'll leave.
It isn't necessarily because they didn't like the blog or they didn't find it helpful. It is very possible they found exactly what they needed and were very happy with their visit.
Does Bounce Rate Effect SEO?
I've read conflicting thoughts on Google and Bounce Rate.
I've read that Google does not take Bounce Rate into account for rankings and I've also read that when Google sees a high Bounce Rate it assumes that the site is low quality.
So which is it?
To be honest, I'm not really sure.
But that's why I said I wasn't a guru or expert. I warned you right at the beginning.
One thing I know for sure? Asking your neighbor or friend to click on your blog post and stay there for 5 minutes will not lower your blog's Bounce Rate, so please stop asking.
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