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What is a Google bounce rate and when is a bounce rate really a negative bounce rate?

What is a Google bounce rate and when is a bounce rate really a negative bounce rate?

Google describe a website bounce as a “the percentage of visits that go only one page before exiting a site.” Whilst this may on occasion suggest that the structure of your website has issues or that your visitors are disengaged, it is prudent to not just take a look at the bounce rate and come to a rash conclusion.

When I say this there are some other factors that may be contributing to a higher bounce rate. For example, if a high percentage of your visitors are coming from searching for your brand, what are they seeing in search results? If they are seeing site links (a list, usually of six internal pages) take a look in your analytics and see what pages they are landing on and the corresponding bounce rates for those pages.

If many of your visitors are entering your site and landing on the contact page then it may be that existing customers are using your site to gain the contact number or email address. In this example you would expect a one page visit as they had only needed the telephone number, they got it from the contact page and therefore had a successful website visit, despite it being a single page Google bounce.

When this happens you will have plenty of people viewing the contact page, a high bounce rate for that page and in turn a pushing up of the universal bounce rate of your site.

In this case – no need to worry!

Another reason could be that you have a blog article like this one that ranks very well in Google for a specific phrase. People researching bounce rates would find this page by searching a related phrase and as they are looking for information it is possible that this article will be the only page they see as it has given them the information they need. If a blog article acts as a landing page for visitors it will often have a high bounce rate and for that reason contribute to the overall bounce rate of your site, without necessarily being a negative reflection on your overall site structuring and performance.

Google analytics can give you a wealth of information about your website but please do make sure that you are looking at all of the data when your are drawing conclusions to ensure you are getting the right information for you to improve your web performance.

For more information on how we can improve your website performance, including our Google Analytics training, please give us a call or email us at

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