This is the second post in a series exploring Google Analytics.

The following videos explain what a bounce is and how to use Google Analytics to see the bounce rate on your website. Below the videos is an outline of the video content. You can download and print a PDF of this information here:

Is Your Bounce Rate Too High? (PDF)

Repeating Signal

When is your bounce rate too high?Photo credit: Maia C on Flikr


What is a bounce rate, anyway?

When a person visits your site and looks at only one page, we say that person “bounced” away. Your site’s bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who bounce.

When is my bounce rate too high?

  • Some bounces are acceptable (i.e., when someone visits your site to find contact information or read a blog post).
  • Some bounces indicate that your site has room for improvement (i.e., when someone is turned off by an old site design or when someone clicks a link to a different site).
  • Your bounce rate does not affect your site’s placement in search results.
  • To sort out acceptable bounces from harmful ones, look at each traffic source separately.

Direct Traffic Bounce Rate

Be least concerned with the bounce rate from direct traffic. These visitors might contribute bounces by checking one page for your phone number, directions, or current specials.

Referring Site Bounce Rate

Expect a relatively low bounce rate from referring-site traffic, generally around 20-25%.

Note that if your own inn or your booking engine is listed as a referring site, the bounce rate will be artificially high. This is a sign either that Analytics hasn’t been properly set up to track visits to your booking pages, or that your booking engine doesn’t support Analytics tracking.

Search-Traffic Bounce Rate

Expect a somewhat higher bounce rate from search traffic, around 30-35%, but several factors affect your overall search bounce rate.

Do you use AdWords paid advertising? Check the bounce rates of paid search traffic separately from organic (non-paid) search traffic.

  • If your ads lead to bounces, rethink your advertising strategies.
  • If organic search traffic produces bounces, investigate which keywords trigger the most bounces.

Do you blog? Blogs tend to show a higher bounce rate than your main site. An acceptable bounce rate for a site with an active blog can be as high as 40%.

Stay tuned for the next post in the Google Analytics for Innkeepers series, which will show you how to use filters to see only the statistics for people who read your blog.