In order to understand what bounce rate is, you must first understand what a bounce is. In its simplest form, a bounce is a single-page session on your website. A bounce occurs when a user visits your website but then fails to take an analytically relevant action after coming to your website.
Some examples of "Analytically Relevant" actions include:
- Clicking through multiple pages on the site
- Staying engaged (i.e. reading, scrolling) on a single page for more than 30 minutes
- Completing a conversion action (i.e. filling out a form, clicking a CTA)
Some examples of bounces include:
- A user clicking on a link to a different site from your site
- Arriving to the site and closing/exiting the site page without any further action
- Clicking the "Back" button after first arriving on a website
- A session timeout (i.e. generally 30 minutes without any session activity with cause a timeout)
- Typing in a new URL
Now that you understand what a "bounce" is, bounce rate is simply the total number of visitors who bounce (i.e. have a single-page session) divided by the total number of sessions on the website. Generally, bounce rate is a good indicator of the level of engagement of visitors when they arrive to your site. Bounce rate may provide good insight as to which pages on your site will need improvements to the user experience, user flow, or overall design.