What is a Good Bounce Rate For a Blog?

In an environment rich with social media sites providing quick fix for our short attention spans what is an acceptable time for a visitor to spend on a Blog? If you don’t keep track of the statistics of your site Google Analytics will do nicely for tracking your site statistics.

The Bounce Rate (also called % Exit) is the percentage of visitors that leave your site without clicking any further links. So if they were sent to a certain page on your site by Google search, they looked at that page, then left.

Avinash Kaushik, Google’s Analytics Evangelist states, “it is really hard to get a bounce rate under 20%, anything over 35% is cause for concern, 50% (above) is worrying.” Source: Wiki

The Wiki goes on to explain that different types of pages should expect different bounce rates based on the type of traffic expected to visit that page.

1) Typical traffic expected on a modern blog that may not be expected to stay long could consists of:

  • users who are following links from social media sites
  • users who are coming from an rss feed just to read a page – even though they are probably regular readers.
  • users who are reading an article on another blog and have followed a link to see a particular point

2) Traffic that may be expected to stay longer and read different pages may include:

  • users researching
  • users searching
  • users who intend on interacting in some way –  comment, contact etc

If you get a lot of traffic from the first bracket rather than the second bracket you are likely to have a much higher bounce rate, but is this cause for concern? 

Perhaps a better way to look at it would be to look at individual pages. Is your prize article, your best work sending users running?

Another factor is site structure. Do you use extracts on your homepage or do you display the full post? If you are displaying full posts your bounce rate is going to be higher than the same content on a site that uses extracts, as users don’t have to click anything to read your full articles.

Social Media Patterns

StumbleUpon (SU) – A large percentage of the traffic for this blog comes from SU users. It is so easy for a SU user to click the stumble button on their toolbar, be sent to a site that doesn’t at first look like their cup of tea, then instantly click stumble again. If your SU traffic has a high bounce rate, then maybe you need to consider working on the first appearance of your site. What is visible when the page loads and is that a good message to send visitors? Fortunately, the first impression of Pingable must be ok, because SU users have one of the lowest bounce rates of traffic sources for this blog.

Digg – Digg users are notorious for heading to a site, looking at what they see, then leaving straight away. I haven’t had any popular articles on Digg so I can’t really comment on how true this is.

Conclusion

So to answer the question…What is a good bounce rate for a blog? Obviously the lower your bounce rate is better, regardless of all the reason you may have for it being poor. If your bounce rate is over 50% then maybe your are marketing your content to the wrong crowd. Is writing that Digg bait really winning you readers? What first impression does your site make? As long as the bounce rate for certain pages and traffic sources suggest things are good, I wouldn’t get too worried about it.

www.pingable.org

29 thoughts on “What is a Good Bounce Rate For a Blog?”

  1. For stumble traffic which makes up over half of all of my traffic in the last few weeks it’s 36.30%. For all traffic it is 49% which isn’t that great, but I do display full posts and no extracts on my index. For my most popular article it’s 40%, which I guess is ok.

  2. Right now I’m over 50% total.
    But hey, I average about 15 visits a day. lol

    I am really looking forward to the day where I have more than 50 visits in one day…
    It is kinda my fault though – I’ve had some lame content in the past. Although, I believe I have raised my quality bar – and I have seen an increase in comments. The visits and RSS subscriptions is yet to be seen…
    Wow – that was a random rabbit trail.

  3. Shouldn’t have asked ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Mine’s around 60%, but I have only been running GA for about 10 days. It didn’t work the first time I tried it, so I gave up and went with Statcounter. I’ll keep an eye on this figure…..

  4. I really question whether one figure can really tell you too much. You could get a very low bounce rate by being practically impossible for anyone but your friends to find. They read it and continue to and you have a low bounce rate.

    I would like to get exposure to many more people. But the more non-targeted traffic you get the higher the bounce rate is likely to be. It is true that great content will lower the bounce rate. But it is likely easier to decrease bounce rate in other ways that don’t help you – very enticing links that get clicked but don’t really give the reader anything of value. So you keep them for more than one page but not for the long term.

    It is interesting to track bounce rate. However as my bounce rate bounces around I really believe that variation is more due to the variation in the traffic finding my blog than the “worth” of the blog. Granted taking measures to lower the bounce rate are good but I would rather get lots of new readers even if many bounce away than get far fewer new readers and a slightly lower bounce rate.

  5. I experienced my first big jump in daily traffic about three weeks ago. It stayed at 3x my previous average for a week, then dipped down and stayed at a steady 2x my previous average. I can’t complain, I doubled my readers. It didn’t help that I am in a post tradeshow hangover for my niche, and news is very sparse.
    I need to get back to luring people to the site after a week and a half spent on a design change and link building.

  6. I suppose it’s also about whether or not your readers are doing what you want. Is it your goal to get more comments, to get them to return, to get them to read other articles, or to get them to click on an advert. Every blog is different, so it’s important to consider your purpose when deciding what bounce rate you can live with.

  7. Bounce rates are always difficult to gauge. If you’re writing a good article purely for the article, then you really should have quite a high bounce rate. unless you’re aiming for click throughs, I don’t really see the harm.

  8. My bounce rate is at 50% on average, and has held steady for over a year. I don’t think 20-30% is realistic.

  9. Well, I don’t have google analytics yet. It would be very interesting though to know how long people who visits spend time on my page. Thanks for this info.

  10. I have a high bounce rate, 80%. But when I looked at the article pages, the average time is more than 5 minutes. So I can assume they click to read. Is that good? I got 1500-2000 visitors a day. Should I worry?

  11. This article only shows that it is important to check your site once in a while to determine if visitors are checking your site. In this way, rating will be increased.

  12. Thanks for the article. Just what I was looking for.

    My average time on site raises every time I post an article. I suppose that is a sign of having regular readership.

  13. This is great information. I need all the tips I can possibly get because I’m fairly new at everything and every little thing will help. Thanks for your informative posts, they are really useful.

  14. I always wondered what was a good bounce rate. As hard as you try to be on point with your content, sometimes people search on the weirdest combination of keywords and land on your site completely through no fault of your own. I think that affects your bounce rate too.
    Great post! Nice pic BTW – did you get to walk up the tower?
    Alex

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