Does Bounce Rate Affect SEO?
Smart and savvy business owners and online marketers know just how important a role key metrics play in understanding their business, but many overlook one of the more important yet little understood and underappreciated key metrics – the bounce rate – and its impact on search engine optimization.
While you might not find too many internet marketers preaching the importance of bounce rate when it comes to SEO, the reality is that this metric plays a huge role in whether or not your site is going to rank well as well as whether or not you’re going to get the kinds of conversions you are shooting for with the traffic you generate.
A “bounce” is a single page visit to your website or any aspect of your funnel that you are tracking. Someone finds out about who you are or what you have to offer, are interested enough to click a link, and then spends just a few moments checking out the very first page that they land on before bouncing out and disappearing once and for all.
As a marketer, your bounce rate tells you a whole bunch of key details, not the least of which is that there is something wrong with your landing pages or the pages you are directing your traffic to that is compelling visitors to click away (or click the back button) almost as soon as they touch down on your platform.
These people aren’t interested or engaged by the content that they find, so much so that they classify it as next to useless and bounce away to go find something more valuable somewhere else.
As a marketer, that tells you that you have quite a bit of heavy lifting to do to clean up your conversion rates and to improve the attractiveness of your marketing funnel components. As someone interested in search engine optimization you have to realize that it’s also telling Google some pretty terrible news about your content.
At the end of the day, Google is interpreting the actions of billions and billions of individual searches on their platform every day. This allows Google to make certain assumptions based off of user activity, and when they see a high bounce rate they are going to automatically assume that the content they’ve been promoting isn’t valuable and isn’t relevant for the keywords they are ranking it for.
That means you’re going to find your sites shuffled lower in the search result deck. You’ll lose your high ranking position pretty quickly and may not be able to gain it back without significant investment and activity – if you’re able to gain it back at all.
It’s critical that you figure out your bounce rate issues ASAP when looking to improve your search engine optimization AND your conversion rates. This isn’t something you can let cripple your business from the inside out.