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What Is Bounce Rate? (And How Can I Fix Mine?)

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What Is Bounce Rate? (And How Can I Fix Mine?)


Bounce rate is a metric that can be confusing when you first stumble upon it. I’m sure several questions pop into your head: Is a bounce rate close to 100% good or bad? Is it at all like a bounced email? Is it a vanity metric that I should ignore? And if I want to fix it, what should I do?

Luckily, you’re not alone. Many marketers have asked those questions and might not have found a solid answer yet. We’re here to demystify bounce rate with an overview of what constitutes a bounce rate — what doesn’t — and exactly how you can fix it.

Keep in mind that bounce rate is different from an exit rate. Bounce rates only measure “one-and-done” visits — the ones in which people arrive and leave your website without navigating away from a single page. Here’s what they look like in your HubSpot Web Analytics Dashboard, for example:

Bounce rate by source in HubSpot dashboard

Exit rates, on the other hand, are a little more complicated. They include the percentage of people who leave your website from a certain page — but, that’s not necessarily the only page they’ve visited on your website. The page from which they exited could be the last in a long sequence of page visits. That’s why the exit rate isn’t always as troubling as bounce rates.

But a high exit rate, on the other hand, wouldn’t be cause for concern. It would mean that this page was the last in a chain of visits — people exiting from that page probably arrived from its preceding landing page, downloaded the offer on the thank-you page, and left to go make use of the content they just downloaded.

Keep in mind that this scenario is hypothetical, and these takeaways can differ based on other page metrics — but it serves as a simple illustration of the difference between bounce and exit rates.

For example, if 100 people visit your site and 10 of them only visit one page, then your bounce rate would be 10%. This number will likely change over time, so using an analytics provider to track all the changes is beneficial for understanding what’s affecting your bounce rate.

What is a good bounce rate?

If you’ve recently taken a look at your website’s bounce rate, you might find yourself discouraged at the number. But if you then decide to aim for a 0% bounce rate, you’ll probably find yourself even more discouraged. The average bounce rate is somewhere between 26% and 70%, with the optimal range being between 26% and 40%. To land anywhere under 20% is generally unlikely, so if that’s what your data is showing then you may want to double-check some things. Duplicate code, incorrectly implemented tracking, and third-party add-ons can all result in an inaccurately reported bounce rate.

The average bounce rate can also change depending on the viewer’s device. Mobile devices, for instance, have the highest bounce rate across all industries at 51%. Whereas the average bounce rate on a desktop is 43% and the average for tablets is 45%. So, take into account where the traffic is coming from as you’re judging your site’s bounce rate.

High Bounce Rate

A bounce rate over 70% is above average, but it’s not necessarily on the high side until it’s reaching 56%. If it’s over 90%, that’s a major cause for alarm but it’s usually easy to decrease because there’s something specific scaring everyone off. Things like bad design, errors in your tracking code, excessive bots, or browser incompatibility could be the culprit. Also be aware that high traffic from social media or paid ads, as well as a lot of mobile visitors can be increasing your bounce rate as well.

How to Reduce High Bounce Rates

Now you know what a bounce rate is. But what can you actually do about it?

In general, high bounce rates might indicate that the page is irrelevant or confusing to site visitors. But don’t jump into drastic actions like deleting a page or undertaking a redesign right away. There are some important steps you need to take before you figure out which action to take.

Remember: Bounce rates only tell you that someone landed on a web page and left it without visiting any other page on your website. It doesn’t tell you how someone interacted with your page. That’s why it’s important, says Director of Product Marketing at Iterable Jeffrey Vocell, to take “practical steps” to examine other metrics and pieces of your web presence to see what might be behind the bounce rates. We’ve outlined these steps below.

1. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly.

Mobile users account for about half of web traffic globally. That makes it crucial, says Vocell, “to not only provide a mobile-ready experience,” but to make sure that experience is engaging. How annoying is it when you arrive at a mobile site, only to have to zoom in to read its content? Having a responsive site is no longer enough — engagement with the mobile version has to be user-friendly and interactive.

Video is one particularly engaging type of content. It can often explain complex topics more concisely than text, which might be why 4X as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. But when it comes to mobile usage, long videos require a significant amount of data and might therefore slow the user experience — causing the visitor to bounce. For that reason, Vocell suggests eliminating these longer videos from your mobile site or creating more concise versions that still address the most important points.

This kind of improvement, however, isn’t limited to video. Take a holistic approach to evaluating your mobile experience, and consider how you’ll address contingencies like these.

2. Look at your bounce rate based on different sources.

Sometimes, the sources directing traffic to a given page might have something to do with its bounce rate. That’s why the HubSpot Web Analytics Dashboard allows you to break down the bounce rate according to source:

bounce rate by direct traffic source in hubspot

Let’s say your bounce rate is particularly high from direct traffic — take a close look at the URL to make sure it’s easy to read, remember, and type in. Then check to see that the visitor isn’t being greeted with a 404 error or a home page that isn’t very inviting. The headline should be clear and signal to the person that they’re in the right place.

You have to meet the expectations of the visitor — regardless of source.

3. Avoid other disruptions that might hurt the user experience.

We’ve already discussed the importance of a good mobile user experience, and that goes for all platforms. Things like full-screen pop-ups, for example, are not only annoying but can also result in search penalties.

The key thing to consider is the user. “You want visitors to be drawn into your page and stay for as long as needed to convert,” says Vocell, and while “some pop-ups are good,” — like well-crafted inbound messages that add context to a site — avoid any that significantly disrupt the user experience in a way that might cause visitors to leave.

4. Determine which keywords this page ranks for — and if your content sufficiently covers those topics.

Remember how we cautioned against misleading visitors about your site’s content in social distribution? The same goes for keyword rankings. “Matching keyword intent to your content is important to ensure organic visitors get the content they expect,” explains Vocell.

Let’s say someone is searching for “marketing automation software solutions” — it’s likely that this person is looking for software to help nurture leads into customers. But if someone is using the query, “What is marketing automation?”, she’s probably not at a stage where she’s looking to buy a product. Rather, this person is looking for content that’s more informative than anything else.

So when you evaluate the keywords for which your page is ranking, make sure they’re aligned with the actual content. Once you’ve done that, try looking at a topic-cluster framework — the kind that groups your site’s pages into clusters according to subject — to help attract organic traffic to the right pages.

Let’s Bounce

When you’re investigating bounce rates, make sure you’re looking at the full picture. Take a look at the time people spend on your site, where they’re coming from, and what device they’re using — and if your content and experience are aligned with all of those factors. You might uncover patterns that show how you can fix the bounce rate problem.

Think of bounce rates like your car’s “check engine” light. When it goes on, you know there might be a problem — but you need to check all of the car’s systems to accurately diagnose the issue. There’s no one-size-fits-all fix for bounce rates, but knowing what they are and how they can inform your marketing strategy can help ensure your website’s success.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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Native video tops social media in brand awareness study

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Native video tops social media in brand awareness study


Native video ads have a greater impact than video ads on social and video platforms, a new study from Kantar reported. The Multichannel Brand Impact study measured video ad effectiveness for brand goals in native environments against other environments.

Favorability. Participants in the study gave a favorable rating 59% of the time when exposed to a native video ad. That number dropped to 50% on social platforms and 51% in a video platform environment.

Source: Kantar Context Lab/Taboola.

Awareness. 33% of participants displayed top-of-mind awareness about a brand when shown a native video ad. This displayed a marked improvement over the control group, which only had 14% top-of-mind awareness.

When native video was combined with social video ads, the awareness climbed to 49%.

Impact of native ads. Taboola, which sells content discovery and native advertising products, sponsored the study.

“With industry estimates indicating that video advertising in the U.S. will reach nearly $50B this year, brands have a lot of opportunities to influence customers, as long as they’re choosing the right platforms and mix of platforms to relay their messages,” said Taboola CEO and founder Adam Singolda, in a company release.

Read next: Taboola acquires Connexity

Why we care. Social media is where consumers receive word-of-mouth recommendations from family and friends. Still a potent source of brand impact for marketers. But social is also a highly contentious space for politics and other turnoffs. It’s not the ace in the hole it once was, and should be complemented with other native environments in a digital video campaign.


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About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.



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Worsening economy has more shoppers getting online info before making in-store purchases

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Worsening economy has more shoppers getting online info before making in-store purchases


Summer’s here and the shoppers are wary. Consumer spending increased in May, but only by 0.2%, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This explains why 76% of U.S. shoppers are searching online for reviews and better prices before buying in store, according to a new Adobe Commerce study of sentiment among over 1,000 U.S. consumers. Also, when they’re in a store 60% are using their phone to look for better prices elsewhere.

Another sign of the slowing economy: 24% say they won’t be able to take advantage of big summer holiday sales because they have less discretionary money to spend due to inflation and the higher cost of goods. 

Read next: Adobe: Online prices were up only 2% in May

On the good news side: 76% of those planning to participate in summer sales say they’ll spend more or the same amount as last year. And the motivation varies — more than half (56%) of consumers say they save money by shopping on Prime Day and other sales events, while others want to get ahead of their seasonal holiday (32%) and back-to-school shopping (23%).

However, most of those who intend to buy don’t believe big retailers’ promises of deeper discounts because of overstocking. Almost 65% expect discounts to be smaller than last year. 

Other findings:

  • 61% said receiving personalized promotions or recommendations will make them more likely to make a purchase.
  • 43% said they are more likely to purchase from a retailer that offers buy now, pay later.
  • 72% want the online purchases delivered the same day or via two-day shipping.
  • 50% are now more likely to make retail purchases on their phones, 26% prefer in-store shopping and 24% prefer shopping via their computer
  • 57% search for and buy products online if they can’t find them in stores.
Categories for which consumers report using buy now, purchase later.

Why we care. Inflation and higher interest rates are, as expected, taking an increased toll on consumer spending. That makes marketing more important than ever, via activities like personalization and customer experience. That should also include offering payment options like buy now, pay later. People are used to putting everything on a credit card, but interest rates are making that less attractive to them.


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About The Author

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for CBSNews.com, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.



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Getting Started with the Agile Marketing Navigator: Building a Marketing Backlog

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Freeing agile marketing from its software development roots


We recently introduced you to Agile Marketing Navigator, a flexible framework for navigating agile marketing for marketers, by marketers in the article A new way to navigate agile marketing. The navigator has four major components: Collaborative Planning Workshop, Launch Cycle, Key Practices and Roles. Within these categories, there are several sub-pieces for implementation. In recent articles, we covered the pieces in the first stop of the navigator, the Collaborative Planning Workshop.

Now we’re going to dive into the next stop on your agile marketing journey — the Launch Cycle. The Launch Cycle is a repeatable cadence for delivering valuable marketing experiences early and often. Within the Launch Cycle there are five key components — Marketing Backlog, Cycle Planning, Daily Huddle, Team Showcase and Team Improvement. If you’re familiar with the Scrum framework, there are a lot of similarities here — with a few different nuances to make it more applicable to marketers.

Building and managing an effective Marketing Backlog

Now, let’s dive into the Marketing Backlog and some tips and tricks for marketers to be most effective. 

The Marketing Backlog is an ordered list of prioritized work that the agile team will pull from to work on in their Launch Cycle. The backlog is emergent, not static, and changes as new information is learned. 

This part of the framework is incredibly important and can have a major impact on how marketers work. First of all, there’s one shared place where all work lives. This avoids work happening “behind the scenes” that no one knows about.

In fact, one client that I worked with took all of the work that was already assigned to stakeholders, put it in a single backlog and realized that it would take five years to deliver! It’s with this level of transparency that teams and leaders can begin to visualize everything the team is doing and start to really understand what’s important and what may just be someone’s pet project.

There are many tools for managing your marketing backlog and they all have their pros and cons. The main thing to watch out for is ensuring that everyone on the team, as well as stakeholders have access. We want to build a transparent system.

If you’ve started with the Collaborative Planning Workshop, you’ve already begun to build out the Marketing Backlog. The items in your Minimally Viable Launch will go near the top, and other items will fall below. Work is never guaranteed until the team starts working on it, and even then sound business reasons could cause them to pivot, although that shouldn’t be the norm.

Prioritizing the backlog is one of the key responsibilities of the Marketing Owner. While they don’t do this in a vacuum and conversations with stakeholders are imperative, this role has the ultimate authority to decide what order the team will work on and which items won’t be considered (there are always way more good ideas than time).

The role of the Marketing Owner

The Marketing Owner needs to really understand the business value that each idea brings. Each marketing backlog should be thought of in terms of:

  • Level of effort it will take the team to complete (let’s face it — all things aren’t created equal. Building a Tesla may take longer than a base model Honda, so think through marketing ideas as well).
  • What value does it bring to customers? Joy? Satisfaction? Solves a problem? Addresses a cause?
  • What will the business gain from this idea, and how does it tie to business goals, KPIs and revenue?

Stakeholders, customers and team members should all be thinking about new ideas all of the time and everyone is invited to submit ideas to the backlog. However, it’s at the Marketing Owner’s discretion to decide which ideas will be worked on by the team and when.


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Work should never be directly assigned to a team member in agile marketing. It should be submitted to the backlog or discussed with the marketing owner as it needs to be visible and prioritized among everything else.

In agile marketing, backlog items should be used to test and learn and are thought of as micro-experiments, rather than large campaign blasts. 

While a backlog item may be for a post on Facebook, the team should be thinking in terms of testing elements, such as content. If the content is successful, similar content pieces would be on the backlog. However, if the content doesn’t perform well, the team would want to think of new backlog items with different content.


agile marketing workflow

Catch up on the Agile Marketing Navigator series!


The backlog may contain some business as usual items to keep the lights on, but the majority of items should be small, testable experiments that can quickly get to customers for real-time feedback.

If you haven’t started a marketing backlog yet, what are you waiting for?


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

Stacey knows what it’s like to be a marketer, after all, she’s one of the few agile coaches and trainers that got her start there. After graduating from journalism school, she worked as a content writer, strategist, director and adjunct marketing professor. She became passionate about agile as a better way to work in 2012 when she experimented with it for an ad agency client. Since then she has been a scrum master, agile coach and has helped with numerous agile transformations with teams across the globe. Stacey speaks at several agile conferences, has more certs to her name than she can remember and loves to practice agile at home with her family. As a lifelong Minnesotan, she recently relocated to North Carolina where she’s busy learning how to cook grits and say “y’all.”



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