You’ve heard it from almost every marketing-related person on social media: ’10 Ways to decrease your site’s bounce rate’, ‘How your content affects bounce rate’, etc.
It seems that everyone has a different way for reducing bounce rates, increasing time on site and bringing more people to your site. But what is the reality? How do bounce rate and site on time affect you and what can you do about them?
In order to provide a better answer to this question we should start from the beginning. What is a bounce rate percentage? What is time on site? How are these numbers calculated?
How Time on Site is Calculated
The time a user stays on your page/site is important to your Search Engine rank. But how does Google calculate such a complex thing? According to Neil Patel:
Time on site as an algorithmic factor is gleaned from massive user behavior data that Google collects from search users. The longer users stay on your site after clicking on your search results, the higher Google assumes the quality of the page is.
Essentially, when someone clicks on your website’s link in Google search results, time starts counting. Afterwards, when the user jumps to a different page within your site, the duration of visit of the first page is calculated.
Hence, the total length of a visit is the sum of the duration from every page (except for the last) the user visited. This image from Justin Cutroni, the author of O’Reilly “Google Analytics”, sums it up perfectly.
So,why did I tell you that Google does not take into account the amount of time the user spent on the last page? That is because the user leaves the site after that page – in other words, there is no pageview in order to compare times.
Of course, Google found a solution around this problem. For this reason, Google Analytics count Time on Last Page as the time from the moment a user entered the page until the final event that occurred on the page (i.e. a like, comment, etc). But how does this affect your Search Engine ranking?
Time on Site Affects your Search Engine Ranking (and much more!)
Search engines use page rankings as a means of determining a page’s quality. For this exact reason, when a page has a high average time on site, search engines tend to mark it as a page of higher quality.
Undoubtedly, when a page is considered ‘high quality’ its search engine score is increased bringing the page higher in search results.
Of course, it goes without saying that a high average time on site contributes to more than better search engine scores. As the time a user spends on your website is increased, so is the possibility that your article/post will be shared or lead to a conversion.
But how do you increase the average time on site? We will see that in a few. But first, let’s take a look at bounce rate.
How Bounce Rate is Calculated
Bounce rate is another statistic that reflects your site’s overall growth. In order to understand it better, let’s take a look at its definition, provided by Google Analytics:
(Bounce rate is) The percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page). Bounce Rate is a measure of visit quality and a high Bounce Rate generally indicates that site entrance (landing) pages aren’t relevant to your visitors.
Basically it all comes down to this fraction: A site’s bounce rate is equal to the total number of visits viewing one page only over the total number of entries to the site.
In other words, when a user enters your site and leaves, right from the landing page, without navigating to another page, your bounce rate increases. Of course, jumping to the conclusion that high bounce rate only means lack of quality content is downright wrong.
Sometimes, the only thing to blame about your bounce rate, is wrong customer targeting. After all, a user seeking football news will probably bounce/leave instantly if they enter a site about toy making.
Bounce Rates and Site Quality
Your high bounce rates might have nothing to do with your content but search engines do not see it this way. According to a recent article from Neil Patel:
If your bounce rate is high, Google may assume that your pages are low-quality. […] Most SEOs think bounce rate doesn’t matter, but it may be another way that Google uses to measure site quality.
Of course, assuming that a page is low-quality will result in poorer search engine rank. And as we have mentioned before, this means that your site will probably not appear on the first few pages of Google results, thus leading in a reduced number of visitors and conversions.
However, contrary to popular belief, you can prevent all of this easily – without the need to resort to extremely expensive tools and applications.
How You Can Improve Time on Site and Decrease Bounce rates – For FREE!
Many SEO guides will leave you with the impression that a paid service is required in order to improve the average time a user spends on your site. Most of the times, this is not the case.
There are a lot of free tools that will help you on this mission. One of these is reEmbed. Our recommendations engine and detailed real time analytics will help you greatly increase average time on site.
Naturally, you will wonder: “Many services claim to do this; how can I be sure that reEmbed really helps my site?”. The answer to this question and the reason why industry-leading sites such as CNN, The Huffington Post and NBA trust and use reEmbed is simple.
Our recommendations engine, broken video notifications and analytics are unique and innovative features that no one else can provide you.
If you are using the reEmbed player to serve your videos, when a video finishes the user is presented with a gallery of videos similar to that of YouTube. The game changing feature is that instead of videos hosted in other sites, this gallery is filled with links to your pages, where these related videos are embedded.
In this way, you keep the user in your site thus increasing average time on page and decreasing bounce rates. You can find more about our recommendations engine and how we reached 1 Billion recommendations here.
Many site owners and SEO experts pay little or no attention to bounce rates and average time on site. This is detrimental to their site and reduces their search engine rank.
Google and other search engines take into account these statistics before displaying search results and this can affect your traffic.
However, reEmbed can help you solve this problem. Our cutting edge recommendations engine will help you increase the average time a user spends on your website and your overall traffic.
You can sign up now for FREE and start using reEmbed in seconds at reembed.com. We promise: it will change the way you thing about traffic and bounce rates for ever.