Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Is there a relationship between Bounce Rate and SERP Rank?

You may have heard of Bounce Rates and SERP Ranks before, but you may not have a clear idea of what they are or how they relate to each other and to your website. Let's start with some definitions:


Bounce Rate = the percentage of visitors that enter your site and subsequently leave ("bounce") rather than viewing other pages of your website. So if your website's bounce rate is 35%, that means 35% of your website visitors never go on to see any more of your website than the page they started on - which is typically your Home page.

SERP Rank = the placement, or rank, of your website in Search Engine Results Pages. **we are specifically talking about organic SERP rank, not paid SERP listings**


A website's Bounce Rate can be a good indicator of whether or not your website content and/or design are capturing the attention of your visitors; and whether or not your SEO is targeting the right audience. That's great, but what does it have to do with how high your website appears in Search Engine Results Pages ?

More and more, search engines are trying to cater their Results Pages to the user's intent rather than purely ranking websites based on how heavily they implement keywords. If a user quickly returns to the Search Engine Results Page (bounces from your website) to click on the next result or clarify their search query, search engines can infer that your website is not providing the information that the user is intent on finding. If users are consistently bouncing from your website for a particular search query, it could actually hurt your organic SERP rank for that keyword phrase.

The best solution is to build your website for your visitors, not for search engines. Your SEO and website content should be answering visitor's questions and engaging them. This can help lower your Bounce Rate and help you rise in the SERP ranks.

This Search Engine Land article explains how other factors affect your SERP rank.