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Does The Bounce Rate On Your Website Really Matter?

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At least a half dozen times a week I get emails from our customers and Carrot newsletter subscribers asking a question like…

“I see my bounce rate is 72% and that seems high. Is it? And does the bounce rate on your website really matter?”

First off… you may be wondering what a “bounce rate” for a real estate investor website is… why your bounce rate matters (and why it may not matter much at all)… and whether yours is even high in the first place (because it may not be).

A few things to think about before I dive in… so you know whether this post is for you.

  • Do you value ranking high in Google for phrases your motivated seller, buyers, tenants, private lenders, etc. are searching?
  • Do you want to increase the number of leads you’re getting online?

If so, you’ll want to read this post :-)


Does The Bounce Rate On Your Website Really Matter?

What Is A Bounce Rate Anyway?
(in simple terms)

As far as Google is concerned, in their own words, a bounce rate on a website is… “The percentage of single-page sessions on your website”. In simpler terms… the number of visitors to your website who land on your site… then don’t click anything else and visit any other pages on your site.

Now, that’s the technical term.

But keep in mind… since your real estate investor websites should focus on generating leads… and a certain % of your visitors will just pick up the phone and call you (especially motivated sellers with our InvestorCarrot websites) without clicking on other pages on your website, those visitors will be considered a “bounced” visitor as far as Google is concerned.

So for a lead generation focused website that has a clear call to action for the visitor to pick up the phone and call you, your actual bounce rate may be a tad lower than your Google Analytics bounce report is showing you.

In addition, I’ve been asked hundreds of times… “What is a good bounce rate?”.

Really that’s a tough question.

It really depends on where your traffic is coming from and what the purpose of your website is.

If you run a news website and you have a bounce rate of 75%… that may not be a bad thing because people tend to read 1 article and then leave.

If you run an online store selling cool gadgets… and your have a 75% bounce rate… that means people aren’t engaging on your site, checking out other items, or placing things in the shopping cart. In that case 75% isn’t a good thing at all.

Last, if your website is geared primarily as a lead generation tool (especially for motivated real estate sellers)… you shouldn’t really expect a bounce rate below 40%. Heck, you likely shouldn’t expect a bounce rate much below 60% on a page specifically geared to get a motivated seller to sell you their house (unless you use one strategy that we’re testing right now that is yielding lower bounce rates but sellers that aren’t as highly motivated in general… but the jury is still out).

As a great basis of comparison… below is a screenshot of the traffic stats from our Carrot customers for this past 7 days.

Actual Traffic Stats From Our Members Websites In The Past 7 Days

bounce rate for real estate investors websites
Thousands Of Leads… have been generated by Carrot members and top search engine rankings for tons of competitive phrases have been grabbed or held in this past week. The AVERAGE bounce rate is 66.54%… is that good? See below…

Why Can Your Bounce Rate Sometimes Be A Big Deal (and when you should not pay much attention to it)?

Before you check your Google Analytics account and freak out because your bounce rate is 75%… just know that your bounce rate isn’t anything to really sweat over unless you’re really focusing hard on SEO and the conversation rate of your website and are in a place where you’re starting to ramp up your traffic to your website.

If you’re just now getting rolling with your website… or haven’t really started to focus on generating SEO traffic much… skip the rest of this post and go out there and focus on generating traffic to your website first.

NOTE: If you’re an InvestorCarrot member, you can have access to our 3 Lead Per Day training for just $99 that walks through in simple steps how to generate traffic to your websites, rank better, and cut the learning curve. If you’re not generating more than 100 visitors a month to your site yet… don’t worry about your bounce rate! Worry about getting more people to your website first, bounce rate later.

Bounce rate is something we’ve focused on with the way we’ve built our InvestorCarrot websites… so you don’t have to worry about that stuff if you’re a Carrot member.

If you have a website you’ve built yourself, on another system, or had a web guy build one for you who isn’t an expert in real estate investing lead generation… and you’re ready to ramp your leads up… your bounce rate is something you should have an eye on.

Here are a couple of the main reasons you should keep an eye on your bounce rate as a real estate investor.

Bounce Rate Can Affect Your SEO Rankings

It’s been long known that Google looks at hundreds of factors when deciding where your website should rank.

Several of those factors are what are called “user signals”… which are things that the actual website visitor does based on the quality of your website.

According to a recent report put out by SearchMetrics, both Time on Site and Bounce Rate show a positive correlation… that websites that rank in the top 10 in Google tend to have good bounce rates and a longer than average time on site.

There is a slight positive correlation... to having a low bounce rate and longer than average “time on site” by the visitor… as seen by Search Metrics in this recent report. This picture above is just one part of the full report of all SEO ranking correlations.

Your bounce rate isn’t one of the first things I’d tell an investor to focus on to increase your rankings… but if you’re struggling to crack into page 1 or rise up page 1 for a search term like “sell house fast DC” or something… take a look and see if your bounce rate is 70% +… or your time on site is less than about 100 seconds.

If it is — you should do something about it for sure.

With InvestorCarrot, to give you a basis of comparison on the “time on site” metric, below are 2 snapshots from our own Google Analytics account.

Avg. Time On Site For The Past 12 Months Across Hundreds Of Investor Websites

average time on site
Avg. Time On Site… for InvestorCarrot websites the past 12 months. This takes into consideration the seasonally slower and less responsive winter months for buyers and sellers.

Avg. Time On Site For The Busy Warm Months In 2014 Across Hundreds Of Investor Websites

As a comparison… the average time on site and bounce rate in the “busy” warm months for seller leads

If you see your bounce rate more than what you see above or your time on site less than what you see above (especially if your average visitor stays less than 100 seconds on site)… check out InvestorCarrot.

Those rates are the average rates across our platform… so some members websites are doing MUCH better because they’re driving more highly targeted and quality traffic… while others are driving lower quality traffic that may “bounce” much more quickly.

In the end, your bounce rate and time on site are factors that can affect your search engine rankings… but don’t spend a lot of time on them if you haven’t even focused on the higher leverage activities you can do to rank better first.

Bounce Rate Is An Indicator On Whether Your Site Is Converting Well Or Not

Another thing that the bounce rate is a leading indicator for… is how well your website is performing.

If your website is geared to convert visitors to leads and you have a bounce rate over 80% lets say, you can bet that the website likely isn’t performing very well on the conversion side of things.

But, does a bounce rate of 70% mean that your website isn’t converting well?

Not necessarily.

In some markets with PPC marketing, a 9-14% conversion rate is a solid conversion rate for motivated sellers. You could conceivably have a website with a 70% bounce rate and still have a respectable conversion rate of a lead.

What To Do About Your Website Bounce Rate And Let’s Eliminate The Bounce Rate Fear Today…

If you’re not generating much traffic or leads yet… you shouldn’t even be worrying about bounce rate at all. You should be focusing on the higher leverage things to get traffic to your site. Bounce rate is priority number 1,004 on your list of things to worry about at this point.

As an InvestorCarrot member, go through our SEO tools and training… our Craigslist Marketing Course, etc. And heck, our system already has a very good bounce rate and among the best time on site stats in the industry.

If you’re not a Carrot member, no sweat. There are lots of things you can do to start ranking better in Google and getting more leads. In fact, we have free resources here on this website that’ll help you do that.

If you are on page 1 or close… and are having a tough time getting that #1 ranking and you have a bounce rate over 70%… you may want to see what you can do to improve your bounce rate and time on site… it could help give you an edge in Google’s eyes.

Ways To Reduce Your Bounce Rate

  1. Join InvestorCarrot so your website loads faster, is mobile optimized, has better and more engaging content that keeps people on your website longer, and has the conversion elements built into the website to convert higher than the average real estate investing website.
  2. If you’re not on InvestorCarrot, if you’re using just a squeeze page… stop! Use a full lead generation website to ramp up your time on site and lower your bounce rate (and increase your leads).
  3. Write better and more powerful content that engages the person on your site.
  4. Stop using videos that auto play when someone lands on your site (that’s a bounce rate killer).
  5. Make the first impression of your website be a good one. It should feel credible, inviting, and make a connection with the visitor.

In the end, don’t fret about bounce rate if you haven’t started to generate more than 100 visitors a month through your SEO or PPC so far.

And if you have a bounce rate over 70% but are still getting great leads… don’t sweat it! Focus on the big things that will help you drive more traffic and improve conversions… and if you keep doing the right things and keep building your website to provide value to your web visitors your bounce rate may just take care of itself.

Trevor Mauch

Trevor is the CEO of Carrot and knows a thing or two about inbound marketing and generating leads online in the real estate industry. As an investor himself, he's generated tens of thousands of real estate leads and is a leading expert in inbound marketing for investors and agents. In addition, his true passion is helping entrepreneurs grow businesses that truly help you live a life of purpose.

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5 responses to “Does The Bounce Rate On Your Website Really Matter?

  1. Deane really is learning a lot. And Im confident any day now ill get a lot of leads as I applywhat you teach. Over, Deane

    1. Hey Deane! Happy New Year!


      Yep, keep applying stuff. The most important is getting people to your website. Doing some PPC and Craigslist marketing in the short term… and then some backlink building and SEO from our 3 Lead Per Day for the long term has been the solid 1-2 punch.

      Hit us up if we can help you w/ anything at all!

      – Trevor

  2. Google’s whole ethos is based around providing the best possible search results to its users. If they have ranked a site at no1. position for a given keyword and see it has a very high bounce rate then surely this is a ‘user signal’ to inform the algo that this site should not warrant such a high position and it will surely be automatically re-positioned lower- this way they text the algo by customers experience by correlating the content with is specific keyword. I cant see it ignoring this information, its just really how much weight is being given to it.

    1. Hey Danny! Great insights and I totally agree!

      Time on site, bounce rate, etc are both little parts of this massive algorithm Google has made. They seem to weight the content on your site and backlinks the heaviest… then the hundreds of other factors from there it’s really tough to tell what matters most in a given situation. But you’re dead on that it matters… and bounce rate is something we should look at when we’re to a point that we’re getting traffic and trying to climb up the rankings.

  3. Seems like it is pretty hard to really control that bounce rate luckily I don]t have to think too much about it because the carrot site is already optimized and you guys work on improving it constantly :)

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