I see many times people looking at the above report and when they spot a big bounce rate they panic. They start screaming the page is good for nothing as only 17% of the people stay on the website while the others are leaving.
Sorry to tell you, but no, it’s not really like that.
First, bounce rate is not calculated in reference to page views but to visits. To look at the above report and say that 83.33% of 1681 people bounced is simply wrong. Just as it is to say that 83.33% of 1427 bounced (if you relate to unique views).
So, how to interpret the above report
If you are really interested to find out how many people bounced from this page we need to find out first how many people landed on it. Bounce rate is reported only to people (actually, visit sessions) who land on a page. People that visit it by coming from another page on the same website are not counted for bounce rate (they didn’t bounce in the first place).
So, go to “Top landing pages” and check the numbers for the page you are interested in. Here is what we get for the above page:
Just 5 people bounced. Really, no need to panic. :)
So, before doing radical changes on your website to improve bounce rate just make sure you got it right. Bounce rate can be a deceiving metric. If you really are interested in measuring it right, try implementing the real bounce rate in Google Analytics.
Here is another article on the same topic: Why Bounces is a Better Metric than Bounce Rate.The most misleading report in Google Analytics by Claudiu Murariu