Bounce rate is an important element of on page seo now. I was going through my client's analytic and discovered a new perspective. Good websites are made with with in depth focus on the topic. The promotion on SERPs is always keeping in mind the main offering.
The content creation takes place in relation to the offerings. I will not go very deep here but remember while content is added many references creep in even though there is just a mention of that. And reference or slight mention of the person/place/technology/institutions are a must even though there is no elaborate content available on site.
A well optimized sites brings traffic on focused terms. And if the contents are interesting or meaningful and the user is looking for them then he will stay on your site and pages and read. This will increase the chances of conversion and there be low bounce rate.
A well optimized site also responds to phrases related to what has been referred on the site in main page, relational pages, site blogs etc. Since there is no appreciable content on referred attribute the bounce rate is going to be naturally high. This is definitely negative for you website ranking on result pages. What can be done please read on my next blog.