Sometimes as a webmaster I feel we can over complicate things, with so many things to do , juggle, test and remember it is easy to feel you get too much information. Thankfully I’d say with Google Analytics recent upgrade the interface for website traffic stats analysis is simpler and easier to use than ever.
You can quickly glean important information and drill down any area or url quickly and easily keeping it clear and simple, one of the stats I have mostly glossed over to my peril in the past is the bounce rate. Bounce rates are available in most of the better stat programs and although I had often ignored it, out of curiosity I decided to delve deeper quite recently.
What are Bounce Rates?
Bounce Rates can also be called the percentage exit, basically the percentage of visitors that leave a page or site without visiting any other pages within a certain time limit (for example 30 minutes). They come, they have a look at the page and they exit the site. A low bounce rate shows that the entry page causes visitors to click to other pages within the site.
Why are they important?
Bounce rates can show you very specific information about pages in your website that obviously do not satisfy the visitors, be it a slow load time or irrelevant content once you know there is a problem you can investigate it, having 500 visitors to a page is all well and good but the quality of that traffic and that page can quickly be assessed with a good bounce rate.
What is a good bounce rate?
Well some sites go outside the normal rules, for example mini sites having only one page or so will have a very high bounce rate which is fine, for the purpose of an ad campaign if the purpose is to get the visitor to view one page then the rate can be very high which would be good, for other sites in general you can quickly tell if your traffic is bouncing right back off your site with a rough guide below.
Under 20% – Extremely hard to achieve and very good.
21%-35% – A good score and probably the one most should aim for
36% – 50% – Cause for concern and investigation needed to see if it can be improved
Greater than 50% – Very worrying unless there is good reason.
Some things to keep in mind that may cause high bounce rates
- Shoppers browsing for prices to compare
- Mini Site
- Info sites with good Adsense CTR placement
- Ad campaign concentrating on one sales page
- Site does not meet visitors expectation
- Slow loading site
- Poor navigation
- Blogs where visitors read a single post and visit often without having to navigate
Tattoo Fonts – Bounce Rate = 83.8% – One page mini site – no problem.
Tattoos By Design = 32.82% – Very good considering on site advertising
Plus 44 = $78.17% – A problem that needs to be investigated
I know with the site Plus 44 that it is getting a re-design just now so most of the pages are not included in the stats, most of the data is just from the homepage, why would the homepage cause such a high bounce rate? Well a quick Google shows that there is a band called Plus 44, which means my homepage is getting lot of type in traffic who are immediately not getting what they want, good knowledge to have and perhaps once I update the site I can work back and capitalise on that traffic better.
Hand on heart I really didn’t know what a bounce rate was a few months ago, I think I’ll pay closer attention to that one figure in future as it looks to be a very quick health check that everything is working as it should be and everyone is happy, with so many stats and things on my to do list I’ll certainly be adding bounce rates as higher up on my radar in future.
What is your websites bounce rate?
Can anyone beat 32.82%