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Why Analytics Bounce Rate is Important

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bounce rate is very important. A high bounce rate can indicate a problem with your website or a serious flaw in your advertising strategy.

bounce rate seo and analytics

So what is Bounce rate anyway? If people arrive at your site and move on without any other activity occuring on your it's considered a bounce. This statistic is usually represented as a percentage of site visitors.

Sometimes people will find your site by accident or click through on a Google search result only to find that your site isn’t what they were looking for after all. You’ll be happy to know that you should never expect 0% for your bounce rate. It's not going to happen and it really doesn't matter.

If your Bounce rate is high however, that should be a point of concern. Here is a partial list of some common issues that cause excessively high bounce rates:
  • Poorly placed and/or styled  'calls to action'
  • Content that fails to engage the visitor immediately
  • Broken or incorrect links on your site
  • Website errors or badly behaving CSS styles (think Internet Explorer)
  • Poorly targeted ad campaigns bringing the wrong people to your site
  • Misleading or incorrect search engine page results

Low bounce rates indicate that you have content people are interested in. Landing pages that are targeted to a specific audience can also reduce your bounce rates by focusing the page content on a particular topic for arriving visitors.

Calls to action will also dramatically lower your bounce rates if you have a compelling offer like a free download, a coupon or a handy guide for completing a particular task.

Certain pages are inherently 'Bouncy' so make sure you don't get discouraged. Blogs can have high bounce rates because people only arrive with the intention of reading a single article. I'll leave creating enticements to explore your site further up to you and your imagination.

On the other hand, eCommerce sites typically boast low bounce rates because of the many categories and products on display.

You should make a point of researching your niche and find out what kind of results others are getting in the Bounce department. As a rule of thumb, a 25-30% bounce rate is seen as a good figure. If you are over the 50% mark you would do well to see if you can make some improvements. With a blog the numbers are more like 70-80% being 'normal' and a Bounce rate over 80% being a cause for concern(source: Unleashing the Power of Website Analytics article by Dave Sparks).