What Can My Bounce Rate Tell Me About My Website….?

Many website owners have Google analytics accounts and check the visitor stats on a daily basis, looking for upward trends and an increase in traffic. One of the most commonly overlooked statistic in Google analytics is the ‘bounce rate’. The bounce rate provides a website owner with the information they need, to know what percentage of visitors came to their site and then left without viewing any other pages. It is quite simple to use the bounce rate and the time on site metrics to quickly gauge how effective your website is.

Scenario One

You have 1,000 visitors per month coming to your site. The average time on the site is 30 seconds, average pages views are 1.2, and the bounce rate is 80%. In this scenario alarm bells should be going off. Of the 1,000 visitors who come to your site – 800 of them leave pretty much straight away. Of the 200 who stay on the site they, on average, navigate to just one other page and then they leave. This would indicate that people do not find your website engaging or interesting. Something has to be done!

Scenario Two

You have 1,000 visitors per month coming to your site. The average time on the site is 3-minutes, and average page views are 1.2, and the bounce rate is also 80%. In this scenario, something very different has happened. The page that the majority of visitors enter the site is engaging – but there does not appear to be (via the stats) a compelling reason to navigate around the site and view more. In this case, alarm bells should also be going off. Your visitors like what you are presenting them, and you need to give them more of the same through linking, suggestions, and featured content to keep them on the site.

Scenario Three

Again – 1,000 visitors per month. The average time on the site is 5-minutes, average page views are 3, and the bounce rate is 40%. This is much healthier traffic picture – with visitors coming to you site, navigating around it, and spending some time. The low bounce rate indicates two things; 1. The landing page is engaging, and 2. There is plenty of other content to draw the visitor deeper into the site.

The Bounce Rate Is Key

The bounce rate of your site is the key indicator of its performance. There is not much point in having 1,000, 10,000, or 100,000 visitors if they get there, look at what you have, and then leave. If your site is an ecommerce site – and your bounce rate is high, then you need to stop and rethink what you are doing. If you are getting 1,000 hits to your store from organic search engine traffic, and you are selling what the visitors searched for, and you have a high bounce rate your ecommerce model is flawed.

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