What is Bounce rate and what does it reveal.

This is an important metric which tells what percentage of visitors visited your site and left without visiting any other page on your site or performing any other activity. A bounce is captured when a single call request is sent to the web analytic server, say when a page is loaded and then the page is closed without triggering any other requests to the server. The way it is calculated is by capturing the single page session divided by total sessions for your page.

This metric can be captured at a page level and at a website level.

A bounce is captured when a single call request is sent to the web analytic server, say when a page is loaded and then the page is closed without triggering any other requests to the server. It is based on a single server call to the analytics tool server for processing (be it GA or omniture) meaning a single hit or an image request will only be accounted to bounces. These single-page sessions also have 0 seconds as session duration as there are no other hits occurring within the page. For example, if you have a single page and there is a video present which you want your users to click on, then this visit with a video view or click will not be considered for bounces or bounce rate calculation. To summarize, a visitor comes to your site by any of the digital channels with some intention, only to find that this is not the information he/she is looking for and closes the browser or exits the page without triggering any further action.   

It’s always not necessary that a page with a high bounce rate is bad, for example: if a user is searching for an information and he lands on the page gets the information and exits. In this case the user has not visited any other related pages or maybe there is only a single page for this website, however the information was very useful for the user.

Quicksprout has created some amazing infographic which shows the average industry benchmark data for bounce rate based on the classification of website based on content websites (40% – 60%), lead generation (30 – 50%), blogs (70 – 98%), Retail sites (20 – 40%), service sites (10 – 30%), Landing pages (70 – 90%). A high bounce rate on your page should be an indicative of revamping your content, slow loading of page, technical error on your page, or may be your campaign is targeting wrong audience who really are not interested in your content.

So, what can you do to keep a check of bounces on your sites?

  1. Pull up the report in your web analytic tool for all your webpages and then see which pages have got huge bounces.
  2. Isolate these pages and check whether the referral links re-directing the traffic to these sites have huge bounces? Is the traffic of bad quality, do you still want to keep your links within these sites?3
  3. Look at the search keywords report using your analytic tool and then check which keywords are having high bounces. This analysis should help you when you bid on keywords using PPC campaigns. (Note: If your predominant search engine is google.com, it won’t provide you with the list of organic keywords in your search keywords report as google has stopped sharing this information) Read more about this at search engine watch4
  4. Do an internal analysis of your pages over the past few years and see if there is any trend for certain pages which has high bounces, if yes then check the above points and try revamping the content and targeting.
  5. Provide clear navigation and search facility within your site. If your website attracts returning visitors more, keep the content fresh. Make sure the latest content is displayed at the top.

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