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  Post #1 (permalink)   12-03-2012, 11:57 PM
HD Wizard
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
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For those that are not aware, there is a percentage listed inside of Google Analytics called "Bounce Rate." This essentially relates to the percentage of users that come to a website and leave after viewing just one page.

A high bounce rate is not necessarily a bad things as there's a number of reasons why a visitor might only view one page. One such instance is that they arrive on your page, get the answer they need and then close the window. While you provided the information correctly to the user (hopefully), they received what they needed and then went on about their business.

At the same time, High Bounce Rates can be a sign of poorly designed/structured websites in that either the visitor is confused (and leaves), the information is not presented as it was portrayed in the search engine search (poor SEO), awful web design layout, or pricing that didn't match the users expectations.

All that said, when reviewing our SEO and Analytics for the past 30 days on our website, I felt like I was hit by a truck with the numbers that I saw. Our site only a 19.89% Bounce Rate. To understand why this was so low however, we need to look at some of the other facts and figures for our Analytics.

Our site visitors spent an average of 8:23 minutes on our site, and viewed on average 4.90 pages per visit. With 57,930 page views for the past month, 8+ minutes on the site and less than 20% bounces was a pretty nice sight to see.

Looking back at October, we again were in the 21.41% bounce rate, and 67,841 page views, but when we look at September we see only 41,237 page views but a whopping 39.81% bounce rate. Go back to August and there was only 25,709 page views but 58.37% bounce rate!! 58.37% bounces!!! That's an insanely high number!

So what did we learn from just looking back at 3 months of traffic? The very simple answer that our new website design works! Our SEO efforts are also working and targeting the right words with the right pages! We spent several months working and tweaking our website layout to get it to do just what we wanted. We're now presenting information to a wide range of users, delivering the content that they want to see, and all at the same time increasing the conversions to our checkout pages.

Some even scarier numbers when we look at keyword specific searches. Unlike the general site searches above, these are specific keywords that people are using to find our site. These are downright scary earlier in the year:

August 2012 - 4,701 page views with 88.07% Bounce rate
September 2012 - 7,407 page views with 45.43% bounce rate
October 2012 - 13,576 page views with 9.21% bounce rate
November 2012 - 13,766 page views with 8.49% bounce rate

Have you looked at your Google Analytics recently? What have you found? Are you headed in the right direction when it comes to bounce rate and providing information that your clients actually want to read and see?
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  Post #2 (permalink)   12-05-2012, 06:50 AM
HD Amateur
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Well, in my experience the bounce rate is relative to the type of your website. For example, a niche website that posts a few times every week has an average of 53,13% bounce rate which seems huge. But since most users have already read the previous posts for the week they don't browse to other pages on the site and leave (average pages/visit is 2,2). These figures actually are an improvement since the last few months where the bounce rate was nearly 70% and the pages/visit was below 2. So, I guess the direction is the right one...
My point is as you said, the bounce rate isn't always a sign of user satisfaction or it's absence.
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  Post #3 (permalink)   12-05-2012, 11:10 AM
HD Wizard
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Hi Attracthd,

You got it! Stats are only as good as the person interpreting them. Bounce Rate can be helpful, but it's directly dependent on how the website is set to work. In our case, as an online retail location selling web hosting, if a user only reads one page and bails, that means we didn't make the sale (unless they were only viewing our knowledgebase).

Stats are great, and I get 70 page reports every two weeks that I must review to make sure things are on track with marketing, but like anything else, if you don't measure results, you can't track it, and if you don't know HOW or WHAT to measure, then you're not the person that should be reviewing the results.
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