What does your bounce rate tell you?

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Bounce Rate
Photo Credit: williamcromar

One key metric to pay attention to when reviewing your web analytics is the bounce rate. The bounce rate tells you the percentage of single page visits on your website. Basically, it is the percentage of times a visitor viewed a page and exited the site without visiting any other pages.

Your web analytics shows you the average bounce rate (of all the pages on your site) and you can also view the bounce rate for specific pages on your site. Your home page is not the only entry point for people visiting your website; all the pages on your site are potentially landing pages. So, what is your bounce rate really telling you?

Performance of a Campaign
If you are using landing pages in accordance with a paid search campaign, or any type of campaign where you are directing traffic to specific landing pages on your site, the bounce rate can indicate how effective that page is to converting that traffic (taking your desired action). If your bounce rate is high on those pages, that will tell you that the offer or the page layout isn’t strong enough to get the visitors to take the specified action. Carefully review the pages that have high bounce rates and low conversion rates and compare them against other pages that are performing well. Enhancing a landing page could be as simple as changing a headline or altering the verbiage on the call to action.

Relevancy of SEO

People are using search engines to answer their questions and find information. If you notice that your overall bounce rate is high  (over 60 or 70%) take a look at the pages with the highest bounce rate. (Keep in mind if you have a blog on your website or if you are running paid search campaigns with landing pages your site’s bounce rate will skew higher than “normal.”) You want to take a look at the keywords people used to find those pages that have the high bounce rates. Are the keywords relevant to the content of the page? It is possible that some may be or your page could be coming up for something that isn’t relevant to what the page or site content is about. Review the keywords you’re targeting on those landing pages to make sure they are relevant to the content within the page.

Level of Engagement
The pages on your site that have a high bounce rate could indicate a low level of interest or engagement from the visitor. If you’re promoting an offer using an online advertisement (in a paid search or display ad campaign), make sure the offer on the landing page matches the offer that the visitor originally clicked on. Also, think logically about what information a user is seeking and offer other related pages or resources on each of the pages to encourage your visitor to navigate throughout your website. For example, if you write a blog post about the benefits of Sage Abra as an HR software then you might want to also link to a webinar that you’ve presented on Sage Abra.

Although your bounce rate can be very informative in alerting you to the performance of the pages on your website, you should never focus solely on one metric to determine success. For example, you can have a high bounce rate with a healthy average time on the site which could indicate that the content on your site is being consumed. If you notice your bounce rate is a bit high take a look at the pages with the highest bounce rate and then decide if you need to fix a few pages or if you need to rethink your conversion strategy.