This content has been marked as final. Show 5 replies
On Sun, 3 Aug 2008, Squonk64 wrote
> How important is "bounce rate?" "Bounce Rate," as defind by Google,
>is the number of people who look at the first page on your web site,
>then immediately leave.
> I am not really concerned, just curious, because my bounce rate is
>less than 50% for an inappropriately named site (not my choice, talk to
>those that pay me money for a better site name,) but hovering around 5%
>for the site that pays my bread and butter. Is that good?
Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bounce_Rate
"Bounce Rate (sometimes confused with Exit Rate) is a term used in
web site traffic analysis. It essentially represents the average
percentage of initial visitors to a site who "bounce" away to a
different site, rather than continue on to other pages within the same
So, the lower the percentage the better.
YouTube has a number of videos on Analytics including:
"Google Analytics - Bounce Rate: The Simply Powerful Metric"
5% bounce rate is awesome! A huge factor in determining bounce rate is "where is this traffic coming from?". Folks who come to your site from another site of related content, and got to your site via a very well-defined link would be an example of "qualified traffic." A site that brings in mostly "qualified" traffic will have significantly smaller bounce rates than a site that relies entirely upon search engines (organic or sponsored) for traffic.
Like Richard said, small bounce is great. If you want to imagine your site as a brick and mortar store you would call bounce rate the percentage of people that stepped foot in your store and turned right back around to leave because they realized that your place isn't a shoe store, (like they expected) the decor made them want to vomit, or for whatever other reason.
Bounce rate is important, but only when considered in the big picture. A high bounce rate for a site with a high percentage of sponsored search traffic is far worse than a high bounce rate for a site with a high percentage of organic search traffic. Obviously a company will quickly lose their shirt if they are constantly paying for people to come to there site and then neglects to do what is necessary to keep them there.
Ultimately, the big picture is conversion rate; how many viewers of your marketing convert to site visitors, and how many site visitors convert to buyers. You mentioned that you want half of your visitors to convert to buyers; conversion rate of 50% for the second part of this equation. Creating and maintaining a conversion rate this high online is unlikely and nigh unto impossible! In the brick and mortar world, the scenario is different. Restaurants maintain a conversion rate for the second part of this equation of darn near 100%, and department stores enjoy an approximate 78%. Online, for most scenarios, a finishing conversion rate of 5% is awesome! People frequently shoot for 2%. That means for every thousand visits to your site that you successfully generate, only 20 people send any money your way. If you look at the whole conversion equation, you might consider that it is common to shoot for a .008% conversion rate. In other words, for every MILLION views of your marketing, only 80 will end up buying from you.
For more information, don't spend too much time reading up on materials that the search engines publish. They only want to sell you information that they can provide. Reputable SEO websites will have much more useful information for you. Again, if the site only seems interested in selling to you, become a bounce statistic. Go to a different site. It's okay to lower their conversion rate. Remember, they're only counting on around 2% of their visitors purchasing, anyway. Hope this helps.
The higher the bounce the less engaging the site. I view a bounce rate of 20% or over as a failure. I have seen some sites working as high as a 95% bounce rate - it's absolute madness.
Can you image standing in a store and seeing 95% of potential customers walking out as soon as they come in? No it would not be acceptable, so I fail to see why it is acceptable for web owners.
Who's to say Google will not factor bounce in to its natural search algorithm? It would make sense, after all why would Google promote a site which has no engagement factor?
For me bounce rate is critical - it's like weight, the higher your numbers the more you have to lose it!
With regards Google Analytics, the service does crunch the stats recorded every 3-4 hours, however to ensure the data is presented correctly, it is flushed through the system once a day to Google's GA servers. If you are looking for an tracking service that offers you real-time stats there are plenty out there, but GA is not the one for you.
Cole is absolutely right, bounce rate is like weight; the higher your numbers the more you have to lose it! Although his initial statement is frequently accurate, it is not always so. When watching your bounce stats, never ASSUME that "the higher the bounce the less engaging the site." Entertain that idea, because it will frequently be the answer, but there are at least half-a-dozen variables that need to be equally analyzed.
I am of the camp that the most important bounce-effecting variable is traffic source. If your website is supposed to sell custom vehicle exhaust systems, and 80% of the visits to your site are people pricing home ventilation systems, guess what; it doesn't matter how engaging your site is. You are going to have a dismal bounce rate of over 80%.
A high bounce stat could be telling you that your site is not engaging enough, that it is not easily spidered, that you are biding on the wrong keywords, that the site is unintentionally attracting uninterested views for some other reason, that it's layout does not cater to target audiences, or that it was not fully tested in all common browsers.
Never let your bounce rate stagnate for too long. Constantly tweak these variables and log the tweaking. You never know when you might stumble across a reason not even listed here, and drop your rate another point!
Sorry for ignoring my post for a while, but I had some work to deal with.
You all helped me a lot. Now I know that I do not have a great conversion rate on my e-commerce store, mostly because I need to upload a bunch of pictures (think thousands,) but we are getting there.
Aaron RH: After reading all this, I liken "bounce rate" to someone who came in my store and actually picked something up. They didn't necessarily buy it, but they were interested enough to pick the item up. "Conversion rate" is the number of people who not only picked an item up, but bought something. Understanding all this will help me understand the difference between the normal "brick and morter" business I own and the web store I am developing. Thank you!