Bounce Rate is an often used terminology if you are working in a field remotely related to Web Analytic’s. It is a very powerful metric to measure the success of a web campaign or even of that of the website as a whole.
So what in the first place is Bounce Rate?
As Wikipedia quotes it:
A bounce occurs when a web site visitor leaves a page or a site without visiting any other pages before a specified session-timeout occurs. There is no industry-standard minimum or maximum time by which a visitor must leave in order for a bounce to occur. Rather, this is determined by the session timeout of the analytics tracking software.
Bounce rate = Visits left from the landing page / Total number of visits
In layman’s terms,
It defines how many people have visited your page and then left your page without further navigating to your website pages. So to say, I like a post on Facebook and click a link which redirects me to xyz.com. But the contents on the landing page of XYZ.com don’t excite me enough (Ad pop ups from everywhere or even signing up via a Form), I close the webpage immediately. This is then considered a bounce for the XYZ.com as i did land on the website but did not find any relevant information that can keep me hooked up to the site. Instead it transformed me in to one irritated Visitor (So to say).
The lower the Bounce Rate, the better for your website!!
Some of the valid reasons for the Bounce can be
- The visitor hit the “Back” button on his browser.
- The visitor closed his browser.
- The visitor clicked on one of your ads.(By Mistake or probably he did want to)
- The visitor clicked on one of your external links.
- The visitor used the search box on his browser.
- The visitor typed a new URL on his browser.
Where is Bounce Rate used?
Bounce Rate is mostly used to measure the effectiveness of your Landing Pages and hence the importance of it lies in SEO’s and Paid Advertising Campaigns.Exit Rate is again a metric which is somewhat similar but is not the same as Bounce Rate (They are WAY DIFFERENT!!!)
Exit Rate is the percentage of visitors that leave a site from a given page. Hence Exit Rate comes in handy when you have to monitor individual pages. If the Exit Rate of your website’s ‘Add to Cart’ shopping pages is too high, that will make you take necessary steps to eliminate the unfavorable content which is leading your visitors to leave the site from that individual page.
So how much is too much?
Bounce Rate ranging anywhere between 20-50% is a Good Bounce Rate, Anything beyond that and you know you have a problem.
There are many factors to consider to measure your site’s Bounce Rate. If you have a 20% Bounce Rate on your landing page (highly unlikely but not impossible), proves 80% people (who came through SEO,Social Media Sites, Ads or whatever other resources) are continuing through your site. Bounce Rate also depends on the type of Site you are presenting your customers with. A news site will generally have a high bounce rate as people will usually scan the headlines on the front page and then head off to the next site. Also, the traffic coming from Websites like StumbleUpon and Digg also somehow contribute to a higher Bounce Rate. Why?
Because the visitors coming from those sites are more like a fast audience. They will tend to hit and run though various articles (I am included in that bandwagon too) and not try to stay loyal to a particular site. After all all you have to do is click a ‘Stumble’ button and off you go to a different article/a different site.
A more niche site like a Blog dedicated to Programming or something like that will generally have a lower Bounce Rate as people tend to stay there more for discussions and Lessons.
The best way to lower your Bounce Rate is simple:
- Write Relevant Content and Good Headlines
If you have a headline that speaks about Football, and when the visitor clicks and finds out that it is more about Rooney’ love life (He will read it anyway, but then it would piss him off) He would want to run away from the site as it was never what he thought he would be.
- Keep Loading/Buffering time to a minimum
Why Google is so fascinated about Speed? (Remember? Search results in 0.000023 Seconds and all that which comes up when you search for something, Well!! who bothers to read that anyway). If i come to a site which takes ages to load out all the contents, all you would get is a slightly frustrated visitor and if your article is bad enough, Congratulations, that would be another Bounce from your site. Deactivate unnecessary plugins/widgets which take years(exaggerating) to load to provide a more cleaner and faster approach.
- Not too many external links