When you go through Google Analytics at the end of the month or a quarter you might first look at conversions and sessions. These two metrics are very important. They both identify how many people came to your website, and how many did something that qualifies them as a lead. But using these metrics alone doesn’t tell a full story. The other core metrics; average session duration, average pages/session, and bounce rate all also tell us important things. Of those three, bounce rate is often one of the most misunderstood and incorrectly defined.
What Is Bounce Rate?
Simply put, your bounce rate is the percentage of traffic on your website that bounced. A bounced session is any session where a user arrives, clicks nothing, and leaves. What does this mean? Well, many use bounce rate as a shorthand for the health or strength of a website’s traffic. A higher bounce rate means less interested users. Although that correlation is not always the case. Let’s say a restaurant has a menu page. A user looks at the menu, mentally picks an item, closes the website, and gets in their car. That session would still be considered a bounce. Analytics data tells a story, but to get the full picture you need to look at multiple data points. Session duration (the time spent on a website) & bounce rate can help you understand your traffic better.
What Is An Average Bounce Rate?
On average bounce rate should hit somewhere between 40-60%. To companies unfamiliar with website marketing, hearing that half of their traffic is expected to bounce may be a shock. However, this is actually normal. Remember, a bounce could still lead to a sale. It means a user showed up and left without doing anything. For starters, they could come back later, or if they got the information they needed they may have already called you. For example, a user could get to an electrician’s website on their computer, take out their phone and type in the phone number. Although they clicked nothing, they were still a valuable session. The bounce rate should be looked at as a thermometer of how people on your website interact, but you should view it through a few factors. Always check your website’s session duration, and ensure that the bounce rate isn’t artificially high or low.
Is The Bounce Rate Correct?
Is your bounce rate less than 10% or higher than 90%? It is likely this is a tracking issue. The most common tracking issue comes from having too many tracking codes on your website. If you use Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics, you may have made the mistake of putting both tracking codes on your website. Or, there may be multiple iterations of your Google Analytics code on your website. This will cause every new session to be immediately disqualified as a bounce or immediately counted a bounce leading to extreme bounce rates. Granted another reason for a high bounce rate is that your website is a single page with no internal links. If that’s the case you may need to consider reorganizing your content. But before you reorganize content, identify where bounces are coming from.
Where Are The Bounces Coming From?
If you have determined that the bounce rate is indeed accurate and not caused by a tracking error, the next step is identifying where the bounces come from. By addressing the where we can pick some solutions. If your website’s bounce rate is 65%, that is an average for your entire site. Specifying where the highest bounce rate is can bring down your average. Here are a few things to consider.
- Traffic Type: There are six types of traffic: direct, organic, paid, social, referral, and display. Each traffic type will have its own bounce rate that is considered in your website’s average. If your direct traffic has a high bounce rate it could be that this direct traffic is actually bots crawling your site or that they are returning customers who aren’t clicking around but looking for your phone number or contact info. If the bounce rate is high for your organic traffic, then you should consider how to better arrange your content.
- Landing Page: Another place to look for differences in the bounce rate is by looking at your content. Note pages that have high sessions and high bounce rates, it is likely that these pages do not have enough clickable elements or calls to action. However, it should be noted that blogs generally have higher bounce rates as users read them and then leave more frequently.
- Geography: Lastly you should check regions and geography for bounce rate. If there are sessions coming to your website from outside your service area, it is likely that they would drive up your bounce rate. And although these sessions are bounces they do not negatively impact your website.
How Is Your Content Organized?
If after looking through the data, you are unhappy with your bounce rate, you should consider how content is organized. Identify pages on your website that need stronger calls to action and start there. By building strong landing pages you can decrease your bounce rate. Additionally, you should consider how to increase the speed of your website. Optimizing speed can also decrease bounces, as many users (especially on their phones) will give up waiting on a website if it takes too long to load.
For More Strategies Contact Boston Web Marketing
Boston Web Marketing is New England’s largest independent digital agency. Our team of representatives would be happy to dig through the metrics of your website and craft a tailored and unique plan for your website’s digital success. Contact us for more information.