If you’re a developer, you need to be concerned about bounce rate. Not to get into a debate over the meaning of the term “developer,” but let’s just use the term loosely to define any domain owner that creates or owns content on a site. I would like to exclude parked pages or sites dependent purely on advertising links, but they too could be taken into consideration in the scope of things.
Wikipideia defines bounce rate as “the percentage of initial visitors to a site who bounce away to a different site, rather than continue on to other pages within the same site.”
Google Analytics defines Bounce Rate as “the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.”
Bottom line, bounce rate scores your site based on how many visitors leave your site after seeing the first page.
If I have a parked or advertisement driven page, I would probably expect a high bounce rate. I want people to be clicking on those advertisements and generating income for me. However, if I have a site with legitimate content or an online store, I want a lower bounce rate. If people are leaving my site after viewing the first page, that’s a problem.
This becomes more important if a site is leveraging advertising campaigns and specific landing pages. If a landing page has a high bounce rate, there are one of two problems at work. First, the landing page may not be captivating enough for visitors. If the page is lame, they will click away. A solution is to set up multiple landing pages and test their effectiveness. If the landing page isn’t the problem, it may be that the advertising efforts are capturing the wrong market. When the visitors get to the site and realize it’s not what they were expecting, they’ll click away, costing the site owner money on wasted pay per clicks.
Regardless if a site is using paid advertising or just organic search results, keeping a close eye on bounce rate can make the difference between return visitors with multiples sales and wasted money and equally as bad, wasted effort.