Why You Need To Focus on Bounce Rate

Why You Need To Focus on Bounce Rate

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.

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Comments (4)

  • liror Reply

    what % do you consider to be a good bounce rate ?

    December 11, 2010 at 8:51 pm
    • Mike Sullivan Reply

      That’s a tough one to answer and I think it depends on the purpose of the site. My blog currently has a high bounce rate close to 80%. Part of the reason for that is that I post fill articles and don’t require users to click “read more” to finish a story. If this were an e-commerce site, that bounce rate would be terrible.

      December 11, 2010 at 8:57 pm
  • Don Peters Reply

    I am new in the business(about 9months) i have about 20 names.I have been reading and watching google videos about this very topic.
    I had read a comment for a person that says his site was not ecommerce but he has very good content.He has said it was a parked domain before he had gotten it and the domain
    is (he did not say what it was) but it was a very competitive keyword.He also said he was able to reach the top ten of the term in under a month.One of the other
    people said if this was true(and verified by his google
    stats)He would give this guy 500 dollars.
    Could this guy be telling the truth?
    I know on the internet people make stuff up all the time
    Should a newer person like myself be shooting for a bounce of rate like his?One of the other comments said
    That anything besides Wikipedia has no chance of getting under 10%.because a domain that has been parked for 3 years(a .com) could never be possible.
    What do you think?

    December 12, 2010 at 12:11 pm
  • Ed from htmlpress.net Reply

    For a site serving contents, I have some pages that have a high 100% bounce rate (!) and some that have a good 33% bounce rate. I guess what’s good about this data is that it let’s you know what kind of contents your visitors want and what they don’t need on your site.

    December 12, 2010 at 7:34 pm

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