Actionable Analytics-Pay Attention to the Bounce Rate.

bounce-rateModern Analytics packages offer a statistic (we hate to read) called the “Bounce Rate.” Bounce Rate is different than the “Exit Rate” measurement and speaks to how many visitors entire a site on a landing page only to leave from the same landing page without going any further within the site. It’s especially ugly to have a high Bounce Rate for a PPC landing page and a bummer for organic traffic.

To clarify, Exit Rate includes site visitors who may have entered other pages in the site as their initial landing page. Since visitors may have spent substantial time in the site prior to leaving, Exit Rate is not necessarily a good measure of how well content and design is engaging traffic. A high Bounce Rate, however, often means that the page or site is simply not stimulating or useful to visitors. Bounce Rate applies to individual pages and a site on average.

I take a positive outlook (even though it sometimes hurts to even look). Bounce Rate provides a great deal of actionable insight for search marketing types who are committed to using analytics for taking steps to actually improve user experiences on their site.

This is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Improved user experience means lower Bounce Rates. Lower Bounce Rates mean web traffic is drilling down further into the site. Deep drilling means guests are more engaged. More engaged traffic has a greater likelihood of converting to key performance indicators like sales, qualified leads, and other KPIs.

Ask yourself what steps can you take to reduce the bounce rate for a page or pages? What’s wrong with the page? Does the navigation suck, is there a convoluted call to action, are the keyword clusters in the content truly related to the page’s intent, or is the information on the page out of date? A nasty bounce rate means that the page does not work. Fix it!

Avinash Kaushik in his article Excellent Analytics Tip #11: Measure Effectiveness Of Your Web Pages suggests,

“it is really hard to get a bounce rate under 20%, anything over 35% is cause for concern, 50% (above) is worrying.”

Don’t freak out about your Bounce rate because it is easily one of the most actionable metrics in modern analytics packages. If people discover your page by search or paid marketing and leave quickly without being converted to a KPI (or even checking out any other pages) test solutions until you lower the Bounce Rate.

Here are some a few useful analytics links:
Google Analytics V2 – The Prettiest Of Them All
Search Marketing Guru
This free web analytics solutions guide sorts web analytics solutions by free, medium, medium+ and high-end solutions.

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