Bounce Rate Demystified

Bounce Rate demystified
Click the image to view the original at Kissmetrics

Google Analytics is a valuable tool for every website owner. By monitoring your Analytics reports, you may determine which pages and content types are the most valuable.

Learning just a few key reports to monitor will help you improve the value of your content to your site visitor. This is a simple tutorial in pictures that makes it very clear.

Bounce Rate vs. Percentage Exit

If you’ve been in business any time within the last five years, you know that your website analytics mean just as much as your budget report. In fact the results of your analytics dictate how your business sales improve and grow. It’s important to monitor bounce rate, especially when your goal is to decrease bounce and provide interesting content–which some people call creating stickiness. Google Analytics can seem intimidating. Read on to learn what it means when your bounce rate is too high or your exit rate is fairly low.

In this post, we’ll explore the meaning of these two terms and a few others within the scope of Google Analytics Behavior Reports.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is simply a measure of visit quality for single-page views. Boiled down to the basics, this just means how often people leave your site after originally visiting a single page on your site. When potential clients or followers depart your website without really looking at anything your company has to offer, they’re obviously still shopping around. This means that if you aren’t hooking them from the get-go, this is probably not the way to attract new business.

Google Analytics uses an equation to calculate bounce rate for you, so it’s not necessarily important that you understand the way it’s derived. However, if you know the basic formula, it’s easier to see the way it all works.

Kissmetrics Bounce Rate Equation

Basically, it varies across industries how high the bounce rate is on average. The bottom line is, no matter what your bounce rate actually is, you can always improve it.

  • Provide relevant content: If your readers get the answers they need, they’ll visit your page more often.
  • Define all ambiguous terms: No one wants to read a post on something they don’t understand.
  • Get rid of pop-up ads: Ads make people angry. Angry people don’t come back to your site and don’t look further than the first page.
  • Make sure the layout is user-friendly: Not everyone is tech savvy, so a site that’s difficult to navigate without some insight as to how it might work. Clean it up, and that population of viewers is less likely to bounce from your site.

Percentage Exit

Percentage Exit rate refers to the percentage of viewers who leave the site from a specific page or set of pages. This is normally reviewed considering time spent on each page as well as the progress made on each page per view.

Google Analytics compiles this for you with its own algorithms. You’ll find this statistic in your Behavior Overview Report. After that, it’s up to you to take the information and use it to the site’s advantage.

Review the Exit Pages Report [Behavior > Site Content > Exit Pages] to determine which pages are most commonly points of departure from your site. Analyze time on page and notice if there is any congruence you can determine between the page preceding the exit page. Pages with lower exit percentages indicate more valued content.

Repairing a high exit percentage boils down to the same advice provided for a high bounce rate – create more compelling content your target market finds useful or interesting. As you make modifications and tweaks, review that page’s exit percentage to see if your changes made a difference.

These tips, as well as diligence with Google Analytics Reports, should improve your site’s visibility and interaction from potential clients. After all, this is what makes all the difference in the reports, behavioral or budgetary.

Bounce Rate Demystified.

Hits Don’t Matter

In WWE Hits Do Matter

Hits don’t matter except in WWE

When my sons were small and I was out of the room where they were, I often heard “OW! He HIT me!” Siblings squabble. And hit. Those hits mattered.

In the early days of the World Wide Web, hits became a coveted metric to measure the influence and importance of your website and your inbound traffic. People embedded odometer-like, or animated gif counters on their websites to influence website visitor’s perceptions of the site. Site owners hoped to cause a site visitor to assume that if 100,000 people had visited then, “This site must be good.” Few knew that counters could be set at a number other than zero when embedded.  Fast forward 20 years and hits hardly matter, except in slapstick, or child-rearing or WWE wrestling.

What replaced hits as a website success metric?

Bounce rate is the more important metric now. When people arrive at your website, do they stay or do they go? Do they visit several pages? Do they spend time on your site?

As Google has refined their preferences for and algorithms to deliver search results which include websites where people remain on site over those with mass numbers of visits, it is critical that you create content that keeps people on your site or causes more interaction.

Evaluate and adjust factors that might contribute to your bounce rate, like site layout and navigation. Use only your past performances as a rubric, and try to improve your current bounce rate relative to your previous data. Provide enough time between changes to collect enough data to evaluate the impact the changes may be having on your visitors and their behaviors. Try using Content Experiments to help you.

Is your content valued?

Creating attractive content which causes your visitors to consume more pages, interact and share your content indicates (to Google) that your site provides relevant information. The value proposition is what Google is most interested in as a measure of worthiness. And as Avinash Kaushik states in Google’s video embedded below, “it is a quick qualifying metric.”

Watch Google’s video on Bounce Rate

If you don’t see the embedded video, click to watch video on Bounce Rate.