Bounce rates – and adjusted bounce rates – explained
What is a bounce rate?
Simply put, your bounce rate is how many users land on a web page site and leave before clicking on anything else.
So, if your bounce rate for your homepage is 80% that means that 8/10 people landed on your homepage then left the page before clicking through to any other page.
Each page on your website will have a bounce rate, which can be viewed for free within Google Analytics.
Although a high bounce rate is widely perceived a bad thing, there are a number of ways to interpret the metric and bounce rates will mean different things to different websites.
What your bounce rate could be overlooking
If your website is primarily for lead generation or e-commerce then a high bounce rate is bad, because you want people to click through to a product or service in order to buy or enquire.
However, most businesses aim to nurture their leads through useful engaging, web content that builds consumer trust over time and this may not be reflected within your bounce rate.
Say, for instance, a prospect clicks through to a blog post from an email, spends 2 minutes thoroughly reading the content, then leaves the page satisfied. At this point, you’ve gained a warm lead who is now more likely to buy from you. Sounds positive, doesn’t it?
Well, your bounce rate won’t see it this way. Even though this user has spent valuable time interacting with your brand, they will affect your bounce rate just as negatively as a user that closed the page after 2 seconds. And it’s in this sense that your bounce rate can be quite misleading.
How to get a more accurate bounce rate
So, how do you stop your bounce rate overlooking these engaged users? The solution is quite simple. You can set a time trigger to prevent Google Analytics counting these users as bounces.
Say you set a trigger for 20 seconds, this will mean that if someone drops by a page to find a telephone number or read about a specific product, they won’t be counted as a bounce because they have spent a valid amount of time reading the information.
Essentially, adjusting your bounce rate gives you a much more accurate view of how well people are engaging with your website and finding what they are looking for, providing a clearer view of how your content is performing online.
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