What does your bounce rate really mean?

In LCBlog, Website by Jenna BalegnoLeave a Comment

So, I’m not a numbers gal. Things like accounting and measuring metrics are probably the most challenging parts of being a business owner for me. The first time I took a gander at a Google Analytics dashboard, I LOLed and quickly closed my browser. Over the years, though, I have realized how powerful some of these metrics (like the bounce rate) can be for a business website. For that reason, I’m going to do a little series on some that I think are a great starting point for newbies.

We’re starting with the bounce rate. Mostly because when I first got going, I kind of thought that the bounce rate was the most self-explanatory of the metrics. Turns out there is much more to it! Let’s take a look…

What does your bounce rate really mean?

Your Bounce Rate

Why care?
A website “bounce” is generated by someone who comes to your website and then leaves without moving through to another page. Basically it is a single page session on your site. A high bounce rate can sometimes indicate sub-par content (sorry). It can also mean load times taking too long. How many times have you gotten impatient and just closed out of a site if it was taking forever (read: 3 seconds) to load. It could also be that the links you are directing people to aren’t leading them to the correct location. For instance, you put up a photo from one of your blog posts on Pinterest that promises the visitor a “Home Staging Checklist” when they click. Instead, it brings them to your main blog page, rather than that specific blog post.

Here is something interesting* to note:
A high bounce rate could be completely fine if you have a one page website (like a long-form scroll page). Google measures sessions by the time between the beginning of their initial interaction (arriving on your homepage, for example) and their NEXT interaction. In other words, someone could spend 10 minutes very engaged, reading every amazing thing on your home page, then leave your site. They would still be counted as a bounce when they leave because another hit (click) wasn’t recorded. That second click would allow analytics to measure the length of the session.

Still reading? Wow ok, let’s analyze then!
It’s important to consider your bounce rate from more than just the all-encompassing overview perspective. Consider where people are coming from by viewing the mobile section. Is your bounce rate super high when people visit from mobile but low from desktop views? Then look into what could be turning those mobile folks off. How about from the “All Pages” view (Behavior > Site Content > All Pages)? Are some of your pages getting particularly high bounce rates? If they shouldn’t be, take a look at how you can get visitors through to the next step.

SO like I said, I’m not great with metrics. It just takes a little digging to get to the bottom of what some of these numbers mean and why they are important.

*I use the term “interesting” very loosely

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