Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Understanding Your Website's Bounce Rate

Google Analytics and Website Bounce Rate

Google Analytics and Bounce Rate

Here at Terrapin, we’re big fans of Google Analytics.  For the unfamiliar, Google Analytics is a tool that allows you to monitor your site’s perfomance by providing detailed statistics about traffic, conversions, devices and more.  

At a glance, Analytics can give you a good picture of what’s happening with your site by answering questions like:  
  • How many people visited your site over the last month?
  • What keywords are people using to find your site?  
  • Which pages on your site are the most popular?  
  • Where in the world are visitors coming from?  

But digging a little deeper into the numbers can lead to more questions.  For instance, we get a lot of calls that go something like this:  “Why is the bounce rate on my site so high?  What does it mean and how can we fix it?”  

Not all website bounces are bad

Not all bounces are bad

Bounce rate is defined as “the number of visitors on your website who navigate away from your site after viewing only one page”.  A high bounce rate may indicate one of three things…

1.  Visitors to your site aren't interested in your product or service
This is a common occurrence.  There are a lot of people out there surfing for lots of different things, so to think that you’d be able to satisfy everyone’s need for a product or service is somewhat foolish.  Visitors will bounce regardless of what you do.

2.  Visitors find the info that they need immediately
Some visitors may only need to view one page on your site to find exactly what it is that they’re looking for.  They may be looking for a phone number or an address, hours of operation or an employee’s name.  Maybe your site is only one page, which makes the bounce rate of your site extremely high, but that’s by design.

3.  Visitors can’t find the info that they’re looking for
If visitors can’t find a piece of information or are confused by the site’s navigation or design, they’ll bounce.  It today’s world of endless results for any search, visitors can easily move on to the next result and hopefully find what they need.  

Healthy bounce rate for Analytics

What is a healthy bounce rate?

Engineers at Google have stated that a bounce rate of 40-60% would be normal for an average website.  It will most likely be a bit higher for a B2B company, a little lower for a B2C company that offers e-commerce.  

40-60% bounce rate sounds shocking, but if you think about the 3 criteria above, some of those bounces were able to find the information that they need and some visitors were just not interested at all.  

The real problems come if visitors who are interested in your product or service can’t find the information that they’re looking for.  If you feel as though this is the case and a primary cause for your high bounce rate, it’s important to review the site thoroughly and see if there are any tweaks or improvements that can be made to mitigate this issue.

Need help interpreting your Analytics data? Feel free to reach out to us here at Terrapin. We'd be happy to take a look!