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The Importance of Measuring Bounce Rates

A bounce rate refers to the rate at which people “reject” a page on which they have landed on your website.  Website analytics tools consider a visitor a bounce if they only see one page and leave your site.  Some tools use time spent on a landing page as a bounce rate criteria, e.g., 10 or 15 seconds.

How Do You Find the Bounce Rate?

Analytics tools provide bounce rate information at several levels.  I’ll use Google Analytics (G.A.) as the reference.  G.A. provides an average bounce rate across your entire website, plus bounce rates for each page.  My favorite bounce rate metric is for keywords.

Measuring bounce rates for keywords is a very meaningful metric because you can see how well your website visitors are consuming your content based on keywords delivering traffic to your website.

If you are getting traffic to your website for your top 10 keywords, and one of your top 3 keywords has a high bounce rate, you need to examine the content.  It’s possible your content is not adequately feeding your website visitors what they want.  Perhaps the content doesn’t do a strong enough job of conveying the main thing about this keyword.

Sometimes, content revisions for keywords with high bounce rates can make a big difference in conversions. Do the math.  If your bounce rate improves by 10% the conversion rate impact can be substantial on leads or sales.

Other Factors That Impact Bounce Rate

There are other factors that contribute to bounce rates, including where they came from.  Generally, we pay the closest attention to the bounce rates for keywords coming from search engines.  The premise is that someone searched on a keyword phrase and landed on your website.  We like to say, “this person is looking for you.”  So, when they find you, did you do a good job of connecting with the visitor?  Of course, not all visitors will be relevant or qualified.  But, we’re talking about statistics.  So, we like to maximize the statistical probability of delivering a good match between keyword searches and landing page content.

Any search engine optimization or pay-per-click strategy requires paying very close attention to bounce rates.  Studying bounce rates as indicators of the connection between visitor’s searches and your content can play a big role in successful internet marketing practices.

Update Content Based on Bounce Rates

The bounce rate can help you understand what pages on your website are performing well, if you are answering the question the visitor had when searching for a particular keyword, and if your content is engaging. Don’t forget to take a benchmark before updating a page to see how your changes to the content impact your bounce rate.



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