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Google Analytics: Bounce Rate Evaluation

What a bounce rate is?

Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).

There are a number of factors that contribute to your bounce rate. For example, users might leave your site from the entrance page if there are site design or usability issues. Alternatively, users might also leave the site after viewing a single page if they’ve found the information they need on that one page and had no need or interest in going to other pages.

Reasons for a high bounce rate

A high bounce rate can be caused by one or many different factors, including:

Single Page Website/Landing Page Designs

If you have only one page on your site, Google Analytics doesn’t register multiple page views unless users reload that page. As a result, single-page sites tend to have high bounce rates. To find out how people use this type of site, implement other content tracking methods, like Events.

Incorrect Implementation

If you’re seeing a high bounce rate from a multiple-page site, check to see that you’ve added the tracking code to all your pages

Website Design

If all your pages contain the tracking code but you’re still seeing a high bounce rate, consider:

  • Redesigning the entrance (or landing) pages
  • Optimizing those pages so they correlate better with the search terms that bring users to your site, with ads you’re running, or with keywords you’ve purchased.
  • Changing the ads or keywords to better reflect page content

Experiment with site-wide changes to optimize your site with Content Experiments.

User behavior

Other factors may be solely attributed to user behavior. For example, if a user bookmarks a page on your site, goes to it, and leaves, then that’s considered a bounce.

How to improve your bounce rate

Because the design of your site and your Google Analytics implementation can affect your bounce rate, improving your bounce rate requires specific, custom changes to your site and setup. The bounce rate, and improving the bounce rate, is as individual as your business.

Analyze specific data. A general site-wide bounce rate can vary too much due to the different marketing activities that run concurrently. Consider your bounce rate for specific traffic sources. Using other dimensions, like medium, campaign, landing page, to evaluate your bounce rate can also be more actionable than your general bounce rate.

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 users and their behaviors.

Our bounce rate is over 70% and seems pretty high. Is this cause for concern?

Bounce rate is a tool though you cannot evaluate the effectiveness of campaigns only by this factor. The lower the bounce rate the better but you cannot bring it lower than 30%-40% due to the factors I explain below. The best bounce rate you can expect someone has at this market is over 50%. There are some of the factors affecting the bounce rate.

  • Website Spider Programs (programs that daily and weekly enter the website and leave after 1 second) such as GoogleBot, BingBot, etc.
  • Unwanted visitors: Since your website is found more due to SEO there are so many people coming to your website and then realize whether your office is far from them or you are not the one they are looking for, etc. For instance a website of our customer that is not search engine optimized and nowhere easily found their bounce rate is about 40% since they can only be found if you search the doctor name or the business name so there is no unintended clicks.
  • Many of your patients may just click on your website to get the phone number or address from the homepage and leave the website within seconds. This increases the bounce rate. Since google considers whoever enters the website without navigating to other pages as someone who has bounced.
  • Every month there are over 50% new visitors on average for most of our clients. They are window shopping. So they will definitely visit many of your competitors too and decide later.

As explained above Bounce rate is one factor among so many factors we use to evaluate the effectiveness of our online marketing campaigns.

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