Bounce Rate

They Came, They Left; They Didn't Stay

"Bounce rate" is a term used in SEO. It relates to the behaviour of visitors to your website. If they land on one of your pages, and then leave your website without visiting another page on your website, then this is a bounce.

What is your website's bounce rate? If you don't know, then all of your online marketing counts for nothing.

Spend 1 minute going through the following explanation and actions. Everything might be OK after all?

It doesn't matter how they got to your website. It doesn't matter why they left, nor to where. By taking no further action on your website, it counts as a bounce.

So why is this important? Why should you be concerned?

A common sense approach would be to compare your website to a high-street shop. Imagine that you had thousands of people coming through your door, but nobody bought anything. How successful a shop is that?

A traditional term was to make your site "sticky", so that people would hang around (and come back). This phrase has been replaced by "content is king", "immersive experience", and "user interaction". Indeed, lots of marketing-speak that is intended to make you feel inadequate.

So what is your bounce rate? If you don't know, then whoever looks after your website should. But in isolation, this figure doesn't mean much.

So what is a good, or average, bounce rate? Again, this is the wrong question.

Instead, what you should be asking yourself is, what is your purpose for the page that someone has landed on, relative to their reason for going there. Some examples might help.

If you have a page that is intended to draw people in to begin an online purchase, and they don't, then you probably have a problem with your page. A high bounce rate would be a bad thing.

A page listing your address and phone number, if that is what people were looking for, is unlikely to lead people to explore further (although if they do, it is a bonus), so a high bounce rate is probably intentional. If you have a low bounce rate, then either they couldn't find your contact details (bad!), or Google is displaying "inappropriate" pages for search results, so they haven't found what they were looking for (bad!).

If everything appears to be OK, then congratulations. But what if you have a problem? If you don't care about your website marketing, then it's not really an issue. However, you wouldn't have read this far, would you?

Usually I would suggest that you first contact whomever looks after your website. However, they should have already brought this to your attention. That is why web designers pass clients to us. Get in touch and I can tell you how we could help you.

By Kenneth Mackay, 18th November, 2014

This is one of a series of articles that deal with common issues when promoting your business online. We hope that you found it useful. Go to our online marketing tips to see previous pieces of advice. If there are any topics that you would like covered, please let us know.

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