I hear that a lot. Bounce rate sucks. I believe this is a misplaced sentiment, one that causes grievous harm.
TMAI #104 was 2018: Year of the Unsexy Fundamentals. In #105, let’s address the most fundamental fundamental: Prevent your website visitors from bouncing.
As I’ve stressed in both of my books, bounce rate is not a KPI; it is a metric. (See TMAI #2). It simply delivers the opportunity for success. A 0% bounce rate might still not mean success: Users may visit a second page, but they hate everything about the experience, price, tone, navigation, etc. — and never convert.
Bounce rate is a metric that needs your attention because without it, your beautiful house will have no foundation.
What is a bounce rate?
Any visit with only one “hit” recorded is considered bounced.
That hit is typically a page view. So, one page view and exit equals a bounce.
How should I analyse bounce rates?
The best starting point is your Landing Pages report. Look at the top-25, find the ones with high bounce rates, and focus on improving them.
Pay special attention to top-25 landing pages for your Paid Traffic segment. These pages should have minimal bounces, you are paying for every visit.
More ideas: Six Tips For Improving High Bounce Rate / Low Conversion Web Pages
What me worry?
I often hear:
“I don’t care about a 90% bounce rate; the landing page has everything ‘they’ need.”
“I’m not selling anything on the page.”
“This is a brand experience.”
“We are primarily a content site.”
I have to admit, I do not personally buy the hypothesis that depositing a human on a page just to read and scroll will create anything more than marginal business value.
Clicking through to an additional page shows deeper engagement. Contributing to a micro-outcome delivers business value.
If your visitors do neither, how are you increasing satisfaction? More importantly, how are you making money?
If they do either, your bounce rate goes down. Hence the value in the signal.
How about an example?
My family is looking for a new washing machine. We are considering this one from Whirlpool.
Take a minute to view the product page, and form your impression.