Posted on : April 25, 2010
High bounce rated could be attributed to a variety of different scenarios. The danger with bounce rate is that it really only tells you one thing: the percentage of people who came to and left the website from the same page they landed. That’s all. I often get asked, “What’s a Good Bounce Rate?” And like all the times I get asked, “Whats’s a good__(CPC, CTR, Conv. Rate)_?” My response is the same. It depends.
Bounce rate doesn’t tell you why they did. Remember that each visitor is different and has a different experience when they visit your site. Its reasonable to assume they leave for different reasons.
This is just a quick read to give advertisers some reasonable and possible conclusions regarding bounce rate. I’ll also give you some steps you can take to improve bounce rate or otherwise disregard it.
Suppose you get into your analytics and you notice the following bounce rates:
Adgroup 1 67% Homepage
Adgroup 2 58% Product Category Page
Adgroup 3 89% Product Description Page
How to Decipher: What is a Good Bounce Rate?
To make this example easier, I’ve provided 3 adgroup possibilities with varying landing page types. It is recommended that you read all the scenarios even if you only point your ads to 1-2 of the landing page types. It is possible the dissection could prove helpful in all situations.
Adgroup 1- Landing on the Homepage is 67%. Unless the homepage contains no actionable links and no other form of navigation, I’d say that’s high. Since we’re reviewing analytics, I’m assuming the website has a conversion path we’re trying have vistors follow. If 67% of visitors come to the site but neglect deeper page views, I would begin to look at qualifying buyers through Search Query reporting. If all the queries seem relevant from there, I would turn my focus to how well my landing page facilitates my visitors needs. Here, I would notice if the page content is relevant to the visitors inquiry, the linkable navigation is clear, overall presentation is professional and well placed, and your initial price points are competitive. I could probably go on for hours about how advertisers could optimize their landing pages but this blog piece is on bounce rate.
If the homepage bounce rate for Adgroup 1 is still higher than 40% after considering the above, I would ask myself if I am qualifying visitors through the ad and if my keywords could possibly have duplicate meaning. These examinations could hold true for any bounce rate.
Adgroup 2- Landing on Category Page is 58%. Category pages are usually optimal places to send advertisers. Category pages serve has a buffet for advertiser inquiry when they come to your website. First they type the search query into Google. Then they land on a page that contains an identifiable link to what they are looking for. They may click there to look up more detailed information about their product of interest, but they have also taken a mental note that there are other similarly related products on your website. In this instance is likely that visitors will explore and have more pageviews in the single session.
Because of this, high bounce rate is less frequent when the product/product type/product brand options are nicely presented on the category page. If you have a less than optimal category page landing, I would try testing the same ad with a hompage landing to see if the bounce results differ greatly. If you have good presentation, I would move on to qualifying visitors through the ads, keywords, and search query reports.
Adgroup 3-Landing on Product Page is 89%. The reason why why I made this example the highest is because we often see high bounce rates when the ads are pointed to product specific pages. Product pages for landing is the most precise way you can deliver on someones query though its often not the most optimal. For instance, your product pages contain all the relevant information a visitors needs about that product when they land there. Buyers are shop savvy on the internet. They typically consume all the information they need including product price, description, images, product options, shipping info, and then they are off to one of your competitors. They have effectively been propositioned with a yes/no decision to make about that one product and your chances of converting have been diminished.
You won’t have a better choice of landing pages if your buyers would only have potential interest for that one product. But if you offer similar products/types/brands that the buyer might be interested in, it is best to land them on the category page. If you decide that the query holds the potential for one specific product to be purchased, lead them to the product specific page but know bounce rates typically are very high on these pages. 70-90% Bounce, 1-10% convert, and 2-29% will visit another page on your website. This is normal but still explore the above techniques to qualify the queries before they click on your web page.
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