Importance of Web Site Bounce Rates

What is a web site “bounce rate”?  And should I be paying attention to these numbers?

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By Jennifer Manocchio

According to Google, “a bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visit or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.”  In other words, it is the percentage of visitors who “bounce” away to a different web site rather than continue on to other pages on your site.  In the real world, this would be like people stepping into a department store, scanning what they can see from the entrance and leaving without further browsing or shopping.

Bounce rates are definitely important when analyzing web site statistics. While there are no industry standards for a good or bad bounce rate, a high bounce rate indicates that the landing page is not connecting with the people coming to your site.

There are some general explanations as to why people will bounce.

1.  It could be your site is just not effective in engaging visitors and retaining them.

2.  Online advertising (paid search, banner ads, sponsorship, etc.) or email marketing could be sending people to a page on your site that doesn’t fulfill the advertising message.

3.  Online advertising or email marketing could be targeting the wrong audiences.

If a high percentage of visitors are bouncing upon arrival at your web site you are losing your audience before you have the opportunity to engage with them.  Examine landing pages with high bounce rates, determine possible causes – conduct research if necessary – and take action to change that behavior.

Have questions about your web site analytics or how to improve your bounce rate, contact me at jennifer at sweeneypr.com or 910.772.1688.

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