What is a bounce rate?
First things first, let’s clear up the definition of a bounce rate. When related to websites, the bounce rate is the statistic which tells you how many visitors click on your site and then leave without further exploring your site.
For example, 50 people visit the home page of your website on one particular day. 35 of them click around the site accessing menus like packages or pricing and the other 15 don’t look further on your site (it doesn’t matter if they go to another site or just stop the session there). The bounce rate is
15/50 X 100% = 30%
Your bounce rate can be found in the analytics for your site.
Need I worry about a high bounce rate?
This depends on what you want your site to achieve. A very high bounce rate can actually be a good thing if you are attracting the visitors you want and they are getting all they need from just one page on your site.
Examples would include:
- directions to your business – your page is clear enough to get people to your address
- opening hours – a visitor is interested in your service and just needs to know when to visit
- contact information
Obviously, the smaller the amount of content on the site, the more likely the design can cram valuable content into that first page that the visitor ‘lands on’ (usually the home page).
How can understanding bounce rates help me?
This is where the value of the statistics really kicks in. Instead of just knowing the figures, we can use them to help tweak the site. From the raw data, it is impossible to know why your visitor didn’t click on more pages:
- the site was boring
- your site took too long to load
- your site content is poor and you are being presented in search engines when other sites would be more appropriate
- it’s unclear how to navigate around the site
- the site looks overwhelming with blocks of text
- worst of all – the site wasn’t easily recognized as yours due to lack of branding or an inconsistent message so you did all the hard work in getting that engagement and then failed to capitalize
- the website was hard to read, literally (this is especially relevant from tablets and mobile devices)
- all the information required was gathered on the landing page
Analytics can help tackle the ‘responsive design’ issue easily – if your bounce rate is being influenced by poor interaction from tablets or phones.
Look at the data inside the section
Audience -> Mobile -> Overview
The first column will display how your visitors are accessing your site. In this case, nearly 47% use mobile devices, about 45% use desktops, and only 8% use tablets. Understanding this pattern will help you know if it is worth looking at the experience a mobile device user is having. If 90% plus of your clients are accessing your site from a desktop, it may be worth concentrating on them. This is highly unlikely and the trend towards mobile and away from desktops shows no sign of slowing.
Following the data table along, look at ‘bounce rate’ as well as ‘pages per session’ and ‘average session duration’. If the visitors to your site are having trouble navigating your pages or reading your text, you would expect the bounce rate for those devices to be significantly higher than from a desktop. That would also translate into a lower number of pages viewed per session and a shorter session duration. In this example the site has the highest bounce rate from a desktop and the other values (between the two device types that make up over 91% of the traffic together) are very similar. The conclusion would be that this site is mobile friendly.
If you’re looking for help with your website, why not contact us today firstname.lastname@example.org