Bounce Rate: The Stat You Need To Know
Ian Lurie Jan 29 2008
There’s an internet marketing metric you’re not watching, but you should be.
You’re tracking visitors. You’re tracking pageviews. Hopefully, you’re even tracking keywords and conversions.
But are you tracking bounce rate?
Bounce Rate is the percentage of visitors leaving your site after viewing only the page on which they landed.
If I visit your site, view one page and leave, without clicking any other links, then I’m a ‘bounce’. A higher bounce rate is bad. A lower one is good.
How to Measure Bounce Rate
You need a basic web analytics package. In Google Analytics, you’ll find bounce rate right on your dashboard page:
And yes, a bounce rate of 61% is awful. I haven’t figured out why you all run away. I don’t bite, I swear.
How to Reduce Bounce Rate
Clearly, I’m not doing that great a job on my blog. On other sites, though, I’ve had better luck.
Here’s how you reduce bounce rate:
- Find the worst offenders. Look in your traffic report, at the most-viewed pages. Then find the pages with the highest bounce rates.
- Find the heroes. Look in your traffic report again, and find the pages with the lowest bounce rates.
- Compare the heroes and the worst offenders. What’s different? Something is, I guarantee.
- If you can, use a click-tracking tool like CrazyEgg to see where folks click on the heroes.
- Adjust the layout of the worst offenders. Find the most-clicked areas of the best performing pages. Add them to the worst performers.
- Track the bounce rate.
Test, measure, and adjust. Eventually, you’ll find the recipe that minimizes bounce rate.
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More