I have set up a number of sites in the Google analytics, but I am not really sure what the bounce rate is and I was hoping someone could help me figure it out. I read the description that Google gives and if I interpret it correctly they are saying a higher bounce rate is bad because it means your landing pages doesn't have the content the user expected to find and therefore they are "bouncing" to another page.
The site doesn't use landing pages per se, but I believe my bounce rate, which is high is generated as a result of my index page, which is just from search engine results (no pay to click) do I take this to mean that my index page of my site is bad and hence the high bounce rate is people leaving this page because they didn't find what they are looking for or is it a good thing because it means people are exploring my site from the home page.
I am just not sure what this stat means, so any insight from others that are familiar with this would be helpful.
I have a related question. I've been using Google analytics for what seems like forever (in a good way) at this point, but I'm a little confused as to results I see at times.
For example, I often find that I can spend time improving content on a landing page to optimise for entry keywords etc and I see improvements in every area of the page (time spent, number of visitors etc etc) except bounce rate which often worsens following the improvements.
When the vistor enters particular page and leaves the site after seeing this one page - this is a bounce. When the visitor enters the site through some other page and exits the site on the particular page - this is an exit.
So having a scenario like PPCing to a landing page where the user clicks on a link to the merchant is reported as a bounce even though the user carried out the desired action.
My impression is that Google defines bounce rate as anytime the visitor lands on a page and then leaves without going on to another page on the same site.
It makes sense in terms of a pay per click landing page as you have lost your ad money if they just leave without buying. It also makes sense for any homepage or other index type pages.
But since most people land on the site on a content or product page it gets difficult to evaluate bounce rate. Say if the page has an informational article that may take 5 or 10 minutes to read is it bad if the person then leaves the site? Maybe they found what they wanted. Moreover maybe they left by an AdSense ad that was well targeted. For content publishers that would be considered success.
Some other analytics consider it a bounce if the person stayed less than 5 seconds or some such standard. I think it would be more meaningful to me if it worked that way. Then I'd know they took one look at the page and were so uninspired as to hit the back arrow.