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Google Analytics Bounce Rates

What significance?

     
12:41 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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How does one interpret the bounce rate information in Google Analytics? Is a page with a high bounce rate necessarily a bad thing?

One of the highest paying AdWords pages in my site also has one of the highest bounce rates. Is there any relation of bounce rate and someone clicking on a link for an, which takes a site visitor away from a page?

10:44 am on Jan 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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High bounce rate means the site must be horrible to site visitors and most likely they would never return again. They are not even interested to check other content of the site. First impression counts.
12:13 pm on Jan 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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High bounce rate means the site must be horrible to site visitors and most likely they would never return again. They are not even interested to check other content of the site. First impression counts.

That might be true. However bounce rates are not as clear cut as that. Consider a few alternative scenarios:

- A site has a splash page intro, with only the words 'click here' on it. The bounce rate is likely to be very low, despite the site quality potentially very poor.

- A visitor is looking for sites selling widgets in order to find the best place to buy one online. They enter on the product page from a search query, make a note of the site and leave. The bounce rate will be high for these types of visitors.

- A visitor spends longer looking at a page than the timeout period for a visitor session (don't know what this is for Urchin). This contributes to a high bounce rate.

- The visitor has an informational query which is immediately answered by your landing page. The bounce rate will be high.

- The purpose of your site is for people to click on adsense ads, and these ads are well-targeted on your page. You want the bounce rate to be high.

- You attract a lot of traffic for a very general keyword. Only a small proportion of these visitors will be looking for your particular product or service. The bounce rate will be very high.

I understand that the above example scenarios occur with varying frequencies and are of varying importance, however I thinks it's worth bearing in mind that a high bounce rate is not necessarily a bad thing. It needs to be strictly interpreted within the context of a particular site - Google's own site for instance will have a very high bounce rate, as will all search engines. The nature of their site demands a high bounce rate (if the search results are relevant).

It's also worth noting that there are a number of technical issues which could make a bounce rate high.

11:15 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"A site has a splash page intro, with only the words 'click here' on it. The bounce rate is likely to be very low, despite the site quality potentially very poor."

I would expect that site to have a high bounce rate.

5:10 am on Jan 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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For the purpose of an ad campaign, if the business goals can be achieved by someone viewing one page then a high bounce rate is great. If they have to go through a shooping cart checkout, submit a lead form or something else that requires more than one page view, then the keyword, ad copy, or the landing page need to be adjusted.
 

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