Does your Website Bounce?
June 28th, 2010
If you receive your monthly Google Analytics report, you may wonder about the Bounce Rate. What does that mean? Is it good? Or bad?
Well, it depends!
What’s a Bounce?
Basically, if someone visits one page of your website, and only one page, it’s classed as a bounce.
Typically, it will mean that someone has found your site via a search engine, looked at the first page they landed on, and then hit the back button.
You may find this thought horrifying – but there are valid reasons why Bounces may occur:
- They are not in your physical area. If you’re an accountant, and someone from France manages to find your site, there is a pretty good chance they’ll never become a client anyway. Let them bounce.
- You don’t actually solve their problem. Some keywords are not really good ones to chase – many are too generic. If you run mine safety training courses, you may think that “training” would be a good keyword. Except for all the people that search for dog training, sales training, weight training… Even though the keyword may be relevant in a generic sense – you may not be what your visitor is looking for.
- Random keywords and search terms. To illustrate: back in 2004 I posted a short piece after Anna Meares won her Gold Medal in Athens (link). Shortly after, I noticed a lot if incoming traffic from people who had “googled” for her name. Were those people looking for our services at the time? Nope. They bounced. But that’s okay, we were getting traffic from a keyword totally unrelated to what we do.
So, you’ll see that you will always have some bounces. The number without context doesn’t mean much. Not all bounces are bad though – in these examples your website is helping to qualify your leads. If you can’t help them, you don’t want to be spending time answering emails and phone calls.
What hurts is a bounce from someone who lives in an area that you service (or can service) – and who has searched for a keyword that accurately matches your business.
How do you find this out? What can you do about it?
We’ll look at these issues next month!
(Haha – I feel like Eddie McGuire leaving people hanging during the ad break on Who Wants To Be a Millionaire!)
And if you can’t wait until next month for the answer – contact me to arrange an analysis of your website’s performance.