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Apr 14, 2009

Improving Bounce Rate in Google Analytics

Posted by DRSP at Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Google Analytics defines bounce rate as: "The percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page. Use this metric to measure visit quality - a high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance pages aren't relevant to your visitors." Therefore, a high bounce rate is bad but a low bounce rate is a positive sign that your visitors are engaging and exploring your website. So what constitutes a good rate? This is a very hard question to answer, but if you do some research, most say it needs to be under 50%. It also will depend on the type of site that you have. For example, if you're a blogger, many times a visitor will come to your blog to read the latest updates then leave. Thus more often a blog will have a higher bounce rate than a "normal" site as there is no need for them to go any deeper. How do you know what your bounce rate is? One free program that makes it easy is "Google Analytics". Register, list your sites and paste some HTML code on your pages and you're ready to go. You'll clearly see your bounce rate go up and down as you view the in-depth reports. So, how can you improve your bounce rate? First, you'll need to track the rate over time, and also look at the amount of time your visitors are sticking around. Also, take note of the traffic sources. Where is the majority of the traffic coming from? Search engines, direct links, social networking sites like Stumble Upon or Twitter, etc. The source of the traffic and the quality of that traffic will contribute to the overall bounce rate being higher or lower for the week. Some traffic, depending on the source will naturally convert better than others. As you can see, bounce rate is an important statistical measure and says a lot about the "stickiness/effectiveness" of your website. By studying your site's bounce rate, you really can learn a lot as to what's working and what's not with your website. It really is an important number to know and one you'll want to continually strive to improve upon.

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