Does a high bounce rate really matter?

It can be depressing logging into Analytics and seeing a high bounce rate percentage, but does this really matter?

It really depends on what type of site you are running, if it is a blog like the site you are on now, the truth is no it does not matter. The majority of the traffic to this blog comes from Google when people are looking for a solution to a problem, for example the ‘Twitter for WordPress’ fix I posted about a month or so ago, since everyone who lands on that page are only there for one reason, to get the fix – there is no point in them staying around, obviously some do but I imagine the majority only want to fix their Twitter widget.

A good way to prove this is by looking at the ‘Time Spent on Page’, if this is fairly high (depending on the length of the pot) it’s safe to say most people who landed on the page read the full post and used the fix.

After getting the fix, people either left and implemented it which is what I wrote the post for, or they clicked on a Google ad; either way I am happy.

However, if you are running a site like http://www.usertesting.com/ for example, a high bounce rate on the homepage, can only be a bad thing. It means no one even bothered to look at the pricing page, and since they have no ads or third party links on the page it can only mean one thing – the visitor left.

Ok but what about the blog area on a site like User Testing?

I know I said at the beginning, bounce rate on a blog doesn’t really matter, instead you should look at the time on page. This is not the case with this blog. I imagine the only reason user testing write on their blog is to build traffic to their website, which in return would increase signups. Even if users read their full blog post, it doesn’t accomplish the goal user testing hopes to achieve.

I imagine (I do not have access to their analytics) that their blog area has a fairly high bounce rate, from first looks there are things they could potentially do to improve this for example:

Add a better call to action, currently if you look at one of their blog posts, there is nothing really standing out from the page other than the big featured images on the right. What they could do is add an orange (contrasting to their blue design) button above the images on the right. This will immediately draw a users attention to it, I would also add another further down the page.

A button saying ‘Pricing/Signup’ scares a lot of people, and the majority of users that didn’t initially come to the site for their user testing service will not bother clicking through. Instead I would title the button something like ‘Find out about user testing’ or simply ‘Find out more’. This way even some of the ‘not interested’ people might click through and realise their prices are cheaper than they originally thought they would be and may try it out. The main aim of a blog on a site like User Testing, is to drive traffic to it’s ‘Buy Page’ where they should have some good sales copy, and for this to happen – Good calls to action are needed – see below for how I imagine this looking:

Before

333

After

calltoactionuser

Maybe you’ve read this whole post, not even knowing what bounce rate means? So I’ve taken the liberty of pasting Wikipedia’s definition which is spot on:

Bounce rate (sometimes confused with exit rate)[1] is an Internet marketing term used in web traffic analysis. It represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and “bounce” (leave the site) rather than continue viewing other pages within the same site.

  • http://www.mathewporter.co.uk/ Mathew Porter

    A high bounce rate if the majority of traffic is from natural sources can largely be down to non relevant traffic coming to the site, which is most commonly from off site seo strategies that aid rankings, not bringing relevant traffic from these sources.