What is your bounce rate? Should you care?

(Last Updated On: July 9, 2009)

A bounce rate is a term used for Web site analytics or statistics.  It is the measure in percentages of how many people land on a home page and then bounce away from that page back to their starting point.

A 100 percent bounce rate means that not one visitor to your Web site found anything interesting to click on. On the other hand, a zero percent bounce rate means visitors — even if you are not what they are looking for  —  find something of interest to hold their attention.

The general rule is that Web sites have a lower bounce rate than blogs.  Blogs  generally offer one long page that contain enough content to satisfy most readers.  Clicking on another link within a blog often is not necessary to gain further information.  A good Web site bounce rate target is 25 percent; aim for a blog bounce rate of less than 50 percent.

Why should you care? You should care because Google cares.  Google uses bounce rate as part of  its algorithm.  It’s a good indicator of whether a site is interesting, offers quality information, or presents the material as advertising on other sites through advertising or links.

If an advertisement or link misrepresents what is found on the other end, Web surfers tend to bounce away immediately.  But, if the Web site is interesting, chances are the viewer will find at least one thing to click on.

This concept is important to consider when trading links, advertising or listing your Web site.  Traffic for traffic’s sake is not always good.  Is your Web site everything it’s supposed to be?

Content isn’t always the reason for a bounce. Sometimes a bounce is due to a technical glitch such as a slow load time, poor navigation, or  incomplete information. There are many reasons why people bounce. Your job is to find out why and fix the problem.  The goal is to attract the right prospects and keep them engaged with quality content.

When it comes to blogs, it is important to have a lot of  links in your post that are related to your post.  This is good for SEO (search engine optimization) in general, but it will encourage the viewer to click on at least one item.  If you worry about people leaving your site,  then link to related posts on your blog.

Whether you have a Web site or a blog, it is important to create easy-to-access links and buttons that naturally engage your viewers and tempt them to look at one more thing before judging your Web site.  Ask questions, offer polls,  or additional information linked to fresh pages.  The name of the game is just one more click.


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