Bounce Rates / Time On Site

Next, let’s take a look at Bounce Rate. This is an interesting one and it’s a key metric for a lot of businesses. However, it might not be for yours, so don’t suddenly think you’ve got to really focus on Bounce Rate.

I had a client that I was working with and he had an extremely high Bounce Rate. For most people, that’s not a good thing. This guy had a domain name that was very similar to the domain name of somebody in an absolutely different field. Therefore, he knew that the Bounce Rate was caused by people just typing incorrectly. Now when you know things like that, you can work with it. You understand that the Bounce Rate is going to be high, but if you remember back to when we spoke about trends, you can still use information to make changes. If the other company did a big advertising campaign, it would lead to a lot more visits and a lot more bounces which will affect the results, so if you are in the same situation, it is worth keeping track of the other company, so you can understand the wider picture.

The example above was an exception to the rule, so let’s consider it for most businesses. A Bounce, or a Bounce Rate, is quite simply how many people come to your website, immediately decide it’s not what they’re looking and then leave your site. Clearly that’s not a good thing for any business, unless you’ve got a reason. So, how can you reduce your Bounce Rate?

Let’s try and understand why is it that someone is coming to your website and Bouncing straight away? They probably found you in a Search Engine and the Keywords that you came up for were not relevant to the page that they landed on. That can happen, and it’s not uncommon.

A more common bounce comes from Pay-Per-Click; where you’ve got great campaigns and it sends everybody to your Home Page, rather than the most relevant page on your website. That’s a Bounce that you really should worry about, because the chances are you have got the information that the searcher was looking for, but you sent them to the wrong page and they didn’t immediately see what they want and they are not going to go around your site searching, so they visit a competitor’s site instead.

So, when somebody hits your site and goes straight off again, it’s a Bounce and it’s often because the content isn’t relevant enough. Easy, you can now take that data from Analytics and do something with it. You can make sure that the Key Phrases that people hit your page with are relevant and you can make sure that when you are using Pay-Per-Click etc. it is directing visitors to the relevant pages. That’s a great example of how we can use data and Analytics as a positive to inform change and create more sales.

So we’ve looked at Bounce Rate, but what about Time On Site? There’s no magic numbers here either. It’s not as though I can say to you, “you need people on your website for 90 seconds”, because it’s different for every business. If you’ve got a landing page and there’s a lot of information on there, then the chances are 90 seconds may not be long enough. Yet, if you’ve got a very simple landing page and people quickly move on to the next page, 90 seconds is going to be too long. Once again you need to understand your trends and look at the average time on the page, and the average time on the site, to work out if you are engaging people enough.

If the data suggests that you need to work on engaging people and keeping them on your site longer, what can you do about it? Well, if you recall one suggestion I mentioned earlier was the value of video content for creating engagement. If people hang around long enough to watch a video, you’ve got the opportunity to provide valuable content that helps to sell your company as a professional business.

Relating back to when I spoke about Web 1.0, Web 2.0, Web 3.0; the more interactive and engaging your site becomes, the longer people spend with you. The longer people spend with you, the more likely they are to buy from you. What you’re looking at improving is reducing the Bounce Rate and increasing the amount of Time on Site.