Bounce rate.  What a great metric in analytics.  People think that it is a percentage of visitors that leave immediately.  In reality, it has nothing to do with time, but if the person goes to at least one additional page.  Blogs always have higher bounce rates, and sites with lots of photo galleries ‘should’ have a very low bounce rate.

High bounce rate on a non-blog site lets you know one of three things:

  1. Your design is offensive to man kind, and people are leaving as soon as they see your purple/red/teal color scheme
  2. People are finding what they need on your home page, and therefore not moving deeper into the site
  3. People have gotten to your site because your showing up for keywords that you don’t actually have any content for, they figure that out, and leave to find what they’re looking for.

The Situation:

Okay, so you just optimized your web site for a group of key words.  You’re showing up on the first page of Google for them.  Your brand new design just won an award….so…why did your bounce rate just skyrocket?

Answer:

Simply…because you’re showing up.  Before, when you were only showing up for your branded keywords, like your business name, the people that were looking for YOU were really looking for YOU; they were basically stalkers.  The people who already know your business will do more then just look for specific info, like your phone number or your hours.  These are the people that are reading your newsletters.

Now that your optimized site is showing up for a variety of keywords, you’re attracting new viewers that do not know you.  These new visitors are earlier in the buying phase, and might be moving from site to site quiclky gathering very broad information about the differences of companies that show up in the top listings.

So, unless your bounce rate creeps up over 65%…don’t worry to much.  If it is below 40%, you’re doing very well.

Hope that helps!

Post filed under SEO.