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Overestimating Bounce Rate

When analyzing the metrics of a website, it’s common to fall back to focusing on the bounce rate — which is often calculated to be the percentage of users that visit one page and leave without further action, but can also be collected as a bounce rate for the site as a whole, with all pages included. This is no surprise, as bounce rate is rather easy to understand and find. However, while paying attention to a site’s bounce rates isn’t a bad decision, focusing solely on it and losing track of other aspects may lead to bad site maintenance and update decisions. When it comes to a website’s bounce rate, there are many concepts you should take into consideration:

– Not all bounces are bad. First of all, not all bounces counted will be correct– there may be lurkers without the intent to become a customer, someone may be blocking javascript or cookies or browse via a private session, and some customers may open a site to bookmark it to come back to. No matter the bounce numbers, a bounce rate can’t measure a user’s intent.

– Bounce numbers don’t translate into return visitors or legitimate leads. Bounce numbers don’t take into consideration whether a user revisits your website at a later date, or how many times they’ve visited. It’s these numbers that will create return visitors and bring out your potential customers, which are the people you need to engage the most.

– Focusing on changing your site for the customers that are leaving and then returning on their own already isn’t making the most of your time. Instead, consider focusing on customers that have visited but not returned. Any updates or alterations made to your site to influence traffic should hone in on those viewers that didn’t translate into return viewers, instead of altering pages that have lead to good leads.

– Focus instead on building loyalty and tracking what has lead to it. We suggest instead focusing more on how many times viewers return to your site and how frequently; as well as how many of those viewers take action on your site to become customers. It’s these long-term benefits on grabbing online viewer’s attention that pay off, so focusing on the positive growth in their number is a more productive way to update your website.

Overall, bounce rate isn’t a bad metric to take a look at. The numbers can tell you a lot about how individual pages are performing, but don’t base your website decisions solely on this number. Instead, stay true to your goals of having a website and focus on growth in your customer numbers. By focusing more on return viewers and what factors of your site are working positively, you can update your site to enhance the features earning attention. You can also optimize your website based on the viewers that don’t return, seeking out which pages are leading to fewer returns and altering these weak points. If you’d like any more information on this matter or need help analyzing your business’ website, contact i3 today!

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