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Let’s talk about bounce rate today! Your bounce rate could be too high or too low, so let’s have a chat about what that means and what you can do about it.

First up, what is a bounce rate?

Your bounce rate is the percentage of your visitors who leave without ‘doing anything’ on your website. As you’ll learn later the ‘doing anything’ bit is based on your configuration, but out of the box, this means the percentage of users who leave without going to another page.

Most people are concerned with a high bounce rate. A high bounce rate implies that your website isn’t compelling enough for your users to progress from the page they originally land on. The chances are that your website has a particular business purpose. Even if you’ve got a hobby website, you want your users to do something when they get there.

One exception, however, is websites that promote high-quality content and videos. If you have your analytics set up out of the box, you won’t be able to easily tell the difference between someone who bounces because they don’t like the content versus someone who consumed and enjoyed all of the content on the page before leaving. You do see this scenario when your landing page is high quality, detailed content.

If the page’s purpose is to nurture an audience (i.e. help them to like you so that they’ll want to buy from you later) then a high bounce rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as people are still consuming the content.

Learn about it in today’s video:

If you have too high a bounce rate and your objective is to get users to take action in some way, such as by buying something, subscribing etc then a high bounce rate means that your calls to action are not compelling enough to convince the person to take action. You might need to improve the copy and/or the images throughout the website to make your calls to action more compelling.

The other cause for a too high bounce rate is if you are paying for traffic to come to your website who are not your ideal audience. If you have an advertising campaign where you are letting it go to chance as to what types of people you are targeting then the people who are not an ideal audience will filter themselves out by bouncing when they reach your website and decide it is not for them. You always get higher levels of engagement and lower bounce rates when you have a more targeted audience.

It’s also possible to have too low a bounce rate, even though someone might not believe that.

A too low bounce rate is due to an error in the technical setup of the website and/or your analytics.

By default, Google Analytics tracks bounce rate based on whether people move to another page or not, but if you have events set up in Google Analytics, this will not be the case. If you have events in Google Analytics and they are set to “non-interaction” equals false then these events will also impact your bounce rate. As soon as a user performs the action that triggers the event, your user will be considered not to have bounced.

You see this as a big problem if you have scrolling events set up on your website, because unless you set them to “non-interaction” equals true then merely scrolling the page would cause a user to be considered as not bounced.

Examples of events that you don’t want to impact your bounce rate include scrolling, moving the mouse, watching videos, image impressions, outbound links.

Aim for a bounce rate between 10-50% depending on your analytics settings.

Erica Stacey Scout Digital

I recently worked with Petra to improve my understanding of Google Tag Manager.

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Petra is patient, fun to work with, and her analytical programming mind is hell bent on finding the BEST solution to any data, analytics or tracking problem.

Erica Stacey Scout Digital Marketing Strategy Session June 21, 2017

claudia impedovo

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Claudia Impedovo Brand Manager at Spendless Shoes Ecommerce Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager & Google Data Studio Integration April 23, 2020

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Nadia Rossi Digital Marketing at 1834 Hotels Ecommerce / Hotel Google Ads April 23, 2020

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Sophie Abnett Digital Marketing Project Manager at 1834 Hotels Ecommerce / Hotel Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager & Google Data Studio Integration April 23, 2020

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Ian Gale SleepWise Clinic Analytics Dashboard August 1, 2018