In a recent post by Avinash Kaushik on his blog, some questions arose about how to create/use Bounce Rates in SiteCatalyst, which are “out-of-the-box” metrics in some other tools.  I will use this post to answer these questions.

Question #1 – How Do I Create a Bounce Rate Metric in SiteCatalyst?
By great coincidence this question comes right as I was about to launch my post on Calculated Metrics so the timing is great.  To SiteCatalyst, Bounce Rate is nothing more than a Calculated Metric (Single Access/Entries).  You can create this metric as you would any other as explained in my previous Calculated Metrics post.  Once you have created the Bounce Rate metric, you can open the Pages report, add it as a metric and view the Bounce Rate for any page on your site.  If you are tracking Site Sections in the s.channel sProp variable and have pathing enabled for it, you can use the same Calculated Metric in the Site Sections report to see Site Section bounce rates.  This latter example illustrates the point that SiteCatalyst tries to provide powerful tools that enable the end-user to utilize the same functionality for multiple purposes.  The downside of this is that sometimes doing the easy, basic things are left to the end-user vs. being done “out-of-the-box” for you.  Bounce Rate is a good example of this and as a result, you may end up seeing it as a default metric in a future release.

Since someone will undoubtedly ask, there is also a way to create a site wide Bounce Rate.  To do this, when you create the Calculated Metric, make the formula “Total Single Access/Total Entry Pages” and save it as “Site Bounce Rate.”  Then you can add this metric to the pages report and switch to the trended view (you will see the same #’s for each page in the ranked view so ignore that) to see a graph of the overall site Bounce Rate.

Question #2 – How Can I See Visits and Bounce Rates for Top Landing Pages?
This next question is no different from the first question above.  SiteCatalyst does not distinguish between Landing Pages and other pages so creating the above mentioned Bounce Rate Calculated Metric would be sufficient.  Simply add this metric to the report and look for your Landing Pages.  I would consider naming your Landing Pages in a way that makes them easy to find using the search function (i.e. Landing Page:December Sale, Landing Page:January E-mail, etc…) or you could add “Entries” as a metric to the report and sort by that to make your Landing Pages rise to the top.  With respect to Visits for Landing Pages (or any other page for that matter), you simply need to have Visits enabled (which is by default for Pagename).  Then you can add Visits to the report and view it for any page.

Question #3 – How Can I See Visits, Conversion & Bounce Rates for Paid/Organic Keywords?
I assume that the business need behind this question is to identify which Paid and Organic Search Keywords (or Search Engines for that matter) lead to visits/conversion and which of these lead to bounces (meaning that visitors from the keyword “boots” reach the first page of the site, but do not click on anything after that).  To begin with, seeing Visits by Paid and Organic Search Keywords is out-of-the box functionality in SiteCatalyst, but the term used in the tool is “Searches” instead of Visits.  The Searches metric is a variation of the “Instances” metric for the Search Engine/Keyword reports and can be added to reports as needed.  The only caveat that you need to be aware of is that in order to see Paid vs. Natural Search Engines and Keywords, you must enable Paid Search Detection in the Admin Console.  This is very easy to do and simply tells SiteCatalyst what query string parameter represents Paid Search activity.

Determining which Search Engines and Keywords lead to conversion is out-of-the-box functionality as well.  Once Paid Search Detection is enabled, Paid Search Engines and Keywords will be captured in Conversion Variables (eVars) so that you can see any success events that take place after visitors arrive to your site from a Search Engine.  To see this in SiteCatalyst, you simply open the same Traffic Sources report mentioned previously and add your conversion Success Events to the report (in place of, or in addition to, Searches).  Note that these out-of-the-box Search Engine/Keyword eVars expire at the end of the Visit (or earlier if you specify in the Admin Console) by default.  If you would like to extend the expiration beyond the Visit, you would need to use a VISTA rule to pass the values to custom eVars.

So far so good, but here is where things take a turn for the worse!  Understanding the Bounce Rate for specific Paid/Organic Search Keywords is not something that comes out-of-the-box in SiteCatalyst.  We have had many clients do this, but unfortunately, at this time it is a custom solution implemented by our Engineering Services team.  If this is something that is critical to your business, I would suggest that you speak to your Account Manager who can put you in touch with Engineering Services and if you are coming to Summit, feel free to shout it out at Brett’s customer feature request voting session!

On a related note, another approach to this that I have seen clients take is to use a VISTA rule to pass the search type (paid or organic), keyword and pagename concatenated to a custom sProp (i.e. paid:boots:home page).  On subsequent pages, you simply pass the regular pagename to the same custom sProp.  Once you have done this and enabled pathing, you can find the combination you care about, in this case, all people who came to the site using the paid search keyword “boots” and landed on the “home page,” and use pathing reports to see the paths they traversed after arriving.  If you want to get a bit more fancy, you can add the Search Engine to the mix so you have the following: “google:paid:boots:home page” which will allow you to do the same thing, but subdivided by search engine.  While these examples are not as easy as seeing a basic keyword bounce rate report, you can see the exit rates of each combination and have the added insight of the exact paths visitors took after arriving from a specific Search Engine, Keyword and Landing Page.  This is something that I do not believe other web analytic vendors provide.

Hopefully this helps, but feel free to contact me if you have additional questions…Thanks!

Have a question about anything related to Omniture SiteCatalyst?  Is there something on your website that you would like to report on, but don’t know how?  Do you have any tips or best practices you want to share?  If so, please leave a comment here or send me an e-mail at insidesitecatalyst@omniture.com and I will do my best to answer it right here on the blog so everyone can learn! (Don’t worry – I won’t use your name or company name!).  If you are on Twitter, you can follow me at http://twitter.com/Omni_man.

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19 comments
FogelRivka
FogelRivka

Does this affect entry page vs original entry page? What is the difference there? I'm seeing the same sum total of visits and page views, but a different distribution across pages.

Ishan Chopra
Ishan Chopra

Bounces are defined as the number of visits to your site that contain only single page. It is the same thing as the single page visits where the entry page and exit page are the same page.

FogelRivka
FogelRivka

What is the difference between bounce and single-page visit?

Packages to Thailand
Packages to Thailand

Bounce rate metrics in site-catalyst is really good for me, actually my website bounce rate is much more from last six month, although our website monthly traffic is 10000, so its get really good for me. For top landing page, if any visit come only one page then visits count in bounce rate, but there are different things which you are describing here, I have to learned a lot from here.

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Air Conditioning Florida

Dear Friend, How Do I Create a Bounce Rate Metric in SiteCatalyst for this topic i am willing to search from long period of time. This information is very helpful for me for future use so keep me all updation through Blog

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Dating in Canada

Hi, Great post, Bounce Rate Metric in SiteCatalyst, Visits and Bounce Rates for top landing page, Visits, Conversion & Bounce Rates for Paid/Organic Keywords most important term in web analytic s. I wondering for this post a lot of time, i gladly tell you i am getting what i am searching from a lot of time. From a lot of times i am searching but not find what i want to know about Omniture site Catalyst.

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Greeting Cards

Hi, I am searching for this question from a month. For Bounce Rate Metric in site catalyst you are describing nice. I think you continue to describing for related analytic topic. I know Google analytic. But Omniture Site catalyst i am not able to do. Actually it is paid tool. So i am Learning through Debate and other topic.

Yuhui
Yuhui

Wesley, hope you're still reading this post. If I understand Omniture's processing correctly, it records a Single Access and Entries the first time it receives tagging information for the variable for that visit. Also, Entries and Exits are tied to the Visits metric (Total Visits = Total Entries = Total Exits) So if you many pages with the same s.pageName, then the Single Access and Entries is recorded for the first page. However, because all of the other pages use the same s.pageName, Omniture would then just increment the Page views (and maybe Reloads), but not Single Access nor Entries. The above is also why I caution against misuse of Single Access/Entries/Bounce Rate for Site Section (s.channel) or any s.prop that is used to record site sections. If all of your site visitors tend to stay in one site section, all Omniture sees is one value for that s.channel/s.prop. Which means there's all visits were Single Access and Entries, and your bounce rate per section is then 100%. I had this situation where, due to report suite limitations, several sites were recorded to the same report suite, differentiated through an s.prop that contained the name of each site. When we wanted to do a "site bounce rate", this s.prop proved useless, and I had to total up each site's pages' Single Access and Entries to calculate its "site bounce rate" manually.

Talking Ava
Talking Ava

I've been going through a bunch of posts in search of finding the best tips for fixing my blog bounce rate, and I gotta say this is by far the best one! Thanks, I've learned quite a lot from your post!

Wesley
Wesley

How is Single Access counted? I'm having trouble to understand the Page Report where the bounce rate of Single Access is less than the Entries field? The Single Access description read “Single Access is a report-specific metric, referring to visits that had the given variable (e.g., s.pageName) set with one value throughout the visit (even if set more than once with the same value). This means that if a user on your website produces a visit where all four page views have the same s.pageName value, a Single Access will be counted for this value in the Pages report.” If this is true, surely Single Access is set against each s.pageName no more than once per visitor? Also, when is Single Access set? In my case I have multiple pages with the same s.pageName value. Does this mean that my Entries field are inflated by the amount of pages I have with the same s.pageName value? Loads of questions I know, but this is doing my head in.

Bret Gundersen
Bret Gundersen

Terry, The enhancements you mention are definitely being looked at. Thanks for providing the input. Bret Gundersen SiteCatalyst Product Manager

Adam Greco
Adam Greco

All - Thank you for your great feedback on this post. I am forwarding it on to our Product Management team who will see if they feel any changes to out-of-the-box reports are needed. Thanks! Adam

Adam Greco
Adam Greco

Rune- I have discussed your feedback with Product Management and they will be looking into this...

Terry
Terry

Why treat natural search as something completely different then other marketing mediums (session based, non-tracking code), and require serious engineering effort to change it? From both a PPC and SEO standpoint, it seems there should be alot more out of box functionality. Top landing pages, bounce rates, etc. should be available not just for the mediums in whole, but at the keyword and engine levels. The different metrics (instances, searches, visits, clicks) can also be confusing. Are these enhancements and standardizations being looked at?

Rune Varmaa
Rune Varmaa

Hi Adam, Great post! As a web analytics consultant, I get lots of questions on this issue, so it is great to have an official Omniture source to refer to. At Creuna we use the solution you mention where the traffic source information is tracked to a s.prop that then has pathing enabled. This does, however, seem like a very cumbersome way to get one of the most actionable web analytics metrics, especially compared to the approach that other solutions have where bounce rate is out-off-the-box. Are you guys planing on including a standard bounce rate metric any time soon? I really think (and so do most clients that we work with) that this would be a real quality lift for SiteCatalyst. I'm sure Discover can provide some good segmentation options, but is there a way of getting your "bounce rate by traffic source" from Data Warehouse for those not using Discover? Thanks,

Terry
Terry

Why doesn't omni treat natural search like other marketing mediums (ie. Tracking codes, session based) out of box? Us PPC/SEO folks need some love and have to hop thru a lot of hoops for deep metrics.

Adam Greco
Adam Greco

Swapnil, Unfortunately, Omniture's current contract prohibits us from sharing customer data (even at an aggregated level) so we are unable to produce benchmarks. Adam

Sameer
Sameer

Great detailed post. Just wanted to add that although you cannot see the bounce rate for keywords out-of-the-box in SiteCatalyst you can do so easily in Discover. It is the best analytics and segmentation tool out there. I was a big fan of Sitecatalyst and still am but after using Discover, Sitecatalyst is my favorite #2. Keep up the good work Omniture.

Swapnil
Swapnil

Adam, Is there a benchmark number for bounce rates for Travel websites? Thanks, Swapnil