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://​twit​ter​.com/​O​m​n​i​_​man.

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16 comments
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