One of the most requested data points, and for­tu­nately, one of the most opti­miz­able met­rics avail­able in Site­Cat­a­lyst is bounce rate. Report­ing on your pages’ bounce rates gives insight into which pages are the most “sticky,” and which need a lit­tle bit of help to get users to go deeper.

Bounce rate is defined as the per­cent­age of users who enter on a given page, but then leave with­out view­ing another page. In Site­Cat­a­lyst 15, bounce rate is an out of the box fea­ture. How­ever, for those on Site­Cat­a­lyst 14, the for­mula for the bounce rate cal­cu­lated met­ric  is defined this way:

Bounce Rate = [Single Access]/[Entry Pages]

When pages have a high bounce rate, this usu­ally indi­cate that there is a prob­lem with get­ting users to engage in the site and click through to the next page. As a mar­keter, if you are get­ting tons of traf­fic from paid search, but every­body leaves imme­di­ately, that isn’t a good return on your ad spend! It’s very impor­tant to keep your eye on bounce rate.

One of the gotchas with bounce rate report­ing is that pages with very few vis­its can float up to the top of the report and bury more impor­tant pages at the bot­tom. Here’s an example:

You can see above that the first page, the free trip promo page, has an extremely high bounce rate of 97.25%.  This means that 97% of peo­ple who enter on that page don’t view any other pages. How­ever, this page had only 8,740 vis­its, a pal­try, rounded-off 0% of total site visitors.

To cor­rect for this, you can cre­ate a cal­cu­lated met­ric called Weighted Bounce Rate that pushes pages that have a high bounce rate and high traf­fic to the top of the report for eas­ier analy­sis. The for­mula for Weighted Bounce Rate* is:

Weighted Bounce Rate=([Single Access]/[Entry Pages])*([Page Views]/[Total Page Views])

By adding this met­ric to the report, we now see which high-traffic pages have the worst stick­i­ness issues:

The report now shows that the first page of the new account appli­ca­tion has a lot of traf­fic (yay!) but a very high bounce rate (oh no!).

To over­come bounce rate, addi­tional analy­sis should be per­formed on the high bounce pages to see why users are leav­ing imme­di­ately. Per­haps there are too many account type options being pre­sented to the user, and they get con­fused? Maybe search engine opti­miza­tion efforts shouldn’t be push­ing traf­fic directly to the new account appli­ca­tion? Small changes can be made to high-bounce pages and then report­ing can be done to see if the changes make a difference.

How­ever, keep in mind that even though bounce rate can be a good met­ric to keep tabs on, make sure you “keep your eyes on the prize” and watch your main con­ver­sion met­rics. Your site should be opti­mized to achieve the high­est num­ber of Key Per­for­mance Indi­ca­tor (KPI) con­ver­sions, such as new account opens, online trades placed, or funds deposited. For more infor­ma­tion about deter­min­ing KPIs and how to deter­mine your con­ver­sion points, see KPIs: Focus on the Spe­cial “K”.

* For a list of my favorite cal­cu­lated met­rics (includ­ing Weighted Bounce Rate), see Site­Cat­a­lyst Knowl­edge Base Arti­cle ID 1620, “Does Adobe offer a list of com­monly used cal­cu­lated metrics?”

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