Bounce Rate High? It Might Not Be You!

Bounce rate too high? It may not be as serious as you think! Let’s start off by defining what “too high” means. For most sites, a bounce rate over 50% is a sign of trouble. For blogs, one can be over 65% simply because RSS feeds lure people into viewing only one page and then dropping off the map. Do you fall in this category?

Hopefully not, but if you do – there may be a reason… and it isn’t that your site sucks. Let’s start by defining what bounce rate is. Your bounce rate (in Google Analytics) measures visitors who have only sent one server call (designated as an interaction) to Google Analytics before their session ended. That means they visited one page, vomited, and left. When you think about your site – are there any pages with a higher-than-normal bounce rate? Write them down, because you may want to run a quick check on how you measure them.

Think back to the definition – bounce rate is defined as only one SERVER CALL. That means any interaction to Google Analytics after the bounce – whether it’s sending an event or firing a virtual pageview – would eliminate the bounce. Think about your pages with the high bounce rate. Do they have outbound links? Download links? Is it a contact page with links to emails or phone numbers? Are there social calls to action? You need to measure those! That could very well be the cause of your bouncing plague.

If that isn’t it, you may want to look at other potential causes. One cause might simply be that your page is a dead-end or isn’t qualifying users. However, if you have confidence in your page, you’re likely robbing yourself of valuable data and should take a second look.

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