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Archive | January, 2014

Is Your Bounce Rate High?

28 January

Photo Credit: Shaun Amey from Flickr 

One of the things that we focus on in the world of SEO is not only how to get traffic to your site, but also how to turn that traffic into actual paying customers. In the world of Analytics, the measurement of the traffic on your website, we call the people that turn into a paying customers “Conversions.”

Having a website is like on an online business and the sales or Conversions are your goal.
Many photographers want to make their site very pretty, but they don’t give much thought to how efficient that website is when it comes to Conversions. Often times we think from our own perspective of what our site should be like, rather than how potential customers actually use websites or what would support them in the process of hiring you as a photographer. When there’s little to no thought of what visitors need, it leads to a high Bounce Rate.

What is Bounce Rate

When your potential customers don’t find what they need right away, they leave the site causing what’s called a Bounce. The Bounces (along with other metrics) can be tracked in Google Analytics (or some other Analytics tracking solution). The number of Bounces compared to your overall traffic is called your Bounce Rate which is expressed as a percentage. So if 100 people came to your home page, and 50 of them left, then your Bounce Rate would be 50%.

Reasons for Bounces

There are many reasons for Bounces. And you will always have Bounces. Here are a few:
  • Your Visitors might have been looking for something else, and stumbled on your page accidentally.
  • Your Visitors could have found a blog post, read it, then left without clicking through to anything else.
  • The worst one is when people come, looking to hire you, but can’t find the information right away (or your site is in Flash and they can’t see it on their iPad), and then give up and leave.

There are others, but you can see that some of these you have control over, and some you don’t. When we focus on lowering the Bounce Rate at Flaunt Your Site, we work on things like creating visible Call To Actions, Contact Forms, or other points of engagement that will pull your visitors deeper into your site.

What is your Bounce Rate?

Let’s quickly look at how to find your Bounce Rate.
First I want to be clear that we’re looking at a specific Page on your website, not the bounce rate for your entire website (which is an average of all your pages).
Step 1: Log into your Google Analytics account. (We will be using Google Analytics for this since most people use it. If you use a different package, you’re kinda on your own 🙂 ).
Step 2: In the left menu bar, navigate to Behavior –> Site Content –> Landing Pages
Step 3: Set your date range. I suggest looking at the past month, and the past year to get a real idea of your Bounce Rates.
Step 4: Look at the resulting table. You’ll find something similar to the image below. You want to look in the Bounce Rate column for the “/” The “/” is the top level of your entire website (in other words, your Home Page).
That percent is your Bounce Rate for the time period selected.

Is that Good or Bad??? Bounce Rate in Context

So now you know what your Bounce Rate is, and you may have already freaked out, because you had a thought that your Bounce Rate seemed high. Well, metrics and stats are all kinda pointless until you put them into context with something. The answer to ask isn’t “Is it good or bad?”, but rather “How does that compare to other photography websites?”
I’ve started a Google Doc you can enter your own Bounce Rates so that other photographers can see the average Bounce Rates.  In addition, you can click through to the sites to see how the better performing sites are designed. From those sites you can get ideas on how to modify your site to reduce your Bounce Rate if it’s on the higher end.
From the entries so far it appears that the average Bounce Rate is about 36%. That means for every 100 people that visit your home page, 36 leave or take no other action on your site.
So if you’re in the neighborhood of 35-40% you’re about normal. This is why we put statistics in context with other sites. Now we have a range to actually determine what is normal and what isn’t. So, if you’re well under 35-40%, you’re doing fairly well well, and if you’re considerably over 40%, you may want to rethink how your page is setup.

Contribute your Bounce Rate, and Help Increase Accuracy

If this article helped you out, please consider adding your own Bounce Rate to the Google Doc. The more website data we have will help to increase the accuracy of the numbers. We can be a lot more certain with a larger sample, it will also help with a couple more articles I’d like to write about in the future in order to help you increase the efficiency of your websites.