High Bounce Rates Can Be Good
Ian Lurie of Portent Interactive wrote in his blog (Conversation Marketing) that “A higher bounce rate is bad. A lower one is good.“. Overall, that post is a good one and your bounce rate should be considered with the rest of your user metrics but I don’t believe it can have the weight that Ian’s post implies it should have.
Two Reasons Why A High Bounce Rate Can Be Good
1. How long did that person stay on the page before bouncing? Most popular Analytics packages (Google Analytics) have a problem – the average time a user spends on a page, given that it is the only page they land on, is not recorded. I would say that an average of 15 to 20 minutes on a page with detailed instructions that drive somebody to a form of action that is not a click through the site is extremely successful even though the bounce rate would be almost 100%. A good example is our NUDE series posts – we receive 100+ visits to those every day and the bounce rate is around 90%…I haven’t implemented the fix I linked to a couple sentences ago but I do have a live chat program that let’s me view the footprint of a visitor and the time they spent on that particular page. The average time spent on those pages is around 12 minutes and I’m certain that those visitors walked away with something very engaging and valuable. At least I like to think they got something valuable out of it.
2. Advertised landing pages can have a high bounce rate and a high conversion rate. This will require some testing on your part but we have found that taking away some or all of the main navigation on a landing page will give the user two options – convert or leave. In our tests, for some of our clients – not all of them, removing most of the navigation on a landing page tripled or quadrupled conversion rates! We will often start with a 2% conversion rate and end up with an 8% or 10% conversion rate with the other 90% bouncing off the page. Even if you had an extremely high overall conversion rate of 30 – 40%, your bounce rate would still be 60 – 70% for that particular page.
We can conclude that given different circumstances, you might consider a high bounce rate good or bad but it is never truly definitive as a whole…it is definitive for parts of the whole as demonstrated in our post.If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!