Monday, April 4, 2016

What is a Bounce Rate? An Introduction to Website Analytics and Statistics

The bounce rate (BR) statistic has given webmasters unparalleled insight into the behavior of visitors to their website. It adds depth and intelligence to website analytics and offers the ability for webmasters to analytically measure the success of their landing pages and site content. But the term Bounce Rate is often misunderstood, even by the veteran webmasters and metrics analysts. What is a bounce rate? And how exactly can it be used to gather meaningful intelligence from web analytics? This article will attempt to shed some light on this very valuable statistic. 

Statistical data and analytics are just figures and numbers that webmasters collect to gather information about the performance of their websites. Here we’ll precisely define BR and learn a little about the information it conveys: 

Definition of Bounce Rate............. 

Bounce Rate essentially gauges how interested a visitor to your site is in your content. 

When your sight catches a reader’s interest, they are more likely to explore your content and browse throughout the pages on your site, decreasing your BR. 

When your site does not interest a reader, they leave without browsing through many pages of content, increasing your bounce rate. 

The BR statistic doesn’t necessarily capture the success or conversion rate of your website: it is simply a measurement of a user’s interest in reading the various pages of content on your site. Some sites are set up so as to convert without requiring the user to browse around; at the same time, some users don’t need to browse through a site’s content before converting. Different webmaster strategies and browsing behaviors can produce the same conversion statistics. 

Using the BR to increase the success of your site will require some important decisions about how you arrange content on your website. These decisions could be superficial, but they could also necessitate fundamental changes in your site’s design, layout, and page hierarchy. 

The most basic information that Bounce Rate conveys is the percentage of users who didn’t surf past their initial landing page on your website. Put another way, BR captures the percentage of users who simply “bounced” off of your website before discovering anything other than the page that they landed on. A user might leave your site for any number of reasons, and every web user has a different approach to surfing the web. To truly use your BR statistic to your advantage, you’ll have to try to put yourself in the shoes of a visitor to your website. 

The first question that most webmasters ask is, “What is a good bounce rate?” 

This is often a difficult question to answer because each website serves a specific purpose. There’s no specific percentage – 10%, 80%, 78.5% — that can be considered universally “good” for a BR. The first step to understanding this statistic is understanding how the statistic is derived......

Web users don’t punish webmasters by leaving their websites – they leave when they were unable to find the information or features that they were looking for. It’s as simple as that; if a user isn’t satisfied with what he or she saw when they landed at your site, then they’ll leave. The Bounce Rate basically answers the question: “How many visitors to my website were inclined to stick around?” which is a very difficult question to interpret and is what makes it such a complicated statistic.