This past month if you are sharing your website statistical data with Google Analytics, they emailed you a very interesting aggregate report on bounce rates. Here is an executive snapshot:
Pages / Visit
Avg Time on Site
What is very interesting is the industry average of typical bounce rates in the report. If your site has a bounce rate higher than these, it is definitely time to review your website content or at least evaluate if you may have a potential problem to address.
Another interesting trend noted was the time on a typical website and bounce rate has decreased for websites on the average this past year.
“Compared to a year ago, websites have seen reduced pages / visit, average time on site, as well as bounce rate.”
11/1/09 – 2/1/10
11/1/10 – 2/1/11
Time on Site
If your site is not stacking up to these global aggregate averages it may be time to adjust your message, review the informational value that you provide to readers, and change your focus of being self centric to user centric in your content. In some cases you may have a high bounce rate that you do not need to be concerned with based on the pages involved. For example, I have some informational white papers on my website that have high bounce rates. These pages are really built to generate links and draw in traffic. The people that come to visit may never be interested in my services, but I still like having the information and helpful content there for readers for a big picture.
Some of you may be asking why should I care about bounce rate?
Well first the bounce rate is the percentage of readers that hit your page and then surf off immediately; meaning they did not find what they were looking for on your website. If you have a high bounce rate for cost per click advertising it means keywords need to be immediately reviewed and some potentially dropped. If you are not using pay per click but rather your bounce rate is high for organic searches it may be that you should rework content with new keywords that are more specific to the services that you are offering instead of general terms. Check first to see what pages are involved first don’t just start changing things.
What I personally found interesting was that we finally have some benchmarks to compare sites to for evaluation of health as industry averages. I am going to check out my website stats right now to see how I personally stack up, how about you?