The bounce rate can often be a matter of concern for a lot of site owners. Is it too high? What can you do about it?
Actually, it might not be as high as you think. Perhaps you can stop thinking you’ve done something horribly wrong.
Let me explain…
First, What is Bounce Rate?
The bounce rate is simply the percentage of people who come to your site then immediately back away and go somewhere else. In other words, they don’t click anywhere else on your site.
Pretty much every stat solution out there will give you this information. So, if you have a bounce rate of, say, 50%… this means that half the people who come to your site simply leave.
But, 50% is actually on the low-end for many sites. It isn’t uncommon to see people with bounce rates upwards of 80%.
But, here’s what you need to know…
Not All Stat Systems Are Created Equal
DavidRisley.com has a bounce rate of 76.3% according to Google Analytics. Definitely nothing to be proud of. But…
Luckily, I don’t run only one stat service on this blog. I also use Clicky Web Analytics. Clicky reports that I have only a 32% bounce rate. That’s a HUGE difference.
Why the two services are so different, I don’t know. They’re different in other ways, too.
Stats over last 30 days (Google Analytics):
- Visitors: 25,447
- Bounce: 76.3%
- Avg. Time on Site: 1 min, 45 seconds.
When you look at the same data from Clicky:
- Visitors: 23,306
- Bounce: 32%
- Avg. Time on Site: 4 min, 28 seconds.
So, for some reason, Clicky shows about 2,000 less people overall, but their behavior on the site is significantly better. People stay longer and they’re more involved.
So, The Motto Is…
Don’t depend on just one stat service. They obviously don’t all compute the same, so if you want the whole picture, you need to use at least two.
Google Analytics is a great service – especially being free. I recommend everybody use it. But, I also recommend using something else which isn’t Google-owned. It might completely change the outlook of what’s happening on your site.
My personal preference is, of course, Clicky. The other thing I like about it is the real-time nature of it. Stats are all updated in real-time, and I can even “spy” on visitors to see what they’re doing right now. Analytics has a several-hour delay, by contrast.
If you want some more information on reducing your bounce rate, check out this post I wrote about plugging the “leaks” in your blog.