If you are like most marketing professionals, you’ve probably looked at your online campaign reports and saw a bounce rate metric but weren’t really sure what it meant. Once you understand this simple metric, you’ll soon understand why it is one of the most important metrics in helping you optimize your media spend and Web site.
Simply stated, the bounce rate is the % of people who hit your Web page and instantly leave (within 5 seconds). Some tracking programs measure it by length of time on the site being 5 seconds or less while others simply measure it by people who never leave the original page they landed on.
Regardless of how you measure it, the information can be very useful.
Not all web site traffic is created equal and the bounce rate can tell you where you are getting the most qualified traffic. By looking at the bounce rate by referral source, you can simply see what partner sites or search engines are sending you the most qualified traffic. Those with high bounce rates (typically over 35%) should cause some concern and are worth looking into further. You can also look at the bounce rate by keyword or campaign to narrow the issue further.
Let’s say you are doing an email campaign and the results are less than stellar. By looking at the bounce rate of the landing page, you can quickly determine if the landing page is the problem. A high bounce rate on the landing page probably means the offer is not clear, the call to action is not clear or the page is confusing in some way.
Integrated Marketing Campaigns
You may be running a direct mail campaign that leads customers to your Web site and are experiencing poor performance. Have you looked at the bounce rate of the promotional page? By looking at the bounce rate, you can determine if your Web site is the problem before dissecting the campaign itself.
Many people want to know what bounce rate is acceptable. By industry standards you should aim between 20-35%. I have rarely seen a Web site achieve anything below 20%. Anything above 35% should be concerning and anything above 50% is definitely a problem. If you are seeing anything higher than 50%, you can be sure that the traffic coming to your site is not qualified and is expecting to see something else.
The trick to making sure your ad campaign is as effective as possible is to watch your bounce rates and fix those traffic areas and pages that just aren’t working well together.
So, the next time you are looking at your online performance report, remember the bounce rate. It’s an important metric that will help you make smarter decisions every day.