First, we’ll start with the basics. What is bounce rate? Contrary to what many (myself included) believed, it is not only the amount of time someone spends on a website (e.g. you click on a website and immediately click off after 2 seconds) it is also the number of pages you click after the viewing the landing page (e.g. you click to another page after viewing the landing page).
So the two are quite closely related – for example if you spend 3 minutes reading the landing page you just clicked on, then decide to pick up the phone and ring the company, your visit will count as a bounce. But it is not such a bad bounce because you have unwittingly converted a visitor through a well optimised landing page.
If you spend 3 minutes reading a landing page then decide to click “Contact Us” only to find that the form is broken, it won’t count as a bounce, but you will probably be able to see from your Analytics that your “Contact Us” page isn’t working very well, and that will be reflected in its high page bounce rate. If you have a large website, your bounce rate may still be relatively low as your Dashboard number is a site average. To get individual page bounce rates, you need to drill down to the individual pages. In Analytics, go to “Content” then click on “Top Landing Pages” to see which pages have the highest bounce rate.
At the end of the day, it really depends on what type of website you have got and what the goals are for your website. If you set up a landing page with the goal of getting your visitor to fill out a form to Request for a quote or Request a callback, then you’ll be able to track what percentage of visitors complete a goal even if the landing page has a high bounce rate. This is more desirable than having a low bounce rate on the site, but no goal conversions for example.
Google Analytics is a great tool for keeping track of site statistics, but when you come across a high bounce rate, keep in mind that it might not be such a bad thing. Dig a little deeper and you’ll be able to get more insight into what your visitors are thinking when they click on to your website.