So, you look at your Google Analytics and notice that the bounce rate is 60% and your personal search engine optimization expert is telling you that anything over 25% is a bad bounce rate. What is your reaction? Do you immediately think that your website design is ineffective and it is time to ditch your web designer and revamp your website altogether? There is no need. The only bad bounce rate is a 100% bounce rate. If your Google Analytics is showing anything less than that, then you are fine. In spite of my claim, your website is not making you any money and the bounce rate is NOT to blame. The bounce rate is just an indication that your website design is not engaging enough and it needs some simple tweaking.
First of all, let us define what a bounce rate is. According to Google itself, if you read what a bounce rate is at https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1009409?hl=en, it is this sentence the following statement which I quote from Google: “In Analytics, a bounce is calculated specifically as a session that triggers only a single request to the Analytics server, such as when a user opens a single page on your site and then exits without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server during that session.” The next paragraph states that various page sessions are calculated as 0 seconds, because there is no subsequent session length.
With this definition, it is obvious that we need to keep people on the website and in my own opinion, that only happens under specific conditions:
- People need to find the information they want on your website from the first page they enter.
- People need to stay engaged every second they are on your website.
I talk about how to do that in your web design in another blog post of mine. Let me explain why a bounce rate that is less than 100% is perfectly acceptanle. Let us go to the extreme and talk about a 99% bounce rate.
The one thing that Google Analytics does not tell us is the opposite of a bounce rate: the stay rate. What is the stay rate? It is exactly the opposite of the bounce rate: The percentage of sessions of multiple pages and that is simply 100 – your bounce rate.
The STAY rate is simply 100 minus your bounce rate!
With a 99% bounce rate, you still have a 1% stay rate. Your web design needs to be strategic enough to engage that 1%, because if you do, your website will make money and convert customers into visitors. Do you think 1% is too small? That answer depends on how much traffic you have coming to your website. For example, if you have a simple 1,000 people coming to your website and your average product sells for $5,000, 1% makes up 10 people who are NOT bouncing and if 20% of those people (2 people) make a purchase of your product, you just made a profit of $10,000! Now, that 99% bounce is not looking so bad. Is it?
I will be offering many new blog posts as well as my 12 Udemy courses on web design at https://www.udemy.com/user/brucechamoff/ show you how to design to engage visitors and turn them into customers.
Now, let’s take a more realistic example. The example with the 99% bounce rate is to show you the worst case scenario, but doing the math and looking at your page sessions on Google Analytics will really show you how to leverage your ability to make money with your web design.
Let’s take a more average bounce rate of 60%. Most of my new clients that I acquire from low website sales have an average of 60% and some of them freak out, because they want to get that down to 25%, which is what I hear on average to shoot for their goal, but this is not necessary as long as the web design is engaging enough. If that happens, the bounce rate will take care of itself.
- Your Google Analytics bounce rate shows 60% (your stay rate is 40%).
- Your Google Analytics session count shows 50,000
- The date range is the past month.
- Your average sale for customer is a whopping $300.00
Let’s do the math:
40% of 50,000 is 20,000 sessions (people). If you shoot to sell to only 2% of those people, you can have 400 sales. Multiply that by your average sales and you just made a profit of $120,000 and all that from a 60% bounce rate and a measly average sale of $300.00.
The problem is that most of us just look at the bounce rate and freak out, but without doing the math, the bounce rate alone does not say much. When you actually do the math, it finally becomes a valuable asset.
I can help you get your Google Analytics down and also help you predict your average online sales with this and more strategies.
Author: Bruce Chamoff
Bruce Chamoff has been in the web design and development business since 1995 and has worked on over 1,000 websites since then for businesses of all sizes from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses.
He is a regular speaker at WordCamps (the official WordPress conference) across the United States and teaches over 12 Udemy.com courses on web design and development.
Bruce never stops learning and teaching web development.