This week I had a very interesting question posed by a customer which lead to some reflection on the stat that is used all the time in the web analytics world, the bounce rate. For those of you who may not be familiar with the term “bounce rate”, it simply refers to the percentage of visitors who come to your site and leave without leaving the page they entered on. It is a good indicator of how your page is doing to catch the attention of users, if you are capturing your target audience, etc. This customer was concerned because their bounce rate seemed quite high (Almost 80%). I was actually shocked to hear that her website had a bounce rate that was that high as well so I decided to do some digging.
Upon checking into it some more we came to realize that the bounce rate on traffic that was coming through facebook had a bounce rate above 80% and traffic coming through organic search had a bounce rate in the 20% range which is excellent. Examining the facebook strategy the facebook page was frequently being linked to blog posts that were on the site. With it being a new site but with an already established, huge facebook following, the majority of the traffic was coming through facebook to which the visitors were simply reading the blog post and leaving. Not unexpected at all really.
The page was actually doing really well at capturing attention of people who found it through search engines and this is to me a better indicator of the page’s worth.
Im interested to see if as more blog posts are added and visitors are given the opportunity to browse old posts which are recommended to them, how this will change the bounce rate among facebook referrals, but for now I will take the high bounce rate, so long as it performs well with search traffic.