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What the heck is "bounce rate"? How important is it?

 
chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 04/30/2012

To ensure that everyone knows what "bounce rate" means, I'm starting this thread with resources and as a place to ask questions.

Jo has written a couple of good tutorials:

http://wizzley.com/reduce-blog-bounce-rate/ 

 http://wizzley.com/bloggers-watch-bounce-rate/


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
Kushal
Posts: 6
Message
on 04/30/2012

I know that lower the bounce rate, the better. Both in terms of SEO as well as revenue. But I think in a revenue sharing site like Wizzley, high bounce rate is inevitable. That's because it's not a niche site and there are articles on a wide variety of topics. Readers from SEs leave after they have finished reading the particular article. Low bounce rate is only possible in niche sites. The only way we can have a comparatively lower bounce rate at Wizzley is by having interesting articles as "related articles", which Wizzley is already doing.

onetimeuser
Posts: 378
Message
on 04/30/2012

Kushal, a click through your Amazon link or an AdSense click would be considered a 'bounce', so sometimes the higher the better depending on where they are going.

It is highly likely that the one that Google takes into consideration is the click back to Google, and even then they would also take into consideration time spent on page.

If you had 95% of viewers bouncing straight back to Google after having spent just 5 seconds average on the page, then this might effect your rankings as Google would then assume your content either very poor quality or not relevant to the keywords that it has ranked for.

If on the other hand you have a bounce rate of 95% but only 80% went straight back to Google, the other 15% bounced through an external link or ad, and the 80% that went straight back to Google did so having spent an average of 2 minutes on your page.... then your article will likely be judged favourably.

Time spent on page is, in my opinion, a much more important metric.

Kushal
Posts: 6
Message
on 04/30/2012

Thanks Ryan, for clearing up the matter. I know have a much better idea about the topic. Smile

JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
Message
on 04/30/2012

Thank you very much for including my articles here.  I'm glad that they were useful. <3


janderson99
Posts: 25
Message
on 04/30/2012

I think landing page design is a trade-off. Google may consider the time readers spend reading your page as a ranking factor, but perfectly satisfied readers won't click on anything - you won't make any money. The ideal landing page should:

  • attract people who want to buy things after they have read your great article
  • have carefully designed 'holes' or 'gaps' that the ads magically fill

If you write to inform, but not make money, you should aim for a very low bounce rate.

If you write garbage you will have a high bounce rate.

If you write to inform and make a little cash, you would aim for a moderate bounce rate so that Google still loves you, your readers like what you write, and you have stimulated their appetite so they are hungry to buy  - click and good bye.

cheers,

onetimeuser
Posts: 378
Message
on 04/30/2012

 

janderson99: 30. Apr 2012, 15:51

I think landing page design is a trade-off. Google may consider the time readers spend reading your page as a ranking factor, but perfectly satisfied readers won't click on anything - you won't make any money. The ideal landing page should:

  • attract people who want to buy things after they have read your great article
  • have carefully designed 'holes' or 'gaps' that the ads magically fill

If you write to inform, but not make money, you should aim for a very low bounce rate.

If you write garbage you will have a high bounce rate.

If you write to inform and make a little cash, you would aim for a moderate bounce rate so that Google still loves you, your readers like what you write, and you have stimulated their appetite so they are hungry to buy  - click and good bye.

cheers,

"If you write garbage you will have a high bounce rate".

The opposite could, in theory, be true. They say that the best AdSense strategy is to leave people needing the answer, which encourages them to click a related page or ad unit in search of it. So garbage content often does better with AdSense (I am not condoning that strategy).

If they get every bit of information that they require from your page, if you answer their question in full, they will have no reason to clickthrough but would instead click the 'x', type something else in their browser, or go back to Google for their next bit of information.

A lot of the big media sites split their articles into multiple pages, so you have to press '2' then '3' then maybe '4' to read an entire article. That keeps their bounce rate really low, and adds numbers to their click stats (to get them up Quantcast and impress advertisers). 

If they put the whole article on one page, the reader may have no reason to stay on the site and would therefore 'bounce'

Bounce rate is only one of 200+ ranking factors though, so I don't think it is anything to worry about, I doubt it has that much weight anyway.

 

janderson99
Posts: 25
Message
on 04/30/2012

good points - I think its more likely a frustrated user would click the back button rather than an ad on a lousy article.

On another aspect Google is torn between trying to satisfy its customers (readers of the SERPS) and its advertisers (but their interests are opposed). Google makes money from ad impressions ( instant $$$ when page opened) and when the user clicks an ad ( Google extracts money from the advertiser whose ad is displayed). Shuffling between pages - bouncing all over the place generates $$ via impressions, but to get a click through will require lingering a little longer. [ reminds me of two clinging weeds in tropical North Queensland called "Wait-a-While" and "Linger-Longer".

Bye

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