Monday, July 16, 2012

Public Speaker Marketing - What Is a Bounce Rate?

What is bounce rate?

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who enter a site (or a page) and then leave immediately. Think of a ball (visitor) that is thrown (visits) towards a table (site). It hits the table and bounces back without rolling (visiting any other pages).

Generally, “leave immediately” in the above definition means without going to any other page. However it could also be expressed in terms of time spent on site, say users who spend 5 seconds or less on the site irrespective of the number of pages they view. Bounce rates are calculated both at the individual page level and at the site level.

For an individual page, bounce rate is the ratio of visitors who enter the site from that page and leave without going any deeper, to the total number of visitors who enter the site through that page. In other words it is single page visits/ total entries to the site through that page. At the site level, bounce rate is simply single page visits/total site visits.

Note: If a visitor enters though a page, refreshes it (manually or via auto refresh such as ESPN score page or MSN money page) but never goes beyond the first page the visit is not counted in the bounce rate. Bounce rate is often confused with Exit Ratio. Exit ratio is usually expressed as the percentage of exits from a page to the total number of visits to that page.

As a side note: A lot of times exit ratio expressed as % of visits can be misleading. In most cases, page views are actually more appropriate than visits for this ratio. Why page views and not visits? If I view the same page twice during the same visit, and after one of those page views I exit, shouldn’t my exit ratio be 50% rather than 100%? The first view of this page was compelling enough for me to further engage. A 100% exit ratio would indicate a problem that may not be there. Bounce rate is confused with Single Page

Visit Ratio: Single page visit ratio is calculated as a percentage of single page visits over total visits to a page. Here are two examples that will help you clarify A visitor who enters site at home page and then goes to contact us page and leaves from contact us will be counted in the exit ratio from the contact us page but won’t be counted in the bounce rate of contact us page. A visitor who enter the site from contact us page and then leaves without going any further counts in all three, exit ratio, single page visit ratio and bounce rate.

What factors contribute to a high bounce rate?