Familiar with negative sentiments around high website bounce rate? There’s more to it than meets the eye. You can tell a compelling story why these big numbers are not always despicable.
3 Storytelling Plots for Website Bounce Rate
1. What channel is the top source of your website traffic?
Based on Pareto Principle to prioritise and strategise your data for visualization, you must first understand which last touch channel brought 20% of your traffic. If it’s paid especially social media channels, video, or banners, you also need to understand which stage of the campaign is it at.
- Paid channels will unsurprisingly have higher bounce rate than organic channels such as natural search, direct, or internal session timeouts.
- Awareness stage of Display, Video, or Social campaign will also certainly have higher bounce rate than consideration or conversion stages.
The rationales for these outcomes may be illustrated in the matrix below:
Bounce rate shifts as your campaign moves in stages and channels, together with the intent and role of users in seeking information. The more intentional your user is in their search towards the latter stage of their customer-decision making journey, the lower the bounce rate.
2. What is your bounce rate benchmark?
After the first question, you may then wonder what the ideal bounce rate is. This varies per industry and company, but you have the key to unlock this insight through your Adobe Analytics workspace. You conduct a benchmarking study of your website from the previous year (if you haven't yet) to gauge what rate is acceptable per country, per channel, and per audience. A simple benchmarking study may be a one-slider, you index a softcopy to serve like a ‘cheat sheet’ for you and for the rest of the performance team:
This study will be helpful to establish the expectations among your team that a 50% bounce rate cannot be expected within few optimisations when your past benchmarks indicate that it has always been 70% or 80%. Moreover, your benchmarks will lead to further involve your tech teams to tackle opportunities to enhance your website speed and other technical factors, brand and communications team to optimise ads copies and website content, performance team to examine ads set up, targeting, and so on.
3. What are the expected actions on your landing page?
Another important insight that bounce rate warns you of is the site user experience, and this highly depends on your landing pages’ purpose.
For example, between landing page 1 and landing page 2, the latter offers more variety of content format for the users to act on, hence, lower bounce rate. While we can predict that the first one will have higher bounce rate with lesser opportunities for the users to engage.
Overall, an informational page will have higher bounce rate than transactional page. So, ask yourself whether your landing page is conducive for interactions and events, if not, then a high bounce rate is expected.
If these strategies are insufficient, you may add the average time on site. I strongly recommend to always scrutinise bounce rate metric with this data. Together, these metrics paint a clearer picture on how users consume content on site from the time they visited.
How about having high bounce rate yet average time on site is good or longer than your benchmark? Fret not, your digital marketing dollars are not wasted because users consumed the site content. They're not just ready to convert, click, or discover other pages yet.
In summary, below are the building blocks:
Take heart knowing that a double digit bounce rate should not hinder you from a great analytics storytelling.