Bounce rate is not everyone's enemy
By Frederic Pariente-Oracle on Sep 26, 2013
I am cross-posting here an interesting piece of info & advice that my colleague Abhijith Ramalingaiah shared on an Oracle alias then on his slideshare page. It has been a while since I have posted something about web analytics, a topic you quickly get interested in after starting your own blog, thanks to Abhijith for reviving it :-)
Abhijith is taking a closer look at Bounce Rate (BR). BR represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and leave ("bounce") rather than continue viewing other pages on the same site. High BR is thus typically viewed as a sign of poor performance, visitors are leaving. Abhijith is telling us however that it is not necessarily such a negative sign, and that the content on the page has to be considered as well as visitor experience.
Abhijith then goes thru the following scenarios where BR is not a good measurement for the page.
Imagine you’re posting a blog that describes all the benefits of your product. The visitor might read the whole post and remember your product really well and they might even go to search for few more similar of the search engines straight away. However, since the visitor only looked at 1 page (exactly where the blog post is) they will be recorded as bounced visitor.
Another example if you have a description of the product right on the landing page, and your phone number on the same page. The visitor might study the description and call straight away --again, they will be recorded as a bounced visitor, as only 1 page was viewed. Especially true if they come for a specific article / product spec / event registration / contact details.
So BR is really useful to a page where visitors are first coming into the website. Why BR is not a good measurement for the page is that not may people enter on that page --instead it is a page in the middle of most people's paths. People should ALWAYS include Entries along with the Bounce Rate in any reports.
Segmentation plays crucial role for better understanding. I believe you're enjoying, if you have already started using segments to do data analysis! You could just segment visitors who come from search engine / social sites/ campaign or direct traffic / paid traffic / first time visits.