Bouncing Clicks

Let’s say you just searched for “Bounce Rate” in Google. Perhaps you had been reviewing your site statistics with Google Analytics and wondered, perhaps out loud…

“Why are so many people that click on the link to my site, bouncing?”

But first, A little definition is in order. What is bounce rate? According to Google’s definition in Analytics…

Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page). Bounce Rate is a measure of visit quality and a high Bounce Rate generally indicates that site entrance (landing) pages aren’t relevant to your visitors. You can minimize Bounce Rates by tailoring landing pages to each keyword and ad that you run. Landing pages should provide the information and services that were promised in the ad copy.

At first you might think that you should do something about it. Change the page content, create targeted landing pages, add graphics, make your product cheaper, etc.

Wait a second and consider this. Bounces happen.

People search for things, click on links and realize that your page wasn’t the right one for them. That’s okay, in fact, probably saving you time by reading and leaving.

Writing this made me think of this recent post by Seth Godin. Rather than focusing on the bounces, consider the people that stayed on the site. How many pages did they read, how long did they stay on the site, did you have return visitors?

It isn’t that the bouncing clicks are silly, it is that it is silly for us to focus on the bounces.