WTH is a bounce rate? And why does it matter?

So we just saw this article in Forbes and this paragraph is not accurate and it’s not the first time we’ve heard it so we wanted to clear this up. Let’s begin with the fake news (sorry, couldn’t help myself) paragraph…

“First, monitor your bounce rate like a hawk. This number reveals how many people click away from your site almost instantly after landing on it. Taking steps to lower your bounce rate (like making sure you’re showing up in the right search results or that you have a killer landing page) will greatly improve on-site conversion rates.”

It’s almost accurate but it’s wrong. Your bounce rate is a statistical view of how many people leave your site on the page they entered. Now, if you do your marketing correctly, they shouldn’t have to look too hard for what they are there for – example – Roto-Rooter Mobile runs an ad for Water Damage Restoration, the web user clicks a link… goes to the WDS page, reads it and decides to click the “Set An Appointment” button which launches them into an appointment setting app OR perhaps they see the phone number on the page, call and set an appointment – they BOUNCED – but it’s ok because they’re a new customer.

So look at it this way – if your bounce rate is below 20% – check your code, you’re probably missing a tag. If it’s more than 50%, check your ads, people are expecting something different than what they are getting. Anything in between is probably fine but your analytics will tell you if there is a problem.