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Bill Roth, Ulitzer Editor-at-Large

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Bounce Rate and Its Meaning

The meaning of the bounce rate is defined by the number of people who look at one page and then "bounce away" to other sites

In Google Analytics, there is a somewhat mysterious metric called the Bounce Rate. The meaning of the bounce rate is defined by the number of people who look at one page and then "bounce away" to other sites. Wikipedia has a decent definition. As always, Avinash Kaushik has a great article on it as well. My definition is this:

Bounce rate = how much your website sucks.

Now every web sites sucks to some degree, but it is only a question of how much. No site will ever "not suck" with a 0% Bounce Rate. The goal is to "suck less."

There are several simple ways to suck less on your web site:

  • Have good content on your site that people actually read
  • Make sure you have links to other areas in your site
  • Make sure you have a decent navigation scheme
  • Make sure your site-search functionality works

With these simple rules, you should be able to see an improvement, that is your bounce rate going down. But be realistic, it will never get to 0. Use Goggle Analytics benchmark feature to see where your site should me.

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More Stories By Bill Roth

Bill Roth is a Silicon Valley veteran with over 20 years in the industry. He has played numerous product marketing, product management and engineering roles at companies like BEA, Sun, Morgan Stanley, and EBay Enterprise. He was recently named one of the World's 30 Most Influential Cloud Bloggers.