I’ve heard so many people making such a big fuss from bounce rate as a metric, that I’m almost anxious to explain why I don’t think it’s really such an important metric

For clarity, bounce rate is when a user visits only one page on your website and doesn’t interact with any other pages or call to action buttons. But just because they’re in and out, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your content sucks or that you’re bad at creating landing pages. 

Experimenting with content, landing pages and bounce rate

Let me give you an example.

We started experimenting with some content for a client that has a mail server solution. We wrote in-depth, advanced level articles meant to attract programmers, Sysadmins, IT infrastructure specialists. 

As soon as we started the distribution, we could see that on some channels, the bounce rate on some landing pages was 100%. 

Now, we worked hard on those pieces. We knew that maybe they weren’t exceptional, but they were good. 

So what was with that bounce rate?

Too tailored content

When you create very specific content, users read the article and then they leave. They take what they need, and then… they leave.

That’s why having a high bounce rate isn’t necessarily bad. It just means you’re being specific.

If you want to be sure, though, do this:

Set-up a scroll event in Google Analytics. You can choose to track if they scroll down to 25%, 50% or 75% of the page. This way, even if your users don’t interact with your website, you can at least see how much time they spend on your website (if you have 100% bounce rate, Google Analytics doesn’t count time on site). 

If they’re leaving after 5 seconds, it’s possible that you created fluff content or that you’re targeting the wrong audience. If, on the other hand, they stay, you’ve probably nailed it with specificity. 

Thanks for reading! I hope it helped.

P.S. Scroll events are very easy to set-up in Google Tag Manager. I found this tutorial about setting scroll events in Google Tag Manager very easy to follow in case you’re interested.