Avoid False Alarms When Reviewing Website Metrics

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Today, I want to talk to you about a few legacy benchmarks that you may have seen in your monthly reports from Google Analytics and why those metrics may not be that important for your business.  

Bounce Rates

Let's start with bounce rates.  Now, traditionally, you may have been brought to think that bounce rates should always be below a certain amount or that means your website is not working well, and suffering from a major issue.  That's not entirely true - there's more to bounce rates than simply a low figure.  

Depending on which page you're looking at, a high bounce rate is not necessarily a bad thing.  Think about your Contact Us page.  A lot of people will end up directly on your Contact Us page after a Google search for your contacft info, grab that phone number and leave.  Does that mean they've left unhappy?  Probably not!

What that does is artificially increase your website's average bounce rate-which could cause a false alarm on your end.  When you're looking at bounce rates, look at the bounce rate on specific pages like your homepage, not just the overall average because it could create a panic for no reason.  Your reporting tools should break down bounce rates per page.  It's up to you to use the purpose of the page, your intention for user behaviour, when assessing bounce rates.

Time on Site

The other one I want to look at is time on site.  There are many out there that think the longer someone spends on a website, the better it is.  Now why is that? If someone is coming to a website that is well laid out, that has information that's easy to find, you're going to see visitor spend less time going thru pages and pages on your website to seek out what they're looking for.  On top of that, they'll have a really good experience on your site.

Busting the Myth

You may have been told that these 2 numbers above can negatively affect your SEO, and it could be true depending on specific circumstances.  In most cases, having a high bounce rate on a few pages or a low time on site on a few pages isn't the end of the world.  

Take a look at the specifics on every page of your website and make a decision based on specific pages, and not your website overall. 

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