Know the Meaning Behind Website Data

With tools like Google Analytics, Console and even more insights available from programmes that crawl your (and competitor) sites like SEMRush and co. we have a plethora of website data available to us. But how you translate this data can make all the difference.

For example, a “Bounce Rate” in Google Analytics which is displayed as a percentage can be rather alarming. A Bounce Rate is defined by Google as: “A bounce is a single-page session on your site. In Analytics, a bounce is calculated specifically as a session that triggers only a single request to the Analytics server, such as when a user opens a single page on your site and then exits without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server during that session.”

Know the Meaning Behind Website Data

Know the Meaning Behind Website Data

In plain terms, it is when a visitor to your site arrives on a page and does no other activity (that Google can track) and then leaves. That sounds bad right? Not necessarily, it will depend what the goal of your site is and what page the bounce occurs. Let me explain, so let’s say the page the user lands on is a blog article, they are a regular visitor to your site and they have clicked on a link from social media to a new article. They may spend 15 minutes reading that article but if they then leave without clicking on another link or utilising another action Google is tracking for you like watching a video, clicking on an email link or telephone number to call, then it will be a bounce because they have performed no further action that can be measured. If the goal of this article was purely educational and to give value to your returning readers, then it is not too much of a problem. However, if this piece was meant to cause an action, the Bounce rate will help you to identify you need to work on this page. Another instance when a high Bounce Rate percentage may not be a terrible issue is your contact us page… think about why a visitor may need your contact us page. Are they sat at their desk and want to call you? They may Google the company name on a desktop device and click directly from the listing to your contact page, utilising a desk phone to dial the number displayed to call the relevant service or department and then leave the page. Again, this will create a Bounce. You do need to be careful when analysing the Bounce rate on a contact page, it may well indicate your contact form isn’t working or that the telephone numbers and email addresses on the page aren’t clickable (all of which Google can see as an “Action” and will not record the visit as a Bounce).

Dig Deeper

Bottom line, your Bounce Rate is a good alert metric, but drill down further into the information about your site. In this instance you can analyse the pages that have the highest Bounce Rate and then investigate possible causes. Remember not all Bounces are bad, but this metric can be used to identify issues with your site. You can also drill down to see if the Bounces happen with new or returning visitors to your site, on a mobile or desktop, which can highlight possible issues with your site loading speed. It is also worthwhile checking if the Bounces are higher on different browsers, browsers display sites differently and you can fall foul of one system and not be aware. Another tip on this particular aspect is to check where the visitor came from, the referring site – if a referring site produces 100% bounces, take a look at what your content on that site is saying, are people landing on the correct page for the content you’ve published, or are they leaving because they are not finding what they want? Is the referring site the right fit for your website? Etc.

Website Data Translation

So you see, it is important to fully understand what the terms in website data discovering platforms like Google Analytics mean and even more important to know when and what to do about it. Should you need assistance analysing your website data contact us on 01604 654545 or email

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