True Bounce Rate – A more accurate way to calculate Bounce to measure search ROI
In North America alone the search engine marketing industry will reach a value of nearly $23B by the end of 2012 with an expected 17% increase in 2013 according to ‘The SEMPO State of Search Marketing Report 2012’.
After placing a substantial part of their advertising in SEO and PPC and associated costs with developing the website, executives and marketing teams are tracking website traffic metrics to evaluate the ROI of that online marketing investment. Bounce rate is one metric that shows slippage and can equate to a substantial loss of potential sales.
To reiterate, this is traffic that has already been invested in and paid for, traffic that belongs to you. Rather than throw more money into getting more visitors it makes commercial sense to look closer at the visits that are turning away.
The traditional bounce rate calculation (Bounce Rate Equals Total Number of Visits Viewing One Page Divided by Total Number of Visits) does not account for the various technical nuances associated with traffic measurement.
A bounce may be registered for several user actions
• Click the back button (short click)
• Close the browser (window/tab)
• Type a new URL
• Do nothing (session times out after e.g. 30 minutes)
• Click on a link that brings the user to an external site (e.g. partner link or another internal company domain).
The new ‘True Bounce Rate’ calculation: Bounce Rate Equals Total Number of Visits Viewing One Page Divided by Total Number of Visits Greater Than or Equal to the Average Variable Page Load Speed, de dupes the visitors that never made it to the landing page and could make a decision on whether to click on another link or rich element.
A more accurate benchmark of bounce rate is a good starting place to begin investigating why visitors are turning away from your website. Allowing the examination into message targeting and landing page content continuity via A/B split or multivariate UX testing an accurate baseline control sample. Applying the new calculation across the website will give companies a more accurate snapshot of how marketing and advertising campaigns are performing.
You an download full True Bounce Rate white paper here.
Marcos is a Senior SEO Strategist and Business Director at Covario.com in EMEA.
Main image Bigstockphoto.com.