Here I’m going to share what I find most useful to check in Google Analytics if I only have a few minutes to spare.
This means a visitor has come to your website and immediately left – they went no further into your website. The lower your bounce rate is the better as this means you are providing information that looks interesting and attractive enough to keep your website visitors interested.
I generally look at bounce rate related to the source (be it a referring website or keyword search in a search engine) rather than as an overall figure. Its also can be useful to view based on location – for example if you are an ecommerce website selling primarily to the UK market your target audience is the UK so a view including just those customers could be more relevant.
Bounce rate & blogs
Bear in mind that if you are analysing blog statistics and you have a high number of regular readers then a high bounce rate is not necessarily a bad thing as most of your users will have read your previous content already and will simply be checking in for your most recent post.
In this instance you need to look at the number of new visitors that bounce rather than overall data as ideally you would want new visitors to be interested sufficiently to want to have a look at some of the other content on your blog. Check New vs. Returning (Found under Visitors > New vs. Returning or in the new version: Visitors > Behaviour > New vs. Returning)
View bounce rate on this page by changing the dropdown list from visits to bounce rate and view what % of your new visitors are bouncing – on a blog this should be lower than your returning visitors!
I find this to be a valuable comparison to use for blogs – what percentage of your readers are returning? Unfortunately its not reporting on your subscribers so unless they actually go onto your website they won’t appear here – so it won’t include people who solely read on their feed reader.
Found under Content > Top Exit Pages
New version: Content > Site Content > Pages
What pages are your visitors reading the most? Does this match with your expectations? If not how can you improve your site navigation to get visitors onto your intended main pages.
Content by Title provides the same information but showing the page titles instead of URLs – use whichever you feel more comfortable with (in the new version you can toggle this by clicking under the graph).
Watch out for your 404 error page appearing here – this can be an indicator that you have an incorrect link on your website, or that someone is linking to a page that no longer exists (if this is the case and you cannot get them to change it set up a redirect onto a relevant page).
Top Exit Pages
Found under Content > Top Exit Pages
New Version: Content > Site Content > Exit Pages
Why are people leaving from this page? Think about your aims for that page, see if there is a call to action you can add – or make it more prominent if you already have one.
Remember a page with a high exit rate is not necessarily a bad page – it could simply be that you have provided them with everything they needed on this page!
Where are visitors coming from?
The main sections I tend to look at for this are referring sites & keywords. Campaigns can be useful if you use email newsletters or social media. However also take in the direct traffic number – this is where people just typed in your web address directly, or clicked on a bookmark to your website. You should see this increase if your offline marketing activity increases.
What websites are sending yours traffic and is it sending good quality visitors? Look at the bounce rate, pages per visit & average time on site to give you an idea.
This shows you what people are entering into the search engines to find your website. Is this what you expected?
This analysis is useful when you are working on your websites SEO, targeting certain keywords to determine if your efforts are working – and also if they are effective (look at the bounce rate of those keywords).
You can also drilldown further to see what page they are landing on – it may not always be the page you expect that ranks in the search engines!
Save time with reports!
If you regularly find yourself tracking the same information then set up a custom report to show just that – then you won’t get distracted by the rest of the information that Google Analytics provides
Did you like this article?
Please do comment below or share with your connections (lots of links below)!
I’ll be adding more resources to help you get the most out of your website so keep checking back!