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What is Bounce Rate?

Bouncing KidsAt work, we have a couple of domains and will be doing some testing on a couple more focused domains.

Our corporate blogs are on one domain, and our Compendium Blogware site is on another. Recently, we were discussion bounce rates off of each of the sites.

Google’s Bounce Rate Definition

Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.

So – if the entrance page is a blog post on how driving more blog posts drives more organic traffic to your business, and the visitor is compelled to click your call-to-action to learn more about business blogging – and that page is on a different domain – your visitor just technically bounced.

To accurately measure the bounce rate, we must take the total number of bounces and subtract the referring visits from the blog to the corporate website.

If we were on the same domain, this would be a non-issue; but different domains add complication. I’m sure there are settings within Google Analytics where you can have bounces to relative domains ignored – any ideas?

A More Technical Look at Bounce Rate

Bounce rate indicates the percentage of direct visitors who leave the page without going to some other page within your website (or at least the pages on with the same tracking code correctly installed, within 30 minutes). – From Google Groups

UPDATE: Avinash and Blake provided a true solution…. Avinash’s definition: In a nutshell bounce rate measures the percentage of people who come to your website and leave ?instantly?.

Blake recommends putting a redirect page with the Google Analytics script between your page and the landing page (on the other domain. This would remove those bounces since they don’t ‘instantly’ leave!

7 Comments

  1. 1

    Doug, one thing we might consider (and have discussed before as a product feature) is having click throughs on a CTA pass through a page on the application before sending the user offsite. This would deal with the bounce rate issue (assuming analytics on the pass through page) as well as allow us to do some more advanced analytics. Just a thought.

    -Blake

    • 2

      Ultimately, it seems they will bounce, though, since the redirect will still take them off the primary site. I think we’d still have to calculate the difference since they’re still eventually bouncing. That would help the bounce rates measured on each post, though!

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