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Bounce rates - a very important metric

Boxby

New Member
If a visitor reads a website and picks up the phone is this not classed as an online conversion???

No. That is not a conversion, it is a lead. It is only a conversion when it turns into cash, and when a visitor picks up the phone they aren't paying anything.

How you handle that call, how you deal with the customer, how you talk, sell yourself and communicate yourself & your services and products, how you follow up, turn that lead into cash, and that is a conversion.

As regards asking you to "sort out" my website. I think that you'll find that you failed to "convert", because I definitely don't remember paying you any cash.
 

peteark

Banned
My last words on this pointless thread are

No one said you needed a low bounce rate to have a successful website, in the same way a low bounce rate does not necessarily mean a site is successful. What has been stated is the data has is useful, to which you have done the teenager bit and stated the data has no significance, with nothing of substance to back it up.

You certainly didn't pay me anything, you were very concerned about your courier database driven site and the keywords you were targeting, I offered you plenty of advice, to which you were thankful at the time, saying that business must be slow if you have resorted to being a troll........fish away!!!!!!!
 

Boxby

New Member
My last words on this pointless thread are

No one said you needed a low bounce rate to have a successful website, in the same way a low bounce rate does not necessarily mean a site is successful. What has been stated is the data has is useful, to which you have done the teenager bit and stated the data has no significance, with nothing of substance to back it up.

My substance is this;

I have a website that has a very high bounce rate. Mainly because the other websites owned by our competitors have a very poor first impression, even before you start reading. Our telephone number is prominent on the home page, and the presentation of the home page, and those contact details on the home page are sufficient to ensure that people pick up the phone straight away.

It sits position 1 for the top 2 google search terms that it is marketed at.

It generates telephone call leads every day, weekends included.

It screens out about 90% of the jobs that we don't want.

We (manually) convert 70-80% of the jobs we do want.

It alone keeps the diary completely booked, and the business at 100% capacity, sometime 120% so we end up sub contracting out jobs.

I do not see it as a "generally poor performing website". If you choose to do so because it doesn't fit your one size fits all metrics rules then fine. So be it. All I am saying is that it is dangerous to blanketly apply "rules", and that a high bounce rates does not automatically mean a bad website.

And I thought that forums were about debate. I was unaware that SBF had turned into a forum where discussion wasn't welcome.
 
PeterHoggan

PeterHoggan

New Member
Sounds like you've got it right Boxby, simple fact is most search related conversions take place offline (Source Google). Burning your phone number into the eyballs of every one who lands on your site is just common sense and will increase bounce rate. However, as you point out this does not indicate that the site is an underperformer.
 
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
I think we need to agree here that while bounce rate is a good metric on some sites it doesn't have a one size fits all approach and it can be applied to every website in a universal way. Sandra and myself are at completely different end of the spectrum with me having a very low bounce rate and Sandra a very high one. Now I would say from what Sandra has said that here business is more successful than SBF irrespective of the bounce rate.

You cant simply say if a website has a high or low bounce rate one is better than the other until you actually understand the respective businesses surely.

I think people need to be able to come on here and give differing opinions without the fear of being picked on and there are some comments on this thread that are unnecessary :(
 
PeterHoggan

PeterHoggan

New Member
I think people need to be able to come on here and give differing opinions without the fear of being picked on and there are some comments on this thread that are unnecessary

I totally agree with that sentiment.
 

stuarty

Banned
And I thought that forums were about debate. I was unaware that SBF had turned into a forum where discussion wasn't welcome.

Correct! And that's the first sensible thing youve said.

Sandra...

This may sound like boasting but I have a seriously serious level of expertise in this field - especially trend statistics. I've been doing this since 1990 so I think I've earned my stripes.

My original post was for "general" use and for the benefit of everyone on the forum. It was meant to help people apply some basic stuff to accepted and proven methods.

Not everyone understands these things so I tried to put it into a level that the majority of people can understand.

You raised some good debatable points but you lost the thread with the stuff about ranking etc. This really had nothing to do with what I said originally and in effect caused confusion.

You did make some very obscure statements too that had nothing to do with debating the initial post. But lets not drag this up again.

For the record - I never once said websites were bad websites because of bounce rates. I never assumed anything - I'm far too thourough to assume anything like this - believe me.

Please bear in mind that I dont need to share this advice but I do. I could go into a level that would quite literally bamboozle people but that's not what I want to do.

If you want to debate things at a higher level then why don't you come onto the professional boards or Google groups to discuss this if you feel so passionately about it?

Like I said earlier - bear in mind the people who may not have your level of understanding and let them decide for themselves. These are "general" people for which "general" advice can benefit. If the want to take it a level further then let them seek professional help.

Now....if you want to debate things then I'll draw your attention to this...

I have a website that has a very high bounce rate. Mainly because the other websites owned by our competitors have a very poor first impression, even before you start reading. Our telephone number is prominent on the home page, and the presentation of the home page, and those contact details on the home page are sufficient to ensure that people pick up the phone straight away

OK then...

questions -

1. How do you know how well your competitors are doing? Some people like blue websites some people like green websites. It's a sweeping statement to say visitors have a very poor impression of a website just because its not like yours don't you think?

2. people pick up the phone straight away. OK so if you have say a 80% bounce rate how many of those do you know picked up the phone straight away?

3. If you had a lower bounce rate how do you know for certain that you would not increase sales/orders etc?

My point here is from personal experience. I shopped around for couriers for the beers scotland website (due to broken bottles in transit). I looked at maybe 15 or 16 courier companies. I read all the stuff about insurance, rates, costs etc. I went with the one that gave me the best information. They're now a client and their bounce rate is 24%. I know this because I manage their site.
 

Boxby

New Member
Like I said earlier - bear in mind the people who may not have your level of understanding and let them decide for themselves. These are "general" people for which "general" advice can benefit. If the want to take it a level further then let them seek professional help.

But general advice should be stated to be such. The OP was very much a "this is how it is" type of post.


1. How do you know how well your competitors are doing? Some people like blue websites some people like green websites. It's a sweeping statement to say visitors have a very poor impression of a website just because its not like yours don't you think?

Because we receive about 4-5 telephone calls from around the country from various competitors asking for any work that we can subcontract out to them. Because our customers tell us.



2. people pick up the phone straight away. OK so if you have say a 80% bounce rate how many of those do you know picked up the phone straight away?

Fact is, we don't need any more to phone. The website keeps the business at capacity. It is a sucessfull website because it does exactly what we need it to do. Having a 2% bounce rated wouldn't make the website any more useful to us.



3. If you had a lower bounce rate how do you know for certain that you would not increase sales/orders etc?

Because it isn't a service that ANYONE would ever place online. There isn't an online order process. Because we receive 3x the telephone calls than we do the enquiry form. Because we ask EVERY SINGLE on of our callers where they found out about us.


My point here is from personal experience. I shopped around for couriers for the beers scotland website (due to broken bottles in transit). I looked at maybe 15 or 16 courier companies. I read all the stuff about insurance, rates, costs etc. I went with the one that gave me the best information. They're now a client and their bounce rate is 24%. I know this because I manage their site.[/

Did I say the website was Boxby???? It isn't. The website is for House Clearances. My point was that the statements regarding metrics were all aimed at one single group of websites, those that convert online. And there are a great percentage of websites out there who do not convert online. Mine is one of those
 

peteark

Banned
To find a forum that has members with experience in the field of Internet marketing and are willing to share relevant, information, advice and tips without pushing some kind of hard sell, is a rarity these days, even when faced with the snipping comments from the same 'old' faces who offer very little if anything to the business community.

The downside to matters like this is the friction raised when someone posts something wrong, misleading or unsubstantiated. The experts will naturally, raise questions or objections.

I did wonder why this Boxby raised the 'bounce rate' issue in the first place, if it was to raise provocation, it worked. I did think the reasoning was purely down to her own stats. This free data is just one metric, depending on the type of site you own the data can either be a simple guide or very useful tool.

I do take on board the comments by , I guess it's about finding a balance, between the full time Internet marketers and people who work in other areas yet regularly post their own thoughts, theories, guesswork on the subject. I will say this, I would never dream of offering advice in areas I am unfamiliar with, be that, web design, couriering, fish and chips sales, etc etc to do so would be wrong.

In the future I will certainly refrain from jumping aboard anyone who posts something misleading, potentially damaging or guesswork for the harmony of the forum. In fact I will leave the whole subject alone as the same problems are rife on most business related forums.
 
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stuarty

Banned
1. But general advice should be stated to be such. The OP was very much a "this is how it is" type of post.

2. Did I say the website was Boxby???? It isn't. The website is for House Clearances. My point was that the statements regarding metrics were all aimed at one single group of websites, those that convert online. And there are a great percentage of websites out there who do not convert online. Mine is one of those

It's perfectly clear with every post you write what your agenda is!

1. My OP said "it may be a better idea"...."It's worth a try"...."you may find your website enquiries will improve." At no point did I say "this is how it is"

You are the only person making this suggestion. Everyone else saw it as it was and took the post in the context it was written in.

2. Precisely, you didn't say which website it was but the kettle calling the pot black comes to mind. I never aimed it at any particular group of websites so lets get that part straight!

In your posts you cast aspersions that were quite frankly nonsense and that is why you have been criticised.

I let a few very talented SEO/SEM people read this thread before I posted this today. They all agree that you are on here just to create noise and provoke with your posts. You've got a little knowledge which as they say is a dangerous thing and you've used this to twist round but all you've done is made yourself look silly.

I've really got nothing more to say on the matter or to you for that matter. I believe there's an ignore button which I'll activate in response to you because I have far better things to do. I'll continue to offer what expertise I have for the benefit of those that are grateful.
 

Boxby

New Member
My last post too, because I too have better things to do.

At no point during this debate did I make any personal aspersions. I simply questioned the appropriateness of a blanket, one rule fits all advice.

As an SEO expert you know that different websites will react different ways to achieve different things.

You rightly point out that on forums, not everyone (including me) has that detailed level of SEO knowledge, and that is why I raise the point that blanket statements concerning metrics can be dangerous.

Regarding Bounce rates;

Forums will inheritantly have a very low bounce rate, simply because every visitor must click on one page just to get an idea or a feel of what the forum is about, how busy it is, and whether or not it is worth going further into. A low bounce rate metric in isolation means nothing.

Sites with Flash introductions will have a very low bounce rate, again, because every visitor needs to enter just to find out what is going on. A low bounce rate means absolutely nothing about the performace of these websites.

This website has an astonishingly high bounce rate, simply because the target customer prefers to get a quote by phone, not online. And I can assure you that they are one of the industry leaders, and it is a top performing website.

Regarding bounce rates affecting google rankings, as far as I am aware the jury still seems to be out about whether google incorporate or plan on incorporating an element of bounce rates into their algorithm. With over 400+ changes to the algorithm last year, my personal opinion is that nothing should ever be taken for granted. A factor that is irrelevant to rankings one year, may be very important the next. Towards the end of last year, a number of the SEO professional blogs were discussing bounce rates and google algorithms. Maybe as a professional SEO you have access that I as an ordinary user do not have to information that proves whether or not bounce rates are a factor in rankings, I don't know.

On forums, knowledgable people post advice, and it is taken and followed by readers, the poster will have no awareness of how the advice is followed, it may applied correctly, or impulsively, or incorrectly. My only issue in all of this is/was that just because a website has a high bounce rate there may not be an immediate requirement to go out and change it. Not without thinking about WHY you have a high bounce rate. And if I recall correctly, in the OP, there was no recommendation to think about the reasons behind the bounce rate before you started changing your homepage, and that is the reason for my "noise" and "sillyness".
 
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