We all know it.
A high bounce rate is bad! Right?
Well, that depends. On a lot, actually.
Let’s have a look at what a bounce rate really is and what a “bounce” means for different parts of your online shop.
Forget your average bounce rate
The first thing you can do is ignore your average bounce rate.
Bounces mean different things for different types of pages, so averaging it over the whole site is actually pretty useless and worse: distracting.
Sure, you can keep an eye on it. If it goes up drastically, you should find out why. But your average bounce rate alone doesn’t tell you whether your shop is performing well or poorly.
What exactly IS a “bounce”?
A bounce is when someone only views ONE page of your shop during their whole visit.
At first glance, that doesn’t sound like a good thing, and often it’s not. But let’s have a think about the different scenarios that might result in a bounce.
Bounces on your shop home page
First up – no, a bounce on your shop home page is not good.
The ultimate goal of your shop home is to send people to your products so they can buy them. So why might people bounce?
With the recent shop redesign on Etsy, I think we’ll naturally see a slightly higher bounce rate, since clicking on the section menu or the shop links across the top (About, Policies etc.) no longer loads a new page.
A visitor can now get lots of information about you with just one “pageview” before they decide to leave… and bounce in Analytics. But these people clearly aren’t that interested in your shop, so this isn’t all that bad.
The only thing that will cut your home page bounce rate is clicking on listings, which is the aim anyway.
Add to Cart and… bounce?
Is your best selling item also a high bouncer? There could be a very good reason why.
When a visitor enters your shop straight onto a listing page (like from a search), LOVES your item and hits “Add to Cart”… they’re actually whisked away into Etsy’s checkout system and out of your shop.
They’ve bounced but they’re about to buy your stuff.
So are bounce rates on listings good?
Well, unless you’re also tracking sales from these same visits, it’s very hard to tell. You simply can’t tell the difference between a bounce from an “Add to Cart” and a bounce because they didn’t like your product.
What if they keep shopping?
If this person then clicks the “Keep Shopping” button, they will return to your store and continue their visit. People who “Keep Shopping” don’t bounce.
So if you encourage buyers to pick up multiple items, like with great shipping discounts or affordable add-ons, you can use the average Bounce Rate across your listings (not your home page) as one part of measuring the success of this. (Of course, your best indicator will be the size of actual orders!)
Well, do I want a low bounce rate or not??
At a basic level, yes, you want to reduce your bounce rate. But what you can actually learn from the bounce rate varies depending on the type of page you’re analysing.
A bounce on your shop home means something different to a bounce on a listing.
I recommend only paying attention to the bounce rate of individual pages or pages that are all the same type. So forget about your site average and start diving a bit deeper!