In an environment rich with social media sites providing quick fix for our short attention spans what is an acceptable time for a visitor to spend on a Blog? If you don’t keep track of the statistics of your site Google Analytics will do nicely for tracking your site statistics.
The Bounce Rate (also called % Exit) is the percentage of visitors that leave your site without clicking any further links. So if they were sent to a certain page on your site by Google search, they looked at that page, then left.
The Wiki goes on to explain that different types of pages should expect different bounce rates based on the type of traffic expected to visit that page.
1) Typical traffic expected on a modern blog that may not be expected to stay long could consists of:
- users who are following links from social media sites
- users who are coming from an rss feed just to read a page – even though they are probably regular readers.
- users who are reading an article on another blog and have followed a link to see a particular point
2) Traffic that may be expected to stay longer and read different pages may include:
- users researching
- users searching
- users who intend on interacting in some way – comment, contact etc
If you get a lot of traffic from the first bracket rather than the second bracket you are likely to have a much higher bounce rate, but is this cause for concern?
Perhaps a better way to look at it would be to look at individual pages. Is your prize article, your best work sending users running?
Another factor is site structure. Do you use extracts on your homepage or do you display the full post? If you are displaying full posts your bounce rate is going to be higher than the same content on a site that uses extracts, as users don’t have to click anything to read your full articles.
Social Media Patterns
StumbleUpon (SU) – A large percentage of the traffic for this blog comes from SU users. It is so easy for a SU user to click the stumble button on their toolbar, be sent to a site that doesn’t at first look like their cup of tea, then instantly click stumble again. If your SU traffic has a high bounce rate, then maybe you need to consider working on the first appearance of your site. What is visible when the page loads and is that a good message to send visitors? Fortunately, the first impression of Pingable must be ok, because SU users have one of the lowest bounce rates of traffic sources for this blog.
Digg – Digg users are notorious for heading to a site, looking at what they see, then leaving straight away. I haven’t had any popular articles on Digg so I can’t really comment on how true this is.
So to answer the question…What is a good bounce rate for a blog? Obviously the lower your bounce rate is better, regardless of all the reason you may have for it being poor. If your bounce rate is over 50% then maybe your are marketing your content to the wrong crowd. Is writing that Digg bait really winning you readers? What first impression does your site make? As long as the bounce rate for certain pages and traffic sources suggest things are good, I wouldn’t get too worried about it.