Beep. Beep. Beep. There it is again. That faint, tinny-sounding noise.
Beep. Beep. Beep. It’s difficult to hear because oxygen deficit is causing my ears to ring. I’m “sucking wind,” and my labored breathing is the sound I hear the loudest.
Beep. Beep. Beep. It’s my heart rate monitor telling me that I’m exceeding my maximum heart rate — again.
In some situations, that might be cause for alarm. But since I was doing interval training, peddling my bike as fast as I could up a steep hill in Mill Creek Park, it wasn’t unusual. In fact, it was the goal — at least for 20 seconds at a time.
At the top of the hill, the beep eventually subsides as I recover. “Wow….” Pant, Pant, Pant. “That was hard.” Pant, Pant, Pant. My training partner just nods and takes a drink of water.
I don’t hear that beep much anymore. That’s because I don’t wear the heart rate monitor much anymore.
I realized I was getting the same information from other feedback — like how I am feeling. I know I’m exceeding my max heart rate when my ears ring and it’s hard to breathe. Duh.
So now, I only wear the monitor and listen for the beep a few times a year as a back-up measure to my instincts.
From Beeps To Bounces
And that’s kind of how I use Web Analytics (the study of website use) — especially measurements like the “bounce rate.” Like my heart monitor, I use Web Analytics a few times a year as a back-up measure to other feedback.
Let’s look at the Bounce Rate. It’s is a popular term and measurement from Web Analytics that can be helpful to a certain extent…but it’s widely overrated.
Wikipedia says the Bounce Rate represents the percentage of visitors who enter your website site and “bounce” (leave the site) rather than continuing to view other pages within your site. They may even stay on your home page for 30 minutes. But if they leave after viewing only your home page, it’s a “bounce.”
According to an Inc.com article: “As a rule of thumb, a 50 percent Bounce Rate is average. If you surpass 60 percent, you should be concerned. If you’re in excess of 80 percent, you’ve got a major problem.”
Is There A Problem?
But is a bounce a bad thing? Not necessarily. If a person finds what he or she is looking for on the home page, you may have achieved your goal for that person.
Typically, when someone has a computer or smartphone handy and needs a phone number of an organization, they will do a quick search for the organization on the web. They grab the phone number or email address, or note the location — then “bounce.” What’s wrong with that?
Your Website Objectives
Your website should have three key objectives: Attract. Inform. Engage. In most cases you’ll need more than one page to accomplish these objectives — but not always. If we can accomplish those objectives with just a home page, we do it.
I ask clients to consider three main questions when we’re building a new website for them or revamping their existing website :
- Who is my audience? Define the target(s) in as much detail as possible.
- What do they want from me? Understand why they came to the site to begin with.
- What do I want from them? Develop a strong “Call to Action.”
Go ahead and use Google Analytics. Check your bounce rate. But focus a little more on the organic signs of stress or success. And focus a little less on the “Beep. Beep. Beep.”