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Why Did My Bounce Rate Go Sky-High After Changing Dynamic Urls To Stat


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13 replies to this topic

#1 DiKaKo

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:12 AM

We changed our urls from dynamic to static. On 16 May 2012 the bouce rate went from 15% to 50% and above. We didn't change the content, nor we changed the design of the site. We simply moved the dynamic urls to static and the old urls were redirected with 301. Does anybody know why that happened?  I also wonder if bounce rate features into google algorithm? 

 
I attach a screenshot of my google analytics. The change also negatively affected Pagevews and Pages/Visit. 

Thank you in advance! 

Edited by Jill, 26 January 2013 - 08:47 AM.
Removed website as per forum rules


#2 qwerty

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:04 AM

Are you absolutely certain that only the URLs have changed? I think you need to do some extensive testing, because I don't think I've ever heard of this happening. It may be that your redirects aren't actually issuing 301 responses, because I'm almost 100% certain that GA doesn't treat a real 301 as a bounce, but with a 302, a JS-based redirect or a meta refresh, I'm not so sure.

 

I think it's also possible that there was something about your old dynamic URLs that caused GA to inaccurately report their bounce rates as lower than they really were. 15% is pretty low as the average bounce rate for an entire site, in my opinion. If that had been an accurate rate, it would be pretty impressive.

 

One more question: have the new URLs all been indexed?


Edited by qwerty, 26 January 2013 - 09:06 AM.


#3 SelfMade

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:33 AM

Qwerty,

 

Out of interest.

 

What is considered a "good" bounce rate. Or what would you say was "ok".

 

Genuinely interested to know.



#4 qwerty

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:55 AM

Well... that's a more complicated question than you might think. I'd say it varies a lot, depending on the content of a site and of particular pages. For example, if I ran a site that showed the current weather and people clicked through to my site from the SERP for a query like [current temperature boston ma], I'd expect a very high bounce rate, because users would see the information they wanted immediately and then they'd be done.

 

But when you talk about a consistent bounce rate for an entire site, where some pages will have a higher rate and some will have a lower one, 15% feels really low to me. You have to figure that this means that very few pages have bounce rates over 70%, or the average would be quite a bit higher, and there are going to be some pages where the rate is well under 10%.

 

And since I don't know anything about DiKaKo's site, my observance that 15% feels low may not be realistic, but in my experience with a wide variety of sites in a wide variety of niches, I've seen a rate that low for individual pages, but I don't think I've ever seen it as the average for a whole site.

 

So what's a good bounce rate? It's one that's lower than it was a few months ago. It's one that went down after you made a change to your page's layout, or added new content. It's one that didn't go up after you increased your click-through rate. It's like what that judge said when he tried to define "obscenity":  I can't tell you what it is, but I know it when I see it.



#5 SelfMade

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:30 AM

Well,

 

One of my sites is @57%

 

At first sight that looked high.

 

Coming back to the original post, 15% seems pretty damn low to me too. :disguise:



#6 DiKaKo

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:59 AM

Thank you all for the replies. Indeed, we found few of the pages that had problems with 301 redirect but these pages were minor-traffic pages and it wouldn't affect the bounce rate so much. We also used the old tracking code with the dynamic urls as well as with the static urls. So, if it was the tracking code wrongly counting the bounce rate it should had worked the same way as it was working with the dynamic. Now we had implemented the new tracking code and if there is a change I will post here to let you know. 

 

Yes, we also think that 15% is very low bounce rate but it also has a reason that may support such low bounce rate. We offer TOEFL practice tests for students that are to sit for the exam. We have a FREE TOEFL sample test which is something all students that are considering taking this exam will like a lot. There is not much on the net for free. We also have other free study resources that in my oppinion should make them browse the site and get them.

 

I also provided the site url if someone felt like reviewing it but it seems the moderators have taken it off. So, it is  REMOVED (I hope that is not to be punished. I really need a help concerning that issue). 


Edited by Jill, 26 January 2013 - 11:17 AM.


#7 piskie

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:12 PM

Bounce rate can be adversely affected by Scattergun SEO.

 

Attracting everything under the sun because a visitor is a visitor is a visitor as the yardstick will result in masses of bounces. Whereas well thought out and Targeted SEO and promotion will get the right visitors that are a good fit to the market sector and content. Then it's up to the site itself to be Sticky enough to hold them.


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#8 chrishirst

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 06:11 PM

"Bounce" rate is really a per URL metric and only of real use when analysing advertising campaign landing pages..

 

What's a "good" bounce rate?

 

If your URLs are for lead generating or advertising displays a 100% bounce rate would be FANTASTIC because every visitor probably  left via an advert.

 

 

Scattergun SEO.

:) AKA Machine Gun marketing.



#9 DiKaKo

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 03:22 AM

Thank you, Chrishirst! Do you mean that it is not included into google algorithm? Because that is what bothers me mostly. I did notice a slight change in traffic, negatively of course, dispite starting to add fresh content via our Q&A section few months ago and despite launching a new product little bit earlier. It worries me that google push us down the search order because of the high bounce rate. 



#10 Jill

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:42 AM

Do you mean that it is not included into google algorithm? 

 

Yes, it is not included. 



#11 SelfMade

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:35 AM

 

Yes, it is not included. 

 

That's classified.

 

How could you know?



#12 Jill

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:19 PM

Because how would Google know the bounce rate of every page in the entire universe?



#13 SelfMade

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:25 PM

Because how would Google know the bounce rate of every page in the entire universe?

 

Because they are google perhaps?


Edited by SelfMade, 27 January 2013 - 12:25 PM.


#14 chrishirst

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:25 PM

ok

 

 

Because they are google perhaps?

 

So ...

 

I have a collection of document URLs on a domain name idontcareaboutgoogle.com and I have promoted it at many different places, but Google is blocked from indexing, so they have no information on the site. No Google anaytics, No Google WMT account, in all respects invisible to Google how are they going to find the "bounce rate" of ANY URL on the site?


Edited by chrishirst, 27 January 2013 - 01:27 PM.





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