Why Bounce Rate Needs To Die

There are a lot of digital marketing metrics which have been ushered into well-deserved graves over the years: impressions, followers, fans, visits. As marketers have become more and more savvy – and digital analytics have become better – we’ve found ourselves able to connect almost everything to real, business-valuable metrics.

Bounce rate is a useless KPIAnd yet metrics like “bounce rate” continue to hold undue sway over our decision making. They’re quick, singular metrics that are spit out automatically by any web analytics tool – but just because they’re easy and available doesn’t mean they’re KPIs.

Bounce rate can be valuable as an indicator – are there landing pages where people hit and go quickly? Are my ads saying something that my landing page isn’t? However, as a judge of advertising avenues, bounce rate needs to be left to the dustbin of history.

Just as visits and impressions became cost-per-impression, cost-per-click and, more recently, cost-per-action, bounce rate needs to evolve into a metric that actually matters on a business level. This is why cost per engaged user is so much more valuable a metric, with so little effort required.

A bounce is essentially a completely unengaged visit – someone arrives to your site from an advertisement, immediately decides that he or she is not in the right place, and leaves. You’re not interested in the unengaged visitors – you’re interested in the engaged ones.

Judging an ad campaign by the negative is rarely valuable. Such is the nature of ads – you’ll get your message in front of more uninterested individuals than interested. But what you are actually interested in is the number of interested, engaged visitors, and how much it cost you to get them.

By adding a single column – spend – to your ad metric spreadsheet, you can get a much more business-useful level of insight into your campaigns. The metric is simple:

Spend / Visits / (1 – Bounce Rate) = Cost per engaged visit (CPEV)

Spend / Visits is your cost per visit (CPV). Dividing that by the engagement rate, which is 1 – bounce rate, gives the cost per engaged visit (CPEV).

This metric tells you how effective your advertising is by focusing on your spend and the positive outcomes rather than looking solely at the negative outcomes, i.e., bounces.

Contact Swoop today to see how we can drive you more engaged users with the lowest cost per engaged user and CPA metrics in the industry – reach out to sales@swoop.com for more information.

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