1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Bounce Rate

Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by FredC, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. FredC

    FredC Well-Known Member

    I finally got a chance to dig a bit into my Analytics, since my largest community has been powered by XF for a couple weeks now.. I can finally start to look into some old vs new trends.. One of the biggest changes ive seen so far is a serious decline in Bounce Rates. I was really shocked to say the least at the instant improvements.. Really just amazing. I suppose i can contribute most of this to the decreased load times.. from vB4 to XF 1.0.0 B5 Regardless this is just one example of why i knew XF was the best choice for my communities.. Say what you want about "mature" software.. The proof is in the pudding as they say.. At the end of the day its all about traffic and what visitors do when they find your sites.. and these low low bounce rates are a great indicator that its just a matter of time before my registration rates increase to.
    :D This makes me a happy Admin for the first time in a year.
  2. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    Very interesting!
    I look forward to other reports - because, as you know, repeatable charts are more telling.....
    this is fascinating. I always assumed high bounce rates were people who searched wrong and ended up in the wrong place - and/or some who searched right and found the answer with the first page they arrived at.

    Your chart seems to show that page load time is a bigger part!

    Can you elaborate on how you changed over - did you use a VB importer so it seemed relatively seamless to your users, or did you archive the old stuff...and/or did users need to get a new password, etc.?

    In other words, what - if any - other factors may have helped this? Also, is traffic staying the same or up? Bounce rate by itself does not tell the whole story.

    Thanks for sharing! I'm jealous.
  3. Edrondol

    Edrondol Well-Known Member

    My bounce rate has gone up a little bit, but when I say that I mean it went from 2-3% to about 6-8%. Still very livable.
  4. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    FYI, I just looked a little more carefully at my bounce rate - and amazingly enough, the most optimistic guess is what the truth seems to be. The highest bounce rate I have is 70-80% - and it is on my BEST content. That indicates that the people found what they wanted (they spent many minutes on whichever particular top article).
    My lowest bounce rates are on my s...l...o...w forums. The most popular forum pages seem to be from 15 to 20% bounce rate.

    It sounds like we all need more data...you know, one of those situations where just because it is cold outside doesn't mean global warming is not occurring (nor does it mean it is!).
  5. Edrondol

    Edrondol Well-Known Member

    Fair point. In my case it's a discussion forum. So a high bounce rate means that people came in, didn't even like the look of the place and said, "Buh-BYE!" But my vB site had a Daily Game, an Arcade and a few other time wasters. I attribute the rise in bounce rate to people not having as many options.
  6. FredC

    FredC Well-Known Member

    My assumption based on decreased load times.. Would be one of several factors. But i do believe based on users reports high loading times on vB's software where most likely the largest single factor.. ATM my traffic is actually down by about 40% from the last 15 days on vB vs the last 15 days on XF. I didnt use any redirect scrip so the lost traffic was expected.. However as google reindex's my forum the traffic has been on a very steady incline.. Also just noticed thanks to ragtek Registration Statistics Mod i was able to determine that registrations are only down by 10% which leads me to believe in a couple more weeks registrations should actually increase by almost double.

    My transfer was from vb4.0.6 to XF 1.0.0 B5 and used professional services (XenFans) to import from vB4 to XF1 The import seems to have created some buggy behavior (Usergroup Permissions) But i would consider the import a success, nothing was lost, other then my albums, Blogs and CMS content. (that was also expected) But other then that Post Thanks were also imported and converted to Likes.. PM's were ported to the new conversation system and Profile Posts also imported fine..
    Floris likes this.
  7. DoctorWatsOn

    DoctorWatsOn Well-Known Member

    My site was only launched in March 2009 using vB3, upgraded to vB4 in March 2010 – traffic rocketed coming into spring & summer, but so did the bounce rate from about 20% to over 50%.

    It had me puzzled for some time until I sussed that the site had become so well indexed on google and as it’s mainly a local ‘what’s on’ site people were finding exactly the information they wanted by landing straight into an entry in one of the event calendars or a CMS article page and then buggering straight off again.

    My trick for next year is to continue to build traffic, but reduce the bounce rate by having articles in Contentteller CMS linked to comments in an associated xF forum, and hopefully the same for event listings.
    FredC likes this.
  8. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    Great info, doc.
    In the short AND long run I think any of us who try to control user behavior are in for a rude awakening. That is, the user (and content) are king, and trying to keep them if all they want is a tidbit will, in the end, probably work against us.

    Just one opinion, of course! I always try to assume the intelligence of my visitors! (although I may be overestimating)
  9. TheComputerGuy

    TheComputerGuy Active Member

    my bounce rate is pushing 75-80%, but my traffic is 85% google searches as well.
  10. FredC

    FredC Well-Known Member

    I dont know that studying analytic trends and trying to use the data to better understand what your visitors are looking for should be confused with trying to control user behavior.

    Ive never considered a high bounce rate as a good thing.. To me a lower bounce rate confirms that a visitor found my site in a search, found what they wanted, and thought it was interesting enough to dig deeper.. Maybe get a bookmark and eventually a new registration.

    I also believe slow performing software with bloated load times are subject for a visitor to quickly press the back button and just as quickly move to another search result, from a competitors site.
    DoctorWatsOn likes this.
  11. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    I thought the same thing...until your post made me look closer at my stats! We have about 2.5 million page views a month, so the stats are pretty relevant. The pages which receive the high bounces are those with great google ranking and great information! For instance, if you want Install A Wood Stove, your google query will probably take you to my extensive article which then tells you most of what you need to know. A lot of people are not "forum types", just as a lot of people listen to talk radio but never call in.

    Another telling stat is that the value of the google ads on those high bounce pages is very high! If the people were somehow accidentally on that page or not engaged, the value would be lower (as it is on forums, due to the vast numbers of ads generated to the same general audience)......

    Each site and forum is different in these and other respects. The data and GA can only be looked at in total.....a piece doesn't say much, IMHO.
    FredC likes this.
  12. DoctorWatsOn

    DoctorWatsOn Well-Known Member

    I agree content is king, which is why I need CMS to build new sections over and above the free what's on & event listings (and forum), so that allsorts of leisure stuff is covered - eating-out, shopping, arts & antiques, days-out/attractions, etc - these new sections will be commercial.*

    I am thinking that if someone searches for ‘XYZ car-boot sale’ and they land on the site and see, for example, an ‘eating-out section’ some are likely to look further or come back.

    Within the whole 'mix' I'll be looking to make sure there's loads of 'calls to action' to get the visitors to interact more on the site, I don't expect every visitor to do that, but I am fairly sure those that do will build over time.

    * My background is local media advertising sales – newspapers, magazines & [pirate] radio – I now have decent traffic on a local what’s on site, it’s time to start selling it.
  13. Rodrigo Farcas

    Rodrigo Farcas Active Member


    Bounce rate is affected by "Where the traffic comes from"...
  14. cedivad

    cedivad Active Member

    How many visit/day do You have?
  15. FredC

    FredC Well-Known Member

    I dont want to get into a discussion relating to my analytics as a whole.. I was merely demonstrating what i consider a positive trend. Like i said i understand that load times are only a piece of the equation, However i do know and understand my community who were once also primarily search engine referrals.
  16. Jamie

    Jamie Well-Known Member

    FredC likes this.
  17. Floris

    Floris Guest

    From day 1 I have had my analytics id for xenfans.com on my instance to get stats like these, it has never worked. It's 0 on all stats.
  18. Jamie

    Jamie Well-Known Member

    Did you verify your domain with Google? I am not sure they will capture data until you have verified your domain. It's been a while since I set mine up, but I do remember having to verify my domain.

  19. briansol

    briansol Active Member

    Sorry, but the only thing this 'proves' is that people who came to your site clicked for a 2nd page.

    It could be because
    - they are lost and don't know how to use xen (its new)
    - they didn't find what they are looking for, but saw a link that had an answer/etc
    - you lost a ton of search traffic, thus most typein/bookmark/regular users come for more than 1 page vs SERP visits normally anyway and your search traffic is all trash now while it re-indexes
    - you lost ad placements and thus money as people aren't 'ad-ing out' of your site after first load.

    In order to truly compare this metric, you will need to run it against search traffic, and new vs repeat visitors.
  20. briansol

    briansol Active Member

    GA's Javasctipt runs on the client, and due to ies DOM model of try() methods, if the page isn't fully loaded, GA never loads at all. You can probably see GA always end up being the last element to load on the browser footer toolbar area.

    Any back button before full load will NEVER track on analytics.

Share This Page