Google Analytics: Bounce Rate

Samuel McCracken
What is considered the industry benchmark bounce rate percentage utilizing the Google Analytics Bounce Rate metrics tool regarding retail automotive websites? I realize length of time on the site and depth of pages plays a key role in this.
Mike Fitzpatrick
Bounce rate is a metric that is great to be monitoring, but be careful about percentages and averages. Every dealership website is going to be unique, based on location, site design, SEM, SEO, name, etc. A bounce is defined by Google as a visit to a page on your site with an immediate exit (so they don't click any other page). This means that if I am looking for your phone number, get to your home page and leave I am counted as a bounce, but yet this is a conversion too. So when looking at bounces in Google make sure and do some filtering and segmenting of the data to get a true picture. Are people bouncing more as direct hits, referrals, or organic? Look at the map overlay and determine if most of your bounces are coming from out of the area. After you look at the data in multiple ways you will hopefully discover a page or pages on your site that you can make better. Analytics are only as good as the decisions that you can make from them, otherwise they are just numbers. That is the long answer,
Eric Miltsch
Sam, Using GA's benchmarking data, I'm seeing the vehicle shopping segment within the Automotive sector shows a bounce rate for the prior 30 days of 38.84%. For the previous year, I see a BR of 37.28%. Pay close attention to the bounce rates on your inventory search results, vehicle detail pages and contact pages. If you're running higher than the benchmark data on those pages, you may want to look at your on-page elements. (page copy, call to actions, page layout, etc.) If your visitors aren't finding what they came for, they will leave - quickly.
Mike Fitzpatrick
Keep in mind that the benchmark data is pretty general as to what sites you are being benchmarked against. This is going to be an average of all kinds of sites in the Automotive category, not necessarily just car dealership sites. Even when you drill down one more level to Vehicle Shopping under the Automotive category in the benchmark the percentage is 35.25% and can include portal sites and other non-dealership websites. If you are running at anything over 20% you need to take a closer look at what is going on. There are two main reasons a visitor to your site may leave as soon as they arrive. 1) they obtained what they where looking for on the entry page, and then left without going deeper into your site or 2) they ended up on your site and realized that it wasn’t what they were looking for in the first place. For the first, I would recommend that you put tracking numbers on your site for every profit center so that you have more information. Once you can determine how many calls you are getting then
Eric Miltsch
Good stuff Mike... As a side note - Google just launched a program similar to their Certified AdWords Consultant program, this time for analytics. Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) was just rolled out on the 3rd; 4 separate modules that lead up to the IQ Test. You can find all the info here: http://www.google.com/support/conversionuniversity/
Jared Hamilton
Awesome link Eric, that is a great resource! I am embarrassed but must honestly admit I had not seen that prior to you sharing. Thanks!

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