Google AdWords: What Is My “Bounce Rate?”

Are you using Google AdWords to promote your business on the Web? Do you know your “bounce rate?” Your bounce rate can help you tell if your AdWords campaign is effective.

What Is My Bounce Rate?

When people visit your website, a certain number leave after viewing the home (or landing) page, without exploring other pages on the site. This is undesirable: you want customers to view more pages. The bounce rate tells you the rate at which people bounced off your site. You can view your bounce rate and other important metrics using Google Analytics.

Since bounce rate refers to people leaving the site, a lower bounce rate is better. This metric is especially important for pay-per-click campaigns like Google AdWords. If you have a very high bounce rate of 90%, and you pay $2 per click, it means that you’re actually paying $20 for one person to view your site past the first page!

How Can I Lower My Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate is an indicator of how relevant your website content is to the visitor. If you’re getting a high bounce rate with your AdWords pay-per-click ad campaign, it generally means your ads are reaching too broad an audience, and/or they are not reaching your target audience. Use your AdWords ad headline and description to qualify your customers before they click on the link. Choose your text so that only likely customers will click on the ad.

By default your AdWords keywords are set up to broadly match the search keyword(s). Google tends to implement options that generate more clicks! You can change the settings from broad match to exact match, and use negative keywords to reduce your ad’s appearance in unwanted searches.

One method to improve poorly performing ad campaigns is to create a large number of keywords and different ads (10 or so) targeting various niches within your market. Then come back in a week or two and prune the least-performing ones.

How Can I Tell If It’s Working?

Google Analytics allows you to set up “conversions.” A conversion is a goal your customer achieves after taking some action (like buying a product). Submitting a contact form is a common goal conversion.

In order to count only successfully submitted forms as conversions, one trick I use is to redirect the contact form to a unique “thank you” page, and use that page as the conversion. (The thank you page has a simple script that redirects to the home page after a short countdown.)

AdWords Advice

If you use Google AdWords, monitor your campaign closely, especially after making changes, to ensure your expenses don’t take an unexpected jump. Google AdWords representatives may contact you occasionally to help optimize your ads. Beware of new features or other changes Google reps make to your account that may have unexpected costs.

For assistance with your Google AdWords or Google Analytics accounts, contact Foothill Web at (650) 965-5722.