My Bounce % is Awful, Critique my site please?

Discussion in 'Website Creation' started by lindsayblairbrown, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. It's been a while since I lit a fire under myself to work on my site and get my work out to a larger audience.
    I have been searching high and low for opinions from peers I trust and value however - where's the fun in that? bottom line is you typically get the fluffy answers from people who love and respect you.
    Not saying I can't earn your respect...just want to give a larger audience with no personal ties to me a go.
    Thanks in advance.
    here we go:
  2. Why are you worried about the bounce percentage? It's really almost meaningless as is the number of visitors since visitors can disable any tracking scripts. I've found the Google analytics numbers to be inconsistent at best and misleading at worst, in part because I can track my own visits when I add, update or correct Web pages on my Website. I only look at the variety of Web pages visitors view to judge where to focus my immediate work.
    As for your Website I like it and I'll probably look like a bounce visitors since I hit the sections and scanned the images. The visit gave me a quick view of your focus and your work, to say, "Cool.", and will occasionally visit to see changes or new work. It's clean, organized and has some interesting images. I love the Americana images, especially the car in front of the KFC. I never understand people who put those wheels on older cars, always reminds me of a Hot Wheels car.
  3. Just for the wider audience, what is a bounce %?
  4. Mendel - Bounce percentage is the percentage of visitors to a site that only view one page and then leave.
    Lindsay - The site is fine. Navigation is straightforward, and the pictures are well done. What are you trying to accomplish with it?
  5. Hey there! Thanks so much for your replies
    Scott -
    To answer your question - I was worried about the bounce rate since I am advertising my site and found a very high rate (75%) reported in my Google Analytics. I was wondering if there was something more I could do to prevent that and invite visitors to stay beyond the home page and view my work. I am putting a strong effort forward to try and get more exposure and the likes of. If people aren't taking the time to view my galleries, that is hard to achieve.
    To be fair, I have not researched the effectiveness of using Google Analytics - I was not aware how inconsistent it can be. I didn't realize how easy it was to disable tracking scripts, making this feature of Google Analytics quite useless.
    Thank you for taking the time to look through my site. I love, love, love that moment so much with the KFC. My goodness, my buddy Justin and I had such a good laugh over it. The people in that Nashville KFC were laughing at us laughing at the car to top it off. I don't understand that culture of large wheels on cars for show, either. To each their own.
    Michael - Dave covered it. Thanks for that, Dave.
    Dave - Thank you for also taking the time to view my site. As I was saying in my response to Scott - the main goal is to gain more exposure for my body of work in hopes to get more exhibitions, sell prints and continue to grow. Honestly, the best thing I found about having my work online is getting feedback about it. Rarely do I receive constructive feedback - however, I have gotten "hey I really like this series" or "do you have more photos of a,b,c?" It's interesting to see how people react to my work and it helps shape what I'm thinking about while out photographing whatever strikes me.
    hope that answers your question :)
  6. I think your home page says a lot about what people want to see, which means you're doing a good job showing people that and it's just many are saying, "Ok.", and moving on. That doesn't mean they didn't bookmark it or won't come back. I would focus on the total number of visitors over time, noting it will vary.The question you have to answer is what attracts visitors to stay or better yet return, and that requires keeping it updated and adding stuff to get visitors to stay, such as additional galleries, a blog, travel guide to the images, etc.
    As for the bounce rate, I design my Website so visitors can bookmark individual Web pages to avoid going through other Web pages, the home page or through a overlaying script-generated page, so the bounce rate is high for my Website. With that I can judge what's popular to focus the work to keep those Web pages updated or add new material to expand the visitors' interest to stay or visit more pages. It's less about the bounce rate than the total visitor rate and especially the return rate to specific Web pages
    But then my Website is more a photo guide than image presentation. I've found there are so many photographers with Websites for their images, it's easy for visitors to look and wander to the next one. There's a lot of competition from other photographers' Websites, social and photo media Websites, and media outlets, so you have to find a niche where your Website works and people keep coming or coming back.
    Good luck.
  7. Probably a somewhat minor point but, once in the galleries, if there were a way to click on each large image to move to the next rather than having to click below on the thumbnail, I'd find that more convenient. Really just a preference of mine but, these days, it seems like most images are clickable so it did feel a bit off to me to have to rely on the thumbnails for navigation.
  8. Scott- Thank you for your encouragement. I have since checked in on the view rates and the new versus returning visitors. I found your comments very helpful in putting my mind at ease over this. It was disappointing to see that rate when I have poured a good amount of time and effort into designing this site. My biggest pet peeve about websites is always ease of use. I reference a few of my favorites by using a clean simple layout with easy to see features - like the gallery right up front.
    I need to make more of a pattern for updates. I think that's what I'm missing - the "why should I come back?" piece. I think I need to commit myself to updating every week or maybe every other. Even if it's adding one image and removing another. I can't churn out new essays every week but maybe I can plan to have a new gallery once a month... It's tough with film. The cheapest processing is a 2 week ordeal and then I need to scan and get the images prepped. Boohoo, I know. Sometimes I wish I didn't sell all my digital equipment so I could still lean on it for the in between spurts of scanning film. Maybe I will. Who knows! Not to say processing and posting digital is significantly easier - but it is slightly less time consuming! Thank you again for your support, Scott. It means a lot. When I submitted the post I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm very happy I made the post!
    Fred - I totally hear you on that! I offered 4ormat (the folks who designed that theme) some feedback. I toyed around with a few of their layouts. Lovely company. Thing is, this is the closest to what I was looking for without doing my own thing completely. Thank you for your input - I might nudge them again and see if there is a way to update this.
    I'm with you 100% on that feedback! Thank you, Fred!
  9. Lindsay, unless the people who are disabling the analytics code are a non-random sample, the statistics being
    reported by google analytics should still be valid. If randomly 10% have disabled the code (which I think would
    be extremely high) the bounce rate of the other 90% should still represent you audience in a statistically
    meaningful way— you-re just getting a sample rather than the whole population.

    Having said that, you need to make sure you understand what analytics is reporting. For example, I have a
    pretty high bounce rate on my site which bugged me until I realized that most of it is accounted for by a few
    very specific blog posts that rank high in search engines. People arrive from Google read it, find what they
    wanted, and leave. The bounce rate on these pages are in the mid 90% area. But the bounce rate on my
    home page is much, much lower.

    This suggests that my home page is doing it's job, but I could probably work harder to entice random blog
    visitors to stick around. That's probably accurate and good advice.

    Another thing you should be aware of is since you are using javascript to navigate in the galleries, you may
    not be capturing those clicks with analytics. (You need to set up analytics events to do that). So if I land on
    your gallery and look at every image then leave, it may count as a bounce, but it shouldn't. There's info here
    on events:

    You should also make sure you understand the audience that's bouncing as well as you can. A bounce rate of
    100% among those who will never use your services is not very relevant (well, I think google search rankings
    MIGHT take bounce rates into account). But if you are advertising to a certain audience and they are
    bouncing, it's probably time to make some changes and do some testing. It seems the first rule of everything
    is to understand your audience. It wasn't really clear to me looking at your site who your audience is, which
    makes it pretty hard to offer any specific advise about the design and editing.

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