Bounces Are Sometimes Good

If you have Google’s free service Google Analytics installed on your site, you often see the Bounce Rate statistic. A simple definition of a ‘page bounce’ is a one-page-visit. The user session (page visit) consists of a visit to only one page on your web site. To learn more about how Analytics counts bounces here is a great resource on Google Analytics’ blog: Understanding Bounce Rate.

Most internet professionals say they don’t like bounced visits. They want prospective customers to visit many pages and read all the words, and look at all the pictures. My take is different in the context of RV park marketing, RV camping web sites, and campground reservations.

Our goal is to sell reservations not to create longer website visits.

Bounce is not always bad in Google Analytics

Some user sessions are motivated by the consumer wanting a simple bit of information about a business, such as the store hours, the store phone number, email or the mailing address. All of these are available on the home page (and every page of your site…right?). People don’t need to find the ‘Contact Us’ page if the contact info is on every page (in the footer, at least).

In my RV park and campground AdWords practice, we’ve decided that a lot of the consumers only want to find the phone number on the web–the consumer demographic is skewed to folks who prefer making a phone call over studying a web site for their answers. And it’s hard to plan a vacation on the tiny screens of smart phones.

After realizing that web visits that result in a call to the reservations desk are ok, I’ve calmed down about Home page bounce because consumers only really visited the web site to get a phone number. Most of organic search in camping is like “…honey, look up that campground’s phone number…what was the RV park’s name?” They find the property web site, get the phone number, close the web page and make a phone call to ask about site widths, pet policies, and a lot more.

A bounced visit to Home page is sometimes a good web page visit, when it helps customers find you and call.