First I suppose I need to define what exactly a bounce is.
Bounce (Bounce Rate):
Wikipedia defines a bounce as occurring "when a website visitor immediately leaves a website after viewing only a single page...The Bounce Rate for a website is the number of web site visitors who visit only a single page of a website per session divided by the total number of website visitors."
So essentially according to wiki anyone who comes to your site and takes no other action(s), and promptly leaves is a bounce.
Now this is where it gets a little I dont know tricky for me, because I have been reading bout bounce rate for about a week now trying to figure out if high is bad, and if so how bad, and why would it be high. Only 1 reason below fits the above definition. Not to say that wiki is wrong, but....
Here are some reasons I think it could be high
1. The landing page just wasn't what the person was looking for.
example: Say I have a red sweater online but it doesnt mention long or short sleeved, the person is looking for long and of course I have short, as soon as they get to the site and see the short sleeve sweater they hit the back button and boom, I have a bounce.
2. I am on one of those guaranteed traffic sites.
example: Link Referral, while at first you are thinking "great", look at all the people coming to my site from Link Referral. What you are failing to see is the bounce rate with it. Most come look at your first page and leave. Go back " Ah nice site" and give you a ten or nine. Yippee someone went to my site and reviewed it. Again bounce, most of the time people dont look at your site, check out your pages, actually spend time at your site. Those traffic sites like this one that say you have to visit so many sites to get on page rank or to get featured or what ever the gimmick is that they use to get you to visit 30 or 40 sites a day, just imagine all the people doing their 30 or 40 pages. I dont know about you, but if the site was not any thing I wanted to see I would automatically exit out and go to my next have to visit site. Bounce.....
3. Visitor is Price Comparing
example: A visitor is looking for sites selling Chanel No. 5 in order to find the best place and price to buy one online. They enter on the product page from a search query, make a note of the site and leave. Bounce.....
4. Oh The Phone!
example: A visitor spends longer looking at a page than the timeout period for a visitor session. Say a customer arrives at your site, where they can click on a featured link, and the phone rings and its a long lost cousin from Tennessee, they ramble on and on about this and that and before you know it its been an hour. Guess what...your site has just sat there with nothing going on, 60 minutes on the same page is also considered a bounce. 20 minutes dead on the site is a bounce.
5. Informational Inquiry
example: The customer comes to your site checks your terms and leaves. Anything under 15 seconds is a bounce.
6. AD Sense
example: The purpose of your site is for people to click on adsense ads, and these ads are well-targeted on your page. Your bounce rate should be high. That means someone just came to the site to find the ad, they did clicked and out.
As you can see these are all scenarios in which the above definition doesnt compute, but believe me they are just as accurate for bounce as anything else.
You know the key elements for having a successful site.
Easy to use
And mind you that they all need to be filled out.
Do not advertise in your about, home, terms, FAQ, or contact pages.
Do not spam your customer
Make sure your content is relevant to the site.
I know that this is a lot of grasp well for me first thing this morning, but it is viable information that does not need to be taken lightly.
Google, AOL, MSN, all of the major search engines want to see a low bounce rate, that insures them that the content is relevant to the customer or person whom is looking for contented information. They wont place you in high ranking if your site isnt worth looking at. Make it worth your customers while to stay a while and browse.
Anyone who wants quality reviews just let us know, I am sure that Me, My Book Barn, Comycliz or even one of the other members would not mind helping. I dont mind constructive criticism, I just want my customer to want to stay and shop, as I am sure you all want that as well.
Hope this helps, it was extremely informative for me.