Segment Bounce Rates
In my last post, I discussed a topic which I called Segment Pathing, which allows you to see how Pathing on your site differs by Visitor Type or Campaign Tracking Code. In this post I will build upon this concept with one of the most popular topics in the Web Analytics field: Bounce Rates. While I am not as enthusiastic about Bounce Rates as many others in the field, I do understand their importance and why people like them them. However, one of my gripes with the Bounce Rate metric (which I have always defined as Single Access/Entries) is that there is not an easy way in SiteCatalyst to see Bounce Rates for different types of visitors or Campaigns. Unless they have Omniture Discover or are experts at ASI Segments, most of the Omniture clients I worked with were primarily looking at Bounce Rates for the entire population. While this is OK, I think we can do better than that. In this post I will show you how I create Segment Bounce Rates. However, to get the most out of this post, I strongly encourage you to read my prior post on Bounce Rates and my previous post on Segment Pathing before reading this post.
Segment Bounce Rates
As I just described, my goal when looking at Bounce Rates is to be able to tell my peers how visitors are bouncing off key pages based upon both the page and the segment. In my previous post, I highlighted two segments that I commonly use: 1) Visitor Type (i.e. Customer vs. Non-Customer) and 2) Campaign Tracking Code (i.e. visitors from Google keyword A vs. Yahoo keyword B). If I can dissect how each segment bounces off pages, I can determine if I need to create different versions of pages for each Visitor Type or Campaign Code or I can use this information to build future A/B Tests using a tool like Test&Target. As I mentioned in my last post, this is a moot point if your organization already has Omniture Discover, but as is always the case in my blogs, my goal is to show you how to do things if you only have access to SiteCatalyst.
Implementing Segment Bounce Rates
The good news is that if you have already followed my instructions from my previous post on Segment Pathing, you are 95% of the way to being done with implementing Segment Bounce Rates! As a quick recap, in my last post I described a process in which you concatenate the Page Name with another Traffic Variable (sProp) that contains a segmentation that you care about (i.e. Visitor Type). Once you have these values concatenated on every page, you enable Pathing so you can see paths or pages by segment. However, when you enable Pathing on this new sProp, you immediately gain access to the two metrics that you need to calculate Bounce Rate: Single Access & Entries. Therefore, without even knowing it, by implementing Segment Pathing, you have also implemented Segment Bounce Rates! All you need to do is to create the Bounce Rate Calculated Metric (which hopefully you already have as a Global Calculated Metric) and you are done.
So how do you see the results of your work? All you need to do is to open the new concatenated sProp and add the Bounce Rate metric to the report. In the example shown below, I will use the Campaign Pathing sProp which shows Campaign Tracking Codes concatenated with Page Names. I will add Visits, Single Access, Entries and Bounce Rate to the report:
As you can see, the Bounce Rate for each Tracking Code/Page Name combination is displayed and you can sort by any metric you wish.
As a best practice, I like to conduct a text search filter to isolate one Page Name so I can see how the Bounce Rates differ for the same page with different Campaign Tracking Codes. In the following example, I filtered on the phrase “:Home Page” and limited my results to see only Home Page Entries and the associated Bounce rates of each Campaign Tracking Code:
Keep in mind that I am only showing a few simple examples here and that this functionality can be extended to any segment of your choosing. If you want to get really advanced, you could even concatenate multiple items together, such as Visitor Type + Campaign Tracking Code + Page Name. This would allow you to see how different Visitor Types, coming from specific Campaign Tracking Codes, landing on specific Pages, navigate your site or Bounce off pages (i.e. Customer:ggl_1:Home Page). Just don’t go too crazy since there are character limits on sProps and you don’t want to exceed the 500,000 monthly unique limits on sProps.
As you can see, you get a “two for the price of one” deal if you do all of the steps in this post and the previous post. If you don’t have access to Omniture Discover and want to see how people navigate through your site or bounce off your site pages by specific segment, I suggest you give this a try and see if it helps you.