Should Personal Injury Firms Pay Attention to Bounce Rate?
Are you a personal injury attorney who’s trying to determine if your website is performing? One oftentimes over-exaggerated metric is bounce rate.
First, let’s look at what bounce rate is:
bounce rate (noun) – the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
Have you ever gone to a web page, gotten the answer that you needed, and then left? Did that page answer your intent?
That’s what you should consider when measuring bounce rate: intent.
If I Google “how many car accidents in houston each year” and I arrive at the answer in short order, why would a consumer navigate to a different page? This epxerience would increase my bounce rate, but I don’t necessarily think it means that the landing page didn’t perform as designed.
Most content can be categorized to one of three locations in a funnel:
- top of the funnel (very broad; awareness-oriented queries)
- middle of the funnel (more specific; legal questions, FAQs, etc.)
- bottom of the funnel (more narrowly focused; practice area pages)
Let’s take a further look at each level and make a case for why bounce rate is useless in measuring them.
If a consumer types in “accident safety technology,” and there are several blogs on your site about the topic, you could make a case for having a low bounce rate. Compare this to someone who is searching for “self-driving cars” and is merely looking for general info on the topic: they may read one blog and leave. This is not to say that either consumer didn’t have their intent met, but they will have very different bounce rates.
Let’s look at the middle of the funnel.
Let’s say someone searched for “what to do after a car accident.” If the individual just wanted to know what precautionary steps to take after an accident, he may only read one blog and get the information he needed at that time. However, a different consumer intent could have already had an accident occur and be actively seeking an attorney. The transition may be “what to do after a car accident,” to the car accident practice area page, to the contact form. The two paths are similar, but the first generates a high bounce rate and the second low…but in both cases, bounce rate is irrelevant. For each, the consumer’s intent is plausibly met.
A third circumstance (bottom of the funnel) may see an individual enter through a car accident page, see a phone number, make a call, then leave, showing a high bounce rate, but a capture. In a second case, a consumer may enter a car accident page, then a contact form, and show a low bounce rate. In both situations, the end result is the same: a conversion occurs.
All of the above are signs that looking at bounce rate on its own is a useless mechanism for determining site optimization. Bounce rate should instead be used in conjunction with other metrics (such as time on site and/or lead flow) to properly gauge the health and effectiveness of a site.
Don’t agree? Feel free to bounce after you’ve left a comment below.