INBOX INSIGHTS, January 18, 2023: How To Improve Bounce Rate, Instagram for Brands

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How To Improve Bounce Rate

Let’s talk bounce rate. Love it or hate it, it’s a metric that people care about. In essence, bounce rate is how long someone spent looking at your hard work.

More specifically, “A bounce is a single-page session on your site. In Analytics, a bounce is calculated specifically as a session that triggers only a single request to the Analytics server, such as when a user opens a single pa ge on your site and then exits without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server during that session.

Bounce rate is single-page sessions divided by all sessions, or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the Analytics server.

These single-page sessions have a session duration of 0 seconds since there are no subsequent hits after the first one that would let Analytics calculate the length of the session.” (source)

When asked the question “Is a high bounce rate a bad thing?” even Google says, “It depends.”

Because it’s a community of smart and talented people, I asked our Free Slack Group, Analytics for Marketers what advice they would give on how to best improve bounce rate.

The consensus from the community was that bounce rate is dependent on the goal of the page. For example, pages where you need someone to take action, like a landing page, should have a low bounce rate. If those pages have a high bounce rate, that’s where you prioritize content optimization. Pages that are just content, like blogs, for example, can tolerate larger bounce rates and is dependent on the length of the content.

Another great piece of advice given by the community was to give people lots of ways to consume the content. Did you post a video? Think about adding just the audio file and the transcript as well.

The community also suggests that you do some research into your users and competitors. Look at how your competitors are presenting content and see if there are any tips you can take back to your team. Put yourself in the shoes of your end user. Are you giving them what they asked for, or are you giving them what you want them to consume?

I would also add that if bounce rate is a metric you care about, make sure you’re using a piece of software on your site like Microsoft Clarity or HotJar. This type of User Experience (UX) software will tell you more specifically where your users are getting stuck and where they are leaving. From there, you can create a more focused plan to optimize your content to improve your bounce rate.

Lastly, I will leave you with this. Before overhauling your site and your content, is bounce rate the right metric for you? Maybe it is. However, maybe it’s just a distraction and there are more useful metrics that you can track and take action on. Something to consider.

What are your thoughts on bounce rate? Reply to this email or come tell me about it in our Free Slack Group, Analytics for Marketers.

– Katie Robbert, CEO

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Data Diaries: Interesting Data We Found

In this week’s Data Diaries, let’s see how the year is starting off for brands on Instagram. At this time last year, brands were hovering around 0.25% engagement, or roughly 1 out of every 40,000 followers engaging with brand content. How’s it looking this year?

Brand Instagram engagement

The short answer is that it’s slightly lower, but more or less holding steady since last year. Thus it’s safe to say that if your Instagram strategies are delivering an engagement rate higher than 0.2% or 0.25%, you’re doing well on Instagram as a brand.

Let’s now take a look at the different content types:

Brand Instagram engagement by content

This graph is a little more concerning; what’s dragging brands down is video. As a reminder, video in Instagram’s API also includes Reels (but not Stories). This time last year, engagement rates for brand video were double what they are today.

So what? What’s the key takeaway here? Instagram’s still – for brands – an image-based format, no matter how hard Meta tries to make it a Snapchat TikTok BeReal clone. If you’re creating content solely in one of the video formats like Stories or Reels, be sure you’re posting more traditional content as well to maximize engagement, as long as it’s aligned with your overall content strategy.

Methodology statement: Trust Insights extracted 256,908 unique Instagram posts from brands via Crowdtangle, a Meta company. Engagements are defined as the combination of likes plus comments; engagement rate is engagements divided by the number of followers. The timeframe of the data is December 27, 2022 – January 15, 2023. The date of study is January 11, 2023. Trust Insights is the sole sponsor of the study and neither gave nor received compensation for data used, beyond applicable service fees to software vendors, and declares no competing interests.

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