I Found the Elusive 0% Bounce Rate!

Almost as if I had laid my eyes on a golden unicorn, I’ve witnessed the seemingly impossible. After a 13 year career of professional online marketing, I thought I had seen it all. There are some things that you never expect to encounter. A pot of gold, Bigfoot, another decent Metallica album… (I think you get the point). For the online marketer in me, it was always the elusive 0% bounce rate. With the short attention span of web surfers these days, how could something like this even be possible?

In case there are any readers that are unclear, Google’s definition of a bounce rate is as follows:

Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).

After working on a new corporate website for a small security alarm company in Florida, Specialty Electronic Systems Inc, the plan was to gradually garner local leads using your standard on-site best practices and optimizations and a modest monthly AdWords budget. Anything that the company decided to do in their local area (networking events, mailers, etc.) would be a surprising, and welcomed, bonus to the marketing efforts.

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We launched the new site in late January - complete with a tempting offer and a simple capture form front and center. We also quickly set up our AdWords campaign to start testing traffic types for conversion rates.

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For SES Alarms, the potential conversions were the two contact forms on the site (trackable through GA) and phone calls to the phone number on the site (not trackable through GA).

Based on the variety of ad groups tested and the referral sources generating the traffic, the result was something I didn’t expect to see. Over 275 sessions in February, the bounce rate showed 0%.

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At first, I thought about there simply just not being enough traffic to make this a meaningful or statistically significant piece of data. I decided to investigate further.

The best place to scan first was the referral sources. Was there one source of traffic generating such high quality visitors? Surprisingly, the chart below shows a healthy case of traffic diversification. In fact, our PPC efforts were showing a lot less of an overall share than I expected.

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Once again, just to make sure we aren’t dealing with only a few visits, here are the actual visitation numbers we experienced.

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In short, brand discovery was taking place and these new users were seemingly engaged enough to convert into a customer for SES Alarms.

Unfortunately for this article, however, only a few leads trickled in through the contact forms. Most of the value that the client was recognizing was coming in the form of phone calls.

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Fast forward a few weeks, and we’re only seeing a slight uptick in the bounce rates. Mind you, there is a larger percentage of new sessions hitting the site, but we’re still analyzing over 200 visits per month consistently. It may not be 0% anymore, but I will not complain about having a 2.79% bounce rate. I’ll take it all day every day.

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So what’s the takeaway here? What have I learned from this website in particular? Allow me to list a few facts that I presume led the site to such low bounce rates.

  • Focused Targeting: With a limited budget, our AdWords campaigns were set to target qualified visitors.
  • User Intent: How often do you visit a security alarm company’s website? Only when you need something or when you’re price quoting, right? Exactly.
  • Special Offers: Lure prospects in with an offer that they’ll want to find out more about.
  • Page Speed: Don’t slow down a potential customers’ price quoting experience. They’ll bounce and never return. First impressions are everything.
  • Clear CTA’s: No matter where a user lands on the site, we have incentives, or simple inquiry forms, that allow them to take action. Additional pageviews are a no-brainer when you lay out the flow for a curious visitor.
  • Don’t Be Afraid To Test: It’s somewhat counterintuitive, but we tested out a lot of different ad types to see what would work. While common sense would suggest doing this would inevitably lead to something that didn’t work, we at least maintained our targeting throughout.

I can now die a happy online marketer for I have seen the unthinkable. Follow these pointers and suggestions and test your luck in the quest to finding a 0% bounce rate. I’d love to hear your stories, successes and failures, so that I can take an even deeper dive into how I got to be so lucky this time around. Good luck on your journey!