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I am trying to understand numbers I see on my site and need some help.

Entry pages | Entries Bounced | % Bounced 
index.php | 23737.0 | 16512.0 | 70.0
404.php | 22726.0 | 15477.0 | 68.0
downloadform.php | 9718.0 | 6538.0 | 67.0
product1.php | 7534.0 | 3213.0 | 43.0

Does this mean visitors to my third entry (Where I ask visitors to fill out a form before downloading free s/w) are leaving in droves? That page is a form, which when submitted still displays the same URL. Does that affect the bounce rate calculation? I understand the index.php. 70% of the visitors are leaving quickly. I need an exit survey for that page (any effective methods?). That 404.php is a bother too (something from the old site, people must have bookmarked).

And another of my stats reports says:

Exit page | # of visits

404.php | 31282.0
index.php | 29846.0
downloadform.php | 10640.0
product1.php | 7227.0

I am trying to make sense of this data for further tweaking.

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2 Answers

It looks to me like your homepage is receiving a bounce rate of 70% Your 404 page - 68% The page where you are asking for user information - 67% The download page for the s/w - 43%

You should first look at optimising your homepage in terms of CTAs and user experience before implementing exit surveys as these (in my opinion) give an incredibly clunky and rather spammy feel to sites. if your homepage is correctly optimised for your current goals you shouldn't have to worry about exit surveys.

It is natural for a page that requires users to input information to have a higher than average bounce rate.

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I agree about the spammy feel from the exit survey. But, do you know how the download form URL that stays the same after submission, impacts the bounce rate calc.? I think the homepage is optimized for CTA and in-page analytics shows highest CTR for just the buttons we want (one of which is going to the download form). I am examining how and (whether) I need to do something abt reducing the bounce rate. –  Vick Aug 2 '12 at 18:49
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Homepage Bounce Rate = 70% You could also use A/B testing on your homepage, different color schemes, fonts, images all different types of combinations to work out the best homepage that will convert.

404 Page Bounce Rate = 68.0% I would recommend that you create a redirect after a certain amount of time to your homepage, this can be done by creating a custom 404 page. Put something on it like 'Sorry this page may have been moved, directing you to the homepage'. Some users may not like this so simply putting a link back to the homepage may help your bounce rate

Download Form Bounce Rate = 67.0 I would use A/B testing with this form, maybe your asking users for to much information, the more information that you ask for the higher chance that they will leave your website.

I have also added a little formatting and maths which may help you understand the chart more. Here is a link below with information on A/B testing with google. https://support.google.com/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1745147

     Entry pages | # of Visitors | # of Visitors Bounced | % Bounced | Total Visitors

     index.php   | 23737.0       | 16512.0               | 70.0      | 7225

         404.php | 22726.0       | 15477.0               | 68.0

downloadform.php | 9718.0        | 6538.0                | 67.0

    product1.php | 7534.0        | 3213.0                | 43.0
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