With all averages, however, there is always more to the story. Consider these two situations:
- Visitor A arrives on one of your product pages and clicks away after a few seconds
- Visitor B arrives on one of your product pages and spends a couple of minutes on it before leaving
Without extra context, you could assume that Visitor B is interested in your products because of the time he spent on the page, and argue that his bounce is more problematic than Visitor A’s, who showed less interest by staying for a shorter time.
Then again, Visitor A might have been expecting something very specific she couldn’t immediately find and left in frustration, while Visitor B could have had zero desire to purchase anything and just kept reading out of curiosity.
There is no difference between either scenario in Google Analytics’ eyes: they're both a bounce. But for you as a website owner, manager, or optimizer, knowing what happened in scenario B—where something was either broken or impossible to find—might be the key to improving your conversion rate.
So what are you to do? (Yes, that’s a rhetorical question: I’m about to tell you in the next few paragraphs.)