IMU Class Review: Advance Marketing Analytics

Inbound Marketing University
Inbound Marketing University

I really enjoyed yesterday’s IMU Advance Marketing Analytics class. Professor Avinash Kaushik gave an outstanding lecture of how to use Google analytics to measure your website’s success, and a great explanation of what to do if your website does not “take off” as you expected.

There was one part during the lecture, however, that made me disagree with what professor Kaushik said about Bounce Rate.

According to professor Kaushik, a high level of bounce rate means that the reader who visited your website and left after seconds, and I quote, translates to this: “I came, I puke, I left”. In other words, I visited your website for less than a second, did not like what I saw, or see, and left.

My perception in life is that every problem has more colors to it than just black and white. Professor Kaushik’s statement made me think that maybe we are not seeing the colors, and there must be more to it than just a reader not liking your website, or content.

After thinking about it all night long, I finally managed to see the “colors”.

The Black and White analysis (according to professor Kaushik):

  • Yes, your website sucks. It has poor design, lots of advertising, and the layout is very confusing to the eye to the point that you can not even find the content.
  • Your content sucks. You write about how you like to scratch your back with a fork, and check your emails in the afternoon (no one really cares about your stuff).

The “Colors” analysis:

Your website is a Blog, and you do not publish on an hourly basis, like other blogs. This is very important, and I will use an example to illustrate my point.

Let’s say you have a group of devoted readers that like what you write, and return to your site every two days, or every day even, to check if you publish a new article.

Let’s also say that your strategy is to publish an article every 5 days, since you are a single writer on your blog, and it is very hard to come up with creative content on a daily basis.

As you can imagine, the readers who enter your website on a daily basis see the same article over and over again for 5 days (until you publish a new article), and thus do not stay more than a second on your blog page (because they already read the article 2 days ago). This, as you have already concluded, causes a high Bounce Rate that has nothing to do with the creativity of your content, or the design of your website (it is not about design anyway, it is about content).

Professor Kaushik is brilliant with what he does, and in fact I highly recommend anyone who wants to learn analytics to purchase both (1, 2) of his books that cover this topic profoundly.

The point I was trying to illustrate is that every problem (in this case Bounce Rate) has more colors to it than black and white.

To all the IMU students, do you agree or disagree with this argument? Comment and let me know.

facebook comments:

  • Hi!

    You’re absolutely right in what your saying – but I do think you misunderstood Avinash.

    He actually uses blogs as the example that creates the rule – i.e. blogs can have a bounce rate of 90% and that’s just fine, but in any other case, if more than 50% of users leave before clicking (since that’s how bounce rate is calculated), well, let’s just say you have a problem =)

    Also, if you have a blog (like Avinash) that is also a way of selling your services (lecturer etc) – well then it’s imperative that you keep the bounce rate under control, making sure that visitors actually check out the “pay me” page ;-)

    But as you said, yes blogs are a gray (or color) zone!

  • Thanks for commenting.

    When you wrote: “if more than 50% of users leave before clicking (since that’s how bounce rate is calculated)”, what exactly did you mean by “clicking”? What if you homepage is also your Blog, which in this case you will always see a different article. In this case readers do not really need to click anything, but just look for the newset article.