On the weekend of November 16-17th, we changed the theme at Drishtikone. We moved to a "Responsive WordPress theme" (Brennuis theme from Themeforest). We used to be on Studiopress' Genesis framework based News Theme, which personally I loved. The result as you can see below in the graph - on Bounce Rate - was dramatic and immediate! The bounce rate came down to the vicinity of 10-15%! From >70% to <15%. The change is mind-boggling.
Around the last few days of 2012, there was an issue with the new Brennius Theme, which was causing a substantial delay in posting of new articles on the web. As I was on vacation, in my hurry, to make the site workable at the very least, I quickly changed it back to the News theme of Studiopress.
As you can see, the bounce rate immediately shot up to 57% almost. Same site. Same content. But the change in the bounce rate was dramatic!
I worked after that to again put in a responsive theme, which I finally got from WPZoom (Momentum). Now, this is not the best of themes I can get, but it is still, at least, a Responsive Theme. And as you can the bounce rate fell again to <20% range. Now it is between 12-20%, which is still excellent!
What is the Bounce rate for High Search Visibility - Content - sites (like Drishtikone) on an average? Well, if the pundits - and this infographic below is to be believed - it is between 40-60%. So, if the bounce rate is concerned, then Drishtikone should be in the very high percentile of the content sites.
Why is Bounce Rate important? Because it measures the Visit Quality of your audience. Are they seeing content, that THEY find interesting and relevant? Well, as you can see, just a change in the theme - changing it from a - VERY HIGHLY - recommended Genesis framework-based, News Theme to a Responsive but obscure theme - can make dramatic shifts.
I am not a social media expert. Someone may be able to explain what "Responsive"-ness (a theme that can adjust to the mobile and tablet environment automatically) does to the bounce rate??
Image Credit: Kissmetrics
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