When we recently shared an overview of the traffic to www.mozilla.com, we noted one item that stood out – the relatively high volume of traffic to the Getting Started page.
Digging into the data, we wanted to understand the typical user experience with this page. In other words, why do users come to it? How do they get to it? What are their expectations of the page? Do they find the page helpful or confusing? Considering these questions, we arrived at a startling finding…
- Approximately 90% of the traffic comes from the bookmark toolbar (image below) and about 10% arrives via the featured link on the firstrun page
- Ok, that fact alone isn’t surprising, but what is surprising is this:
- The users clicking through via our firstrun page showed a 63% bounce rate on the Getting Started page (bounce rate means the visitor immediately leaves the site upon viewing a particular page)
- The users clicking through from the bookmark toolbar showed a whopping 92% bounce rate!
Why is this such a big deal?
The Getting Started page saw more than 24 million visitors last month (all locales), and in each instance of a visit, the user is making a conscious decision to visit the page. To put the scale of this number in perspective… of all “user driven” traffic at Mozilla.com, only the main Firefox product page comes remotely close to matching that traffic volume.
Of the total group of 24 million visitors, the cohort of visitors arriving via the bookmark toolbar was nearly 22 million strong. In other words, 22 million users exhibited that 92% bounce rate. To boot, we know from the other cohort of visitors (those arriving via the firstrun page), that the bounce rate doesn’t have to be that high. Here is a breakdown in visitor behavior for the just the en-US version of the page (1 million visitors make up the first pie, 10 million in the latter, hence the scale difference):
If we made changes to Firefox and to the Getting Started page in such a way that lowered the 92% bounce rate to 63% (within the realm of possibility), that would equate to an improved experience for 7 million users each month. Extrapolating to an annual impact – that’s 84 million users that could be positively affected.
Where do we go from here?
First, we need to determine the root of the issue. Should “Getting Started” reside in the Firefox bookmark toolbar? Or should we be focusing on the page itself?
Assuming we leave the browser as-is, it would behoove all of us (myself included) to consider radical solutions for better meeting the expectations of users visiting the Getting Started page (remember: these users are proactively choosing to visit this page). Please leave a comment. I’m eager to work towards a solution, and ultimately, towards a better experience for tens of millions of Firefox users.
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