I recently posted on 360 Digital Influence’s group blog, How Search Engine Marketing Can Help Measure Word of Mouth. I talked about the importance of defining and measuring goals when conducting an SEM campaign to promote Word of Mouth efforts, or the illusive request of “increased awareness.” When there is no sale taking place on the site it becomes difficult to measure ROI, and thus difficult to optimize the campaign. After reading this great article, Bounce Rate: Sexiest Web Metric Ever?, by Avinash Kaushik, the Analytics Evangelist for Google, I think we should be talking about bounce rate. “In a nutshell bounce rate measures the percentage of people who come to your website and leave “instantly”. This is the metric we in the Word of Mouth industry need to start focusing on. Once we can readily adjust campaigns based on bounce rate, we can move on to loftier goals like getting people to download that widget or comment on that blog, but first we need to get people to stay on the site for longer than 5 seconds.