Monday, 7 December 2015

Matt Lloyd - How to Reduce Bounce Rates on Your Website

online business education

So what is bounce rate and why is it important? Well, it is not as important as you might think in many circumstances. And depending on your site, you may not need to worry about it at all…

So What is Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of people that leave your site without clicking links and navigating through to other pages.

If your site has a low bounce rate, it is considered "sticky." Because, well, people are inclined to stick there awhile and check the place out. And many SEO experts know this to be true. However, that is not the entire story.

First of all, you can use Google Analytics to calculate how sticky your site is, but that is not going to be the entire story. You see, Google does a lot of things under wraps, and if it's algorithm was divulged right in their analytics, many would have figured it out by now.

A website's stickiness really comes down to one thing: visitor engagement. Does your site serve its suggested purpose? For example, if your site states that it is designed to help basketball players jump higher, and you are trying to sell them ballet shoes, people are going to obviously "bounce" rather quickly and leave your site.

However, if your site has tons of information on it regarding helping people with their jumping ability, along with other closely related topics to either jump training or basketball, people will tend to stay awhile and click through to other pages.

Now that's sticky!

When Bounce Rate Does Not Matter

Remember, at the end of the day…

Every Website Should Have a Purpose. So, here comes the marketing tie-in. For the purposes of marketing, here is where I see many businesses fail. And by fail I mean they spend lots of money making the website companies rich but their websites pretty much are crap for what they were designed for.

"Oh, but they LOOK pretty," you say. Sure they do. But are they getting results?

What I mean by this is, let's say you have an opt-in page or landing page to capture website visitors. By definition, this type of page is going to have a high bounce rate. Because, well, people are either going to opt-in, or "bounce." And if they opt in, you have the potential of a long-term customer that may buy from you for years!

However, just because the bounce rate is high, does NOT mean that the page is not serving its purpose, or that it is not a sufficient page!

In addition, once you have your mailing list, you can then direct your list suscribers to a sales page (for example) where you might actually have a much lower bounce rate. Now that your list knows who you are, and trusts you, they are more inclined to stick around on your site and see what you have to say.

Or maybe you want to direct them to your blog where your bounce rate is important.

When Bounce Rate is Important

So, continuing on with our example, you get a list of subscribers, and you want to re-direct them to your blog.

One thing that will help you visitors stick around, is to have your site formatted so that it is clear, and easy to understand how to get around. Properly formatted text, engaging copy and pictures, and avoiding basic design flaws will all help make your audience stick around.

A Sticky Blog

The benefits of having a sticky blog will help you pull traffic from other sources. As long as you are following the basic SEO rules and not trying to pull off "black hat" (i.e. bad Google practices") with your site, getting people to stick around on your site will help you gain some traffic from other sources.

For instance, pick keyword phrases that people are looking for related to your niche, and when your re-directed visitors (from your email list) hang around on your site for a while, Google will take note of that and your bounce rate will go down, making it more suitable for your topics in Google's search results.

Other Things to Consider

Last, pay attention to the navigation options for your page. Have things organized neatly in different pages, subpages, and categories so that people can find their way around your site. This is specifically important in e-commerce sites where people are browsing around for different products.

There truly is no "one-size-fits-all" approach to designing web pages with regards to how the bounce rates are. It depends on too many variables, including audience, niche, your branding and marketing, to name a few.

Often times, you will need to test different options to see which of your designs or layouts work better. This is extremely important for online marketing so that you are not wasting valuable marketing dollars!

Nate Rio

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