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  • SEO TIPS: Understanding Bounce Rates

    What do you know about bounce rates? If you are unfamiliar with them, then this is information you need to learn quickly. Bounce rates can cause all your careful SEO and ad campaigns to be worthless. That’s no exaggeration. If no-one sticks around on your site for more than a few seconds, traffic becomes meaningless. You are not converting.

    A high bounce rate is fairly easy, albeit, time consuming to fix. Website design often results in page layout, color and image choices based on the graphic designer or website owner’s vision–not what the customer needs to see. Once you begin to understand that, you can begine implementing positive changes.

    Split testing and metrics can help you make educated guesses as to why people aren’t clicking on a button, or how they’re getting distracted from entering your sales funnel. Everything you do needs to be centered on converting visitors. If it’s not a major site based issue such as bad coding causing a page load problem, or a hosting problem on a server with a lot of downtime, inexpensive tools and metrics can help you figure out why you aren’t getting good results.

    The first step is figuring out what is distracting the user or making them leave. If you are  targeting, or trying to target, niche traffic related to your site, but then don’t address the actual search reasoning behind the term then

    you will end up with a high bounce rate. if you don’t make it obvious, people will leave. if you don’t deliver, people will leave.

    If you mislead visitors by baiting them with one keyword and then not delivering anything related to it, you are not only going to get a bad reputation, but make people mad and possible get hit for spamming out tags. You have to make sure that traffic to the page is targeted, and that you are actually providing what they need. If you keyword for fried chicken recipes and deliver auto tires instead, you’re going to have a bad time.

    If the traffic and content are in sync, look at the layout as the possible problem. If you can capture a .JPEG and run it through an online eye tracking simulation tool, you’ll get a map of the ‘hot spots’ – the places a typical eye will be attracted to when they view the page. Only capture above the fold to get an accurate read of what your visitor will look at first when your site loads.

    Once you have that information in hand, use the results to determine where traffic is stalling, and create a more navigable funnel from site entry to the sales funnel. Your conversion path should be like bowling with bumpers up – easy for even a child to be led down the correct path. if you make it complex, you lose the visitor and the sale – they do have other options in most cases.

    If you use these ideas to help you fix your bounce rate, you can increase conversions and make your visitors happier, as well as building a reputation for being a helpful presence on the web. traffic itself is not enough, you need to convert and make some money!


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