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Website Optimization and How to Get a Lower Bounce Rate

We make many efforts to get new traffic to our website. We will work hard to create inbound links. We may even buy Google AdWords or other advertising space on similar top sites. We can do article or press release syndication, social networking tactics, or submit our site to multiple directories. But what happens when someone gets to your website?

From Google: “Bounce Rate: Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page). Bounce rate is a measure of visit quality and a high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance (landing) pages aren’t relevant to your visitors. You can minimize Bounce Rates by tailoring landing pages to each keyword and ad that you run. Landing pages should provide the information and services that were promised in the ad copy.”

Bounce rates don’t just apply if you are running an AdWords campaign though. On a side note, it is very wise to sign up for Google’s free Analytics for your website. You add a small piece of code to the footer of your website and now you have access to how many visitors are on your site every day, what part of the world they are getting to your site from, how long they stayed on your website, what keywords they typed into Google to find your site and more. One of these statistics is your bounce rate.

A good starting out goal to have is for your bounce rate to be lower than 50%. For instance, if your bounce rate for a page is 50%: Each person who entered your website, whichever page they viewed (not always the home page), they left your website from the same page. It is good to navigate your users to other pages within your site, guide them to new content, and get them to sign up for your list or buy your product/service.

So what are the things that will impact a person staying on your site or leaving? Well, lots of things. I’ll cover quite a bit here for you…

  1. One thing you can do is create links on each page (or blog post) to other pages or posts within your site. A good rule of thumb is to have about 3 links on each page. One might be to the “About” page of my site, another link might be to the “Quote” page of my site, and the last might be to a blog post I wrote last week. That way, you are giving 3 completely different links to information your user might be seeking. (Note: You should test if you get better results by having your links support the content they are reading, or if you get better results by linking to content with a different topic.)
  2. Your design has a lot to do with your bounce rate and improving your website optimization. Is your look and feel outdated or modern? If you look at sites like Twitter and Apple and even YouTube… what elements do they have in common? How is that different from your website? You can find out more about updating your design by clicking here.
  3. When is the last time you updated your website content? Do you have information that isn’t valid, broken links, or old phone numbers? Make an effort to go to your site every quarter and update the information on your website. Maybe hire someone to optimize your content so you are getting more sales. Most of your bounce rate has to do with your content. Does your headline or title really match what the content is about or are you stretching just to get more traffic?
  4. Have a professional check your website navigation process. You want to make it as easy as possible for a visitor to find what they are looking for on your website. Sometimes clients want to get “creative” on their site and change the fundamental location or look for something that messes a visitor up – or gets them to pause in their track… which you don’t want. Is your ‘logout’ button on the top left? Is your logo on the top right? Is your ‘contact’ page easy to find? etc.

Think about all of the irritations you experience when you are searching for something on Google. What makes you leave a site right away? I can tell you that, for me, it’s when I am searching for a topic, then a site comes up that has nothing to do with my topic. It is really annoying to me – and I am sure for you too. Keep this in mind.

Homework: Go through each page in your website and take notes on the things that are out of place, the content that is old, the inconsistencies that appear and what pages they’re on, etc. Next make a wish list of items you’d like to add (maybe a sign-up form to build a list, a new design, a list of new pages you want to make content for, etc.). Lastly, separate the items that you can do yourself and the ones you need to hire out for. I have clients who come to me just needing a few minor tweaks done to their site. I can create a special deal for them, such as having them just get a block of my time, and execute the list right away.

It is time to take action on modernizing and optimizing your website or blog. Your competition is getting on the ball, are you?

Send me an email on how I can help – maybe you just need advice or a second pair of eyes looking at your website. I can do a website evaluation and recommendation report for you in no time at all. Or I can help make those changes that are outside of your knowledge. Contact me today!

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