Since search engine optimization is still the name of the game, in terms of being found online, we want to play by the rules search engines lay out for designers and writers. One rule our WordPress design team in Fort Collins tries to hold front and center when we build websites: if your bounce rates are high then you are going to lose out on rank in search engines. Understanding the distinction between exit and bounce rates is important. Exit rate measures visitors who come to your landing page and then snoop around for more on other pages, or stay on that one page for a while. And Google likes this behavior. This is a low bounce rate. Low bounce rates are a signal that visitors like what you are offering. If you don’t know what your bounce rates are like, you can find these in the Audience Overview tab in Google Analytics. The tab even allows you to compare your pages rates against one another. If bounces are generally high, then it’s time to figure out why, and see what can be done.
“I’m just here for the free pop-ups?”
Your site may be leaking visitors on account of obnoxious pop-ups. Why exactly are you asking for their email address 8 seconds after they landed on your page? Become endearing to your users and then offer long-term commitment. What a bummer to reach that target audience only to scare them off.
Pop-ups can also take away from page loading time and given that users apparently wait just two seconds for a site to load before going somewhere else, taking power from the pop-up may be a necessary move. For a page to register as having been visited, the landing page must load at least half-way. So forget bounce. You may not even be getting real traffic counted toward your site visits if people coming to your site, like me, are more likely to hit my back button and leave the site to get rid of a pop-up as I am to find the close X or even less, give someone my email address…
A simple question, answered too quickly
So maybe you and your chilled-out pop-ups are still scratching your head at your high bounce rates. We need to get your users navigating and the problem may be that your landing page is so good that they do not need to explore further. This is sweet of you. Now stop it and do not make any page a one-stop-shop. Instead, when our content marketing team is building out website pages, each page on the site is designed give enough of an idea to keep users interested and then offer linked information guiding them to the next relevant source. This tends to work well for us. Basically, leave room for dessert; space out your content wisely. If you feel like you don’t have enough to say about your business to fill out 3-5 pages of cross-linked and related content, maybe website ranking isn’t something you should be worried about. Do we love the Google-induced content glut in which we all find ourselves? No. Do we nonetheless find ourselves competing in a content glut? Yes. Don’t be afraid to expand on your story and expand your content network.
Poor visitor quality
Also in the spirit of keeping bounce rates low – how good is your actual traffic? It is important that sites market toward a relevant audience. Particularly in cases of sites offering information about current events, users may view content on the landing page without going further. High bounce rates simply signify that users could have had more and did not want it, which colors search engines unimpressed.
Poor content quality
Finally, be sure that your site offers quality content. You aren’t Twitter, (thank goodness!) so soaring past 33 characters is no issue. Check out your competition in the search results; what are they doing better than you? How is the visitor experience going to be improved upon on your site? You’re excited about what you’re offering, so do not be afraid to talk up a storm. If they don’t want to read about it they’ll hit the back button and probably weren’t going to pursue your business in the first place. Being open about your product or service allows users to trust you, which is especially important if your site will ask for confidential information.
Bill lives and plays in Fort Collins, Colorado.
After a fulfilling career for a Fortune 50 company, Bill founded Colorado Web Design in 2012 with a passion for creative digital solutions for business.
Bill likes to manage a wide variety of projects and tasks for his clients in the digital space. The creative elements of website design, application design, and marketing are enough to keep anyone busy and engaged, but wiping the slate clean over and over at the start of new projects comes with its own challenges.
"I like to start with really good client communication sessions. The rest is easy if you get started in the right way."
He plays tennis, bikes, and hikes and then undoes all of that with too much delicious food and TV watching.
About Colorado Web Design
We've been building websites for Colorado businesses since 2002. We are a small team of dedicated individuals who love the challenge of each new marketing project. We live and play in northern Colorado.