Tuesday, September 7, 2010

SEO Marketing Tip - Getting People to Read What You Write

No Bouncing

Reducing Your Page's Bounce Rate
Do you need help reducing your website's Bounce Rate? Do you know what bounce rate mean's as it relates to your website's traffic?

Here are three tips to get people to read more than one page on your website before they click the back button.

Why Is Bounce Rate Important

Before we get to the tips, you need to know what Bounce Rate is. (If you know all about bounce rates, then feel free to skip ahead.)
Bounce Rate - Is the percentage of people who read a single page on your website and then leave. If 10 people click on a link in Google that takes them to your page on widgets and 3 of them leave without reading anything else, then your bounce rate for that page is 30%. If 6 people left, then the bounce rate would be 60% for the widget page.

It Can't Be Fixed If You Can't Measure It.
If you don't know what your page's bounce rate is then STOP and put Google Analytics or another web traffic analysis tool on your website. Without a means to measure, how can you tell if you are improving the situation?

Many website have pages that suffer from high bounce rates - in most cases I'd call anything over 50% high.

I've seen three major causes of high bounce rates.
  1. Poorly written Content
  2. Bad Design
  3. No Call to Action
Here are some actions you can take to reduce your bounce rate.

Tell the Visitor What to Do Next

Call To Action - is the term used in marketing. What do you want the reader to do after they get to your web page? Tell the user what you want them to do and give them a chance to do it. Examples of calls to action are:
  • Order Now
  • Download Free White Paper
  • Read More
  • Watch This Video
Multiple Opportunities - Give them two or three opportunities to take action. Post the call to action two - three times on your page. Place it on the top, bottom and in the copy of your page.

Emphasize But Don't Over Do It - Use large, but not overwhelming graphics for your action buttons.

If your page content is short, it might make sense to only have one call to action on a page. Don't over do it.

Review Your Page Design

Ask someone out side your organization, not familiar with your website, what they think about your website's page design. Ask for five or six words that best describe what they are thinking when they see your site.

Mock Up a Page.
If you can, mock up a page and put a dummy logo on it. Tell the people, you are showing the pages to, that you are thinking of redoing your website and want their opinion. Unless you are using professional customer research firms, the people you ask might not want to hurt your feelings. You are more likely to get honest opinions if they think these are "new" designs and not something you have already built and are using.

Show them samples of your interior pages, because those pages are often what people see when they link from Google, not necessarily your home page.

Positive Feedback
Are you not hearing what you thought you'd hear - that isn't always bad. What matters is the tone of the words. Are the words positive? If you are hearing words with negative connotations that is a sign of trouble.

Examples of: Positive WordsNegativeWords
  • Professional
  • Fun
  • Organized
  • Informative
  • Boring
  • Busy
  • Pushy
  • Amateurish

If many of the words were negative you need to give serious thought to why they said those things and what you can do to fix the problem.

Match Your Content

You can use Google Analytics to see if your content matches the keywords people are using to find your site.
  1. Get a list of relevant search terms, from Analytics, that people are using to find your website.
  2. Perform a search with those terms.
  3. Click on the links to your pages.
  4. Look at the images on your page.
  5. Look at the Headline above your content.
  6. Skim the first two lines of content.
 Did  the last three items (Images, Headline, Content) match what the search term was? If two out of three are a good match you are probably OK. Make sure third item does not contradict the two matches.

People won't read or look at anything else on the page if it doesn't match their expectations. If they searched for "Electronic Widgets" the page they click to should be obvious it is about "Electronic Widgets" and not something else.

Visitors will not scroll down your web page to find the fourth paragraph about  "Electronic Widgets", especially if the top of the page is about "Spacely Sprokects"

Make sure your page content matches the terms people are using to find your pages.

If you implement these tips, you should hopefully see your page's bounce rate reduce over the next 2 - 4 weeks.

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