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Mayday Solution #1 – Start Fixing Bounce Rates!

Having a few sites being affected by the Google Mayday Update, I’m going to do my best to remain positive and look for solutions, versus loathing on the negatives and complaining about the lost traffic.

One of those positives I have found in the short several-day span… is that my reduced flow of traffic is converting MUCH BETTER! Someone is going to slap me for this… but it’s almost like Google is HELPING me! (Damn… I slapped myself, and I liked it!!)

With that in mind… I want to pick one site, and:

  • Find the Most Popular Pages with Highest Bounce Rates, and Reduce them!
  • Optimize The Funnel for a Second Click to the Money Pages!
  • STOP Clicking on the Pages Myself!

I also want to say… what I am doing is nothing new… I just have to do it more often, and for a slightly different reason! :-) and before someone chimes in that sending a visitor to a second page on your own site may hurt your earnings, it’s truly up to you to decide which is more important for your own site and goals! IMHO – this new algo is some serious stuff that is going to learn as it goes! What you rank #1-5 for today, may just change tomorrow!

Not what you were hoping for? Try these other recent articles…

Mayday Solution #1 – Fix High Bounce Rates!

Ask yourself… even if Google denies it’s using bounce rate as a ranking factor (they are, and always have) isn’t it really more of a visitor experience issue? I mean, if the visitor comes to the site and clicks off <aka bounces> the page, what good was it for the visitor. That’s like having a store on the corner, and [yourbounceratehere] % of the people walking in, turn around and walk right back out!

First – What is a Bounce?

You are not going to like the answer… Anyone who leaves your site, without clicking to a second page, is a bounce. Period. Whether that person came to your site, watched 16 videos on your single page, read a book, whatever… if they didn’t click to another page, they bounced! (Kinda puts the idea of a landing page for specific search visitors to shame huh?)

From Google:

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.

What’s a High Bounce Rate and How to Spot Problems?

Who knows what an ideal rate is…  some people say 50%, others say 75%, even others say anything above 25% is high!

For the case of this exercise, I am simply starting with anything higher than 50% thats popular in search. The premise being… get in front of the highest impact objects first, and work my way back!

In Google Analytics:

1 – Left Menu > Click on Traffic Sources

2 – Left Menu > Click on Search Engines

3 – Content Results Area > Click on Google

So… What do you see now?

(Sorry for all the blurred out stuff… I have learned lessons)

I can see the Keyword, the landing page, and Bounce rate (I deleted other stuff in between)

  • My Highest Volume (491 times)  Key-phrase – has a 76% bounce! (That sucks!)
  • 3rd highest volume (173 times) phrase, 69% bounce! (That sucks too!)

What really caught my eye however, is that the 6th-20th, which account for quite a bit more volume than 1-5 combined, has a HUGE bounce rate on each page!

Just to be fair also – there are instances where the same page was blurred out for more than 1 instance of key-phrase.

How to Decrease the Bounce Rate

Now comes the fun part… finding ways to keep the visitor on the site, or at least getting them to click to one more page before leaving. On pages 1 & 3, it won’t be too hard… they are not even pages that sell anything! I can manually edit the article and drop in a group of alternates right after the first paragraph or two, right about the time the visitor is getting bored with the content, and encourage them to read on a vertical subject!

7 Tips to reduce bounce rate

  • Address the Issue! Don’t Sit back and Hope it will Fix Itself! (Hint: It Won’t)
  • Make One Small Change at a Time – Measure its Effectiveness!
  • Split Test Page Layout, so you Can Actually KNOW What’s Working!
  • Review your Navigation and Help Visitors find Related Content Easily!
  • Rebuild your Content Display and put Related Links Closer to the Top (Catch the bounce)
  • Make sure the landing Page is Answering the Search Questions (Check terms driving traffic to pages)
  • Put Onsite Links higher in the content, Offsite links… lower in the content.
  • STOP Clicking on Single Pages of Your Own Site When Found in Search! You Might just be your OWN Worse Enemy!

What Other Tips do You Have?

I have a few plugins I use to show related content… and will talk about different ways I am using them in a new post! :-)

What do YOU do to reduce bounce rate?

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