Bounce Rates and SEO

Apr 13, 2009

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When I say bounce rates to most people they are not sure exactly what I am talking about because they normally associate the word bounce with checks, not with websites and internet marketing. Bounce rates are very important when it comes to search engines because this is an excellent indicator of how they predict user behavior on a website.

Google indicates bounce rates as “The percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page. Use this metric to measure visit quality – a high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance pages aren’t relevant to your visitors.”

One of the most important thing to realize in this description of bounce rates is that in marketing it is vital that when you show an advertisement to people that the message behind the advertisement fulfills or backs up what the advertisement says.

This is a huge factor because many times people will advertise something just to get people interested and then completely blow it by not fulfilling what they have advertised. This is especially true when it comes to marketing online.

When you show advertisements and have that go to a particular page it is imperative that they see the same thing on the page that they are sent to. If you have an advertisement for “blue widgets” then you will want to have at the top of the page and preferably in the headline of the page “blue widgets”.

This will fulfill the advertisement and the user will feel like they found what they are searching for. The websites that normally have high bounce rates are those that do not fulfill whatever the user clicked on and so they leave.

Having a website that is not easy to navigate and find things will also increase bounce rates because if the landing page that the user found does not show great road signs so to speak they will leave as well.

For the search engines bounce rates are crucial data. For SEO’s the bounce rates of a website are also crucial data because that shows that when you are working hard to get a website to the top of the SERP’s and people click on your listing they will leave the first page.

There is no point in getting a website listed at the top of the SERP’s if no one likes to be on the website.

Blogs normally have higher bounce rates as a lot of people will visit the blog to see what the latest posts are which are on the home page and if there is not a new article then they will leave. However blogs have an increase in repeat visits because users know that the content is always changing and so they will visit the blog to see if there is any new content.

So you might be wondering how you find the bounce rate of a website and what is good and what is bad. The best way to find the bounce rate of a website is to use analytic tools which track how a website performs. The best one I would use is Google Analytics.

Google Analytics will show you what numbers and data you need to know about a website. When it comes to bounce rates you would like to see low numbers which show good bounce rates. The higher the number means the worst for the website.

Ideally you would always like to see the bounce rate numbers below 50%. If they are higher then that is not a good sign and shows you that people do not like to navigate through your website. You will want to have the website up for a while and track the numbers and data over a while to get more accurate results.

You will want to take notice of where your visitors are coming from and that will also give you an idea of why your bounce rates are the way they are. When you are doing SEO for a website having excellent bounce rates are crucial.

If you need to make changes to things to lower the bounce rate make them one at a time so you can track if that was the problem. Do not change everything all at once. Always remember that bounce rates are an indicator to search engines how users engage and interact with your website.

Keeping users on your website is crucial and the more pages they visit along with how long they stay on your website are important goals for any website owner.

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