post by Stephanie Nelson
One of the few ranking factors Google has ever confirmed is a website’s bounce rate. (A bounce is when someone comes to your site then leaves quickly, though none of the search engines have defined what “quickly” means when considering whether a site visit is a bounce.) We know this factor plays a large role in where you rank in the search results, and a high bounce rate is very detrimental. Here are a few tips on how to improve your website’s bounce rate.
- Pop-up ads, auto-play video and music, and surveys are turn-offs to site visitors. Imagine going to a website at work, and all of a sudden, the whole office is aware of your dalliance because of the music blaring from your cubicle. You’re not staying on that site long! Or you’re trying to just get a little information and BOOM! Within seconds, you’re hit with a pop-up demanding you give your email address before you can read any further. Nope. You’re probably leaving that site, too. Do yourself a favor and don’t employ these tactics on your site.
- Your page’s load time plays a significant role in bounces. Amazon ran a test, and a mere 0.1 second faster load time increased sales exponentially. So pay attention to the size of media files on the site (photos, sounds, videos, etc), as well as your website’s design/layout, which can increase load times. What could .01 second do for you?
- Make sure your link strategy isn’t increasing your bounce rate. External links are favorable in your SEO strategy. But when you add them, make sure you set them to open in a new window or tab. Otherwise, when a visitor clicks the link, it will open in the same tab/window, leading people off of your site.
- Don’t make visitors click too many times to find what they’re looking for. A clean website design with easy-to-use navigation and clearly written content is crucial when it comes to keeping folks on your site.
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