Web Design and Development
There have been quite a few rumors in the SEO community over these last few months. It seems that Google’s search engine results pages are now being reordered based on website bounce rates. In other words, high bounce rates may be equated with low relevancy, and vice versa.
For some website owners, this is troublesome news as it may necessitate a new kind of search engine optimization strategy: bounce rate reduction.
A bounce rate is basically a measure of how quickly a visitor leaves your website. This can be determined in terms of time spent on a website or the number of pages viewed before exiting.
You might be surprised to find how much information Google has at its disposal.
First, Google places tracking code in every link that shows up on its search results pages. This means that if you visit a website and return to the results pages in a short period of time, Google can count that visit as a bounce.
Second, webmasters use a wide variety of Google products such as Google Analytics, Google Adsense, Google AdWords, and more. Google has direct access to this data, so it is highly likely that this information is being used as well.
And who know how many other avenues Google uses to acquire data!
Given that a website’s position in search engine results pages may be adversely affected by high bounce rates, it is to your advantage to minimize your bounce rates.
However, opening external links in a new window will only affect users who are on your website, already reading your content. For other visitors, bounce rates can be minimized by keeping two key guidelines in mind when writing content and optimizing your pages:
It is now more important than ever to write relevant titles, descriptions, and keywords for your pages. If visitors are tricked into coming to your website by irrelevant descriptions, then your bounce rates will be high.
It is also important to make your site sticky. This word is not as popular as it once was, but it refers to making your website a place that visitors find hard to leave. Some ways to make your website sticky is to give visitors easy access to related content, provide a forum, host a poll or contest, or provide other potential lures.
If you have yet to analyze your website’s bounce rate statistics, it is a good idea to start doing so, as this can have a great effect on your organic traffic.
According to HitWise, Google’s dominance over other search engines is becoming more and more pronounced. It currently accounts for over 68% of all searches in the US and over 87% in the UK, with similar numbers in other countries. As a result, it is to your benefit to keep up with Google’s ever-changing search technology.Tags: bounce rates, content, Google, keywords, organic search, SERPs, website statistics