eSites Network Website Design


The What and Why For's of Bounce Rates

A lot of visitors don’t bother to check more than one page of a website. Depending on the landing page 20 to 80% leaves immediately. If visitors don’t spend time browsing and taking the action you want, all the time and money spent to create the website will be lost. A small improvement can 'earn' you a lot of money!

Getting people to your page is just the first part of having a successful site. Making them stay there, is another matter. One of those important metrics in web marketing that measures the effectiveness of your site is Bounce Rate. Google’s definition of bounce rate is as follows:
Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.
So the lower the bounce rate the better, as this means more of your visitors are clicking through to other pages on your website. Though bounce rates vary wildly based on industry and type of site, in general websites have a bounce rate between 20 – 40%.

So how can I get to know what my Bounce Rate is?

If you really want to know your bounce rate, the easiest thing to do is to set up a Google Analytics account. Google Analytics is a free website statistics program where you can measure all kind of statistics, including your Bounce Rate.

Why is Bounce Rate important?

Bounce Rate can help webmasters to get insights from the data, for determining how landing pages perform as compared to visitor expectations.

Example 1: – if you run paid search campaigns, then you know the importance of testing a landing page (SEO, A/B Testing, etc.). I find that bounce rate at the aggregate level doesn’t tell you very much (site level bounce rate), but the bounce rate per page is extremely useful.

Example 2: - if you are driving paid search visitors to your landing page and you have a 80% Bounce Rate on that page, then you’ve got a problem. Why are that many visitors bouncing after clicking through your paid search ad and landing on a page that theoretically should be highly targeted?

But the impact of a high bounce rate goes even further. Google uses bounce rate as an indicator of the quality of the website (design, layout, content, etc.) and therefore can effect your search engine rankings – A low(er) bounce rate ensures a better ranking in the search engines.

What is a ‘Normal’ Bounce Rate?

As mentioned earlier, an average page from a webshop or website with good keyword optimalized content will have a 20 – 40% bounce rate. Direct response entry pages sometimes can generate a 90% bounce rate, but that’s because you either subscribe or you leave the page. But single-page websites also have a very high bounce rate, because the websites consists of only one single page, so the entry-page is the same as the exit-page!

Blogging sites in general have a 60-80% bounce rate because, e.g. visitors from your RSS Feed are only interested in your latest article, or visitors from search engines only want to read that single article matching there search keyword or phrase, etc.

How to decrease Bounce Rate?

Or how do you keep visitors from bouncing off your website? We will mention the most important factors which can determine the height of your bounce rate and keep your audience engaged.

1. Load time

No one likes to be kept waiting, your page should take no more than about 4 to 6 seconds to load if possible. Optimise your images and code, and cut out any clutter. Check your website for HTML code errors by running it through an HTML validator. HTML errors can cause web pages to render incorrectly in some browsers like Internet Explorer or FireFox and increase their loading time.

2. Relevant and High-Quality Content

Most online viewers spend less than 60 seconds at an average site. The challenge now is how to attract readers and keep them longer on your site? By giving them what they need, of course, through relevant content. Boring content or content that is overloaded with certain words or phrases that are intended to help your search engine ranking will turn people off quickly. You know the old saying, .. bla bla Content is King, bla!

Tip: Along these lines, it’s often best to include posts that are part of a series that pushes someone who is interested to come back sometime in the near future.

3. Clear and Intuitive Navigation

Websites also need an easy navigation structure with common names people expect to see. A visible navigation, labeled accordingly and no broken links are essential to keep visitors on your site.

It has become common practice to have the main company logo link to the site homepage, so if all else fails and the visitor hasn’t found what they want, at least make it easy for them to find their way home to start again.

4. Target Group or Audience

If your advertising reaches the wrong audience, it will result in a higher bounce rate. For example, young girls are not attracted by a site that only sells anti-wrinkle solutions for 35+ women. One of the main aspects of having a high bounce rate probably means you’re not getting your message across to your target audience.

5. Technical restrictions

If your page relies on a Flash movie to demonstrate your product, are you certain that your visitors will be able to see it? Quite often corporate networks are restricted and block this kind of content, not to mention some iOS devices. If users see a blank box, or error message they will probably find the 'back' button faster than light.

6. Audio and Video

Sounds and hard music do irritate people, especially if they didn’t ask for it. Many users will exit your site immediately if they start hearing something they don’t like. Use this kind of media at a minimum in your website and if you really need it, let the visitor choose whether he/she wants to start the video or that groovy song.

7. Advertisement and other Distractions

Advertisement, for an external advertiser it maybe could mean success, but for most common people it’s an enormous annoyance factor. Remove automatic popup windows, modal boxes, scrolling text, spinning logos and floating ads where possible. It’s all about the content ..!

8. Design and Usability

Your website needs to instantly portray an image of quality. If the overall design of the website/page is visually appealing to your average visitors, the lower will be your bounce rate. But what is a commonly accepted visually appealing website? That depends on your target audience, your product, message or purpose of your website.

.. It is daunting to be presented with 100 line paragraphs. Break it down into bite size chunks with clear headings above each one. That way they can scan down and pick out what’s relevant to them. A simple and clean layout, a great web usability, simple navigation, .. you know the works. A well chosen image/picture, such as a screenshot of your product can give an instant idea of what it is about, what it looks like and some of its features. And I could go on and on and ..

Tip: The best way to find out if your design is working for your business? Test, measure and improve your website step by step.

9. Commenting and Sharing

If possible, offer RSS subscriptions, a Twitter feed, a Facebook page and email newsletter along with anything else that might be relevant.

Give stuff away to your visitors, allow readers to comment on the topic of the article, mingle freely with your visitors and answer their questions. People are also much more likely to subscribe (extra returning visitor) if they get a free e-book, white paper, set of icons, quality content, etc.

Encourage readers to write guest posts, once readers have left their 'mark' on your site, they are less likely to forget or ignore your site.

10. Forms

If the required action is for the user to fill in a form, make it as short as possible. If they are requesting a downloadable product, do you really need to require they enter their post/zip code and force them to do so using form validation? I know it myself, too long contact forms scare me away .. don’t want to fill in the history of my life to order a damn pizza!


Realistically, you can’t make your site sticky for every single visitor, some will leave and never come back. But if you can grasp even a smaller percentage more of those new visitors, it can have a huge impact on your site’s growth. This is why it’s important not to focus on perfection, but rather, .. focus on improvement! Website statistics just isn’t about driving traffic to your site, but it’s about making people want to stay there and come back over and over again.

The About Us Page on your Website Needs to Make a Big Impact

The About Us page on a website often gets the least attention from the owners of the business, but it may be the one page that visitors judge you by.

How often have you heard the refrain "Just put in the History of the Company which I’ll send to you on a Word document written in 1986, and you can add the CVs of the Promoters." Does that sound even remotely interesting?

This is the age of Social Media, where communication is key, and the average browser on the Net has a short attention span. One lesson that Social Media has taught us is that people like doing business with someone they know. And that’s the power of crafting a good About Us page. You give your customers a look into who you are and what your company believes in, and you build the trust they need to move forward with your business.

5 Must-Haves for the About Us Page:

  1. Tell a Story: Stop for a moment and think about what your company stands for. Now make it personal. Describe some experiences you’ve had running your company, or look around at what you’ve created and talk about what your company represents. Don’t just recount the entire history of the firm, or leave a standard Mission Statement floating on the page. Tell people why you’re different, and what your values are.

  2. Build Trust: There are probably lots of companies out there doing what you do. Why should a customer trust you with their business? Build credibility by describing professional associations you belong to, people you have collaborated with, awards you have won, and industry causes you support. If you are an environmentally-friendly company, this is a good place to talk about it.

  3. Use Real Images: When somebody clicks on the About Us page, they want to check you out. Are you real? Support your story with pictures – but please, no stock photos! Use pictures of your team, your office, or your outlets to reassure people that this is a real company they’re doing business with.

  4. Let People Get to Know You Better: Provide links to other places people can find you on the Net, like Facebook, Twitter or another social forum. By providing links to these sites, people can judge how you respond as a company, and are reassured that you would be easy to get hold of if something went wrong. It’s all about building trust, and ultimately that’s what persuades people to buy from you.

  5. Don’t Forget SEO: There’s no point having an interesting About Us page if nobody finds it. Make sure that you incorporate SEO into your About Us page so that you rank highly with Search Engines, and more traffic comes your way. Use your About Us page to make a Sale by getting your visitors interested in your company and the people behind the products or services you are trying to sell.
Let your About Us page live up to its full potential by playing an active part in driving your online traffic and impacting your business.

7 Unbreakable SEO Rules

As a practice and industry, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is constantly evolving. Sites are seemingly at the mercy of the search engines, who usually can't be bothered to give the site owners a heads up before they update their algorithm. Every few weeks it seems like someone is heralding the death of SEO, but evolution does not equal demise. Over time, tactics and methods change to work inside the guidelines of the search engines and to meet the needs of the online user, but the core fundamentals of SEO have remained the same.

Here are 7 basic rules of SEO:

1. Understand User-Intent

Keyword research is the cornerstone of any SEO campaign. Understanding user-intent when conducting and selecting your keywords is critical to getting your SEO off on the right foot and helping the right audience find your site. For instance, are "gym shoes," "sneakers" and "tennis shoes," the same thing? For some consumers those three words are completely interchangeable. But if a tennis player were looking for a new pair of shoes, they would search using "tennis shoes" and expect a very specific result. It doesn't matter how you would search for your brand/products, it only matters how your target audience searches. Targeting the wrong keywords because you failed to understand the intent of the search means you'll miss out on potential traffic and customers.

2. Don't Rush Your Link Building

It is crucial for the search engines to see a diversified approach to link building that slowly grows over time. A blended approach demonstrates your commitment to white hat link building and building your online presence naturally. The search engines are very aware that they are playing a game with spammers and black hat SEO users, and they don't plan on losing. If you develop too many links too fast, even if they are good quality links, this can raise a red flag with the search engines and your site could be penalized.

3. Content is King

Content is anything that is public and shareable. This includes blog web page content, blog posts, articles, podcasts, videos, whitepapers and more. It is also the most important factor of a website's long term SEO success. Content should always be written for the end user, not for the search engines. You have to remember that the search engines are not going to be the ones purchasing your products or services, people are. Optimize your content so the search engines can find it, but don't forget that it has to be human friendly first.

4. Be Strategic, Not Spammy

This is especially important in regards to social media marketing and social SEO. If you really wanted to, you could create a hundred different Twitter profiles to promote your content through. But what kind of real value are you getting from those profiles other than a link? You don't have to tackle every aspect of SEO at once. Frankly, there just isn't enough time in a day to take on that much work upfront. Pick and choose your battles so you don't overdo it. Flooding the online market with low-quality SEO doesn't help build your brand or reputation.

5. SEO is Long Term

This is probably the hardest thing for those new to SEO to wrap their heads around. SEO is not a quick fix to your online marketing. No, you won't be ranking on the first page of Google for all your keywords by tomorrow, next week, or even next month. This is especially true if you recently launched your site. It takes a long time to build up your trust factor with the search engines.

SEO builds upon itself over time, but that doesn't mean that once you have reached the first page in the search engines that you get to pack it up and call it a day. The Internet is continually growing and evolving. If you want to stay at the top, you have to keep working for it. It doesn't take long for your site to slip down in the results pages if you abandon your SEO.

6. Follow Search Engine Guidelines

Google, Bing and Yahoo want you to do well with your SEO because it helps clean up their search results. A better SERP makes for a happier search engine user. Search engines are in the business of pleasing the customer, just like everybody else. If your site can't help them do that, you won't ever rank well. That's why every site owner and marketer has to read the Google and Bing Webmaster Guidelines. Consider those guidelines your SEO line in the sand. If they call something black hat, then treat it as such and avoid it. It can be very tempting to test out the black hat side of SEO, especially when you see your competition doing it and seemingly getting away with it. Just don't! Sooner or later the search engines catch on and your site will be penalized.

7. Integrate Everything

Just about all your marketing online (and offline marketing) efforts can be leveraged for SEO. One of the biggest mistakes you could make is keeping your actions in separate silos. SEO works best when it is incorporated into the mix, becoming an essential component of your marketing online. If your company has a large marketing department, don't segregate the SEO guy back to the IT department. Bring him aboard the marketing team and you'll achieve greater online success.

How Your Website can go from Good to Great with SEO

As businesses become more aware of the need to implement SEO into their existing websites, it is important that they understand the basic steps involved.

  1. Commit yourself to SEO and be patient about results: Although this sounds like an unreasonable leap of faith, it is important that you go into SEO with realistic expectations. SEO isn’t a one-time event. Search engine algorithms change regularly, so the goalposts may shift. What’s crucial is that you get the basics right, and rewards will follow, even if they only become apparent over a period of time. Anyone who promises you instant results is stretching the truth.

  2. Use web analytics from the start: Web analytics software helps you to track what’s working and what’s not, so you can measure results against clearly-defined goals.

  3. Improve every element of your website: To show up on the first page of results, you have to ask yourself some tough questions. Are you really one of the 10 best sites in the world on this topic? Be honest. If you’re not, make your website better.

  4. Include a site map page: A site map will help spiders find all the important pages on your site, and help the spider understand your site’s hierarchy, especially if your site has a hard-to-crawl navigation menu. Keep your sitemap to less than 100 links.

  5. Create SEO-friendly URLs: Use keywords in your URLs and file names, such as Use hyphens in URLs and file names, not underscores. Hyphens are treated as a “space,” while underscores are not.

  6. Use a unique and relevant title and meta description on every page: The page title is the single most important on-page SEO factor. You will only rank highly if your primary term of 2 – 3 words is part of the page title. The meta description tag won’t help you rank, but it will often appear as the text snippet below your listing, so it should include the relevant keyword(s) and be written so as to encourage searchers to click on your listing.

  7. Write content for human beings, not bots: Although Search Engines have pretty powerful bots crawling the web, they have never bought anything online, signed up for a newsletter, or picked up the phone to call about your services. Humans do those things, so write your page copy with humans in mind. Keep it readable, and don’t stuff it with keywords.

  8. Create great, unique content: This can be quite a challenge. Write your own product descriptions, using the keyword research you did earlier to target actual words searchers use, and make product pages that blow the competition away. Great content is a good way to get inbound links.

  9. Use your keywords as anchor text when linking internally: Anchor text helps tells spiders what the linked-to page is about. Links that just say "click here" do nothing for your search engine visibility. Instead say, 'To find out more about how red widgets transform electrical appliances and lower energy bills, click here.'

  10. Build links intelligently: If local search matters to you, seek links from trusted sites in your geographic area — the Chamber of Commerce, local business directories, etc. Analyze the inbound links to your competitors to find links you can acquire, too. Create great content on a consistent basis and use social media to build awareness and links.

  11. Start a blog: Search engines, Google especially, love blogs for the fresh content and highly-structured data. Beyond that, there’s no better way to join the conversations that are already taking place about your industry and/or company. Reading and commenting on other blogs can also increase your exposure and help you acquire new links.
So SEO not only makes your company more visible and accessible, it is also a great opportunity to update your website so that it is more in line with some of the latest developments in social media that may make all the difference to your marketing strategy.