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My site is on page 1 but has a high bounce rate

mark schaaf
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My site is on page 1 but has a high bounce rate

I mentioned in a post about a month ago that after revamping my home page that I got on page 1 in Yahoo, Bing and Google for some search terms which is great. The stuff I did made a big difference in search results. However I am getting more clicks to my sites pages but still getting a lot of people that don't stay on my site very long. I get a lot of clicks from countries that I don't even know if they can read English.

After making my home page more friendly when I got a few comments from this and another forum, I changed the page but now I am puzzled as to why people are still leaving the site quickly. I would have to say at least three quarters of the people coming to my site leave right away and the others stay a while. That is the puzzling part the search engines like the site a lot better because i was on page 8 and now I am on page 1 but people are still not sticking around.

I don't get it. And trying to get feedback is useless because no one bothers to go to the comments page and tells me what the like and don't like. I also think that so many people on the web are just very lazy and think they can find all the information that is contained in a 500 page book in a few paragraphs. Not that my pages are real long but sometimes you just can't condense information that takes 1000 words to explain down to 500 words.

Thanks,
Mark
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Mark
 
workerhk100
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When someone clicks on a result from a search engine, its because they're looking for an answer. If you have a lot of under-30-second visits - there's no nice way to say this - YOU'RE MISSING YOUR TARGET.

If you're getting traffic, someone thinks you can answer their question about your topic. If they're not staying, then either you aren't answering their question, or you're presenting the answer wrong.

Without a link, its impossible to say what the exact problem is - but calling everyone that visits your page "lazy" isn't the answer. IT'S NOT THEIR JOB TO FIX YOUR PROBLEM. It's YOURS.
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Site Admin
cecille.l
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Hi Mark,

More important than the bounce rate for your site is the conversion. Are you getting sales from that website? Some affiliate marketers experience high bounce rate, but they do get good conversions. what happens is they get visitors to the site who click on their affiliate links and are then taken to the product sales page. So, while they do have good conversions, their bounce rate is high because users do not stay long in their websites.

workerhk100 also has a point. Your keywords might not be targeting people who intend to buy a product but is looking for an answer. So they click on your link, do not find their answer and leave the site. You might also find the below articles helpful:

Using Psychological Tactics in your marketing
Why it's bad to assume your visitors are smart - Dealing with "The 30% Brain"

Hope that helps. Have a good day!
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Cecille


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mark schaaf
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Hi workerhk100, I know it is my job to answer the question but if they don't ask how do i know what they want. I put my site together based on what kind of information I was looking for when I was planning a vacation overseas. After getting lots of good feedback on my site from this and a few other forums it was suggested to me to redo my home page to make it easier to know what the site is about and give people a better starting point for the search for information. I have 6 categories on my navigation bar with main headings on them. You said many people aren't lazy but how many times have we been told if you don't get someone attention in the first 10 seconds you will loose them but if they are too lazy to read longer then 30 seconds how could they ever find the answer to there question. Planning a vacation overseas is a complicated thing and no one will ever be able to figure out what to do in 30 seconds and how will they ever find out if my site has the answer they are looking if they don't stay long enough to read longer then 30 seconds.
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Mark
 
PremiumMember
jmpruitt
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Although they won't necessarily get the answer within 10-30 seconds, they can usually tell if your site will give them what they are looking for. One of the first things I would look at is your keywords. One thing we had discussed previously was that your keywords were too general. You don't know what people are looking for, and so you will get a high bounce rate.

One key to picking out good keywords is that you will know exactly what people are looking for when they search. General keywords like Travel advice isn't really great for building staying traffic. you don't know what advice people want with that general keyword phrase.

I also wouldn't focus so much on your homepage. with my sites, my homepage generally only sees about 2-3% of my overall traffic, and its one of the highest bounce rate pages on all my sites. my content pages where I am actually giving the specific advice is where I would focus my efforts.
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Your Focus Determines Your Reality
 
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jimcoe
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Hi Mark, I just had a quick look at your website and read what others have suggested (good suggestion, in my opinion).

First, your text:
I've always avoided "full text justification". The last thing we want on a web page is an extra cognitive load while consuming our content. While it's true that a justified right margin looks nice, it's not worth the extra reading difficulty and poses a reading challenge itself.

On the question of keywords:
I agree that your key phrases (at least the ones I read) were too general. Longtail keys (meaning roughly "more than 2 words") get you less traffic, but more conversions and fewer bounces - because they speak more specifically to what's in the prospect's mind at the moment. "Specificity Sells".

I believe that there's no such thing as too much niche market research, to know exactly what's in a prospects mind, so your keys can resonate more perfectly with their thoughts. Remember that "Sales happen in the mind of the prospect - not on the web page".

On Home Page Vs Landing Page:
It's generally recognized that using landing/sales pages, not your home page, for your sales process works better. I see you're doing that, since you have specific key word targeted pages - like your travel planning page.

A lot of people try to sell from their home page, but it has an entirely different goal than a sales page. For example a home page must welcome visitors, orient them to your site and provide full navigation. But a sales page must limit navigation away from it (something I see you're not doing) not detract from the sales page by presenting sales page keys, etc. and concentrate strictly on the sales process.

Hope this helps...
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mark schaaf
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Thanks for the answers guys but the people that are coming to my site are almost all using long tail keywords. most are at least 3 words in length and most people are going to specific pages. Also Jim I have had so many people tell me they like my site because of the sentence spacing and font size, you are the first to say they didn't like it. I understand everything everyone is saying and have tried to do all of it and believe that is why I have gotten to page 1 & 2 in yahoo and google for several of my keyword strings. I also see many people come to my site that I don't even know if they read english. I mean I sometimes click out of a site fairly quickly if I don't see what I am looking for but I at least read a while before i leave. I mean if this were a cooking site would someone learn how to bake a cake in less then 5 minutes No so why do so many people think they will learn how to find a hotel or pick a cruise in 30 seconds.
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Mark
 
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jimcoe
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Maybe some A/B split testing would help you discover what is best and to get to the root of your issue?

Seems to me that sometimes we just don't know the right questions to ask and need some concrete data to point the way - rather than opinions and guesses. Certainly a single factor A/B split test would show if your text formatting was a help or a hindrance, or just does not matter.

Opinions are great for questioning our assumptions and biases, but such a reality check straight from the real behavior of your pages can lead to new discoveries and even paradigm shifts.

Dr. McGlaughlin over at MarketingExperiments.com as some good info on split testing for discovery and for testing what one thinks is true against reality. The scientific approach to marketing at ME really impresses me - as do their free every-other Wednesday webinars.

Hope this helps
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mark schaaf
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Thanks Jim I will look into that site. I have thought of doing a split test before and know that google has something that you can use to test different versions of the same page but I haven't had time to read all about how to do it. Mark
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Mark
 
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cecille.l
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Hi Mark,

When you have the time you can head on to Google Website Optimizer. It's a free tool where you can do split and A/B testing for your websites. I came across this guide on A/B testin in Website Optimizer that you can follow.

Hope that helps. Have a good day!
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Cecille


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PremiumMember
jimcoe
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I try to keep A/B split tests going constantly on all my own sites (or paid marketing projects for my clients). And Google Website Optimizer is the tool I've always used, both because it's free and because it seems well-made and useful.

The biggest problem I always have with GWO is really a limitation of statistics, not Google's fault. That problem is that you can't trust statistical results until you have lots of samples to analyze.

Having enough samples to be able to believe your results with x% amount of "reality" is called the "Confidence Level". Foolish marketers stop their split tests too soon and then adopt the wrong result into their marketing. Google seems to try to protect us from this by showing the confidence level (more often the lack of one) in your GWO reports - you must take that seriously.

In one GWO A/B split test of an RR (Radical Redesign) page compared to my current live page, the winner actually flipped several times from the one page to the other, before there were enough samples to get to a 90% confidence level!

Here's my problem - at least as a vendor. The simple "Single Factorial" split test compares 2 pages, sending 50% or your visitors to one and 50% to the other. Then it gathers statistics on the results (for a vendor, usually the sales) for each page.

It takes several hundred results from each page to reach a decent confidence level.

But when I start a new website or blog, it takes weeks or months to get enough sales for a high confidence split test.

A "multi-factorial" split test (where you're comparing more than 1 pair of things) takes even more visits. Who can wait for months (with 50% of your traffic going to a page which must (by definition) be inferior - to find out which page sells better)?

I guess Affiliates have it a bit better. They don't have to measure sales, but only visitors who click on their hoplink - a bigger number.

The only solution I've found for this low traffic thus low sales dilemma is not a very good one. The way you're expected to compare pages in your split test is by how many visitors end up on your "Thank You" page, or other page representing a completed sale.

Instead, I use a "proxy result" to represent a potential sale. That is, I test for something like how many visitors arrived at a detailed page about the product, a free sample chapter, a page of product specs or some such. I figure that at least these people have a real interest in my offering. And there are a lot more of those than completed sales, speeding up the split test.

I suppose one can just keep split tests going constantly and accept the loss of some sales to the inferior page and also accept the long time required per test. Since they are automatic, quick and easy to set up (and provide such valuable data) why not just go ahead and run them constantly? Nothing wrong with constant improvement of your pages, based on scientific marketing, right?

If anyone knows a solution to this problem of months long split tests for low traffic volume sites, I'd sure love to hear it!
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yulia
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The thing is, as i always say, you can get a horse to water but you just cant make it drink it.
SO, you have done everything right, content, etc. But people are leaving?
You are not giving people what they want.
There are some thing we need to understand, people are getting lazier and have high expectations, and judge fast.
It can be the design of your site which is a turn off . You should read some on the psychological effect of colors on people and the right place for banners, pictures, on your site and how it effects woman and men differently, and you will be able to push costumers buttons this way .
These things are very important, and have a major effect on how people will see your site.
You need to be short, get to the point, and give people what they want. If you re not a news site, or a directory for something, no one is going to be patient and say : ok lets give him a chance, lets search his site for answers , maybe somehwere on his site i will find what i want. NO, people search for a keywords, they want to get answer right away. And if its not you, then ok, there are 5000,00000 more results down the way
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Yulia- Affiliate Manager
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mark schaaf
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Almost all my pages are short and to the point as they can be but as I said before I can't explain how to do many of the things on my site in 500 words it just takes 1000, As I have also said if these people only read something for 15 seconds how would they every find the answer I mean most people aren't looking for answers to yes or no questions.
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Mark
 

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