You might be thinking that bouncing isn’t a word you would associate with online businesses, but it is actually one of the most important elements that determines the effectiveness of your website’s SEO.
If you don’t know what we mean by bouncing, it’s the term used to describe a visitor landing on a website and within seconds clicking away again. Just as a ball bouncing outside is in contact with the ground for a split second and then isn’t, the same applies to visitors who come and go in an instant.
The problem for website owners is that visitors bouncing is not good, especially as these bounces can be detected by Google. If someone searches for a local pet groomer, clicks on one of the results, but when they get to the pet groomer’s website, they take a quick glance and leave, that’s a big red flag for Google.
It’s a red flag because they want their search results to be the best that they can be and so want to rank websites in their results that visitors are satisfied with when they click through to them. One of the measurable factors that indicate that satisfaction is the length of time those visitors remain on the website in question
If visitors are seen to stay for a while, Google’s ranking score for that website is likely to increase. On the other hand, If Google sees that visitors do not stay long, or ‘bounce’ away immediately, that website is going to see its rankings diminish.
The obvious solution to avoid bouncing, or resolve it, if it is happening on your website is to ensure when visitors click through from Google, there are elements in place that will encourage them to stay. Thankfully, there are several ways to achieve this, and you can employ some of them relatively easily.
One thing that is almost certain to cause a high bounce rate is a slow loading website. In these days of superfast broadband users simply won’t wait for a slow website to load in the same they may have done 5 or 10 years ago. We have an online world that demands instantaneous results and if your website takes even a second or two longer to load than it should, you can kiss that visitor goodbye.
Fixing a slow load speed can involve carrying a range of actions that cumulatively help your website load faster. Some are easier than others, and some can involve lifting the bonnet of your website as it were, so it might be wiser to let someone, such as a website designer who knows their way around website codes and admin panels to carry out this work.
You could also get them to advise you on the navigation of your website. If your website’s navigation is poor this will be obvious immediately to visitors and if they are the slightest bit confused about how to find their way around, they’ll leave.
Your website navigation should be easy to understand and for functions such as searching for a product on your website, it should be immediately clear to anyone how that can be done. Other actions like leaving contact details, placing an order or how to watch a product video should also be crystal clear.
Having excellent content on a website should be a given, however, it is amazing to see just how many websites still operate with scant, out of date, and basically garbage content, and their owners wondering why their rankings never seem to rise. The reason is quite simple and that is there’s nothing to keep anyone there, Google sees a high bounce rate and thus has no reason whatsoever to increase that website’s rankings.
Another great tactic that many local business websites implement is to highlight their very best offers and promotions front and centre of their website. With those great deals being one of the first things a visitor sees, and if they are enticing enough, they should feel they must at least check them out. Those extra seconds or minutes that they remain don’t go unnoticed by the all-seeing Google bots.
Ok, they might not take you up on your great offer, but by them at least staying longer because of it, it helps keep your ranking higher than it would be if they had bounced away. It may be that the next visitor, who happened to click through your website from a Google search, because your ranking was retained, does buy from you.