Nowadays lowering bounce rates and increasing conversion rates are two or rather one (as both are closely tied together) of the main tasks that modern SEO is about.
Image credit: Sean Dreilinger
It’s obvious: Rankings and traffic do not mean much when the website visitors bounce off and you fail to convert them to buyers, subscribers or whatever you desire your visitors to do for you. Some industry insiders even suspect bounce rate to be a ranking factor itself already.
You might argue that improving bounce rate and conversion rate is more about web analytics or overall online marketing but nowadays you can’t pretend that SEO is somehow not part of those disciplines or the other way around both of them not being part of SEO.
When it comes to PPC most people by now take care of bounce rates, landing page optimization and conversion rates. When it comes to SEO for search and beyond many people still don’t.
This post is divided into 5 sections each one of them covering a crucial aspect of improving bounce rate and conversion rate. I present you 30 simple ways of doing that as most of them are not rocket science once you take both rates into account:
Without traffic you won’t get any bounce rates or conversion rates to measure. You need to get people to your site, whether via search, social media, bookmarks and direct “type in” way or links from other sites. Nonetheless you don’t want random visitors you want to attract people who will be beneficial for your business.
In order not to scare away your visitors in an instant (and let them bounce off) and to convert them to clients, customers, subscribers or whatever you prefer you need to determine the so called user or visitor intent. This might be
x being a keyword or phrase.
Usability is still frowned upon by some in the SEO industry while others embraced it already several years ago. Without proper usability the best search optimized site does not earn money.
One of the main factors leading to undesirable effects like high bounce rates or low conversion rates is poor usability. While usability experts tend to assume that usability is about clean and simple interface design in SEO we also tend to bring the sheer attractiveness of a page to the table.
When a visitor bounces for a lack of a visual clue or eye catcher a page isn’t really usable is it?
Landing Page Optimization
What are landing pages? Leading usability and SEO experts consider every page a landing page. On the hand landing pages refer to pages specifically created for a single purpose and/or audience.
In the dark past webmasters relied on the “home page” metaphor for visitors to arrive at the front door. The contrary is the case, your visitors arrive via a myriad of ways through all kinds of pages.
Nowadays deep links are often far more popular than the actual front page of a site. You should anticipate that and create or optimize your landing pages accordingly. Knowing the traffic source and the most likely visitor intent will better your chances to create fitting landing pages.
A/B Split Testing
While the last tip dealt with testing there is a different kind of testing as well necessary to optimize your landing pages , it’s the so called A/B split testing or multivariate testing.
Many people are already familiar with the concept from PPC and are using Google Website Optimizer. The Google Website Optimizer tool is not limited to ads though, you can test whatever pages you want no matter where the traffic comes from
As you see some of these simple ways are quite obvious while others may sound intimidating. On the whole this list just scratches the surface.
You have to dive deep into the metrics and test for yourself.
Most small SEO projects won’t even allow that depth due to budget limitations but you can also attempt to convince the clients you already have to step up their efforts.
A high bounce rate and a low conversion rate is like kicking out your potential customers or scaring away your visitors that ring the door bell.
It’s like changing the visitor intent: Make the people who just wanted to get higher rankings and more traffic improve their bounce rate and conversion rate as well.
In case this list is not enough for you you might want to check these additional resources elsewhere: