We all search google to find answers and spend time to scan content of websites that provide the information we are looking for, and dismiss the sites that don’t contain our required information, leaving it very quickly.
Search related content and usability of a website determines its value to the visitors. Length of time spent, other pages visited on a particular site are all indicators for search engines of the sites user value. And this a factor on how your website is ranked on google and other search engines.
What is Bounce Rate
The longer we spent navigating around a website, the higher the value of that site in user experience terms, and if no time spent beyond a short visit to a landing page, that will be considered a bounce by search engines.
This is a ranking factor for google and depending on occurring frequency, the “rate”, of either of these scenarios, it will have an effect on the page ranking and positioning of that website.
Obviously we cannot be all things to all people, and we cannot create content that pleases everyone. But we can reduce and avoid high bounce rates by improving content and site usability that is targeted and created with our audience in mind.
You can check your sites bounce rate in your google analytics.
The rate of 20% to 45% is considered very good, average being 50% to 55%. And anything above 70% is poor, indicating that there are issues with the website.
Design with Your Audience, Products and Services in mind
Whether you decide to have a minimalist clean design or one with lots of sidebars and info on your pages, all depends on what your site is about, what you offering, selling or promoting, and what kind of visitors, your audience, you want to target and attract.
One thing is for sure, no matter which of the above design and content routes you choose or which one fits your purpose, it has to be professionally put together, by way of structure and information you provide to your targeted audience, and the market you aiming for.
Create Relevant Engaging Smart Content
Content is all about quality and not quantity.
To put energy, time, effort and money to optimize, SEO, a site for search engines and seeing its organic ranking gains diminish quickly as the bounce rate increase, is a total waste. And creating large amount of content that offers very little value is counterproductive, once the visitor realize there is nothing of value on offer, they will leave within seconds.
Content is the single most important component of your marketing campaign. As search engines are focusing on creating the best user experience, which means sites that offer relevant information stand to gain the most visibility. It has to be informative, relevant to the searchers subject, engaging enough for the visitor to remain and discover.
Investing in creation of original, quality content is essential to SEO success in the current search climate, and the benefits of producing a user friendly experience goes beyond ranking.
Losing customers and credibility caused by lack of quality content, that is uninformative, uninteresting and of low value, is a damage that takes time and yet more resources to repair.
Marketing strategy, whether short or long term, is a must. You need to be clear on the market you aiming for, who you targeting and what are their expectations. Only then you can prepare and offer a content with their interests in mind, encouraging them to take the desired action on your website.
Content is about storytelling. So get your story across by combination of great text, quality images, videos and sliders. Anything that makes them pay attention and buy in to your story!
Make use of videos, images, especially if your products are camera friendly and eye catching.
As they say “a picture worth a thousand words”.
It works for visitors too. They are likely to spend 3 times longer on a site with quality images than a site with bulk of text.
Also image driven content is easier to share on your social media platforms.
No matter how much you spend on optimizing your site, the gains are short lived without quality content.
Interact With Your Visitors
Don’t lose the opportunity to interact with your visitors. Visitors are your potential buyers.
It can be time consuming to respond to each visitors comment. However to build a strong business, brand, you need to build relationships. Acknowledging their comments will make them feel part of the conversation, their voice heard, and more importantly they see themselves as being contributor to your organization. They will become loyal advocates of your brand, products or services.
Be prepared! High quality content will attract more interest, more visitors. More visitors means more comments and more interaction that requires time dedication. But this is where you’ll find your new customers, it also helps to retain them. Interact with them.
You Need to Collect Emails
You can start collecting email addresses by having an opt-in button like the one below. Simple and direct. No sales necessary, as long as you have something to offer in exchange.
CTA, call to action, similar to opt-in button that can be designed to collect more information from the subscribers. You can use it to sell products and make free offers in exchange for visitors information.
Lead generation is the reason for having an optimized content driven website. An opportunity to acquire new leads and convert to sales, is the whole purpose of the investment in the first place.
Collecting addresses, communicating with subscribers, making offers and providing information on new products, services, blogs or sending out news letters, tips and advice, is price less. It will encourage more regular visits to your site and eliminates cold calling.
Think about your website as your shop front window. The more attractive the display and offers the more likely to entice shoppers to walk in and see your products.
Its your shop window to the world and not just on any high street. Great opportunity, don’t you think?
Make it Easy to Navigate Around Your Site
Encourage visitors to stay on your site longer, look and discover other pages and posts of interest. Easy to scan, clear navigation will encourage desired actions taken by the users and extend their visit to your site.
A clear header and / or footer navigation, one click, that takes them directly to where they want to go.
Try avoiding drop down navigation, as the visitor may lose interest to click trough the options, or by providing too many options. Unless your business requires it. Such as a home furnishing company, where you would need to separate dinning tables from sofas and chairs and their many varieties.
Here is an image below of a website with 5 drop down categories each with subcategories. They have a large catalog, and it can be argued that it is needed. Although an authoritative site, the navigation could be improved dramatically and the page tidier for user friendly experience.
Easy navigation will encourage users to take action and look around, staying on your site longer. An untidy drop down list taking you yet to subcategories will not achieve the desired actions.
Here is another authoritative site that has avoided the drop down navigation for a much cleaner, fresher look with one click navigation. There is a large front page with quality images and short list descriptions that will take you where you want to go with a click.
Use Internal Links for Navigation
You can do this by anchor text through out your post. Link your subject matter to other relevant posts, providing the user with further or more detailed information. Don’t go overboard with this as it can make your post look untidy.
You can also put the links at the bottom of your post as reference for further reading or information. Here you can be generous and list plenty, as you wish.
Wikipedia is an example of anchor text for navigating, and they get away with over doing it. But we are all use to it and expect it.
Internal links have SEO benefits. It helps search engine crawlers to understand the relevance of your post to the searchers subject matter for indexing.
Is Your Site Up To Speed
You can check both your desktop and mobile load speed on your google console.
Page speed is a google ranking factor. People generally don’t stick around websites with slow loading times.
Or plugin your Url here https://testmysite.withgoogle.com/ for a full report of your sites loading performance delivered direct to your inbox.
Stats below are provided by webdesignerdepot.com
if your site loads in 5 seconds it is faster than approximately 25% of the web
if your site loads in 2.9 seconds it is faster than approximately 50% of the web
if your site loads in 1.7 seconds it is faster than approximately 75% of the web
if your site loads in 0.8 seconds it is faster than approximately 94% of the web
To fix and speed up your website there are host of solutions. If you are a tech savvy, you probably can resolve them yourself, as they mostly require technical know how. And if your anything like me, then ask your web developer to make the adjustments.
Minimize HTTP Requests: An HTTP request is made for images, stylesheets, scripts, Flash and so on. So the more on-page components, the longer it takes for the page to render.
Enable Caching: Caching ensures a much faster experience for your website users by storing a version of your website on their browser.
Optimize and Reduce Image Size: Reduce the image size before loading it to your site. Un-optimized images can be very heavy, and as a result use a lot of server resources and take longer to load.
Optimize CSS Delivery: In general, an external style sheet is preferable, because it reduces the size of your code and creates fewer code duplication.
Reduce the number of plugins you use on your site: It is tempting to overload your site with plugins. Particularly as there are so many free ones. They can dramatically slow your load time. So disable / delete the unnecessary ones.
Reduce server response time: Your target is a server response time of less than 200ms (milliseconds).
There are other factors that may effect the loading speed of your site, and you can find varying advice posted on online. Here is a couple for further reading.
Is Your Site Optimized for Mobile
Many themes on WordPress, Strikingly, Wix and others now days are mobile friendly.
Make sure your forms such as, contact, (CTA) call to action, opt-in etc, are responsive on mobile devices. Visitors will leave your page if these actions are not working and they can’t take their desired action.
As mentioned, you can also check the load up mobile speed on googles console.
Just a reminder, that speed and mobile friendliness are google’s official ranking factors!
To Sum Up
We covered some aspects of content and inbound marketing, lead generation and SEO that if implemented, will increase your ranking on google, will generate qualified leads and provide a direction for your longer term marketing strategy.
No matter what they called, Inbound, Content, SEO, SMO (social media optimization) Lead Generation, Social Media or Email marketing they are all strategies used in various combinations in an online marketing campaign.
Thinking that it’s all about SEO
Marketing for anyone and everyone
Having no marketing strategy
Losing opportunities by not interacting
Losing opportunities by not converting
Not knowing what actually works for you
Not using the power of storytelling