Although nearly everyone and their grandmother has a personal or business website in these modern times, not a lot of people know how to track their website statistics.
Ask a couple of webmasters what Google Analytics is and most of them will look at you questioningly.
After all, they argue, shouldn’t you start making money online as soon as you put up a website and start driving paid traffic to it? Isn’t that what the gurus tell you? Isn’t website marketing supposed to be “simple”?
The harsh truth is, the art of getting visitors to your website is by far the most involved and complicated task. Realistically speaking, most webmasters will not make a dime unless they track their website stats effectively.
One of the more important web statistics is the bounce rate. Formally speaking:
Bounce rate essentially represents the percentage of initial visitors to a site who “bounce” away to a different site, rather than continue on to other pages within the same site.
As you can imagine, a high bounce rate suggests that your website is not doing a good job of “entertaining” your visitors.
I personally admit that I have never had a bounce rate of lower than 40% (which might be OK according to some people) but a bounce rate of over 80% is simply bad news.
Here are 3 reasons why a high bounce rate is bad for business:
1. Bad or ineffective content: One of the most common reasons for a high bounce rate is that your visitors think your content is crap. Either that or your visitors do not think your content is related to the keywords you are ranking for.
Your visitors might be searching for some non-promotional info on Eczema, but if they come to an affiliate Eczema course website, they will most probably click back without spending another second on your website.
It is precisely for this reason that affiliate websites find it very difficult to sustain their rankings in Google. After all, nearly every person out there can differentiate between a sales-oriented website or an informational website, simply by looking at the first 5 lines of text on the website.
And adding insult to injury, most savvy people do not like huge hype-filled sales letters which exaggerate their product effectiveness to unbelievable levels. All this results in a very high bounce rate for affiliate websites.
2. Ranking penalty: Google is now known to take the bounce rate and time spent on the website into account to determine your rankings.
This means that even if you have the most amazing looking website but your visitors exit the website quickly, you will get into trouble.
This is Google’s way of ensuring that only relevant content is served in the search results.
If your bounce rate is very high or the time spent on your website is very low for a prolonged period of time, you can expect Google to drop your rankings by around 30-40 positions (sometimes even more).
3. You are leaving money on the table: A high bounce rate suggests that most visitors do not like your website enough to spend time on it. This translates to the fact that you are leaving money on the table.
Think about it: If 80% of your visitors leave your website quickly and never come back, would that not make a huge dent in your sales?
The first rule of making money is to give your prospects something they actually care about. A high bounce rate in this case is the exact opposite of what you want.
In conclusion, high bounce rate can break your online business and will make it extremely easy for more savvy competitors to easily push you out of your market.
Bounce rate can be lowered by ensuring that you post content which your visitors like. If you have affiliate websites, try to give the image that your on-site content is actually informational instead of promotional and then discreetly add your sales message in the ending paragraphs.
Did I leave anything out? Do you have any personal anecdotes or suggestions on how to lower your bounce rate? If so, comment!