Don’t Work on Your SEO Before You Take These 3 Steps
Do you want to increase your website’s SEO? Do you want to rank on the first page of search engines, so you get more traffic?
It only makes sense that your answer is “yes” since everyone wants to increase their SEO these days–it’s become a buzzword.
My questions for you is: Why do you want more traffic? What’s the end goal?
If it takes you longer than a moment to come up with an answer, there is a problem. By increasing your SEO in the short term, you actually decrease your SEO in the long run…
I know. It sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it? It’s not. Let me explain…
One of the factors that affects SEO is bounce rate. Let’s explore what that means.
Bounce rate is when a user visits one of your pages and leaves without any other interactions.
Why is it important?
To Google, it means that the user did not find what they were looking for on your page, so they left without taking any other action.
It makes sense, right? If the user did find what they were looking for, they would take an action such as clicking a button or following a link.
So, now you’re thinking, “That makes sense, but how do I calculate bounce rate?”
Fortunately, there are tools for this exact purpose such as Google Analytics, and the best part about them is that they’re free.
In a nutshell, they divide the total number of people who leave a page without interacting with it by the total number of visits. Easy!
So what exactly is a “good” bounce rate? It depends on the industry. But here is a graph by Brafton for a little bit of context:
As you can see, the bounce percentage for B2B is a bit higher.
However, what’s important is that you understand what causes a higher bounce rate and try to reduce it over time. The starting percentage less important.
So, you at this point, you probably want to know how to reduce your website’s bounce rate. I’ll share a few simple methods that can do wonders.
1) Have a clear goal for your page
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to set a goal before designing a page.
When you don’t set a clear and precise goal, the design will confuse the user, resulting in them abandoning your website quickly and increasing its bounce rate.
I have seen multiple websites include carousels on their homepage showcasing a variety of choices, features, or purposes–the sum of which only result in bewildering the average user.
Choose one objective, and try to guide the user through your website with that purpose in mind.
Let me give you an example. I was on a call, reviewing a real estate agent’s website once as part of one of our free consultations.
On the homepage of her website, she had a gorgeous picture of a house and her standing by the door. That’s it.
So I asked her what is the end goal of your website; what are you trying to achieve?
The question stunned her a bit as though no one had asked her that before. After pausing briefly, she said… “I want people to call me.”
I advised her to add a “Call Me” or “Contact Me” button at the center of that attractive image. She said that makes perfect sense.
2) Include clear CTAs and pay attention to their placements
One of the most powerful methods for reducing your bounce rate is to include a “call to action” or CTA to your website.
A call to action is what you want your users to do once they come to your website.
Over the years, we’ve seen so many websites that have no CTAs at all on their homepages.
Bounce rate was when users leave your website without interacting. So include CTAs so they can interact with your website…
That is why one of the design best practices is to include a CTA at the top of your homepage. That way when a user visits your website they can interact with it straight away.
Not only that but it is also good to spread CTAs across your pages to make it easy for users to interact. Just make sure you don’t do it too much.
There is a fine line between annoying and good.
3) Increase your website’s loading speed
I know you’ve experienced this at least once while browsing the web. You click on a website and you wait and wait…and it just takes too long, so, you go back.
This is something you must absolutely avoid. When this happens, your website doesn’t even get a chance to be viewed, and let’s not forget… it also increases your bounce rate. Ouch…
Nowadays, with mobile phones being utilized more than ever before, your website’s speed has become that much more important.
Based on statistics provided by Statista about web traffic trends:
More than 50% of web traffic in 2018 is coming through mobile.
If that’s not enough, take a look at the percentage of time people spend online using their mobile phones:
As I like to say,
“If a website isn’t designed for mobile, it may as well not exist.”
You may be wondering, “What is a good website load speed, and how do I measure it?”
Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. To measure your website speed, just use:
It’s completely free; just enter your URL and it will give you a report.
Keep in mind that it’s best to have a loading speed of fewer than 3 seconds. Of course, the lower the better.
If your load time is below 3 seconds then, by all means, skip the following section. Otherwise, I’ll give you some tips on how to reduce your website’s loading time.
Simple steps to reduce load time
One of the easiest steps you can take to increase your website’s speed is removing images that bring no value to your users.
I once evaluated a website that sold clothes but had, as its featured image, a huge a pineapple with a purple background front-and-center on its homepage.
Not only did that image slow the website, but it also confuses the users.
Don’t use animations unless it is absolutely necessary. Design the site to give value to your visitors, not just visual appeal.
Once you have only the images that are absolutely necessary for your website, make sure you reduce their size to under 500kb.
Bonus: Write engaging content
Don’t forget that you are talking to real people through your website.
Depending on your target audience, don’t be too formal and avoid using impersonal abstractions to talk to your potential customers.
Write engaging content, talk with your customer, build trust, and make it a more personal experience.
The more personal the content, the higher the possibility of people interacting with your website. Which all leads back to (you guessed it) a lower website bounce rate.
Increasing SEO is a great strategy for increasing organic traffic to your website, however, you have to make sure your website is designed well before you start.
A good design means lower bounce rate, which is the number of people who leave your website without interacting with it.
You can achieve a low bounce rate for your website by designing with three main points in mind…
Have a goal in mind when designing each page, and cater your design to that specific goal.
Write engaging content with a personal and accessible tone. Remember that you’re talking to a real person through your website.
Make sure you include CTAs (Calls to Action) throughout your pages to guide users through your website.
Once you have these 3 design principles implemented, go ahead and watch your SEO efficacy rise.
Is your website built with these 3 principles in mind?