I read some Dr. Seuss books to my youngest this morning so I’m all about the rhyming and alliteration. WebProNews had an article this week discussing how and if bounce rate is now a factor Google takes into account. It’s a great article, they have several quotes from industry experts and provide some inconclusive, although intriguing, results. Definitely worth the read/skim.
Rehashing the info seems kind of pointless so I’m going to talk about how big of an issue this really is. It seems the SEO industry has been concerned with this issue for several years now, but I don’t get it. Yes, it would be great if we had more insite into Google’s algorithm. Let’s be honest though, even if you knew all 200+ aspects of what goes into ranking sites, you’re only going to focus on the most important ones. Which is what we’re all kind of doing already. Second, bad bounce rates are bad not just because your rankings might take a hit. Not working to improve your bounce rate is like eating two chips out of the Doritos bag and then throwing the rest away. It’s straight up wasteful. It’s easier, and cheaper, to improve your bounce rate than it is to increase your traffic.
Why don’t more people do it? It’s probably more of a systemic problem in the SEO community in general. We only want SEO to be a group of processes that we can check off a list. In reality, good SEO is much more of a soft skill than a hard set of processes. Improving your bounce rate forces you to think about people and not just machines. We should do this more anyway in all our marketing and business endeavors, but I digress.
Whether or not Google is peaking at your analytics to change your rankings is secondary. Your focus should be on getting the most out of the traffic you’re getting as possible. To that end, here’s a great post on improving your bounce rate from Avinash Kaushik you HAVE to read.
I’d love you to tell me I’m wrong in the comments. It makes the few times I’m right even more fun.