In Daily Nugget #227 we explained the importance of lowering your bounce rate. In that Golden Nugget, we explained that you should try your best to lower your bounce rates as much as possible. You can read the full Nugget here: http://bit.ly/iExxJP
Google interprets bounce rates and uses them to judge the quality of your overall website when compared to particular phrases or topics. Google actually refers to topics as "themes" and that's a common word amongst website SEO professionals.
We've always said, and continue to teach, that you should be publishing educational articles or blog entries on your website. Each additional post increases the overall visibility of your site by giving Google more information to index and provide back out to users.
Blogging works. It's an amazing way to attract people to your website for random reasons in hopes that they will find your information interesting and that they will be interested in looking around at your jewelry and services. Every blog entry you create should stay focused in your particular theme, and not stray outside that theme.
In other words, you should always talk about jewelry, gemstones, diamonds, jewelry designers, and anything else jewelry related. Be wary of off-theme bog entries, like garage doors, dogs, cats, or even celebrities.
For us, it turns out that celebrities are the real problem, and this is a good case study for you too.
As part of the normal jWAG service, we monitor pop culture and entertainment for any mentions of jewelry designers, celebrity jewelry, or any time a celebrity might be wearing jewelry. When found, we publish to our Red Carpet blog located at http://jwag.biz/blog.
If you monitor our Red Carpet Blog you can get ideas of what your customers are seeing, and what they might be interested in seeing in your store's showcases.
Recent analysis of our own Google Analytics showed that 2 of the Red Carpet Blogs from this year received a high number of unique visits, but an alarmingly high bounce rate. We don't want to mention the specific blog posts or link to them because we might take them down, but here are the details.
Page A was published in January 2011. Since then it has received 247 direct visitors from the Google SERP and has a bounce rate of 83.74%.
Page B was published in March 2011. Since then it has received 828 direct visitors from the Google SERP and has a bounce rate of 75.32%.
The "theme" of the jWAG website should be SEO training and education, with a focus on jewelry. However, these two pages seem to have linked our website to the celebrity names we mentioned in each article. Again, we don't want to accidentally link this Nugget to their names either so we will not publish their names on our website again.
These two blog entries are attracting all the wrong people to our website. In fact, at the time of this writing, the visibility of our website is completely askew in the Google SERP. We're looking at reports that show more than 20,000 times per month that those two pages show up within the top 2 pages on Google.
Under normal circumstances this would be a windfall for any website owner, but we really don't want to attract non jewelry store owners, and that's what's happening. We're probably going to delete or hide those 2 pages from Google.
So what does this mean for you?
First, make sure your own blog is being tracked by Google Analytics. Then check in on your blog stats every once in a while, always looking for bounce rates for your pages. Look for blog entries with low bounce rates and high average time on the page. Read over those well performing entries and try to create future entries in the same style.
Carefully review any page with a bounce rate above 60%. Make sure the blog entry fits with the rest of the theme of your jewelry business. Consider either rewriting it or deleting it if it doesn't fit the theme.
As a reminder, those higher bounce rates will hurt your overall ranking for your site. This case study showed how we discovered two hurtful entries in our own blog. Hopefully you can learn from our discovery.