Angelica Arabe

Angelica manages the external content strategy of Walter Analytics - including monthly client newsletters and Walter Insights. Angelica works with the team to ensure that our clients are kept up to date with the latest developments in digital marketing - and follows industry publications to ensure continuous learning for our consultants.

Marketing Analytics Q&A: The Truth Behind Bounce Rates

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The Truth Behind Bounce Rates

My homepage bounce rate is over 75%; that seems really high! What can I do about improving this?

There is a quick process to determine if this is a bad thing. Keep in mind; the bounce rate is generally the % of people who just view the page and exit the website without viewing another page (hence the term bounce). However, depending on the configuration of the site, and the presence of further tracking, a high bounce rate may not be as bad as first thought. I’d consider around a 50% bounce rate average, however depending on the traffic profile, this number can be higher or lower.

So let’s talk a bit about your homepage. 75% bounce rate on a homepage would be considered high. I’d want to do two things:

  1. I would want to see the traffic breakdown for the homepage. Are the main people coming to the home page from organic search, direct, or a paid advertising? To do this in Google Analytics you would go to Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages > Click on the Homepage and then select the Secondary Dimension (Source/Medium).
  2. Second, I would want to know based on the traffic profile, is the homepage serving the purpose which it’s intended. For example, is the homepage providing users with a map of where to go next? Does it load quickly without hindrance or major browsers and devices? Does it provide your relevant information upfront promptly and easily?

Often the homepage is slow to load, with lots of different varied content and no clear purpose of where to go next. This poor user experience will contribute to a higher bounce rate as users want to know where to go fast. The other major mistake I often see is people directing paid search or other advertising efforts to their homepage. Always use a landing page and make the content contextually relevant to what the user is looking for. As I said to a client yesterday, “don’t send them into a forest, show them exactly where they need to go, and they are more likely to find what they are looking for.”

I also like to measure things such as real time on page or interactions with major elements (such as watching a video). These are usually triggered by events in Google Analytics and can be setup using Google Tag Manager, or manually in your code if you’re technically inclined.

My bounce rate on Desktop is so much better than Mobile. Why does mobile often have a much higher bounce rates?

In my experience, to find a website that loads quickly with minimal extra content on mobile and gives me exactly what content I want is a rarity. Even though clean, accessible web standards have been around for several years now, it can obviously take time for websites to adopt these and take care to build a mobile experience that provides the user exactly what they need. Designing for mobile is so different to desktop, and while standard responsive web frameworks will collapse everything into a single column, depending on the way the content has been formatted, it can be much harder to find what you’re looking for.

The times where I’ve seen mobile outperform desktop is in specific landing page sequences where the objective was obvious, e.g. “Click this button, fill out this form, and click this next button.” However, knowing the web developers who built this experience, I knew that significant time went to optimise the user experience, including the size of form fields, buttons, and the availability of critical information on a mobile device.

If mobile is key to your business, and you’re getting significant traffic from mobile, but it’s not converting, consider re-designing your mobile experience and QA testing your website on your phone. You’ll be able to identify fairly quickly where the pain points are, and how to bring the most relevant content above the fold. You can also use software such as Hotjar and record some mobile sessions to understand where users are running into trouble and how you may fix it for them!

Google’s mobile friendly algorithm update

With the convenience of being able to connect to the web while on-the-go, it came as no surprise that mobile usage has seen a significant increase over the years. It was only a matter of time before Google would create an algorithm update with mobile-friendliness as a factor in ranking.

Walter Analytics-Mobile Friendly-SERP

As early as December of last year, Google broke it’s usual silence around SEO factors and announced its intent to introduce a new search ranking algorithm favouring mobile-friendliness. What the community would, later on, coin this day as “Mobilegeddon”, it isn’t really as dire as they make it out it to be. Why? Because the algorithm update only affects Google’s mobile organic search rankings.

Which is not to say, of course, that it’s not important. 80% of the global internet users own a smartphone, after all, with an increasing number of users using mobile as their only online device.* From today onwards, it will benefit your website to be mobile-optimised following a number of criteria such as readable content and font sizes, among others.

How to determine if your website is mobile-friendly? If Google has already indexed your website as mobile-friendly, it will be labeled as such in the mobile search results as seen on the photo above. If it hasn’t been indexed yet, there is also the Mobile-Friendly Test tool by Google. What’s more, with this algorithm change, a website can only be either “mobile friendly” or “not mobile friendly” based on page by page mobile-friendliness instead of a site-wide ranking . With that basis, even if some of your web pages are not optimised for mobile, it would not affect the indexing of your website as mobile-friendly. That should provide enough time to make sure that pages with important content are optimised for mobile view.

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As previously stated, this update will only impact search rankings on Google’s mobile search. Rest assured that this will not impact your desktop ranking or search rankings on searches done on tablets and the like. While the algorithm works real time, the changes in ranking of non mobile-friendly websites will be expected in a few days or even a few weeks (depending on how long the algorithm has to crawl through small or large websites) with the extent of the impact still unknown as of the moment.

To find out how the change will affect your rankings, feel free to reach out.

Here is a Q&A video from Google for more information regarding algorithm change.

*Global Web Index: Q3 2014 Global Popularity of Digital Device Usage

4 Tips For Conversion Optimisation

What is Conversion Optimisation? All digital marketing activities around websites activity are focused on two things: bringing in more traffic to your website, and increasing the number of conversions of those onsite. Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the later, and deals with the nuance of what drives someone to convert. Depending on your original site, CRO done well will typically improve conversions by more than 15%.

Basically speaking, CRO  is the method of analysing visitor feedback, website analytics, and user behaviour  to increase the rate that visitors ultimately convert into customers. This could be subscribing for membership, signing up for your newsletters, making a purchase, hiring you for your service, generating leads, or something else that will get you to your goal (be it profit or non-profit).

1. USE BUTTONS INSTEAD OF TEXT LINKS

Your calls-to-action might have text links so I suggest that you change that into buttons. Buttons have higher click-rates because they are more obvious than text links making for an increased conversion rate. With the right positioning of the buttons, colour, contrast and the obviousness in your call-to-action, your conversion rate can increase upwards of 15%.

2. ONLY ASK FOR INFORMATION THAT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARYDropbox Signup form. See Dropbox.com

Source: Dropbox

If you’re like me, when you see a form asking for too much information that’s not absolutely necessary, you’ll give up the minute you see a form.

Instead lets look at a good example from Dropbox form for example. Sign up forms like these have more chances of conversion because they do not ask for unnecessary information that might deter the customers from signing up. Shorter forms are proven to increase conversions.

Of course this is a balancing act. You may want to collect more user information to profile your customers and improve your marketing in the future. If this is the case, you might want to try a 2-step form so as not to intimidate the users on first glance. You can also obtain some user characteristics through tracking software instead.

3. USE CLIENT TESTIMONIALS

Client testimonials allow you to back up what you are saying with clear examples.  Sure, you claim that you do a fantastic job or sell high-quality products or whatever else it is that you offer. That may be so, but is that enough? It’s often not enough for your prospective clients to take your word for it. Sometimes, they need the words of others. In your case, the words of your past and present clients. Think of your Testimonials as a supplement to your portfolio to make it more credible.

4. IMPROVE WEBPAGE LOADING SPEED

Generally speaking, webpages with a slow loading time decreases the conversion rate.  Here is a tool to help you determine your webpage loading speed from Google. For those with WordPress sites, the loading page may also be affected by the plug-ins installed. You may use this Plugin Perfomance Profile to determine which of the plug-ins is/are the culprit(s).

Was this article helpful? For more CRO suggestions, feel free to get a consultation from us. We, at Walter Analytics, will be glad to be of service. Check out my other CRO article on how your colour choices affect conversions.

 

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Keyword Research Basics – Part 2

Keyword Research Basics - Part 2

Last week, in Part 1 of this series, I introduced to you some basic tools for keyword research that help you find the terms used widely by people to search online.  I’m assuming you have a set of keywords listed on hand. If you don’t, it’s not too late to read Part 1 of Keyword Research to try out the tools and come up with a list of keywords. In this post, I will tell you how to choose the keywords that are going to give you the best results in search and SEO.

So you have a list of keywords widely used by people to search over the internet using various search engines. But wait a sec! We’re not done yet! The next step would be choosing which of those keywords are targeted and determining how to make them “qualifying” keywords. Qualifying Keywords are keywords that make sure that you receive only the types of visitors that you want, and as few people click on your ad who are not going to do anything on your site. Qualifying keywords are the equivalent of a security guard to keep undesirables out of your store and messing up the place.

Online, the trick is to determine which keyword gives you the best bang for your buck by keeping in mind the mindset of the consumers.

To understand this, it helps to know that there are only three types of searches used online, and they align with 3 mindsets of a searcher:

  • NAVIGATIONAL. These are searches made for an online destination. (think Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube)
  • INFORMATIONAL. These are searches made to find out more information about a product, service or organization before  they actually make a transaction. (searches such as “Great Barrier Reef” or “iphone features”)
  • TRANSACTIONAL. These are searches made because the consumers are actually looking to buy whatever they are searching for. (in contrast to above, searches such as “Hamilton Island Activites” or “buy iphone online”)

With this in mind, you can see that having your ad on Navigational keywords is unlikely to find customers, on Informational is likely to have more success but you really want to find the searchers in the Transactional mindset to get the most “qualified” clicks.

Let’s take a look at the list of keywords below for example. You can compile such a list using the tools for your site using the tools mentioned in Part 1 of this series.

 

wanted shoes	33,100 shoes online	22,200 mathers	12,100 dc shoes	8,100 shoes online australia	6,600 sneakers	5,400 cheap shoes online	2,900 dc	8,100

 

Let’s say, for example, that you own an online shoe store and you came up with keywords using the tools in Part 1. You must now decide if the keywords will be used as Transactional, Information or Navigational; and why that matters.

Let’s take the keyword wanted shoes as example.

Since Wanted Shoes is an online store for shoes, searchers for this term are most likely looking for a specific thing so it is a “navigational” query. Unless you own Wanted Shoes, it would be folly to advertise on this term as most searches are looking for this store only, and would probably not be open to alternatives. Any clicks you attract are likely to be accidental.

In keeping with this frame of mind, A query such as dc shoes is likely to fall into the category of “informational” while the terms that include online shoes are more likely to have searchers looking to purchase shoes online. You will quickly note that categorising the type of search queries is dependent on the industry.

So why does all of this matter? It all comes back to qualified clicks and the fact that keywords cost on a per-click basis. Qualified clicks and leads will mean a higher conversion rate.

Take note that this does not only apply to retail but all industries. The key here is to look for the keyword that works for you while taking note of the mindset of the consumers.

We hope you enjoyed this series. To aid you in your Keywords Research for your AdWords campaign, you can visit us at Walter Analytics. We’ll be glad to help you out.

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Keyword Research Basics – Part 1

WALTER ANALYTICS PRESENTS

When starting a new campaign on AdWords, you should not only have attractive copy as your ad but you should think about the keywords used. 

How does one go about finding the keywords that people actually search for? Part 1 of this 2-part series will focus on Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends for keyword research for PPC campaigns. I will tell you how to find out what keywords people actually search for. In part 2 I will tell you how to choose which keywords will give you the most bang for your buck.

Source: Google

Source: Google

WHAT IS GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNER?

Google Keyword Planner, as a free AdWords tool, is where you lay the groundwork for your Google AdWords campaigns. It’s perfect for beginners and a mainstay in the pros arsenal. From there, you can search keywords or ad group ideas (if you’re a beginner) and even expand already existing keywords. You can find Google keyword planner from your Google AdWords account, which is free to setup if you don’t have one already.

HOW IT WORKS

The Keyword Planner works by helping you search for ideas when trying to find keywords for a  new AdWords campaign. It also works when you need to expand your  keywords for existing ad campaigns.

But Keyword Planner does not stop there! Aside from helping you choose viable keywords, it has an added benefit of letting you track the historical statistics, suggested initial bidding price, traffic estimates and search volume. It also lets you target results by location, language and network settings. Aside from that, you can also customise results by date range letting you filter through seasonal trends and compare various date ranges. You can also filter results by historical statistics, keyword options and also include and exclude ideas.

WHAT IS GOOGLE TRENDS

Google Trends is a platform that lets you check out the search volume of keywords over most of the history of Google. It is a platform that lets you determine the performance of a keyword and how frequently it is being searched over the internet from as early as 2004 to present!

HOW IT WORKS

Source: Google Trends

Source: Google Trends

Google Trends works by analysing the number of Google searches in the past over the Google searches made over the same time. It is possible to queue up to 5 words or topics and will be displayed in a Search Volume Index Graph to compare volume of keywords over time. Google Trends also displays Hot Searches containing data of the top searches in Australia. Google Trends also analyses trends for images, games, people and movies.

You can also set up Google trend alerts. This lets you get regular emails letting you know changes in the volume of keywords that you are tracking.

So, there it is. With these tools, you can make a list of keywords that your customers are searching for. I am constantly surprised by terms that churn out the highest volume through Google Trends, or terms that are available and cheap through Keyword planner. In next week’s Part 2 I will run through some tips on how to really hone in on the keywords that will be qualifying keywords and the best ROI. 

Was this article helpful? To help you make Keyword Search work for you, visit us at Walter Analytics.

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