Are you paying big bucks for SEO content on your website?
If you understand the principles of search engine optimization, it’s much more difficult for a vendor to shine you on. Some lawyers know and understand their website analytics inside-out. But there are many lawyers who don’t understand even the basics.
There’s one important factor in SEO that even some knowledgeable lawyers will overlook: Bounce Rate.
According to Google, your bounce rate is:
the percentage of single-page web sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting any further.
I’ll give you a simple example to explain Bounce Rate.
Let’s say you have 100 visitors to your website. 50 visitors read the landing page and then click through to read a second web-page. The other 50 visitors only look at the page they landed on before leaving your website.
The 50 visitors who only looked at the landing page before leaving your site are considered “bounced”. So your bounce rate is 50%.
Bounce Rate isn’t just important techno-jargon for SEO people or even Google’s algorithms. Your Bounce Rate tells you whether visitors are interested in your content and how they act when they’re visiting your website.
If more visitors to your site start to click to read a second or even third web-page, it doesn’t just mean your Bounce Rate has reduced; it means they’re finding more content on your website that they want to read.
The more your website has what a visitor wants, and the longer they stay on your website, the more likely that person will contact your law office.
Lowering your Bounce Rate is all about ensuring your website makes it easy for people to consume the content on your website.
So what can affect your bounce rate? Here are some examples:
If your website doesn’t display properly on a cellphone, many cellphone users will hit the “back” button in their browser.
Up to half of your web traffic could be from mobile devices like cellphones and tablets. Your website needs to be compatible with mobile devices or visitors will leave to find a website that displays better on a small screen. If visitors take one look at your website and leave, they have most definitely “Bounced”.
Dedicated mobile versions of your website are out; mobile-responsive websites are in. A responsive website is one that uses all the same files and design, whether on a mobile device or a desktop PC. However the styling is designed to automatically adjust according to the size of the display and remain easy to read.
Full Posts On Your Blog Page
If your blog page displays the full content of each post, instead of a summary or excerpt, then there’s no need for a visitor to go any deeper than your landing page. But if your blog page only has a summary or excerpt, then to read that post the visitor has to click for another page, which stops them from “Bouncing”.
I’ve seen this for myself with our old blog website.
We made one change to our blog at the end of September 2013 and the difference was a game changer in lowering our bounce rate.
Before the change, if you went to the blog you’d find the full content of the last few blog posts on that single landing page. You didn’t need to click anything or go to any other pages to read, say, the 6 most recent blog posts. You could read 6 whole blog posts by just scrolling down the front page
The one change we made was to only display the excerpt of each post on the blog page, instead of the full article. It meant that to read the full article, the visitor would have to click through from the front page. That one change reduced our Bounce Rate from 80% to under 5%.
Have you got more than one blog post on a particular topic? Maybe you have videos to supplement the information in your blog posts.
If you have a look underneath this blog post, you’ll see a selection of my earlier posts as well as promotions for our webinars. When you’ve reached the bottom of this article, one of these other posts might catch your eye and capture your interest. If you click through to read a second blog post instead of leaving this website, then you have NOT bounced.
So making it easier for visitors to navigate your website and find links to additional content on the page they landed on will reduce your Bounce Rate.
I mentioned videos above under “related content” but the importance of video is worth repeating. As I explained in a previous blog post, internet users today are looking for video. Many people would rather watch a video than read an article. Videos will keep visitors on your website for longer, as well as helping them to build “know, like and trust” with you.
Lead Magnets and Opt-Ins Thank You Pages
As well as links to other content, at the bottom of this blog post you will also find an ad for my free report, “7 Secrets To Getting More Clients For Your Law Firm”. If you enter your information to receive your free copy, when you click the button you’ll be taken to a “Thank You” page on this website.
The “Thank You” page would be the second page you see on this website and because you’ve viewed more than a single page, you will have NOT bounced.
The key to lowering your Bounce Rate is to give visitors a “next step” to take, especially at the bottom of each page of content. Think about the website journey you can lay out, like breadcrumbs, for potential clients to follow that guides them to choose your law firm instead of another.
What I’ve tried to do with this blog post is give you an overview of what your “Bounce Rate” means and how to lower it.
If you want more information, please watch this video.
If you want some more in-depth reading, have a look at this article by Neil Shah which explains with some great visual examples. Or try this article by Optimize Smart which is a little more technical.