By Chris Marentis, from Search Engine People Blog –

National and local internet marketing experts agree that excessive bounce rates can kill SEO strategy. More important, elevated bounce rates are often indicative of something much worse. High bounce rates can be a telltale sign that your website needs to be redesigned. Users don’t like things to be difficult, its one of the cardinal rules of online sales:

Make things as easy as humanly possible for the end user.

Users often bounce because a site is too confusing. After all, why should users put up with a glaring 404 error when they can easily find a competitors site that is not as irritating?

Some Bounce Rates Are Normal

Local internet marketing strategy is never a fail-safe. Sometimes, users bounce to a different site. Numerous variables that cause bounce rates are outside of anyones control. Additionally, sometimes its best to let a bad prospect move on. To get an idea of where bounce rates for your site should be, look at the checklist below, created from data originally posted by QuickSprout.

  • Content websites have an average bounce rate of 40 percent to 60 percent.
  • Lead generation websites have an average bounce rate of 30 percent to 50 percent.
  • Blogs have an average bounce rate of 70 percent to 98 percent.
  • Retail sites have an average bounce rate of 20 percent to 40 percent.
  • Services sites have an average bounce rate of 10 percent to 30 percent.
  • Landing pages have an average bounce rate of 70 percent to 90 percent.

There is a very logical reason why services sites tend to be pretty easy to keep users on and blogs tend to be much more difficult. Put yourself in the shoes of an end user. An end user with a leaking roof or an overflowing toilet needs a problem fixed ASAP, and the user knows exactly what he or she is looking for. A user looking to kill time on a blog can do exactly that, kill time when surfing the web for different blogs.

What You Should Do to Tilt the Odds in Your Favor

Decrease bounce rates by going back to basics. Create content that users care about, and make it easy to access. Small font and goofy colors can easily throw end users for a loop. Similarly, pictures and page titles should clearly state what your site is all about. A few essential items for sites include:

  • Make sure you have clear contact information.
  • Make sure you have a clear call to action.
  • Make sure you do not interfere with the user experience.
  • Make all content easy to scan and read.
  • Make your brands story easy to follow.
  • Make things more interesting with fresh content.

Avoid popups and other irritating things that can prompt users to find a site that offers a better experience.

Make Things as Easy as Possible for Users

You do not have to pander to make content easy to understand and a site easy to use on mobile devices as well as personal computers. You don’t have to be a local internet marketing expert either. Improve bounce rates by improving user experience. Its just that simple.

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