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Using Google Analytics to help with SEO - Do you know your "bounce rate"?

I have been using Google Analytics on my primary Austin real estate website for quite awhile.  We recently re-designed the site, and I was absolutely amazed by the results with regard to our statistics. 


If you are not familiar with the term "bounce rate" from the title above, please allow me to explain.  If someone visits your site, then leaves without clicking on ANYTHING else there, this is a bounce.  If 5 out of 10 visitors leave without going deeper into your site, you have a 50% bounce rate.


My previous website had a very high bounce rate, and this was one reason that I wanted a new, fresh look.  After launching our new design in mid-May, the bounce rate and pages per visit have changed dramatically.


Rather than hovering in the 50% range, our bounce rate has dropped precipitously, to LESS THAN ONE PERCENT.  Here's a screenshot from the Google Analytics dashboard that I took on Saturday to illustrate:



We are averaging a 0.32% bounce rate currently, meaning that for every 10,000 visitors we receive, only 32 choose to leave the site without clicking on anything else there. 


I found a quote from Google.com analytics specialist Avinash Kaushik, who stated:



"It is really hard to get a bounce rate under 20%, anything over 35% is cause for concern, 50% (above) is worrying."



Our pages per visit and average time per visit are also very strong with the new design.


The lesson that I would like to share with you is that you don't necessarily have to increase your traffic if you can do a more effective job of keeping people there once they make it to your site.  In essence, although our traffic numbers haven't increased that much lately, we are getting more business and leads by having a "stickier" site.  The blog helps, and I think the navigation is much simpler now than it was previously. 


I just thought I would pass this along as anecdotal evidence that your site design makes a big difference. 


If you are wondering, I don't think it is possible to add Google Analytics to your AR blog, but it might be possible with a different domain name for the outside blogs that they are now offering here.  I know that it can only be added once per domain, so the default primary domain will not allow it (activerain.com).  Just FYI.  Maybe we can get some input from the tech guys who are more knowledgeable than I am about this.


If you would like to check out our site to see what is working for us, you can visit us at http://www.austintexashomes.com


Thanks!



Copyright 2008  Austin Homes   Jason Crouch

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