AskPat 60 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? This is Pat Flynn, and welcome to Episode 60 of AskPat. You have questions about your online business? Well, I have the answers for ya.
In today's episode, before we get to today's question, is brought to you by PersonalCapital.com. This is a brand new website that I just heard of, and I'm signed up with them, and I love it. It is a website that you can use to sign in, for free, to connect all of your accounts so you can see exactly a snapshot of what's going on in your life, in terms of finances, and what you can do to improve and even make it even better. You get a clear view of everything that you own. I'm using it right now. If you go to PersonalCapital.com/askpat, you go ahead and get signed up for free. I love their motto: “it's less fees, more Gs.” Again that's PersonalCapital.com/askpat.
Now, let's get to today's question from Gabriel about bounce rates.
Gabriel: Hey, Pat. Want to know, how did you go about lowering your bounce rate when you started your blog? I've noticed that the bounce rate, it's especially high on my own page. Thank you, and hi from Canada.
Pat Flynn: Gabriel, thank you so much for your question. And hello, hello from the US, from sunny San Diego. Hope all is well up there in Canada. To answer your question “How did you first lower your bounce rate when I first started?”, it's really interesting, because I never really paid attention to bounce rate at first. I didn't even know what that meant. For those of you out there who might not know what that means, it essentially means that you want your bounce rate to be extremely low, because the bounce rate is the rate at which people are coming to your website and leaving or bouncing away without doing anything else. Imagine a ball bouncing in your website and then, immediately, hardly ever touching it and bouncing on to the next thing. You don't want people to bounce away. You want your bounce rate to be low. I'm not going to go over specific numbers here because it differs depending on niche or depending on the purpose of your site. For example, if you have a site and you are focused on advertising or at Google AdSense. Most people are going to come to your website. You want people to come to your website and see an ad and click on it. That's how you make your money for example. In most cases, you want to lower your bounce rate as much as possible. Of course the more you can get people through your site, the lower the bounce rate is. On different platforms, it's calculated differently. Google analytics has its one take on it, and again, Clicky, which is the tool I use, uses another one, which sort of says, if a person is on the site for more than 30 seconds, that essentially means that they haven't bounced yet.
Anyway, definition aside, as far as what program you're using or analytics tool. How can you lower your bounce rate? Well, essentially you want to make sure of a few things. One, that people understand that your site is the place to be when they land on it. If there's a bad first impression or if there's a disconnect from where they came from to where they are now on your site, they're going to leave right away. They're going to feel like that's not what they were looking for and they're going to go. That's going to increase your bounce rate. Making sure you do things like, make sure that you have a good first impression when people come to the site, that it looks okay, that you're not just immediately bombarding people with popups in the first 10 seconds after they reach your site. That you have a tagline, or your title or your graphics are very congruent with it is that they're looking for. You want to make sure all those things are good, of course. You want to make sure that the speed of the site is up to par as well. If it's a slow site, people are going to go to your site and they're not going to be happy with how fast or slow it's performing, and they're going to leave. That's again—thing, if you want to decrease your bounce rate, excuse me, increase the number of people who stick around on your site, one thing you want to do is increase the speed of your site as well.
Now, another thing you want to do is, when you can get people to explore your site and click around, that's something that'll decrease your bounce rate as well. You want to make it extremely easy to navigate through. That's another very important thing. If people come to your site and they sort of know they're in the right spot but they're having a hard time sort of finding their way around, well, they're going to leave as well. You want to make it really easy to navigate through your site. One of the best things I did to lower my bounce rate, is I implemented a Getting Started page. What actually happened is—and I do this every once in a while, and I recommend you do this too—I reached out to about 100 people on my email list, and I just asked them the question, “How did you feel about my site when you first came to it? In terms of how you used it and what you thought. Like, just tell me.” Those people felt special because I reached out to them personally, and again it was sort of random, the people I reached out to. I wanted it to be random because I wanted to get the real thoughts on what people thought about when they came to my site. Many of them said, “Pat your site was very overwhelming when I came to it.” This was before the design you see now. I actually created a redesign based on a lot of this feedback. They would say things like, “Pat, it was very overwhelming. I didn't know what to do first. You just had, you had obviously written a ton of stuff, and it looked like it was good. How do I know, which article is right for me?” This was people who were landing on my homepage.
I made it really easy, and I said, “Hey, if you are new to this site and you want the easiest way to move around, click here to get started.” You'll notice that if you go to the homepage of Smart Passive Income right now, you'll notice a big green button that says get started now. That's the most clicked button on the entire website, and that's good. I want that to be the case. That decreases my bounce rate, which will make the site look better for Google and things like that, as far as ramifications of having a higher bounce rate. People go to there and they feel like, they've already made some sort of transaction or click on my site, which is good internally for them because they want to keep going deeper. Then that page introduces them to what the site is about. They go further and they can start to take action and see the filtered content that I've shared with them that is perfect for those who are just getting started.
That's a great way. You want to have a getting started page. It's different from an About page. An About page is important as well, and that's a page a lot of people will see. That's not very compelling to just click an About page. It's not very, I guess, driven or purposeful. It's just there for people who are interested. But a Getting Started page, “Hey, you're brand new to my website. Click here to get started.” When people click there, they're not considered a bounce anymore. They're further and deeper in your site, and they're more likely, when they go there, to go even deeper. Actually, my Getting Started page is one of the most profitable pages on my site. I have an offer there for a couple products and, you know, at the bottom. Also, it is one of the highest-converting pages for my email list as well. Keep that in mind when it comes to a Getting Started page.
Of course, you want to make it obviously easy to click around and navigate your site, and I had already mentioned that. That could mean making sure that the colors of the links are sort of noticeable. That they are things to do above the fold when people land on your site. You have to take different sizes of screens into account as well. I think the main thing you want to do is, one, you want to make sure people know that they're in the right place. That there's nothing difficult or any barriers to moving around the site, so the navigation should be good. And a Getting Started page is one of best things you can do as well. Now, I know a lot of people have sort of implemented a strategy, and I've been testing this out and you can sort of see it on Smart Passive Income depending on what device you're on. It'll show maybe half of an image, and so what happens is, that sort of forces people to scroll down and see more. That gets them to take a little bit of action on your site and stay on there longer.
Now, another thing to point out and to mention is that, not everybody comes to your homepage first. You have to realize what the first impression is when people land on an article page, for example, or a page that you know that you have is ranking very well in Google. People are going to come to the first time from Google, and if they come to your site, and that page—and that page, like I said, doesn't have a good first impression or doesn't match up with where they came from, they're gone; they're going to bounce. You want to make sure, especially for the pages that you know rank—you want to go into your analytics and see what keywords are being searched for and that people are finding you from, and find out what pages those are on your site. You want to make sure that … You want to go to those pages and pretend or put your mind in the mind of a reader who's on your site for the first time, coming from Google, for example, and saying, “Okay, if I land on this page and I'm here for the first time, is this something I really want to see? Is this telling me what I need to see right now?” That goes through a number of different things: How much noise are you creating on the site? Is that first impression full of just ads everywhere? If it is that's going to increase your bounce rate. I feel like if people are landing on a particular article, your job is to show them what that article is. Not to put a popup in their face, not to show them other ads. After they read that article, that's an opportunity for you to collect those email addresses or offer some sort of referral or affiliate product, for example. But not if they're coming from Google or a link from another site and they land on your site and you're not giving them that article, then that's not good. You want the sort of conversation from where they were to continue on your site, down your page and then into your email list and into your products and things like that.
Those are the tips I have for you, Gabriel, and for everybody else out there who's worried about bounce rate. The best tips I could give you. Gabriel, an AskPat t-shirt is going to be headed your way. I can't wait to see a picture of the t-shirt over up there in Canada. Hopefully it's not snowing right there for you right now. I also want to thank today's sponsor, which is Personal Capital. Again that's PersonalCapital.com/askpat. Now that the show's over, don't forget to sign up for your free account right now with Personal Capital. You'll be able to see all of your accounts in one place and get a really clear view of everything you own, which is what I love the best. I love the interface; I love the dashboard. So, again, to sign up, go to PersonalCapital.com/askpat. PersonalCapital.com/askpat.
As always, I'm going to end with a quote here. This quote is from Felix Dennis, who's a British publisher, and he said, “I have one talent, and that's figuring out what people want, about two minutes before they know it themselves.” This goes along with today's discussion about bounce rate. You want to know what people want before they even get there, so that you can give them clear direction on your site and give them exactly the things that they need to go through your site, which will decrease your bounce rate. Of course, what happens when your bounce rate decreases? People are on your site longer, they get to know you better, they get to see and put themselves in front of the products and offering that you have, and you're going to make more money that way.
I hope you enjoy that episode today. Thank you so much. Please share this episode if you have the opportunity to do so. This is, again, episode 60—six-oh—and please leave a review on iTunes. I love them. I read every single one of them. Thank you so much, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Peace.
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