AskPat 677 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody, Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 677 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. And as always I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week. We have an awesome question today from Jan, but before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor which is Iubenda.com and I'll spell that for you in a second.
Okay now here's today's questions from Jan.
Jan: Hi Pat, this is Jan. I'm a blogger from frankstraveltips.com, and I've been blogging for about one in a half years, seeing good increases in my page views and I really need your advice because I don't know if I should continue with submitting posts to StumbleUpon or not. Yes my page views have tripled even quadrupled but unfortunately the bounce rate has gone up to 93%, and I'm really concerned about how Google sees this. I know it means that visitors aren't staying long, and this is really important to me obviously that they stay on, and that I can use this as a selling feature if I try to monetize my website. So I need your advice, should I continue submitting posts to StumbleUpon? Thanks a lot Pat, I love your show, it has been so helpful for my learning and creating a great website. Thanks a lot.
Pat Flynn: Hey Jan, what's up, thank you so much for the question today, I appreciate it. First thing I'm gonna say is StumbleUpon traffic will always have a high bounce rate, that is just traditionally how that works because people on StumbleUpon, it's sort of like a way for people to bookmark and share those bookmarks and discover things and a lot of times things go viral on there, but they're people who you wouldn't necessarily target anyway, so people they see how high ranking these posts are and it seems like some of your posts have become quite visible on there, which is fantastic, but a lot of that traffic is going to be just not your target audience. So I wouldn't worry too much about it. Sites don't get penalized for getting on StumbleUpon, my guess is that Google knows that StumbleUpon traffic would have a higher bounce rate and even though that affects your overall bounce rate or your average bounce rate, I would feel that, and Google has the ability and the technology to discount those particular bounce rates and not count them against you.
So the reason I say this is because it could be, if that were the case it would be really easy to sabotage other sites by getting them to go viral on StumbleUpon or sites like that, that have a high bounce rate when people come over to the site after checking it out and clicking through and to the link, it'd be very easy to sabotage competition, and Google I know has done whatever they can to not allow that to happen. For example, there are other instances in history where there were things that people could do to not submit their own site but submit other sites, knowing that certain things were things that Google didn't want. They would actually make other sites do that, a lot of black hat kind of things and you can actually force that kind of stuff to happen on other people's sites, and Google's caught on to that kind of thing.
So Jan I wouldn't recommend that, but I will talk a little bit about bounce rate really quick. Bounce rate is, as Jan mentioned, the fact that people are coming to your site and they're basically bouncing off, and getting off the site before…and the definition of bounce rate is different depending on what service you're using to keep track of your traffic. Google Analytics is different than Clicky which is different than other ones. Some it's like, “oh they're on the site for 30 seconds at least, that counts as a non-bounce,” other's it's “well, they haven't gone to a second page,” and in many instances, sometimes you don't want them to go to a second page—it's maybe a landing page and there's nothing else to click through, so the email call to action is it and you know your bounce rates high, but you're still getting emails.
So bounce rate, there's a lot that goes along with it, but obviously if you have a site and you want people to go look around, you want people to do that, and one thing I would recommend is getting a tool called Crazy Egg, or something like SumoMe which has a heat map. Crazy Egg is sort of the more advanced one that allows you to see a lot more information. But SumoMe also has a built in heat map that allows you to see where people are looking, where people are clicking, and you'll be able to tell quite easily what parts of your site are working and are not.
I think this is a great tool for everybody, that everybody should use. But you'll be able to determine whether or not the way-finding or navigation through your site is actually something that is working, because you'll be able to determine based on how hot or based on colors, it's a heat map, so the things that are red are actually clicked on more, the things that are blue are completely cold. I've had instances where I had links on my site on the homepage, that never got clicked on and I wouldn't of known unless it was for this sort of visual aspect that you get in a heat map, so again those tools are Crazy Egg, which is a premium tool, or SumoMe, by the guys over at AppSumo, there's actually an affiliate link for that. There's a premium service, but it is free, but if you wanted to go through my link just so they know that people are coming over, again it's free to check out. You can go to AskPat.com/SumoMe and you can get that installed.
You could also just ask people, this is something that I've taken really really seriously over the past couple years, I try to every single month, have a Skype conversation with people in my audience. So I just reach out to people via email, funny cause a lot of times when I reach out they think that it's an automated message or some trick or something, but no I, if you get an email from me that asks to get on a phone call with you or on a Skype call, it's legit.
And the reason I do that is because I ask my audience, who is exactly who I want to serve, exactly what's going on. What are their pains and problems? What do they feel I could do better on Smart Passive Income? What were their first impressions? That question will tell you more about what you could do about your bounce rate, and that's why the recent redesign happened, because people's first impressions of SPI for a lot of the previous designs, were, oh it's too overwhelming, too many choices and so on and so forth. So that's what was solved in the next design that did decrease the bounce rate.
I'm also having more options and just a single clear call to action has been really beneficial for me too. So instead of having so many options, even though you might have a navigation bar and other options to click on, just having one very clear call to action that's very obvious. If you were to ask somebody in your audience who comes to your site, “Hey what do you think is the one thing I want you to do when you come here?” If you can't answer that question, then something needs to be done and your bounce rate's probably gonna be much higher than it should be.
But if you can easily say, for example, if you go to Smart Passive Income, and I ask you what that question, what your answer to that question is, you'd probably say, “Oh I want you to click here on this ‘Get Started' button.” Well if you go to Smart Passive Income, you'll be able to see that that's completely obviously the number one thing I want you to click on, because it's big and green and right there in the middle, so those are some tips in terms of decreasing your bounce rate.
Also other metrics to look at are time spent on site, and I guarantee that obviously the higher the bounce rate, the less time on site is gonna happen, but Jan, I would also look at traffic outside of StumbleUpon and see what's happening there. So what is the bounce rate for people not coming from StumbleUpon, and is that something to worry about.
Yeah. So Jan, thank you so much for the question. I appreciate you, and we're gonna send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. Thank you so much. And for everybody else out there who has a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show, all you have to do is head on over to askpat.com and you can ask right there on that page. And if you get your question featured, Jessica my assistant, will reach out within month or two, and we'll definitely collect your information so we can send you that t-shirt completely free of charge. Currently there are 600-plus people running around this world with AskPat shirts, so if you find one say hi, and let me know that you saw one in the wild, cause that would be awesome.
Anyway thank you so much, and here's a quote to finish off the day as you head into whatever it is that you're gonna do. This is by Lao Tzu. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” Dang that's deep. All right guys take care and I'll see you the next episode of AskPat. Bye.