Article Archive by Melanie Wahl

May 23 2012

What is Bounce Rate in Google Analytics?

by Melanie Wahl


Bounce Rate, specifically the Bounce Rate Metric in Google Analytics, is the percentage of single-page visits to total visits of a certain Dimension. For example, say you are looking at your Organic Traffic and sort by search engine. You follow the row across and see that Bing is delivering a 75% Bounce Rate. This means that 75% of the visitors coming from Bing to your website during the date range you have selected are visiting one page and leaving your site. Depending how your Google Analytics account is set up, this may include closing the browser, directly typing in a different site’s URL into their browser’s navigation bar, or clicking on a link to one of your social media sites or off-site blog. This third case is important to note, because unless Google Analytics has been set-up to track these off-site channels as part of the account, a visitor will be considered a Bounce even though they are still interacting with channels your brand controls.

A high Bounce Rate typically indicates that a visitor did not find the page they landed on relevant to their interests or it did not fulfill their drive to click-through on the referring link. This is not always the case. If your blog is being tracked by Google Analytics and a visitor lands on one of your blog posts and the information they seek is clearly available, they may have no further interest in diving deeper into your website. A low Bounce Rate, on the other hand, does not necessarily mean your users are happily engaged with your site. If you pair a low Bounce Rate with a high number of Pageviews and low conversions, your visitors may be frustrated and unable to find what they are looking for even after searching and are leaving your site unfulfilled.

If you are looking for ways to improve your bounce rate, read our blog post: Down about your Bounce Rate? Do these five things to improve it today!

KISSmetrics has an interesting infographic about Bounce Rate that includes an equation, Bounce Rate metrics by industry average, and a number of tips to improve your Bounce Rate.

Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page visits to total visits, whereas Exit Rate (% Exit) is the percentage of site exits that occur. A visitor, who visits your website, loads one page (or blog post) and leaves is considered in both your Bounce Rate and your Exit Rate. A visitor who visits your website, loads one page (or blog post) and continues on to another blog post or another page on your site, is considered in only your Exit Rate.
To view the Exit Pages for your website — the pages where visitors are leaving your site from, go to the Exit Pages report under Content > Site Content > Exit Pages.

May 21 2012

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips for Images

by Melanie Wahl

When you view a webpage, your eye automatically darts between the text and the images, taking in all that you see and processing the information to determine what parts of the page are important and what to do next.   Search engine spiders “crawl” a page (by sorting through the text and code) looking for text that they can process and categorize.   Unfortunately they are unable to “see” the images that you have displayed on your website; however, they will be able to crawl the text associated with an image if you or your website designers use the following suggestions.

Alt attribute text is a section of the code behind an image that tells a browser what alternative text should be displayed if the image doesn’t load or the user has images turned off.   This alt text should be a description of what the image says or is about.   Savvy search engine optimizers will make a note to use the keywords that people would search for to find the image in an image search or the page associated with the image in the alt text.   The alt text is readable to search engine spiders as they crawl code looking for text that they can categorize; the follow is what the spider will crawl, an example of what alt text would look like if the image has yet to load, and how the final loaded image renders in a browser.

<img src=”…/keyword-rich-image-name.jpg” alt=”alt text goes here”>

Above is the snippet of code that tells the browser where to load an image from and what alternate text should be displayed.

Another way that the search engine spiders can categorize an image is through reading the text in the image name.   For example, in the example code above, the image name is “keyword-rich-image-name.jpg” and could possibly show up in a theoretical image search for the keyword phrase “keyword rich image.”   If an image is optimized for appearing in a Google Image Search, it may also appear in something called Universal Search.   A search resulting in a Universal Search would result in a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) that shows results Google has pulled from Image Search, Video search, and other available searches that are relevant to the searched keyword phrase.   Most recently, Google has unveiled the Google Knowledge Graph which may also pull images into a new type of search result.   Keep reading MoreVisibility’s SEO blog for updates on Google Knowledge Graph.

Optimizing images is an important factor in SEO as well as website design and development.   The main takeaways here are:

  • Use alt tags
  • Use keywords in your image names

Added Note: Make sure that the images, alt tags, and image names are all relevant to the page they are included on, otherwise the search engine spider may not consider them relevant and choose not to display them in search results for certain queries.

Using the above suggestions will hopefully improve the search engine rankings of your images for your targeted keywords and allow search engine spiders to crawl your code and “see” the full representation of your website.

May 18 2012

Google’s Search for Your Website’s Pages

by Melanie Wahl

Google can be a valuable source of traffic for your website.   Googlers who search for a specific keyword or keyphrase benefit from Google’s curated results.   These results, separated into Search Engine Results Pages, deliver the best quality content that makes sense with the query entered.   Behind the scenes, Google goes through a number of steps before displaying (or serving) the queried content to the user.   These include: Crawling, Indexing, and Serving.

Crawling refers to the GoogleBot, Google’s web crawling bot (or spider), that “crawls” or discovers new and updated pages by following links from site to site.   This is why the “nofollow” attribute (rel=”nofollow”) was created, to prevent GoogleBot from following a link.

Indexing refers to the process of sorting which GoogleBot conducts to organize different content types.   Information processed to help GoogleBot sort a page includes tags and attributes.   Some rich media files or pages with dynamic features are not able to be processed, which is why it is best to try to simplify coding on your website if you find that a page is not showing up in Google’s Index.

Serving is the end result, the displayed snippet when a Google searcher enters a query and results are “served” to the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).   Google strives to serve the most relevant pages to a search query and it is a very complex process algorithm which weights results and orders accordingly.

If you are not already familiar, we urge you to read Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to learn Google’s best practice suggestions for helping find, crawl, and index your website.

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