June 11 2012 Editor Assistance Newsletter
A reminder that we have an editor chat tonight, Monday, at 9pm EST - so about 3 hours from now. This chat is on social networking. Come on by to learn about how to best use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social networking sites. It can be quick, easy, and boost traffic for whatever websites you run. Social networking has become a critical part of building and maintaining traffic on the web. Once you get the hang of it, it's really easy to do.
Google Bounce Rate
Google is changing their systems all the time, and one thing they're paying more attention to than ever is the bounce rate for a site. This is a bit complicated, but I'll try a simple example. Let's say someone is on Google and they search for "origami dove". They see my site as a result and they click on the link.
When the person gets to my site they start reading the first paragraph. They don't see it talking clearly about an origami dove. They hit BACK to go back to Google find another site.
Google can see that.
Google's site knows when a person at IP address 126.96.36.199 first was there looking for "origami dove". They know the exact time stamp of that search. Then they know when a person at IP address 188.8.131.52 hit "back" to try again, because it's Google's site they want back to. Google sees the second visit. So if only 3 seconds elapsed, Google knows that the site in question was not a good site to send people to. They therefore drop that site in their rankings.
You, the author, quickly lose traffic.
So it is absolutely critical that your first paragraph be clearly on topic. Yes, in magazines and newspapers articles often have cute / funny / unrelated lead ins, because they know you the reader are holding a physical page in your hands and are unlikely to hit "back". But on the web, readers are just not patient. If they're in the wrong place they aren't going to waste their time. They hit that "back" button very quickly. And once a few people do that, the other people will never find your content to even have that opportunity.
Take a moment to scan your first paragraphs of your articles. Are they clearly on topic? Do they let a reader know they are in the right place? That is critical for you to be able to be found and read and useful. Yes, it's fun to be creative, but on the web off-topic content causes your content harm. It's best to use creativity like that in ebooks and in forum posts.
Also, this is another reason to use images only when necessary, and to use small ones when it is necessary. Anything which causes slow page load will cause people to give up and hit "back". Google absolutely is ranking pages based on quick draw speed. The quicker your pages draw, the higher your ranking. So on all pages you run - both at BellaOnline and elsewhere - it's critical to get that page speed as quick as you can. It will help your traffic immensely!
As always, let me know if you have any questions about any of this. I hope to talk with you tonight!
Lisa Shea, owner
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