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Reducing The Number of Visitors Who "Bounce"

I Currently Lose 65% Of Visitors After 1 Page - Can It Be Improved & Will That Increase Revenue?



Depth of visit reportAs you can see from the bar graph this site, at the time of writing this article, doesn't keep visitors for long. The average number of page views is less than 2, and the bounce rate, or % of visitors who leave the site straight away, on the top 10 pages, is 65%.

Now, it could be that surfers are finding exactly what on the first page they visit and leaving happy, but I'm naturally pessimistic about these things, and knowing what I'm like when visiting other sites, I think it's because of poor navigation.

What happens is that someone puts a phrase into Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc, see a link to my site, click on it, quickly browse the page then leave if it isn't exactly what they're looking for. My initial design for this website only included navigation links on the top on on the left side, with just an adsense block at the bottom, but I think this was a mistake. I need to catch those browsers who are going to leave be adding an some additional navigation under the body text but before the adsense block. On some pages this might just be one link back to the main subsection, or a few links to related subsections.

There are of course other reasons why visitors could be leaving straight away. Poor loading times is a crucial factor, but as most of my pages are text-based I don't think this is the problem. Or it could just be that the visitors see the content is poor and just want to find a better site, which is fair enough.

How will I rate my success? My average number of page views per visitor as of February '07 is 2.26,and the ecpm (how much I make per 1000 page views) we'll call $10. This isn't the real figure (to reveal earnings is not allowed under Adsense rules), but it will enable me to clearly reveal any change in earnings through my changes to the navigation structure.

I will update this page with my findings at the end of March, when the new links should be in place on at least the most popular pages on my web site. Check back then.

Bar chart 2Update: Ok, I've put extra navigation links on the bottom of this sites most popular pages, and in a matter of days the average page view per visitor has almost doubled.

However, the click through rate has halved(!) and the ecpm is now so terrible I'm ending this experiment early and getting rid of those extra links on my popular pages. I'l report back to see if my earnings get back to pre-rubbish idea levels!

I've also decided to take the plunge and add to the number of adsense ads on my pages. The Google ToS allows up to 3 Adsense blocks per page, so on my most visited pages I'll be putting a 350x250 medium rectangle, and I'll use a sperate channel to track it's performance.

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