Jan 15 2013

Action Words and Identifiers Reduce Bounce Rates From Search Results

Category: conversion rate optimizationTom Shivers


An interview with Lee Roberts of Ascender Cartbuynowcashbox

Some good points from the interview…

In the survey, we were trying to identify causes to bounce rates besides just the content on the landing page. What we found is that the links and page titles people see often establish the wrong expectations. If we fail to answer user expectations, we often find that people leave or bounce. The deselection process is what we studied.

The study was conducted two different ways. First, we focused on the search engine results with page titles using action words for ecommerce sites and pages. We used action words: buy, purchase, lease, sell, rent, lease, etc. so people know what they will be doing on that page.

Some people emphasize using the brand name at the beginning of the page title, we strongly disagree with that because people and users care more about fulfillment and it devalues the keywords in the title.

We found that using action words at the front of the page title reduced the bounce rates in some cases by as much as 50%.

To the justice of those who do conversion optimization and focus strictly on the landing page or buy now page, those ideas are great, but people aren’t there yet. People are on the search results page or somewhere else and you have to get them there first. If they have no interest in buying, they’re going to leave.

Because the people were able to deselect themselves, we are cutting out the majority of people who are apt to bounce from that page.

Identifier words include: blog, article, review, opinion, comparison, etc.

Part of Google’s PageRank 2.0 specifically discusses the commerciality of a link text. So if we put an action or identifier word near or in the anchor text then we are letting the user know, with more clarity, what that page is about.

More details about the study are revealed by listening to the podcast. Learn more about ecommerce traffic and conversion optimization.

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One Response to “Action Words and Identifiers Reduce Bounce Rates From Search Results”

  1. Heather Stone says:

    Hi Tom,
    Very interesting conclusions and an interesting interview. I sometimes find site owners aren’t even attentive to the kind of bounce they are getting on a site. It’s easier to look at stats like unique visitors, page views, etc. But bounce rate is what really tells you whether people are finding what they are looking for on your site.
    Heather Stone recently posted..How To Deal With A Complaint On FacebookMy Profile