What is a bounce rate and how to reduce it

This is a common question I receive after clients review their Google Analytics report.

The way digital marketing works is pretty simple. A visitor comes to your website from any of the traffic channels including search engines, social media, blogs and so forth. The visitor then learns about your products by reading through some of your content. If they are impressed by an offer, they can choose to take action in the form of making a purchase, downloading an e-book, signing up for your email newsletter, etc.

However, things don’t always follow that path. Sometimes, a visitor might come to your website, look around, and leave without taking a desired action. In fact, they could even leave without clicking on the menu or any of the links on your page, right?

When that happens; when a visitor simply comes to your site and leaves without engaging with the page at all, we say that the visitor has bounced.

What is Bounce Rate and Why is it Important in Marketing?

Bounce rate, therefore, is the frequency at which visitors come to your site and leave without engaging with the page at all. It is expressed as a percentage and calculated as follows;

The Bounce Rate of a Web Page = Total Number of Bounces on a Page in a Given Period ÷ Total Number of Page Entrances over the Same Period.

A high bounce rate typically means that either;

  1.  The quality of your pages is low such that there is nothing to engage with. Or,
  2. The page doesn’t provide the answers visitors are looking for.

How to Reduce Your Bounce Rate

Although Google doesn’t use bounce rates to determine a site’s rank in search engine results, even terming bounce rate metrics as “spammable and noisy,” that doesn’t mean you should turn a blind eye to high bounce rates.

For one, when visitors come to your site and leave without engaging with the page, it becomes difficult to convert those visitors. Additionally, in AdWords, a high bounce can negatively affect your Quality Score, leading to a higher Cost Per Click (CPC).

The good news is that there are a couple of things you can do to bring your bounce rate down to a more reasonable level. The following are a few ideas to consider;

    • Adjust how Google Analytics calculates your bounce rate

In Google Analytics, any single-page visit is counted as a bounce no matter the amount of time a visitor spends on that page. The first step is to change this so that Analytics takes into account time spent on the site when calculating your bounce rate.

    • Focus on fixing Profit Pages of your site

The Analytics dashboard has something known as profit index which is a database of web pages most frequently viewed prior to conversions or transactions. Rather than attempting to fix the bounce rates of all pages on your site, focus on fixing these profit pages.

    • Take out low-value traffic channels

If certain traffic channels are bringing in visitors who are not interested in your products/services, then you’re going to see high bounce rates. Taking out these low-value traffic channels can significantly boost your bounce rate.

    • Fix your CTAs and Landing Pages

Finally, visitors could be leaving without taking any action because your Calls To Action (CTAs) and Landing Pages are poor. Perhaps your CTAs are not compelling enough, or your landing pages don’t satisfy visitor queries. Fixing these issues can lower your bounce rate.

Now, Get Started Fixing Your Bounce Rate

Of course, you can’t have a 0.00% bounce rate. But, if you can implement the four strategies discussed above, rest assured of a meaningful improvement in your bounce numbers.

Get more details in our Guide to Reducing Your Website’s Bounce Rate.

REQUEST GUIDE

Avoid Security Warning in Chrome – Install an SSL

Did you know starting this month Google Chrome will start displaying prominent “Not Secure” notification on websites without an SSL (secure sockets layer)?  If you’re not sure, visit your website and check the address bar. If you have an SSL installed, you will see “https” vs. “http”.  If you don’t have one, users will be deterred from visiting your website.

Avoid having your website flagged by Chrome as not secure. Install an SSL certificate for your domain and subdomains and offer your website visitors confidence and protection when they go to your site.

BENEFITS OF INSTALLING AN SSL ON YOUR WEBSITE

  • Encrypted data, whether payment or contact information, on your website cannot be intercepted
  • Visitors have greater trust in your website
  • Google and other search engines rank websites with an activated SSL certificate higher than those without one

More about why it is important to install in SSL on your website.

 

Why it is Important to Keep Your WordPress Website Updated

Great News! You finally finished your new WordPress website. Take a moment to marvel at its beauty and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Now that the moment has passed, it’s time to start thinking about updating that beautiful old site. That’s right old. Welcome to the digital age where websites can be put up quickly and become outdated even quicker — both the content and software.

If you’re thinking that your website doesn’t need to be updated on a regular basis then here are a few things for you to consider.

Maintain your Security

You may be thinking that your WordPress site does not need to change its appearance but you may be forgetting an important factor. Your website may no longer be secure. Thousands of WordPress sites get blacklisted due to hackers, malware, and ransomware. One of the best ways to protect yourself is to make sure your WordPress site stays updated.

Since WordPress is open source software, it will typically receive minor updates automatically. For major updates, you will need to do the work yourself. Deciding not to do this can leave your website seriously exposed.

The other factor to consider from a security perspective is that WordPress uses a large number of third-party plug-ins. Each one of these third-party maintainers releases updates to their plug-ins. That means that you need to be mindful of more than just WordPress open source updates. The damage to your website and your credibility from a successful cyber-attack can ruin your website.

Skipping Updates can be Problematic

So now you may be thinking that you can just do the updates that concern you the most. Skipping updates here and there can’t really hurt, can it? Well, yes it can.

Skipping updates can actually cause significant problems. Open source software solutions are great in that so many talented people can contribute to its overall success. The downside to this is that there are several opportunities for problems to be introduced.

If you choose to skip updates you may spend more time resolving problems than you would have spent just doing the updates in order. Many a WordPress website has experienced unnecessary downtime because its owner was “saving time” by skipping updates here and there.

There is a Better Way

To help you keep your WordPress website up to date, here are a few simple steps that you can follow to safely upgrade your site.

  1. Create a backup site – Before you do any changes to your production site, you need to create a backup. This will allow you to restore the site quickly if anything goes wrong with the upgrade.
  2. Create a Staging site – The next step is to create a staging site. This is a copy of your WordPress website that you can safely make updates to. Updates made to your staging site will not be reflected on your live production site.
  3. Accept updates – This is where you incorporate the updates to WordPress, your theme, and the various plug-ins.
  4. Test the staging site – Now that the changes have been applied, you can safely test your site to see if there were any problems. If so, you can fix them without disrupting the live site.
  5. Move changes to the production site – Once you are happy with the testing, you can move the updated site to your production libraries.
  6. Test the live site – If it works then great. If not, then you can restore from the backup.
how to update your WordPress site

Following these simple steps will keep your WordPress website updated and running smoothly.

Make Sense, But You Already Have Enough to Do?

We know you didn’t go into business to maintain your website. The good news? UmeWorks can help. You do what you do best, and we’ll do the same. We can keep your website humming along – we’ll update the software – and the content too, if you wish. Just contact us to get started.  We can even set you up with a site security monitoring service if you’d like that peace of mind.

What Website Owners Should Do to be GDPR Compliant

Reports show that only 21% of US website owners have taken steps to comply with the GDPR regulation. Since non-compliance attracts stiff penalties, if you’re one of the businesses that are yet to comply, you should be working overtime to get in compliance.

Below is an exhaustive checklist of steps you should take to fully comply with the regulation;

  • Determine whether you need to comply

Some of the criteria that may be used by authorities to determine whether you’re within the GDPR scope include: providing content in EU languages, offering transactions in EU currencies, and using EU-based domain names such as .co.uk. If you do this, it’s important to comply.

  • Identify and clarify a lawful basis for collecting personal data

Article 6 of the GDPR states that entities must have a lawful purpose for collecting and processing personal information. Collecting or processing user data without clearly documenting lawful reasons for doing so is in breach of the regulation.

  • Update your data breach policy to reflect the new regulation

The policy should clarify two main points. First, it must state clearly the steps you’ve put in place to protect personal data. Secondly, it should detail the steps to be taken in the event of a breach. Both points must satisfy GDPR standards.

  • Collect only the data you need

To avoid complications, it’s advisable to collect only the data you need to accomplish the task at hand. If you’re collecting personal information for email newsletters, for instance, you’ll probably only need the names and email addresses of the users. Don’t collect what you don’t need.

  • Set the default opt-in selection to “No”

For forms that invite visitors to subscribe to newsletters or other forms of emails, there must be an explicit separate opt-in box. More importantly, the default opt-in setting must be set to “No” to give the user a chance to consciously choose to opt in.

  • Provide for granular opt-in

Still on forms, the age of bundled opt-ins is over. With GDPR, subjects must know exactly what they are opting into. If you will be calling them, give them the chance to opt-into your call service. If you’ll be sending text messages, the same applies. And so forth. Don’t bundle services together.

  • Ensure that all business partners are in compliance

Under the GDPR, both controllers and processors are responsible. To this end, it’s important to ensure that all business partners, including employees and suppliers, are in strict compliance. Employees and contractors must sign an NDA.

  • Provide easy, granular opt-out

A subject is allowed to withdraw consent whenever they wish. Data collectors must make the withdrawal process as simple as the opt-in process. More importantly, you should make it possible for subjects to withdraw from individual services, one at a time.

  • Understand user rights beyond opt-in and opt-out

Beyond opt-in and opt-out, subjects have a right to data portability as well as full erasure. For this reason, inbound marketers must have a separate box that users can tick if they wish to receive further emails.

  • Provide a privacy notice and terms & conditions

Finally, provide a privacy notice on your website and give users the chance to “Agree” to the terms and conditions of the business relationship they’re getting into.

Note: For those using MailChimp and WordPress, the platforms have provided a few solutions to consider. MailChimp, for instance, offers several GDPR tools to get you started. WordPress, meanwhile, has plug-ins that you can use to ensure GDPR compliance. Just keep in mind that those plug-ins aren’t one-click solutions. Even after installing them, you’ll have plenty of work to do.

Balancing Safety and Independence in an Assisted Living Facility

Many residents of assisted living facilities need help with mobility and other physical aspects of their lives, but they retain their mental faculties. However, many assisted living facilities tend to focus more on schedules, efficiency, safety concerns and State compliance instead of ways to promote resident independence. You want to provide the best care possible for your elderly residents, and studies show that balancing safety and independence in an assisted living facility increases the happiness of residents and improves the overall quality of life. But how can you implement programs and strategies that foster independence?

The Path to Autonomy

The ability to make decisions for oneself is a cornerstone of medical ethics and is perhaps even more important for elderly residents. As the body and mind decline, it is all too easy for a resident to feel like they are losing control of their life. That is why it is important to give your residents as many choices as possible in their daily lives. They may not have control over the medications they take, but they can choose what they want for dinner or whether they’d like to play Bingo, for example. Multiple chances to make choices for themselves throughout the day makes it easier for a resident to accept and even enjoy the parts of life they no longer have control over, such as their living arrangement.

The Role of Staff Members

It is likely that your staff are already balancing safety and independence in an assisted living facility without realizing it, but extra training can be beneficial. It’s important for staff to understand that independence starts with respect, so they should be instructed to treat each resident as an equal individual. Additionally, autonomy is centered on choice, so clear, concise and jargon-free information should be given so a resident can have a complete picture of what their choices are. Each resident should be as involved as possible involved in any decision that affects their care.

Open Lines of Communication

There are many key players on a resident’s care team. From the resident and their family members to the CNAs, nurses and doctor, everyone has a duty to help improve the quality of care wherever possible. This is best accomplished through open lines of communication. For example, if your resident tells a family member that they no longer want chicken for dinner, the family member can pass that information on to the dietary staff. The family member feels like an important part of their loved one’s care team, and the resident feels validated because their needs are better met.

Balancing safety and independence in an assisted living facility is relatively easy for residents without any cognitive disabilities, but can take some finesse for others. So long as your staff is fully committed to providing clear information and as many choices as possible, your residents will be cared for safely while retaining as much autonomy as possible.


Attract New Residents to Your Senior Assisted Living Facility – Share How Your Senior Home Embraces Each Individual’s Abilities

Use inbound marketing to reach more potential senior residents and their adult children and let them know your facility’s unique, caring philosophy.

Not sure how to get started? Request a free consultation with UmeWorks on inbound marketing for your Senior Living Facility and receive a copy of Dr. Gawande’s book Being Mortal while supplies last. Include “Being Mortal” in your comments.

Request Consultation

Dr. Gawande proposes that that “quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Medicine has triumphed in modern times, but in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. He offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and demonstrates that an aging person’s life may be rich and dignified.”