Yearly Archives: 2008

Are bounce rates a factor in search engine listings

In Google analytics the definition of bounce rate is:

‘Bounce Rate: Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page. Bounce rate is a measure of visit quality and a high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance (landing) pages aren’t relevant to your visitors. You can minimize Bounce Rates by tailoring landing pages to each keyword and ad that you run. Landing pages should provide the information and services that were promised in the ad copy.’

Google can collect user search behaviour through the Google tool bar, analytics and Google Chrome. So they have a complete picture of people’s search behaviour.

Last month a web master did a test which indicated a change as a result in a decrease in bounce rate. Although the test is not conclusive, the chances are bounce rates for specific landing pages is factor included in search engine listings;

So what action do you need to take?

  • High bounce rates can indicate poor content, so look at your pages with high bounce rates. Then run a ranking report on the high volume key phrases and look at the terms the pages are ranking for. The look at the content and ensure it includes some of the search phrases.
  • Improve the usability on the page to make it easy for the visitor to work out where or what to do next


Women Tapping on the Glass Ceiling

When I was staying at my parents in November, I was reading the newspaper and breakfast and came across an interesting article that got me thinking.

Women tapping on the glass ceiling talks about the increasing number of women entering the boardrooms of the country’s 100 biggest companies . However, women still account for less than one in 10 of the total number of directors.

I also attended in November an event by Jo Haigh who was promoting her book ‘Tails from the Glass Ceiling’

As a female director of an open source consultancy, we have operated a democratic board of directors and have certainly not felt that I am a lesser person than my male counter parts. We have played to our strengths as a team, irrelevant of gender, which I think is impressive especially in an IT company (which is a male, geeky dominated world!).

However, when I have been to other networking events with senior business leaders, I certainly have felt that that glass ceiling is there. Being younger, female and in IT I have in certain situations felt to challenge some people’s preconceptions and beliefs.

It is too easy to loose sight of our aspirations and need inspiring. I came across the Yorkshire Women in Business Convention which is on the 6th March 2009 in Harrogate, which I’ll definitely be attending.

IoD Yorkshire and Humber Young Directors Forum

Back in the summer I was appointed the Chairman of the IoD Young Directors Forum for Yorkshire and Humber. At the end of 2008, I now reflect on the achievements of the forum this year.

So what is the YDF?
I asked myself the same question when I was appointed – ‘What do we stand for and what’s our vision?’. I am fortunate to have a wonderful committee who are enthusiastic and committed. We spent some time working through our vision and what makes us different.

“Provide emerging leaders with support and development to enable personal and business success. Aim to represent and support views of the forum’s membership in the Yorkshire business community and we will build partnerships with the key power bases in the region to allow this to happen.”

What makes us different to other IoD branches?

  • We are tomorrow’s leaders, today
  • Challenge current IoD thinking and practise
  • Embrace modern ways of working, not held back
  • Latest technology
  • Social networking
  • Link traditional and new works of working
  • Informal | Relaxed | fun
  • People centred

The Plan for 2009
In the current economic climate we have spent time talking to our members about what they want in 2009 and how we can engage with our members. A key message that came back is that people are feeling isolated and are feeling the pressures of running a business.

I would like to develop the membership of the YDF into something of real value where younger members of the IoD can share their experiences and discuss ideas and current issues with their contemporaries. The ultimate aim that we all can develop skills and relationships that will allow us to become business leaders of the future.

Halloween Update in Google – those scary inbound links

With the rise in popularity of social media networking (such as twitter, facebook etc) it is no surprise that Google has revisited the importance of inbound links.

Around Halloween there was an update in Google: which looks like it has devalued directory inbound links. Anyone can get a directory inbound link, but actually embeding your website in the community that it serves is far more challenging?

You may ask what I am talking about……..but this change is fundamental to the ongoing success of any search engine optimisation campaign.

You need to start engaging with your customers and start a ‘dialogue’ with them.
It may be that you want them to start leaving reviews on Google or on Kelkoo. Perhaps you have thought of setting up a forum so people can start leaving comments about the products / services – with the aim of boosting customer service.

Writing relevant content is also imperative to the ongoing success of the SEO. Adding new pages means that the website is growing and changing (which is another criteria Google looks at). but if the article is helping and relevant to users / customers the likelhood of them then blogging about the content, posting it in forums, bookmarketing it on or one of the other social media networking sites, is probable……..

So what do you need to do:

  • Start looking at your content plan and how you can tailor the articles around current & relevant news
  • If you are an e-commerce site manager – look at the ‘thank you’ emails after some one has purchased, and give them an opportunity to write a review or comment on a forum
  • Put in a footer to the other social media networking sites – so it’s easy for people to comment on your site

On The Web

Your online credibility is an increasingly important way of showcasing your specialised knowledge and expertise which will build your online credibility. As more people engage with the social web differentiating yourself become imperative

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