Q and A: How can I reduce Bounce Rate and increase Conversion Rate ?


Hi Kalena,

I have recently been working on SEO optimization where we promote our trainings to the individuals, we have implemented certain algorithms to optimize certain pages which is working but how can I make my contents more relevant so that I can reduce my bounce rate & increase conversion rate.


Hi Chetam,

A great question, as it highlights that optimising your site to improve Traffic is really just a part of the overall optimisation process. Increasing traffic through SEO is a great way to start, but you also have to ensure that you make the most out of all the traffic that you do get.

It could be argued that the you can simply double your sales by doubling your traffic, and this may be achievable for low traffic volumes, but as your traffic increases the effort required to double it also increases. Once you are getting a reasonable volume of traffic to your site, it can very often be more efficient to work at improving your conversion rate than increasing your traffic.

Your sites Conversion Rate is the percentage of visitors that purchase a product, or make an enquiry, or signup to your newsletter, or undertake whatever activity it is that you want them to do. The process of improving your conversions is called Conversion Optimisation (or Conversion Rate Optimisation), and there are many many strategies that you can use (see Conversion Rate Experts – Google Website Optimizer 101 – a quick-start guide to conversion rate optimization for a list of more than 100 different techniques).

Your bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to your site that look at a single page (the landing page) before leaving. A high bounce rate can be an indication of a relevancy issue as you have suggested, but it is not necessarily so. A high bounce rate could also indicate that the visitors to your site are not really interested in your products/services in the first place, and the keywords targeted, or the strategy you are using to drive traffic (PPC for example) is not working properly. You can make use of your site usage stats to take a closer look at the visitors that do convert – Do they predominantly come from a single source, or a certain group of keywords ? If so, focus your SEO strategies on these.

A high bounce rate could also be an indication of problems with the look, or functionality of your site. If your site is slow to load, or difficult to navigate – if your product/ service offerings are not clear, or your call to actions are not obvious or enticing enough, your bounce rates are likely to be high, and your conversion rates low.

Try some usability testing – sit someone down at your site and watch over their shoulder while they use it. Very often they will use your site quite differently to how you expect them to. On the basis of this usability testing compile a list of changes that could be made to your site, that you believe will improve the user experience, and make it clearer and easier for visitors to get to your call to actions.

When implementing changes to your site make sure that you test and monitor the results. If a particular change (or batch of changes) decreases your bounce rate and improves your conversion rate it is probably a good thing. There are tools available such as Google’s (Free) Website Optimizer that can help you with testing and monitoring the impact of changes to your site.

Have Fun with Conversion Optimisation – it can have dramatic impact on the effectiveness of your website.

Andy Henderson
WebConsulting – Website Optimisation Services

Q and A: Are Flex (Flash) based websites search engine friendly?

QuestionHi Kalena,

I am planning to build a website completely in Flex. What type of SEO can be done on it? Is it crawlable?

Shailendra Sial.

Dear Shailendra

Building a Flex (Flash) based website has always been the bone of contention between website designers and SEO professionals. While website designers argue that it provides great interactivity and a chance to explore the boundaries of creativity (which is quite true), SEO professionals contend that it is not search engine friendly. This scenario was greatly altered when Adobe announced that it is working with Google and Yahoo to enhance indexing of Flash file formats (SWF). This information was echoed in a post made on Google Webmaster Central Blog; a major shift in how search engine treated Flash based websites.

But the picture is not as ‘rosy’ as it may seem. While search engine spiders, especially Googlebot, are capable of indexing flash (SWF) files, it is far from perfect. Jill Whalen made a perfect case out of it – Are The Search Engines Really Indexing Flash?

So “Is it crawlable?” – I would have to say both Yes and No for an answer. It would depend on how you would place content within Flash (SWF) files. Anything that is static will be indexed by search engines whereas anything that is fetched dynamically will not be indexed.

Search engine spiders are interested in data that is present on the webpage and do not care much about the surrounding markup. In case of Flex, the primary source of content is XML (dynamic content) and therefore ‘may’ not be indexed. The common workaround to this issue is XSLT, which can be used to transform XML data into various formats like HTML that can be readily indexed by crawlers. This is how far I can take you with my technical ‘know how’. I would recommend you read Flash & Search Engines : Indexed in a Flash, a mega post that deals with all aspects related to Flash websites.

Once you have digested all the information provide above, I am sure you would have a fair bit of idea on where your website would stand from an SEO perspective. Personally, I would recommend that you use Flash in moderation; search engine spiders are still best at crawling (X)HTML architecture. It would ensure that you website has enough ‘food’ for crawlers. For parts of website built in Flash, I would recommend you refer to this detailed post on beu blog, to make it as search engine friendly as possible.

Good luck!


Q and A: How do I avoid duplicate content created by my CMS for product pages on my site?

QuestionDear Kalena…

You’ve helped us out with a couple of problems over the years ~ thanks again. Don’t have a problem this time but I do want to get your opinion/guidance so I can maybe AVOID a problem.

We handle over 5,000 products, and we want to create a page for each product using an automated page generator. Same as what thousands of other people do. Nothing fancy and no SEO tricks. Just a brief description of the item, price & how to order.

I’ll be using a template, of course, and about 75% of the words (excluding shared borders) will be common to all pages. The other 25% of words on a given page will be unique to the product/page in question.

I may be overly cautious, but I’ve learned the hard way that what seems like a good idea or what the rest of the herd is doing might not be acceptable to the SE’s, especially if not executed properly. We have a fairly well-performing website and the stakes get higher as we grow. So, any tips on what to do / not do when creating these individual product page would be appreciated.


Dear Rick,

Sometimes it’s possible to reduce duplicate content by placing that content in a dedicated section of your website and then linking to it where necessary (this can apply to things like shipping/handling, product guarantees, returns policies and terms & conditions… which some store owners will try and display on every page but could quit easily be put elsewhere).

Another way to make the search engines focus on the unique content is by using emphasis tags (such as H1, H2, bold, italics etc.) and use them sparingly (or don’t use them at all) in your page header, footer and other duplicate parts of the page. This will help the spiders isolate your unique page-specific content as well as drawing your readers attention to the most important parts of the page.

You could also try and setup a feature that allows users to add reviews or feedback on each of the products. This user-generated content would become yet another source of additional unique content for each page (and what’s better is you didn’t have to write it yourself).

Hope this helps!

Peter Newsome
SiteMost SEO Brisbane

Q and A: A few questions about Google AdWords

QuestionHi Kalena

There are several questions I would like to ask.

1. I set position preferences on Google Adwords as 4-6. However, it turns out the actual average positions of keywords are either 2 or 3. I recognise that it might be due to the high bidding price. However, I am worried that once I drop the bidding, it will go below the range of positions I want. Could you please tell me what I can do to solve this problem? Shall I use this the bidding management tool?

2. I have also concerned about the number of key words and ads used in any campaign. Your PPC course mentions that there should be two or more ads for each keyword. At the meantime, it also suggests that we should group the keywords according to themes, that is, allocate the similar keywords together. Normally, there will be 5-7 keywords in one keyword theme for with the two to three words keyword, there would be several variations in writing. Given this scenario, I am confused whether I should create more ads for each keyword.

3. I shouldn’t say that I don’t like the new format of Google Adwords, but it is so inconvenient. I couldn’t find the quality score for keywords. I would much appreciate it if you could tell me where I can find it.



Hi Sophia

1) I recommend using position preferences initially to help you get a feel for the bidding price of a particular keyword. If you’re consistently seeing your keywords higher than your preference, then by all means lower your bid and see how it goes. The system will tell you if your bid isn’t high enough to show your keywords in your preferred positions and then you can increase your bid again.

2) As explained in the lesson, you will generally need to test a range of ads to see which ones are most effective and then pause or delete the non-performing ads. When you first create your campaign, I recommend creating at least 2 different ad creatives for each unique keyword/phrase. However, if your keyword themes are tightly grouped by Ad Group and very similar or stem from the same keyword, you may only need a few different ad creatives for each Ad Group. For example, *blue wool socks* and *green wool socks* could probably share the same ad variations, while *wool socks* and *nylon socks* might require 2 or more ad variations each, so they can probably go into separate Ad Groups. Make sense?

3) I agree! It’s really hard to get used to, but will soon be the default so the sooner we can get used to it the better. You can only see the Quality Score at the AdGroup level. So using the new interface, drill down to a specific Ad Group and then click on the “Filter and Views” button to the right. From the drop-down list, choose “Customize Columns”. A pop up window will open with a range of check-box options for your column views. One of these will be the keyword Quality Score. Check the box next to it to have it show in your Ad Group view. You can even drag & drop it in the list to determine where the column appears in your dashboard view.

Hope this helps!

Q and A: What is the semantic web and how will it change SEO?

QuestionHi Kalena,

What are your thoughts on the Semantic Web and how it will change SEO as we know it? Thanks so much!

P.S. Love your SEO101 class and I can’t wait to continue on with the others!


Dear Kasi

“If HTML and the Web made all the online documents look like one huge book, RDF, schema, and inference languages will make all the data in the world look like one huge databaseTim Berners-Lee, Weaving the Web, 1999

Semantic web may mean different things to different people but basically semantic web is a mesh of structured information; data organized so perfectly that machines will be able to fully comprehend each and every bit of information contained within. This is in contrast to the present World Wide Web.

Since machines (search engines included) will be able to understand and interpret data, they would be in a better position to give us the most relevant information. In essence, semantic web will be a web with a meaning for machines.

Semantic web is still in its infancy and progress is being made to introduce technologies and global standards that will help us build a semantic web. You may notice instances of semantic web in the form of semantic search engines and webpages that make use of semantic technologies like RDF, Microformats, OWL, etc. However, there is a long journey to be made before we have a truly semantic web.

Semantic web will solve a very basic issue with search engines – relevancy. As humans, we ask questions to get information and search engines will be better equipped at answering those questions in the era of semantic web. There is no doubt that today’s search engines have come a long way in answering our queries based on solely matching text patterns to recognizing contextual relevance. But there is a lot of room of improvement and semantic web will play a pivotal role in bridging the relevancy gap.

Will there be a need for search engine optimization when semantic web comes into being? Well, I cannot answer that in a definite “Yes” or a “No”, not without studying the ramifications of semantic web on search engines. Nobody can I believe.

What do SEO professionals do today? They study, test, and implement hypothesis learned by closely following heuristics of search engine ranking algorithms. I believe we would still be doing the same when semantic web becomes a reality, only at a different level.

Good luck!