TLDR stands for ‘Too Long Didn’t Read’ and it’s almost morphed into a derogatory statement about modern attention spans.
I’ll be honest if I see big expanses of text then I tend to switch off so seeing a blog that understands TLDR and is sensibly structured makes me much more likely to read the whole thing.
I know I shouldn’t say that given that I am a writer and all, but my attention span has turned really short and the statistics say that I am not alone.
Essentially what TLDR is saying is that your reader needs to get information quickly and a TLDR post is a method of providing that.
Why you should care about TLDR
The very first reason you should care is that if you are at all bothered about the quality of your content, you’ll know that you need to provide information in the way that your potential customers want.
So a big rambling post does two things; it really annoys most people and it discourages them from reading on or clicking to read more of your material.
The second reason you should care is that Google rewards sites that are interesting to users.
The great god of Google looks at your site and assesses how many of the people who visit read for a long time and how many read other articles.
It also looks at their behaviour after they have clicked on the search result. If they quickly click back to the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs), then it tells the god that your page doesn’t have the information you need.
Or more pertinently, it may have the information but they couldn’t find it.
So if you have a lot of people who don’t read more than one article and don’t stay on the site for a long time then you will get penalised.
How TLDR helps your blog
What TLDR does is to tell people what information is in your post and where to find it.
This may seem counter-intuitive because if you are wanting people to stick around then you would expect that making them sift through acres of text would do just that but in fact the opposite is true.
In reality, users do a quick scan to see if the post is likely to yield the results that they are looking for and if it doesn’t then they click away to a new site.
The evidence shows that in 2021, users have become much smarter about the information they see.
So TLDR is a way of showing users that they will be rewarded with the information they seek if they invest a little time in reading further.
It also has a way of surreptitiously showing them that if they click on to another post they are likely to find more information of use very quickly.
How to structure your TLDR blog post
Structuring your blog for the TLDR readership is really easy and I can promise you that after a short while it will become like second nature.
I wrote a longer piece on some of the finer detail of TLDR here
Have a read through this post and see if you can spot any of the TLDR blog items that you need to include.
The first one is to answer the question your reader is asking in the first couple of paragraphs.
This tells people what they are going to read right up front and is a way of reinforcing the pay off for continued attention.
Second have what I like to call a ‘TLDR block’ very early on.
This is a list of the headings in your post that give people an understanding of what information is included and where they can find it.
You’d think that people would simply navigate to the section, read what they want to read and then go away but actually that’s not what happens.
In fact they tend to read what they want to read, then go to other parts of the post to understand more or even better, they check out your other posts to get more in depth information.
Make sure you have internal links on all the headings in your list so people can quickly click straight through to your sections.
Need help with your content?
OK so producing content isn’t for everyone so why not give the headache to someone who actually enjoys the process?
I’m a professional business writer and i produce TLDR blogs for a living.
Getting me to write your content means that you get time back to do stuff you really enjoy.
This needs to be clear and concise and frankly if you can’t tell people what you do in 10 seconds then you haven’t got a hope in hell of marketing your business in any cost-effective manner.
You need to focus your approach too.
Work out exactly who you are going to be selling to; and I mean EXACTLY.
When you first start up in business it is tempting to think that you can help everyone but marketing to the whole world just means that your message becomes diffused and gets ignored.
For example “I sell specialist insurance for plumbers” works a lot better than “I sell insurance for everybody”.
See my post on focus here (don’t worry that it’s for accountants, the principles are the same.
#2 – Build your network
Do this well before you start up in business.
Your network is like gold and will bring you sales, publicity and suppliers.
Businesses that have a large and active network always do better than closed, insular companies.
Be selective though, choose a networking group that has people who look like your target customers rather than a big bunch of randoms that won’t ever buy from you.
If you provide professional grade practice management software then you’re probably going to be wasting your time on mumsnet, for example.
#3 – Get your website up and running
Again you can do this before you even start and with the number of easy website builders out there you have no reason not to have a go yourself.
That having been said, you can find really good professional builders on sites like Fiverr, people per hour and Upwork who will build you a perfectly acceptable site at a low cost.
As you build your network you’ll realise that everyone you meet will be checking out your website to see if you are credible.
Your site doesn’t need to be sophisticated or snazzy, just professional and you can get away with a homepage, about, services and contact pages and then develop it later.
Just make sure your about page has a good story on it.
#4 Get your blog up and running
If you are hoping to attract customers using searches then you need to get your SEO right.
It’s not a matter of writing a blog post and then Google picks you up the next day, you need to have a history of posts.
Even if you don’t expect to pick customers up this way then your new business needs to build up a credible looking site so get your blog up and running and look to post once a week with some valuable information about your sector.
Don’t worry too much about driving sales or hitting specific keywords at this point (that comes later), concentrate on getting into the groove of posting regularly.
If you are trying to attract more customers then there are 6 tried and tested ways of using marketing differentiation to show why people should buy from you.
In an ideal world, your business, product or service would have all of these but actually many companies do very well by using just one and in this post I’m going to explain what marketing differentiation is and how you can use it.
Differentiation in marketing terms is simply the process of showing how you are different from the competition.
There are a whole load of ways that these differences can manifest themselves but they will be positive attributes of the company that are important to their target group of customers.
Sometimes the difference is real but in the worst cases it is merely fluff, and I’d argue that businesses that are sustainable have real factors that make them stand out from their peers and don’t engage in dishonest marketing.
I genuinely think that consumers can see through fluff and with the advent of social media the news spreads very rapidly indeed.
Most companies that are finding that their marketing isn’t working actually have the differentiation factors already, it’s just that their marketing doesn’t reflect it. In other words they are hiding their light under a bushel.
So what are these differentiators and how can you spot and use them in your marketing?
This is possibly the most obvious and easiest to spot.
Product differentiation is when a company has a product and service that is so different from the competition that it makes them stand out on their own.
Possibly the best example of this would be the iPhone.
Back in 2007 there really wasn’t anything like it on the market.
Sure there were phones, but the iPhone was so radically different that it changed the device market entirely and indirectly led to the destruction of the biggest phone manufacturer of the time, Nokia.
Now if you are lucky enough to have a product or service that is so radically different that it is going to totally change the sector you work in then that’s great news but beware…
Look at the phone market now and you’ll see that it is totally flooded with ‘me too’ products that do exactly what the iPhone does, but cheaper or better.
So if your marketing is built on the shifting sands of a product then be aware that you have a limited amount of time before your competitors catch up.
But the good news is that if you have a product that stands out in one or two ways then you can use that as a basis for a marketing campaign.
A good example of this is the way that BT sells it’s internet services. BT majors on the fact that it can give you the fastest domestic broadband and ties all of its marketing to this, showing the way that your life would be better if you have faster internet access.
Naturally it glosses over the fact that it is more expensive then the competition!
So picking out one or two stand out features of your product or service and then going big on them in your marketing is a real winner.
Think about all the companies you use as a consumer or as a business owner.
Is there one that charges a little more but you keep using because the service they offer is stunning?
When I take my car or more importantly my motorbike for an MOT I always go to Joe’s MOT near me in Bournemouth.
I know for a fact that there are MOT stations closer than them, and some that offer cut-price MOT’s to get the business in. I can even get free MOT’s as part of the package that comes with other products I buy like car insurance or my accountancy institute fees.
But despite the disparity in cost, I take my vehicle to these guys because they are great to work with and that’s important to me.
Service is a great way to counter competitors who are selling at cut-price, because there has to be a very significant reduction in value for a consumer to walk away from great service.
Channels of distribution
If you have seen the 7 P’s of marketing then you’ll know this as ‘Place’ and the channel of distribution really describes the way that you get your product or service to the customer.
There’s a prosperous town near me that doesn’t have a fishmonger (not many do nowadays) and once a week a chap turns up with a little van and sets up a wet fish stall in the centre.
He’s spotted that there’s a gap in the market and has delivered his product in a place that is convenient for his customers.
Now he has a bunch of regular customers that know that he will turn up on a specific day of the week and who visit the town centre just to see him.
Delivering your service using the channel that your customers like and feel comfortable with is a great way to show how you are different from the competition.
It works particularly well when a channel is new. For example in the early days of Facebook there weren’t many people selling on the platform and yet it had a very defined audience.
If you look at any new distribution channel like Instagram or TikTok then you’ll see that companies can develop a new customer base very quickly if they are first adopters but just like ‘Product’, it can start to get crowded very quickly so don’t base your entire marketing strategy on this!
There’s an old saying: ‘people buy from people’ and when you want to differentiate your marketing this is an excellent thing to remember.
This really is all about building relationships with people rather than seeing them as a number and whilst it is a natural state for a smaller business, larger companies can use it as well.
When they set up their business in 2017, Blue Motor Finance decided to go traditional and use business relationship style salespeople who personally visited car dealers to introduce the service with no hard sell.
They took time to get to know their customers, their business and who they were selling to and designed a product to fit. Blue incentivised its people based on relationship building and how many times they visited their potential customers rather than just sales figures.
You usually find that a relationship approach goes hand in hand with service marketing and if your business has great relationships with its customer then look at using service as an additional feature in your marketing.
Reputation is something that has really come to the fore, especially since around 2010.
It used to be that reputation was everything and back in the day companies worked very hard to build up their name in their industry and equally hard to retain it.
Somewhere along the way, we lost that and companies were happy to treat customers, suppliers and staff badly, just as long as their products were cheaper than everyone else’s!
The problem with this approach is that there’s always someone who can do it cheaper or quicker and so competing on price can be a slippery slope.
There are also sectors where having a bad reputation is a complete disaster. Imagine a bank that had an awful reputation for security or a cosmetic surgeon who was known to only have a 50% hit rate!
That’s why for many companies image and reputation are vital parts of their marketing mix.
Think about the marketing differentiation of the Body Shop, Virgin or British Airways.
All of these have a very specific image and a good reputation in their niche.
Today you can find any number of sites like Trustpilot that will even collate reputation scores and so if your customers love you then you are on to a winner.
Reputation works well when trust is important and although I wouldn’t suggest necessarily building an entire marketing campaign around the fact that you don’t rip people off (because it introduces into customers minds that they could be ripped off!) it is a great differentiator when you have two offerings that are very similar.
I never compete on price, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a valid marketing tool.
So for example I would never try and win business by undercutting a competitor because I know how long it will take to do a good job and when you start cutting your prices then customers expect that you will always give them a discount.
But you can use price as a marketing differentiator to point to other features of your product.
I had a conversation with a client who decided to go to a cheaper copywriter.
OK so that was annoying but around three months later he came back and commissioned work at the original price because he found that paying less for something meant that he got worse quality and that in the end he spent longer correcting the mistakes that a cheap copywriter makes.
I even wrote a blog post about what happened when I tested out some cheap copywriters.
So using the example above you can show why your price is higher and weave in some of the other aspects such as reputation and service to make your case.
Of course, many companies have been using their high price as a badge of exclusivity for years like Stella Artois, whose ‘reassuringly expensive’ tagline has served well since 1992.
Your next steps
If I were running your marketing I’d start by looking at your customers. What things are important to them?
Then I’d look at your product or service. What things would be important if I were buying it?
Then I’d look to see what positive attributes your business, your staff and your product have and then begin to weave them into a narrative.
When you have done all that, you need to make sure that all of your marketing output majors on the one or two aspects you have chosen.
Need some help with marketing differentiation?
Come on guys you know the drill. If you’d like to work with someone who is incredibly sarcastic but deep down a nice guy then click on the link!
They work with very large companies and government departments and look how their use of language differs.
There’s a fair bit of corporate speak in there with words like ecosystem, illuminate, perspective, divestiture.
They are speaking in the way that their customers expect and the whole tone of voice in this example is designed to show that they are ultra professional and serious people.
Rolls Royce cars
Check out the Rolls Royce website for a great example of tone of voice.
RR have decided that less is definitely more and you’ll struggle to find much in the way of copy on the site.
Because it’s all about brand perception.
People who visit the site are looking for a dream car and frankly they don’t need you to tell them about MPG or CO2 emissions.
I love this site because of the minimalist approach they have taken, I just hope that the copywriter wasn’t paid by the word!
In contrast, Ford has taken the view that its customers need to know exactly how much value they are getting for their money. There’s lots of information about the cars and it’s presented in an easy to read and accessible style.
This illustrates one of the things about tone of voice that many people forget. Sometimes it’s not about what you do say (Ford) but what you don’t say (RR).
In this example I wanted to show how the tone of voice can extend across a whole brand.
Virgin wines uses very youthful, fun, enjoyable language to entice the buyer into their club.
But it is interesting how the same tone of voice is used across the whole virgin brand from wines to mobile phones to airlines.
What is interesting is that not all of the virgin companies are still owned by the group but they continue to use the same type of tone of voice.
Even the main group websites uses the same tone of voice!
Berry Bros & Rudd
Berry Bros & Rudd are reputed to be the UK’s oldest wine merchant and their website is set up for serious wine buffs.
Sure they have selection cases just like Virgin, but the way they describe their wines is totally different.
You’ll find a lot more detailed information on the site too, as this is what serious wine people want and the language is more sober (if you’ll forgive the pun) and speaks to people who are often wanting wine as an investment and not for their Friday night dinner party.
Held up as a disruptor in the personal loans space in the UK I’ve always been impressed with the tone of voice that Amigo adopted.
Bear in mind that when they started out the loan market in the UK was pretty ‘fuddy duddy’ and the traditional banks spoke to people as though they were something that the cat dragged in.
Amigo pioneered the straight-talking, accessible language that we see on so many finance sites nowadays.
This is a good example because it shows how accessible language can be used to make complex subjects easy.
The site is professional but friendly and across the pages it makes it clear that borrowers can always call in and talk to a person.
No messing about trying to become your friend for these guys – they are right in there with the APR and their copy ‘above the fold’ reads like an extract from the little legal bit they have to put at the bottom of their print output.
I’ll be honest, I hate this.
OK so it is compliant with FCA regulations but guys, c’mon. It’s 2020.
The tone of voice is the language, grammar and even the types of slang and Three Letter Acronyms (TLAs) you use.
In short, it’s what you say and how you say it.
Vocabulary.com define it as the ‘quality of a person’s voice’ and this I reckon that this is a pretty accurate description.
Because quality is an incredibly important part of deciding on how you want to sound to your customers.
A smart brand will have a tone of voice that they use across all of their media, whether it be spoken tone of voice in videos and podcasts or written tone of voice in their blog posts, white papers, and even their advertising materials.
The key is to make sure that you are using the same tone of voice across all of your output, otherwise things start to jar and your brand can even start to look unauthentic.
Why tone of voice matters
So why on earth should you care about tone of voice?
Well the first reason is that your tone of voice can be used as a form of filter.
You are looking to attract customers who will buy into your company and what you are offering right?
So for example, if you have a funky cosmetics brand like Lush then you’ll want to make people feel like they are part of the gang, that they belong and that life is fun.
The tone of voice that Lush use across all of their stuff means that users instantly connect with the brand but if you’re not into that then you’ll be turned off and will probably move away.
This is fine because you’re not in the target market and probably wouldn’t buy anyway.
So developing an effective tone of voice strengthens the bond with your target market and to an extent makes it clear to your non-targets that this isn’t the place for them.
Types of tone of voice
So here’s the fun stuff – looking at different types of tone of voice.
For my tone of voice I am looking to provide a friendly and informative post. My website is generally written in the first person (“I” rather than “we”) and I will use slang and the occasional bit of humour to break up what can after all be some fairly detailed and technical subjects.
I’m also using my tone of voice as a filter.
I love working with people, small businesses, entrepenuers.
I hate working with corporates
So the moment you start reading my output you realise that I am not a big agency. You’re not paying fancy prices for things you don’t need.
That’s attractive to smaller companies but corporates get really nervous unless they are being charged ridiculous money so they go away.
So let’s look at some examples
I’ve already mentioned cosmetics firm Lush (secret: I used to work with them when they first developed their tone of voice) and they are an excellent example of a tone of voice.
Check out this product and the accompanying copy “Spritz yourself with a little bit of magic and wrap yourself in a cloak of candy floss and bubblegum”
It’s flowery, often funny and light, fitting in perfectly with their demographic.
The problem is that when you buy a number of words for a very low price what you will get is exactly that – a number of words.
They won’t necessarily be connected to one another in a way that we’d think makes sense and they won’t be specially designed to impress your reader.
There are two different way you can get copywriting done cheaply; a copy farm or buying from somewhere that human work is cheap.
In the first one you’ll get given something that has been produced using a computer and some version of an algorithm or what they may call AI.
What will come out of the end is something that reads a bit like those chat boxes that you sometimes get when you are looking for help from your utility supplier.
The words are there alright but they aren’t quite right. There’s something a little odd.
Now you have to ask yourself if you are happy with giving your customers the impression that there’s something not quite right about your business!
In the second case you’ll be buying from someone who has English as a second, third (or more) language.
They are cheap but you do need to be aware that you’ll probably spend more time spellchecking and reorganising the grammar that you would have spent writing the thing yourself!
It’s not worth the hassle.
When you are asking “How much does copywriting cost?” you actually need to also ask what the output will be.
So it’s worth spending as much as you possibly can on copywriting?
You see copywriters are a little bit like cars in this respect.
You can buy a Bentley or you can buy a Ssangyong, they both have four wheels and get you from A to B.
So it’s not really “How much does copywriting cost?” but how much style do you want to travel in?
In the world of copywriting you can go to one of the big agencies and pay an absolute fortune for a copywriter (and their account director and their assistant account director) and you will definitely get some good stuff.
Or you can get someone who hasn’t really done any writing before but will have a bit of a go for £20 and a packet of malteasers.
Then in the middle, there’s a whole swathe of people from freelancers, to people who work for agencies that will do you a bang-up job for the equivalent of a BMW.
How much does a copywriter cost?
Well the answer to that question is up to you.
You can check out the average prices here based on London freelancers or you could just give me a call and I’ll tell you how good value I am!
OK so we’ve all been there, the blog sits on the to-do list, never getting ticked, just glaring at you.
You’ve been putting it off, I know you have.
So look you know that writing your blog regularly is the best way to get your site to creep up the rankings (higher rankings=more hits=more business) but you haven’t got the time.
What you need is either; an amazing financial copywriter (cough) or an injection of enthusiasm.
Well let’s assume you can’t find an amazing financial copywriter no matter how hard you look so this post is here to give you some ideas as to the type of blogs you can write for your business.
A blog about you
Yes you could, but unless it is incredibly engaging then nobody wants to know about you.
Sorry but thems the breaks.
Since we were little we have been told we’re special but the truth is that in business terms we’re not. So avoid writing about yourself wherever possible unless you are the Olympic champion carpet fitter or something.
A clickbaity blog
You know the sort of stuff
14 things you can do with a porcupine (you won’t believe number 6)
Ok so sometimes they do work otherwise people wouldn’t use them but generally avoid unless you have 21 pictures of Meghan Markel one of which I won’t believe.
Blogs about issues in your industry
Again, you CAN do this if you want and to be fair a blog about your own industry issues will often be very good for SEO purposes.
They can also work where your industry issues are your clients’ issues.
For example, if you are an accountant writing about IR35, well that’s an issue in your industry and will also affect your clients.
So go for it.
Blogs that answer questions about your product
Now I particularly like this one.
A blog that answers questions that your clients may have about your products is useful for three reasons;
SEO. A blog about your product is going to include a lot of searchable terms
It answers the questions that your clients are asking and gives them a warm feeling about you
A good answer blog is very shareable, and we like shares.
In fact I would go so far as to argue that any company should have a good selection of posts that answer these sort of questions in detail.
For example let’s imagine you are a finance broker, then you need to make sure you are writing up blogs about the application process, features of different products, compare and contrast products or reviews.
Blogs that answer questions about something your product can be used for
This is different to the above.
So in the above section you are answering questions specifically about the product itself.
In this one you are answering questions about the uses to which you can put a product.
Can I use this finance to buy a house at auction?
Can I use this SaaS software to manage my practice?
Can I sell this software to my clients?
What you are trying to do is to answer questions that your customers may have but at the same time give them ideas about other ways that they can use your product or service.
Also these are answers to questions and Google loves that, it really really loves that.
Blogs about issues that affect your clients
Now we’re getting to the epic stuff.
Answering questions about things that affect your clients is a great way to get your service/product in front of them.
So for example, let’s imagine that you provide recruitment industry finance.
You write blogs about cash flow in the recruitment industry, 5 things to think about when you start your recruitment business, how to finance your payroll.
Naturally each of them do mention invoice finance but not in a salesy, in your face kind of way.
Your blogs are pointed towards people who may not even know that invoice finance exists or what it is.
Blogs about issues that affect your client’s clients
You wouldn’t believe it but this is an excellent way to publicise your business and it’s one that service providers use all the time.
I write content for software providers, often in the financial services industries and one of their favourite subjects is to write helpful posts about problems that their clients’ clients are having.
So I have a few software SaaS companies that provide software for accountants.
They write posts about specific industries that their clients market to.
For example they may write about changes to the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).
They post the article and then (and this is the important bit) they publicise it to their accountants telling them that it is a good resource to share with their clients.
That way not only do the accountants read it, they also share it because it is some free resource that they can pass on that makes them look good in the eyes of their own clients!
C’mon dude, get that blog up and running
Right look, blogs are brilliant for SEO and they are awesome at giving potential customers a warm feeling about you.
Nobody likes seeing a website that has cobwebs growing in the corner so get to it and write a blog today, you’ll feel better about yourself, promise.
Haven’t got the time?
Course you haven’t, that’s why I’m here.
I’m that annoying guy that sits in the corner of your coworking location tapping away on his keyboard all day muttering to himself and letting out an occasional unnerving chuckle.
But I’m not bad at writing.
I can sort out your keywords, write your blog, post it on your site and do all that SEO stuff that you’ve never quite got your head around.
My mum will tell you that I’m a nice guy so get in touch now and let’s have a chat about how I can stop your website looking like the room that the Addams family are scared to go into.
Financial copywriters are a specialist breed and you need to make sure you are hiring the right one.
Some of the attributes you’ll be looking for from your financial copywriter are obvious, some not so and may surprise you.
But all of the things in this post are important to consider if you are about to trust your brand to a writer.
Well it goes without saying right?
But really, if you are looking for a copywriter then hire a copywriter, don’t think that someone from the office can do it because ‘it’s only a few words’.
Copywriting takes skill and is harder than it looks.
You might want to find someone who understands SEO or who has experience writing for an insurance company or someone who is really good at making techincal subjects accessible.
But whatever you want you’ll need a copywriter
This is always helpful.
OK so some financial copywriters are amazing even though they have never worked in financial services but not many.
Frankly if you want someone to write about your accountancy software or your B2C loans or your whizzy new fintech app then it’s going to be a lot easier if the person understands a chart of accounts and APR calculations.
It saves you a lot of time explaining things too!
Something to add
What’s the difference between a good financial copywriter and a great one?
No it’s not a joke.
Genuinely, the difference is that a great financial copywriter will add something to your business.
They’ll come with ideas, tips and tricks to make your copy stand out.
They’ll have something to add to the conversation and it might even be totally unrelated to the copy they are writing.
Good standard of English
You might think that this is a given in the copywriting industry but you’d be wrong.
I’m always amazed when I see work from other writers that just doesn’t make sense.
Or has speeling errors (just my little joke).
Or has clearly been written by AI.
If that spelling error is annoying you then think what it will do to your clients.
Attention to detail
This isn’t just the details that go along with copywriting; it’s the detail that goes along with the gig.
Asking questions is they don;t understand
Making sure their copy is accurate
Delivering on time.
This is one thing that gets my goat. You have a deadline and I’d expect to deliver my copy by then if not before.
Some copywriters just don’t bother.
They get you
This is one of those ‘soft’ things that can’t be quantified but it is absolutely imperative.
They have to get you.
They have to get your company.
They have to understand your tone of voice.
If there’s a mismatch then it’s likely that the copy they provide, whilst great, doesn’t quite do what you want it to.
A great financial copywriter will understand what you are about and how to add real value to your team.
You like them
People laugh when I say this but one of the reasons that I went freelance is that I wanted the freedom to work with people I like.
And you should like your copywriter too.
Life is too short for tetchy meetings and awkward email exchanges.
It’s Friday PM and you want to talk about your campaign but you don’t mind having a little bit of a laugh too.
You have to like the people you are working with, otherwise the time passes very slowly indeed.
Financial copywriters are a different breed
We work differently and we think differently but we’re not that odd!
Someone who has worked in finance for any length of time will understand that there are some things you can say and some you can’t.
They’ll be as invested in the work as you are.
And they’ll add to the project by bringing their knowledge and experience to bear.
If you’d like to have a chat and find out how I can help your business then click the button and let’s talk.
Bounce rate is a measure used to work out how useful your site is to visitors.
Bounce is one of those things that people will tell you is massively important whilst others will tell you it doesn’t matter at all.
In fact, the likelihood is that it is somewhere in between and, together with lots of other metrics go to show search engines that yours is a good site.
So how is bounce rate worked out?
Bounce rate is fairly simple to work out. It is just a percentage score of how many visitors consume your initial content and then go on and read something else – or more accurately don’t!
Check out the vid about bounce rate!
In general terms zero bounce is good, 100% bounce is bad.
So if your visitor reads a second piece of content then it reduces your rate which is a good thing.
Low bouncing isn’t necessarily good (and a high one isn’t necessarily bad)
It really depends upon what sort of site you have.
So a shop site would expect a very low bounce rate whilst a site that is all about getting people to sign up to a mailing list would be fine with a high one.
And that’s the problem with looking at this in isolation – it ignores what your site is for.
If you have a mature site and your bounce rate is ridiculously low (say 20% or lower) then it kind of suggests that something is wrong with your analytics.
If you have a brand new site and you are at 100% then that’s absolutely fine because it takes time to get a wealth of information on your site so that people have something else to read.
In general services type sites are good if they are in the 50% range and shop sites need to be under this but again, a shop site with a bounce rate that is 50% but converts 5% of visitors to customers is better than one with a 30% bounce that converts 2%.
What can you do about your bounce rate?
The first and most important thing is to have good, relevant content on your site.
The more content you have then the more likely it is that people will read more than one page.
Reduce the size of your pages too.
People may not want to read 2,500 words but they would happily read three posts of 800 words each.
Also make sure it’s easy to navigate round your site.
Split your content into chunks so that people read one and then naturally follow to another page to read the next part of the story.
You can also make sure that you point people to related pages. After all, someone who reads one post about SEO is clearly interested in the subject so may like to check out more of your SEO posts.
And finally give people more value if they read more pages.
So have a page that is an introductory part of a subject then follow that up with more in-depth pieces and finally a really useful downloadable.