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Conversion Rate Optimization – Top Tools To Understand Abandoning Traffic

Does the following scenario sound familiar….

You buy all the leading traffic and link building tools; spend countless hours designing and creating a seo optimized website; the traffic starts to come in bits and sporadic droves; BUT…traffic is NOT taking action as you would had hoped and as a result, you feel like you have wasted your time, energy, and money invested.

You ask yourself, “What did I do wrong? I followed the system. I did my keyword research, did my seo, did my backlinking, and have top Google ranking. Why am I not making money? Did I pick the wrong niche? Is there something wrong with my site? Why are visitors not being persuaded and abandoning my website without taking action?”

Great questions…and you are not alone.  Is is vital that you Understand Why People Are Leaving and Your Bounce Rate.

Avinash Kaushik, a Google Analytics specialist states, “If you could only choose one metric to look at, Bounce Rate might be your best choice.”

I love his definition of Bounce Rate: “I Came – I Puked – I Left.”

Let me back up a bit…

To the newbie/newcomer, the seo jargon and responsibilities can be a bit daunting at first glance. The SEO game has many player hats and titles, including:

  • Search Engine Optimizer (SEO)
  • Search Engine Marketer (SEM)
  • Paid Search Marketer (also referred to as SEM or PPCer)
  • Conversion Rate Optimizer (CRO)
  • Social Media Marketer (SMM)
  • And a few other fancy dancy professional titles….

As for SEO responsibilities, the SEO Pyramid by Rand Fishkin of graphically displays the most common responsibilities (and hats) of a SEO’er.

In this blog post we will be looking at the hat of the “Conversion Rate Optimizer.” The SEOer gets targeted traffic to your website. The CROer specializes in increasing your conversion rates after a visitor lands on your website.

The real hard questions are: Why are people not being persuaded when they land on my website? And if I am missing something, I want to know, “What would have persuaded them to take action?”

If you owned a offline storefront you can easily ask questions and hear feedback when people are visiting and leaving your store. Knowing and learning why people are leaving your online store (website) is not as easy, but it can be done.

If you want to turn more visitors into customers, or subscribers, you not only have to understand why they are leaving, but you then need to implement the required changes to overcome their objections and to improve conversions.

Top 9 Tools To Capture The Voice Of Website Visitors And Why They Are Leaving

The tools below will help you capture the voice of your website visitor who is leaving and exiting your website. There are both analytical tools whereby you can monitor visitor behavior, and direct feedback tools to help you gather information of the users.

A. Visitor Behavioral Analytics

The tools below are great at “indirectly” capturing the voice of your website visitor by allowing you to gather information based on their behaviors.

1. Google Analytics – Click Here and Google Website Optimizer – Click Here – Free

Google analytics has a ton of reports that you can get easily lost in, but is without a doubt very powerful if you have the time to figure it all out. It will give to you reports on everything from the type of browser they are using, to where your traffic is coming from…including geographical locations.

Google’s Website Optimizer will allow you to do split testing of your landing pages to optimize them for better conversions.

While Google’s free tools are great, there are other resources that takes it to the next level.

2. Crazy Egg – Click Here ($9/month service) – this heatmap technology will:

  • Show you were people are clicking on a page (and it may not be a link, but it should be)
  • Show you were people are spending the most time on your page
  • Which links on your page are being clicked on, which is great if there are more than 1 link on a page that lead to the same destination

3. Click Tale (free trial, starting at $79/month)- shows you the in real time the screens of your visitors

Free Trial Version – Click Here: This cool service will allow you to watch a video on how your visitors are behaving on your website by actually viewing their screens. This way, you are able to monitor their mouse behavior, how long they are on your website, what actions they actually took (if any), repeat visitors and where they are most focused on, how people are interacting with your web forms, link analytics, heatmaps, visitor recordings, and a whole lot more. This is the perfect companion to Google Analytics.

4. LiveBall – Click Here  – starts at $1,250/month

LiveBall is the premier resource for serious online marketers with larger budgets and businesses and who are looking for everything from A/B Testing, Conversion Optimization, Landing Page Production and Optimization, Lead Generation, etc….

B. Direct Visitor Response Analytics

The tools below allow you to directly capture the voice of your website visitors and allow them to provide great feedback to you.

1. Google Talk – Click Here – Live chat badge on your website – Free




This is a free great service whereby you place a badge on your website that shows you online and available to chat. I find this a fascinating idea. Here you can answer any questions LIVE and help people make a decision to take action. While perhaps not as robust as Live Person (a paid service), Google Talk certainly is a great way for online businesses to get direct feedback from web traffic

2. KISS Insights – Click Here – popup window in footer to get visitor feedback – free version available.

The creators of KISSmetrics developed this website feedback script that is essentially a popup window in the footer of your website and will allow visitors to tell you what they need. You can also customize your questions.

3. Kampyle – Click Here – I like this service. Visit the site to see how it works. This service puts a nicely displayed Feedback “We Listen” Button (or popup) on your website which visitors click and fill out a form. What is cool about the forms is that visitors are engaged with responses. As the website owner, you are given great analytics and reports of the feedback.

4. Ethnio – Click Here – Free trial version.

This cool javascript code, when applied to your website, will engage your visitors and recruit them to provide feedback to your website.

5. Survey Monkey – Click Here – Free online

Use Survey Monkey on existing customers and subscribers to ask for feedback on your websites.

What Do You Think? Make A Comment, I Read Them All….

About Mark Dulisse

Software Developer, Blogger, SEO Consultant, Internet Marketer

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  1. Very informative post…. Personally I’m a big fan of statcounter which provides really easy to read site stats, including the deadly bounce ratio! To counter it more video is one idea I’m having, and also a new blogging platform that has a lot of social and video interaction built in!

  2. Hi Mark.. this is a great list and certainly a useful resource.

    If I may share one thing, I also use services that capture on-page behavior of visitors in video..
    you can then view these visits and watch the video, see how a visitor behaves on a page, see what they are looking at, how long it takes them to go through the page, you also see the series of pages they visited before they left or before they performed a conversion.

    I use this primarily to verify things that Google Analytics cannot tell me.

    For instance, a person who spends a good 5 minutes on a page (as reported on Google), makes you wonder, what on earth is he doing that long on a page. It could be the person actually stayed on the page, left the computer to fix himself a coffee or something then came back. Interpreting 5 minutes on a page in this case as high engagement can be faulty.

    We have heard many say, visitors usually just skim through a page, stopping at certain parts that catch their attention, go to the very bottom then go back up and start reading/digesting content. I see exactly that behavior when using this program.

    All the best!

  3. Hi Mark, Thank you for this information, particularly bounce rate my site varies between 4%-7.5% which I think is pretty good, I should go into webmaster tool more often to see how I can improve other things on my site.

  4. yes, lots of people are apparently puking when they get to my site because my bounce rate is high. I’ll have to study this stuff and make some changes.

  5. This is fantastic, I never knew bounce rate was such a critical factor! I knew it was important, but what is the ideal range you want to be in? 70% percentile or lower?

  6. Mark, Great post. I have seen other site that have those plugins listed. They seem like they would be beneficial to help find the weaknesses in my website. Thanks for the info, I’ll be looking more into the plugins.

  7. Great Article Mark, Keep giving this industry so much value

    Eric Burnett

  8. Some more great information thank you. I have been experimenting with different layout, landing pages etc for my home page to reduce the bounce rate but so far with limited success. I’ll have to start making use of some of the tools you have outlined for us here, cheers.

  9. Hi Mark,

    Please don’t take the following negatively, because I have learned an awful lot from you, your writings, and your products, and I have a lot of respect for you. But maybe I can give you one good reason visitors leave sites before conversion, per se, even comes into the picture.

    I received the email notifying me of your new post, today, while I was out doing some business chores and a little bit of Xmas shopping. I had taken a break for some food at a local joint. As I was eating, I read your email on my Droid and the subject of your post made me want to look at it right away.

    I clicked on the link and was disappointed immediately, as I couldn’t read a word of it with my phone in the portrait position. I turned it 90 degrees and I could read it some, but it was still too small. I tried to enlarge it with my fingers (what do you call that maneuver?) but being they were so fat, I hit another link on the side of the page and went off to another page for one of your products. I backed up, tried again, but the text wouldn’t wrap and after I enlarged it sufficiently, I wound up having to scroll from side to side for the first few sentences before I gave up completely and decided to wait to read it until I got home.

    I’m sure you’re aware of all this, and as a marketer, I’m sure you have plans to optimize your site for mobile devices. Most of us just haven’t got around to it, though.

    For all of you who haven’t done that yet, you’re losing potential customers. I maintain some websites for local businesses and my experience through Google Analytics has been that their traffic from mobile devices runs from 20%-35%.

    Look up the stats on how using the mobile web is increasing by large proportions. I can’t quote you exact figures, although I have them stored off somewhere, but there are predictions that the majority of searches and browses will be done on mobile devices by about 2013 or 2014, I think it was.

    I’m 60 years old and just traded in my Blackberry for a Droid about 2 or 3 months ago. Already, I’m using it in place of my desktop for more than I would have ever imagined. It’s at my side all the time. When I’m out and have to cool my heels at times, I can take care of odds and ends on my mobile device like I never could before. It’s not something I like to see happening (I am an old dog, after all), but I’ve come to accept that is the way it will be.

    How many more are out there like me at my age? More, I think, than you might imagine. And you already know how many of the young and middle-aged are hooked on their phones. I believe not having your site mobilized is a significant contributor to a high bounce rate and will be even more significant very soon.

    Please excuse me for being off topic, but as long as you were talking bounce rates, I thought all of you might want to think about putting some of your focus on mobile optimization if you haven’t already.

    Have a great holiday.

  10. Wow, what an eye opener. I have always noted a very high bounce rate and knew I needed to provide more interaction with visitors. Thank you for the list.

  11. Hi mark..Great post.The information you provided about SEO and bounce rate is really appreciable..I like your video.
    I also believe in the same..In fact my site bounce rate varies between 20 to 10 % that is quite cool!!
    Thanks for sharing these information..Love to read your next post too..

  12. Hey Mark,

    You are amazing. Once again, (I am almost getting tired of saying that about what you do), you give great information and insight to your readers. I’ve heard of all this stuff, but never quite understood its implications and more to the point, what I could do about it. If you could do something like this about RSS it would be great. I use your RSSLinkbomber and have had tremendous results, but I keep thinking I’m missing something. And I know if you, explained it, much like your info on Bounce Rate, I would know pretty much everything I needed to know. Thanks for the great infol.

  13. Mark thank you, this post arrives with perfect timing, as I was looking for solutions for a very high bounce rate. A significant portion is due to mobile visitors that just cannot read the substantial posts we have on the blog, and they leave.
    Aside from that, I saw the DMCA badge on your sidebar, and Wow! that’s just what I was looking for to help secure our original content.

  14. Reading this post was like opening a door to a strange new world.

    I am a strong believer in a good offer. If you have a powerful offer you will have good conversions rates.

    You can always tweak your headline, move your pictures forwards and backwords and write a better sales copy for your product. But if you have a weak offer you can write like Shakespeare and use all powers of persuasion you nevertheless will not make a lot of sales.

    But if you have a powerful offer you can write like a first grader (yes, I’m excaggerating a little) and you will sell your stuff. A great offer always outranks a bad written sales copy and a mediocre site.

    So, I am not totally convinced of the funny definition of the Bounce Rate of Avinash Kaushik. I think, people do not leave the sites because they look so ugly, they leave it in the first place because they didn’t find what they were looking for. And that means make them a great offer and they will stay, specially when you announce it in the headline.

    But these tools seem to be abosutely great and it sounds intriguing to get better conversion rates with them. I know there is more on earth than my humble opinion, and so I will try a few of them because I believe in everything what works. And if I’m really honest having these kind of tools was always a dream of mine 😉

    Thanks for the great post it is a nice Christmas present


  15. thank Mark this is good info keep up the work

  16. A reason why you’re not making money despite the amount of traffic going to your site is that you don’t have a strong call to action. Another one would be the design of your page. You may have done the SEO stuff, but you may have skipped the aesthetics. The things that the visitors see greatly affects the bounce rate, so you have to work on that.

  17. Hi Mark, this is a very interesting article.
    I would also like to add another tool that you can use; server side statistics from programmes such as webalizer. I’ve found that statistics from server-side programmes tend to be far more accurate than say Google analytics and can provide better insights with regard to your website visitors.

  18. Fascinating. How cool is it that you can actually watch in real time how someone is interacting with your site? It’s really amazing how much information is available for us now. Boggles the mind to think where we will be in a few years. I’m personally a meat and potatoes Google analytics guy. And bounce rate is very high on my list of pertinent information. Enjoyed seeing some of the higher end services out there. Neat stuff, thanks!

  19. The thing to keep in mind is that you need to find a way to capture email addresses. This will keep your users coming back to your website. Make a way for your users to connect with you through your website to facebook, twitter, myspace, ect. Create a blog and a viral marketing tool. Quality content will keep your users on your website longer.

  20. Did you mention a poor bounce rate will affect your quality score from Google?

  21. Even if we have lots of visits and page views, it’s almost useless if the bounce rate is very high. Nice article, very informative. Great tools, definitely useful. Thanks for the links.

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