Why Your Online Advertising Traffic Leaves as Soon as It Arrives
Online advertising traffic leaves when advertisers don’t make it easy to stick around.
Business website owners who buy online advertising often get frustrated when most of their
expensive traffic leaves as soon as it arrives–i.e, it “bounces.”
Why does traffic from online advertising bounce? Think about it: you’ve done the same thing many
times. You’ve searched on a search engine, clicked on a result, then left that page less than ten
seconds after you arrived. You did that again and again until you found what you were looking for.
You might easily have left a trail of bounces on the server logs of a dozen websites, for a dozen
website owners to worry over.
Why did you keep leaving? Because you weren’t finding what you were looking for on those websites
within the first ten to thirty seconds of arriving. Experience had taught you that you’d find what
you were looking for faster clicking on other search results, one of which was bound to have what you
were looking for, than sifting through the pages of a website that didn’t look very promising from
That’s how everyone searches, and how everyone treats online advertising. You have to work with this
behavior rather than against it.
How to Catch Your Online Advertising Traffic before It Bounces
So how do you keep online advertising traffic from bouncing? Think about why you bounced. What made
you doubt that the website had what you were searching for? If you were using a search engine, you
had searched on a keyword–let’s say you searched on “small business website content.” Without
realizing it, you were scanning each page for the keyword, “small business website content,” or
something very close to it.
A website that talked about “small business web copy” might have been what you were looking for, but
if you didn’t know that “web copy” is just another term for “website content,” you’d have hit the
“back” button. You’d keep hitting the “back” button until you arrived at a page that had that keyword
in the page title, page headings, and in the first few lines of the body, maybe in boldface to make
it easier to find.
Of course, if you arrived at the page via a link from another website, you weren’t looking for a
search engine keyword. You were just looking (hoping) for something that had to do with what made you
click on the link in the first place. If the page title and the first page heading resembled the text
of the link you had clicked on, you’d feel like you had found what you were looking for–no worries
about this being one of those pages that changed after the other site started linking to it.
But if the link promised no. 72 monkey wrenches, you’d feel let down if it brought you to the
homepage of a hardware store. Experience tells you the store might have stopped selling no. 72 monkey
wrenches long ago and never bothered updating its inbound links. Experience also tells you that even
if the site does have what you’re looking for, it may be more trouble than it’s worth to find it. Why
search through a website when search results from the entire world wide web are just a click of the
“back” button away?
Thanks to the “back” button, on the web, no one has to feel let down for long. Except advertisers who
let visitors down.
About the author
Joel Walsh is a website copywriter at UpMarket Content, a website content provider for small and medium-sized businesses. He has written as a staff writer for books published by Barnes & Nobles and St. Martin’s Press, as well as numerous online publications. Website: http://upmarketcontent.com