How To Lower A Website Bounce Rate with Internal Linking

Website Internal Linking and Bounce Rate

Lowering Your Squarespace Website’s Bounce Rate

One of the many benefits of inbound marketing is the ability to gather and analyze various metrics that you can then use to determine the effectiveness of your website. Bounce rate is one of those metrics. Today, your architectural firm's website is often the first contact you'll have with potential customers, and if they are looking at one page and leaving before clicking on anther page on your website, they are considered a bounce.

Your goal is to keep visitors engaged for as long as possible and move them from one page to another on your website. The length of time and number of pages a prospect looks at is a product of internal linking and well-written content that addresses the questions that people have about your architectural services. You should want prospective clients to learn more about who you are and what you do and remember you when the time comes to engage an architect. Being helpful (usually through blog articles) is just as important as having good photography and talent. People recognize thought leaders with applicable advice. The metric to determine whether a visitor to your website and one of the most important metrics to track is your site's bounce rate. 

What Is “Bounce Rate?”

Bounce rate is defined as “the percentage of website visitors who navigate off of your site after viewing one page.” You have the ability, through metrics, to see how long they stayed on the page, which page they visited next, and what they engaged with on your site. Knowing this information allows you to determine what is working on your site and more importantly, what isn't, so you can refine and improve your site's effectiveness.

Bounce rate is determined by whether or not a visitor clicks on to another page of your website. If a visitor spends one second or twenty minutes on the page they arrived at via search and never click onto another page on your website, it is considered a bounce. 

There are several methods for reducing bounce rate. Creating multiple pages of content to address the special needs of your target market is one. Another is internal linking. Internal linking can keep visitors on your site by taking them from one piece of content to another related piece of content within your website. As visitors browse via internal links, they stay on your site longer, learn more about your company, and begin to develop more interest, potentially converting and becoming a lead. This translates into a lower bounce rate as visitors spend more time browsing and not “bouncing” off of your site to a competitor.

The Business Benefits of Internal Linking

Internal linking works to keep readers on your pages giving them the opportunity to understand really who you are and what you do.  If properly executed, internal linking can also provide visitors with an elegant user experience, aid in the navigation of your website, define the hierarchy of your site and improve search engine optimization by distributing page authority and ranking power throughout your site.

Google uses internal ranking as part of its algorithm. The basic theory is that internal linking strengthens the overall search-optimized value of a website. It accomplishes this by providing clear paths for spiders to crawl when indexing. This internal linking, in addition to prolonging sessions and increasing page views for users (reducing bounce rate), also creates a tight-knit network of pages and posts that is valued by Google.

Internal Linking and Search Engine Optimization

Internal linking allows you to improve your SEO ranking in several ways. First, like inbound links (links from other websites to your content), internal links enable you to build up the authority of pages on your website. By incorporating sophisticated keyword phrases or highly specific architectural terminology, you can combine the authority of your other best content with your newest offerings. The link authority of internal links makes the value of your blog and other pages more visible to the search engines which in turn will improve your rank on SERP's (Search Engine Results Page) by making it easier to get found online and driving more traffic to your site.

There are several best practices for internal linking you can employ that will improve your SEO. 

1. Create lots of high value, relevant, informative content.
To create a lot of internal links, you need a lot of content! The first step is to develop a robust content marketing strategy. The more information you can provide for your readers the more you can link that content in a meaningful way, the better your SEO results and the lower your bounce rate.
2. Link from the text, not images.
It's always better to link from the text rather than images. Image links can be overlooked. Anchoring to text allows you to lead your reader to relevant information, for example if you are talking about a particular architectural feature like columns, linking from within text you can take your reader to a description of various column styles. If you link from an image of a column, they may view the picture and miss the link.
3. Use a reasonable number of internal links.
“Reasonable” is a relative term. Most SEO professionals suggest 3 or 4 internal links is about right. You want to keep your readers focused, but give them the opportunity to research key points more in depth.

The internal linking is not hard, and this best practice offers numerous benefits. From lowering your firm's website bounce rate, to improving SEO making it easier to be found online, internal linking will make your visitor's user experience more pleasant and informative.

About Michael Conway

I'm the owner and strategist at Means-of-Production. My firm builds Squarespace websites, Houzz profiles, and content marketing and advertising solutions for architects, interior designers, design-build contractors and landscape design firms. Our all-in-one marketing tactics attract the right clients with exceptional architectural photography and brand messaging that sets you apart from the competition.