Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Yasir Khan on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, April 19, 2018).

Will it count as increased bounce rate?

Our website homepage is ranking on first page of google for our main business keyword.
We are making the website a bit automated and adding a sign up / sign in form on homepage which will take the user to subdomain of our main domain.

Will it count as increased bounce rate or will it be ok as seen by SEO specialists?

I have read mixed reviews on blogs and forums and am really concerned.

Expert advice needed. Thanks.

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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • John Bosworth: While o don’t know for definately, I do know that subdomain s are classed as a separate domain, therefore the assumption is it will increase bounce rates.Why can’t you keep them on your main site until they’ve signed up?
  • Stephen McConville: I don`t think it`s a bounce. Officially it`s a click through? As they`ve followed something from your site instead of bouncing back?
  • Dave Elliott: It will affect your bounce rate in Google analytics, which is one of the many reasons bounce rates by itself isn`t a reliable metric. It won`t affect your rankings though as people aren`t bouncing back to Google.
  • Michael Martinez: Subdomains are NOT necessarily treated as separate Websites. That`s one of those "it depends" things. Considering that bounce rate has absolutely no impact on your search engine rankings or referrals, don`t worry about how an analytics package treats it.
  • Yasir Khan: First of all many thanks for your prompt reply. The scenario will be like this:1. Customer finds my home page through organic search, goes to my home page and then fill in a very short form say within 30 seconds to 1 minute and with the click of Next button, he will be redirected to the subdomain where he will have option to sign in if he is existing user or sign up if he is a new user. The form is attached below. As per our research this quick enquiry form is very important for getting more customers as customers avoid lengthy forms and new customers do not want to sign up. Earlier this form was being used for direct emailing us so the response is very good. We do not want to remove this form in any case. I hope situation is more clear with all of you experts and your suggestion would be much appreciated in avoiding any dumb action done from our side that hurts our already done satisfactory SEO. Thanks again and await further suggestions.
  • Yasir Khan: ^John Bosworth Stephen McConville Dave Elliott Michael Martinez Many thanks once again if you can go through the above detailed scenario. I will be highly obliged.
  • Stephen McConville: Convinced this is a click thru rather than bounce
  • John Bosworth: I’d go with click through too now. I wouldn’t worry in all honesty. There’s more important things to worry over than an analytics report.I’d concentrate on signups and offering good service
  • Yasir Khan: Thank you. Greatly appreciated
  • Benj Arriola: If we are strictly taking about analytics bounces, you can configure accounts to have multiple subdomains. In GA, you simply use the same UA-id of the property, then in the views, do not filter out subdomains and configure GA to display host names so you see the subdomains in the reports. Then you can use custom segments if you want to segmentize your view by subdomain.Now if GA or any other analytics platform was configure only to work within a subdomain, then any traffic going outside of it is an exit. And if a page is visited and is the main landing page then an immediate click to a different subdomain happens, it appears as a bounce.So in GA, it can appear as a bounce if GA is configured to a specific subdomain only. It will not appear as a bounce if it is configured to include any subdomain.
  • Benj Arriola: For configuring GA to treat subdomains as the same site... I used a good resource for that when I set it up before.. it was either a blog post of LunaMetrics or by Annie Cushing on Annielytics. I cannot remember.
  • Benj Arriola: Also remember if your GA was not setup to accept multiple subdomains and consider it as one... and you just decided to set it up, it is not retroactive. It will it will still be missing in the past data and will only be present the day to decide to change it. So make sure to add some annotations so you are not freaked out by a sudden increase in traffic or something in the reports. It was just due to a configuration change.
  • Annie Cushing: By default, a visitor`s cookie passes from subdomain to subdomain without triggering a new session, so bounce rate wouldn`t be affected, unless you set up each subdomain as its own property. Then you`re essentially treating each subdomain as its own unique website. (If you do that, you need to update the Referral Exclusion List for each property as just the subdomain, not the entire domain. But that`s outside the scope of your question if all your subdomains are reporting in the same property.
  • Paul Thompson: This is a perfect example of why Bounce Rate (as reported by Analytics) is not used as a ranking signal - because it is so trivial to manipulate.Properly instrumented, your homepage should have event tracking applied to the submission of that form which takes the visitor to the next subdomain page. You could then set this event to "interactive" and then such 1-page visits would no longer be considered bounces.(Which is totally aside from the overall Analytics architecture recommendations Annie and others make above.)

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, April 19, 2018).

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