Search Engine Homepage Content Olympiads

Google and Yahoo have always been on different paths in the quest for being king of the hill among search engines. But as I went to each site looking for Olympic updates & information, I noticed a glaringly obvious difference between the Gold & the Bronze when it came to their homepage content strategy for the 2012 London Games.  As the two giants regularly tussle for domination of their sectors, is the competition fierce for the web visitors and advertising dollars during the games?  As it’s been pointed out on several occasions, Yahoo has (or “is” based on opinion) a big branded advertising business and isn’t shy about it. Google is all search – you get no advertising on its homepage whatsoever.  One could say that Yahoo’s homepage creates a schizophrenic type atmosphere and Google chooses to reflect why people go to any search engine at all – to simply search. Each has a diametrical perspective; which may or may not be shared by minimalistic loving web surfers or those who want to know everything every moment of every day.

Now it may just simply be “tomato v. tomahto” – all up to the users choice of flavor. Let’s see where these two rivals stand on the content podium for the 2012 Olympic Games looking at just this one, but VERY TELLING facet – the homepage. For this year’s Olympics, you can almost see the tumbleweed across Google’s homepage with nothing more than a clip-artish image above its unapologetic, simplistic search box. Whereas Yahoo completely capitalizes on the opportunity to lavish (and possibly overwhelm) you with up-to-the-minute stats on what sport is broadcasting, which country is leading in medals, and all note & news-worthy headlines from every vantage point of this historical event.
Could it be that the choice of a clip-artish image was a passive-aggressive “thumbing of the nose” at Yahoo’s voracious need for your attention?  If so, Google gets benched on the therapy couch for this one…lol.  But before they end up neck and neck for your search engine loyalty, what finds them at the same starting line is the intent of the user.  If one chooses to be in the know, then Yahoo wins hands-down because it is in part what they do best.  Yahoo hand-holds you every day, all day- showing you what’s hot (and not) and postings about every media event worldwide. They actually look to be a strategic partner with both their advertisers and users alike. So you are ALWAYS in the loop, whether you want to be or not when just searching for let’s say a great vinaigrette recipe.

Die-hard Google fans will say that their fearless leader displays a search engine decorum truly lacking in their competitor and that if people want news, the can get news BUT only when they ask for news.  They provide a discriminating à la carte rather than a force feeding approach. At the end of the day, Yahoo hands down is a true entertainment portal capable of satisfying various entertainment and leisure users.  For better or for worst, Google isn’t trying to be an entertainment portal, so it doesn’t even come close to competing with Yahoo in this regard.

So as far as the 2012 Search Engine Homepage Olympics are concerned, Yahoo’s neck is a little more laden than its competitor. Now I know that Goolge lovers might say that “everything that glitters isn’t gold”…Well I guess you’re not Yahoo then are you?  LOL.

What is Bounce Rate?

Bounce Rate like a Pogo StickA term that many website owners may not be familiar with now, but a vital asset to monitor on your website.  The definition according to Google Analytics is “the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.” Other sites and designers may consider visitors who come to you home page, but don’t visit other pages on your site – not just those who come and then leave.  I’d also like to mention that a website with a lot of traffic but a low turn-over rate when it comes to leads is still not a fully functioning website.

We use our hosting company 1and1 and they’re Website Statistics tool via the control panel. It shows stats on all files accessed on your site and not just the pages. An easier tool is Google Analytics which is free from Google. All you need is a Google account which takes a few minutes to setup.  If you’re hosting company doesn’t offer site statistics this is a great option for you. This tool show you your links to your site, hits, time on each page, traffic sources, browsers, and of course bounce rates.

Read below for some tips on how to improve your website bounce rate.

  • Have an attractive call to action.  Some calls to action items include free give-aways, analysis, downloads, contest, etc.
  • Short talking points that link to other pages of your site that have more information to read in-depth.
  • Relevant content to what your site is about. This one is a bit tricky because when someone lands on your page from searching or a specific topic or key words; they’re hoping to get those questions answered when they “land” on your site. Whether that information is on your home page, or another specific landing page.
  • Headlines.  Especially in bold or big letter font.
  • Forms. Not just any type of form, but a simple and quick to fill out form that gathers visitor email, name, phone, and if possible social media handles.
  • Browser compatibility. I’m not just talking about Firefox vs IE. Think about Google Chrome, Opera, and mobile browsers like Safari too.

Though these are just a few simple key items to focus on, they are big when it comes to your website’s ROI. Also consider they ease reading the content of your website. Reading the details or articles on your pages should be easy. I’ve read in some blogs that eighth grade vocabulary is a good level for the text on your site.  Personally, I feel that it should be easy to read and directly to the point. If I want to read more, I’ll click the “read more” link or follow on to another page that seems to have more information about a particular topic or details. If you have more questions about this topic, or how your own website’s bounce rate is feel free to give us a call (1-888.603.1090) or send us an email.  Here at Design Theory we provide free consultations to understand your needs and provide solid options to choose from.