At Rogue Heart, we’re working on a comprehensive SEO (Search Engine Optimization) guide, written in plain language for business owners to more easily benefit. It will be out the first quarter of 2017, but this is so important we needed to communicate this message now! Spam traffic coming to your website has a negative impact on your website’s placement in search engines, largely because it drives up your bounce rate. That may sound like tech jargon, but stick with me. It’s actually pretty simple.
In the last few years, Google has made your bounce rate an increasingly important factor in getting good placement in search results. Now, the goal is to keep bounce rates under 40%. If your site rises above that, Google assumes users are not finding content on your page relevant. There are a handful of common things that can cause your bounce rate to go up, some more complicated to correct than others, but one of the leading causes is spam traffic. Luckily, this one is quick and easy to diagnose.
In the Google Analytics dashboard there is an “Audience | Overview” section, as seen below. You’ll notice the bounce rate in this example is 44%, a little higher than we like to see.
If you look below the pie chart, under “Language” you’ll notice that we are getting traffic from RU (Russia), FR (France), and other overseas sources that likely are fake leads. If you click on EN-US (English, USA) it navigates to another page where our bounce rate here is much lower. With these two pages and in a matter of a few seconds, we can diagnose if we’re getting targeted by spam (and we find most the spam we get is from Mother Russia, hence the ripe excuse to use a James Bond reference).
Once spam traffic has been identified, blocking it (unfortunately) is a little laborious. If your website was built and hosted by a professional design company, contact them and have them block the traffic. If you are self-hosting, we might teach a workshop on how to tackle this in the future. It’s not a one-time fix though, it will be a routine to go in and block new spam addresses every couple months. If you are interested in a workshop, or have other questions about your site’s metrics, you can reach me at Rob@rogueheartmedia.com or connect with us on The Twitter.