Archive for January, 2012

January

13

by Kaj Kandler

I did start working the user experience of Plan-B for Openoffice.org because I thought that 70% of a bounce rate is rather high. While I succeeded with some first steps to encourage visitors to explore the site, some other steps did not do as much as I had hoped. However I was wondering what my target should be? What would be a good bounce rate, specifically a good bounce rate for my type of site? I wondered if there is a benchmark that I could measure myself against?

Today I read the Google Help article about high bounce rate. Most informative is the video from Avinash Kaushik @ MarketingProfs.com. He states:
* Marketing metrics are different for every website
* Typical bounce rates are between 40 and 60%
* There are two reasons for a visitor bouncing:
* The visitor found what she was looking for (satisfied customer?)
* The visitor did not think she found what she was looking for (window shopping, in the wrong place, different expectations)
* It is hard (impossible) to know which is the reason for a bounce
* However changes in bounce rate are significant. The trend is your friend!
* Bounce rate is a great qualifier metric!

So here it is some number I can compare with. However, the nugget I learned is to read the bounce rate in conjunction with other metrics:
* How does the bounce rate for different traffic sources (Google vs. Bing, Search vs. Direct Link vs. Mail campaign, AdWords vs Organic search)
* How does the bounce rate differ per keyword on the same landing page?
* How does the bounce rate differ on the top 20 landing pages?

January

03

by Kaj Kandler

I recently decided to replace the lucene based search engine on Plan-B for OpenOffice.org with a Google Custom Search engine. At first glance this seems to be an easy task. Remove the old code and replace it with some Google Java scripts. However this is not how it turned out to be.
I targeted a layout, where the search box is part of the general navigation menu bar and results appear on their own page. However the HTML/CSS code generated by Google is rather inflexible. The two page template came the closest as it generates two separate code snippets, one for the search box and button and one for the search results.
So I had to add some CSS to make the divs and its generated child elements inline elements

div#cse-search-form {
display: inline-block;
zoom: 1;
...
}
div#cse-search-form * {
display: inline;
...
}

Another inconvenience is that the JavaScript includes an absolute URL for the results page. But it also works when I omit the protocol and hostname part

options.enableSearchboxOnly("/search/index");

January

03

by Kaj Kandler

I have replaced the Plan-B for OpenOffice / LibreOffice search engine with Google Custom Search.

The local search engine based on lucene was heavy on resource consumption and did require a lot of effort to keep up the indices with new or changing content. So I decided to switch to a Google Custom Search Engine.

I hope this change makes the site an even better resource or OpenOffice and LibreOffice users. Please let me know if you have any suggestions on how to improve search on the site.