Bounce Rate & Negative Comments

You may not think so now but those negative comments some ranting lunatic left at the bottom of your last news post harbor seeds of love.

Have you ever been in an email flame war? Didn’t see eye to eye with someone on a discussion forum? Gone back to a shop to get your money back?

Have you ever had a really horrible argument with someone you’ve never met?

Er – I have. Several times. More than several, actually.

A Kanye West Vs. Beck Primer

Think. Who is more likely to sell albums after this outburst? Guess who did.

Bad feedback is really love!

Abortion, Politics & Religion : Let’s Go!

When people are irate, they are in a bad mood and feeling reactive. You’ve either said something wrong (in their eyes) or you’ve questioned their reality (without realising it). If someone is upset because of a blog or news post on your site, think three times before replying.

  1. You want to retaliate (wait)
  2. Okay, I’ll delete the post (wait)
  3. This is bad for business, it’s gotta go (Stop! and … wait)


bounce rate and negative commentsActually. Wait for about 48hrs

This too shall change
– (Buddhist proverb)

Before turfing the comment completely, leave it in the unpublished queue for at least 48hrs. And think on it.

Treat feedback as an opportunity. This person is reacting against something you’ve done or said (or something they perceive you to have done or said) and has committed their feelings to writing. And (as anyone knows) writing is the hardest thing in the world to do. :) So they’ve given you something of a gift. A starting point if you like.

Unlike many sneaky, slimey lurkers who just came and devoured your lovely content without so much as a bye or leave, this angry person has bothered to speak up!

Feedback is valuable. Especially negative feedback.

You probably represent “the opposite” – opposite to where they are right now. Let’s just say that this person represents the 50% of people who come to your site who don’t buy anything, and who don’t actually like it. Your bouncers! Those people who see your site, say Na! and leave.

How to use feedback to your advantage

Negative feedback gives you a clue to why a page on your site has a high bounce rate (people who see the page and then exit really quickly). It also gives voice to why all those lurkers are bailing. This is the kind of info people pay thousands for when hiring Usability, SEO or Web Conversion Marketing companies. And you’re getting it for FREE.

Here’s a great slideshow about negative feedback I found on Slideshare.

At the risk of sounding like a total PRAT . . .

Criticism makes you stronger

Angry comments in the box below, please! :)

Some people don’t like criticism. AT . . . ALL!

It’s why famous people often surround themselves with sycophants – people who love and adore their every word. They don’t need to learn anything. They’re perfect and people need to adore them.

Think Madonna and Michael Jackson. Or Tom Cruise. They feel safe knowing that the people in their micro-universe look up to them, hold their values in high esteem, agree with them and more to the point, aren’t going to make them cry. Again, I’m thinking about Michael Jackson and his nose here, but any other famous person will do (By the way, “Your nose looks fantastic Michael, if you can hear me. Reeeeally good.”).

The Human Condition

A very fragile animal

You’ve seen these people. Fragile people walk around, proudly wearing clothes, ignoring those they know or doing drastic physical things to their bodies that could have been averted with a truthful comment.

The short of it is that critics are in an emotional state and you can harness this energy for good – or at least as an emaotional contribution to your perfect website.

Website Bounce Rate

Ninety-five percent of people who come to your site and then immediately bail without telling you why are silent critics are bouncers. If one leaves a message, they are probably speaking for the rest.

Write a (gentlemanly) reponse.

Like Beck.

I swear you’ll see things differently.

The gold that this sort of high-ground thinking turns up is worth many thousands of dollars spent with boring marketing people.

So save that wine and cheese money, thank your critic and move on.

Whiners Will Whine

Some people just love to vent

The opportunity to connect with a whole sub-culture of whiners might be a lucrative one. If nothing else, your bitter critic will go away thinking “Wow. What a *&%$. At least the lights were on and there was somebody home.” Even a negative reply such as “Well, we shall have to agree to disagree on that one,” is good for business.

Others will read your public response and feel positive about your business (“Wow. He handled that whiner well.”).

Pointing any critic in the right direction with a link or helpful tip will also give your readers thesense that you are in control and also are open to and can deal with criticism.

Flip Your Mind

Naysayer? I say “champion”

A naysayer is likely to either become a champion (unwitting advertiser of your services) or an actual client (although you may decide to pass on that point).
How you respond to criticism is how others will judge the “professionality” of your approach to customer service.

Oh, and respond to all comments within 72hrs. That’s pretty much mandatory.

Amusing Kanye Vs. Beck Mash-up

As you were.