pageoneresults - 4:05 pm on Aug 23, 2011 (gmt 0)
Trouble is, this page results in a very high bounce rate because people come to this page, view the contents of the guide and leave. They don't venture to any of the deeper content or any other content within the site.
Sounds like the guide needs to be segmented into additional documents.
Having said that, the people who do visit can also be return visitors because they come back to the same page again after it updates.
Ah, fresh content that is actually updated by humans. That's a rarity these days. ;)
This guide page also happens to be the most linked page on our site.
It is THE most important page of the site - more important than the home page.
The business is of the opinion that this page is too costly to maintain and update daily and needs to go. The cost savings will then be diverted to other areas of the site to beef them up.
This page sounds like it is really the home page of your site for many of your visitors. How costly can the most important page of the site be to maintain? Does it have to be done daily? Are those updates done somewhere else internally? Can that process be extended to update the content on the site?
From an SEO perspective I can already see this as a disaster waiting to happen.
It could well be one of the worst decisions made. If anything, all of the efforts need to be focused on that one page since it is the true home page for your visitors. The high bounce rate can be minimized by breaking the content up into multiple documents and including links to additional content from there.
The high bounce rate is not a bad thing in many instances, especially when dealing with documents that serve the answer quickly with no need for the visitor to drill down further. In fact, I think those high bounce rates can work for you. I've had documents that had very high bounce rates and they performed extremely well for years - they still do. When you serve an answer to a query within seconds of the visitor landing on the page and they go back, that can be a good thing overall. Google understands that type of high bounce rate behavior.
Now you need to figure out how to take them one step further. Are these folks really candidates for conversion? Or is this strictly an "answers" environment and the chance of conversion is minimal?