How do you know that you have a successful blog?
When your readers are drawn to it like bees to honey, stay longer, read more, and reduce your bounce rate while they are at it.
What is the bounce rate, one might ask?
Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.
In other words:
Bounce Rate = Total Number of Visitors Viewing One Page : Total Number of Visits
Why does it matter to your blog?
Simply put, bounce rate measures the quality of your blog from the readers’ point of view. The more compelling your pages, the longer visitors will stay on your site and CONVERT.
Thus, it’s extremely important to reduce your bounce rate as much as possible.
And here are some tips to do just that.
Let’s start with the most basic/self-explanatory/overlooked ways.
Obvious Tips on How to Reduce Your Blog Bounce Rate:
1. Tagline : Make sure you have a tagline giving visitors an idea what your blog is all about. If they don’t see it right away, they might leave thinking that this site might not relate to what they are looking for. A good place for that is your header.
2. Good Layout And Design : The look of your blog can make your visitors leave or stay. Stick with a clean, profession, uncluttered design. Many recommended Thesis theme for better bounce rate – for these exact reasons.
3. Stay on the Topic : If your niche is weight loss, don’t write about your pet goldfish.
4. Killer Content : Make sure your content is worth reading. Don’t publish content that can be found everywhere; stand out.
5. Clear Navigation : Make sure your blog navigation is easily found.
6. Keywords Research : yes, the all-important keywords… Optimize for the wrong ones and your bounce rate will go through the roof, since your search engine traffic will not find what they are looking for.
7. Great Titles : an intriguing title will always reduce blog bounce rate by cultivating reader curiosity.
Not So Obvious Tips on How to Reduce Your Blog Bounce Rate:
8. Focus on SEO traffic : high search ranking optimization for the right keywords will always bring floods of TARGETED traffic that wants to read what you have to offer.
9. External Links : make sure you use target=”_blank” for external links. That will force the links to open in a new window ensuring that the visitor will return to the original page.
10. Readability : make sure your site is easy on the eye – literally. There are many studies around that show what the most “readable” fonts are, how to use your white space, the contrast between the background and the font color, etc. All these things have a great effect on how long your visitor will stay.
More reading on this:
- 7 Can’t Miss Ways to Kick-Start Better Traffic Conversion
- What is Typography And How To Select Best Font?
Other Bloggers on How to Reduce Blog Bounce Rate:
There are many a blog post written on the subject of reducing blog bounce rate.
So following some of those tips, I won’t talked more about the same, but simply highlight the best posts on the topic.
10 Ways To Reduce Blog Bounce Rate – Offer Your Sweetest Sticky Buns
11. Prominent Search Option : Make sure to display an on site search box where readers can search for more great articles from your blog. There is nothing more maddening that being on a blog, wanting to find more information and not being able to find a search box. That’s not sticky and it’s not sweet!
12. Add A Comments Related Widget : Show off your most discussed articles, recent commenters or most active commenters. If a reader clicks on a link to a commented on article, they will not bounce, but instead open a new page on your site.
13. Use A Content Slider Widget : A content slider displays a list of featured articles on your site, usually with both images and text. The list is in the form of a slide show. This resources offers: 15 Best Examples of Free jQuery Content Sliders. They can be a bit tricky to set up, but they are usually worth the effort. They are very attractive, eye-catching and interactive. That is sticky sweet!
14. Prune your main page down to essentials : A new visitor has a limited amount of attention to give your site. You want to show-off its value as quickly as possible. Widgets and unimportant elements divert attention away from what’s really important about your blog. Uncluttering and making the layout simpler will help new visitors give their attention to the things that most strongly sell your blog to them.
15. Highlight your best posts above the fold : With so much outstanding content to choose from on the web new visitors are becoming increasingly bored with everyday content. They want the best of everything. You can satisfy this want by showcasing a list of your best or most popular posts somewhere they can be easily spotted (preferably towards the top of your sidebar).
16. Use post excerpts if your posts are long : One of the ways new visitors will evaluate your blog is to scroll down the main page and get an overview of the kind of posts you produce. If your posts are too long and there’s too much content on the main page they’ll probably get tired of scrolling and decide to stop.
You can alleviate this problem by displaying post excerpts on the main page with a ‘Continue reading’ link underneath. This will lower your bounce rate because it allows new visitors to quickly get an overview of your blog while also encouraging them to click through to the full post.
17. Avoid Distractions : Avoid pop-ups, external toolbars and anything similar to that which causes distractions to the visitors. You can also avoid using Text In Link ads. Trust me, it decreases page views.
18. Improve loading speed : Don’t make your visitors to wait. Your blog’s page views will automatically increase if the pages load faster and quicker. You can check the tips to improve and increase your blog’s loading speed.
19. Comparing : Compare the page which gets lower bounce rate with the page that gets higher. Ask your friends and other fellow bloggers the difference between them. This one helps a lot.
20. Analyze Bounce Rate : I recommend Google Analytics for analyzing your site’s bounce rate. Check your site’s bounce rate regularly and see if there is any change. Study the reports. See which page gets the lowest bounce rate and highest bounce rate. You can also check your site’s bounce rate through Alexa. Though, I don’t recommend it much.
21. Remove Autoplay Videos : This is my opinion. I’ll close the site immediately if it starts singing. Remove the video altogether, or at least have it paused.
22. Upper Left to Lower Right : Keep the upper left of your site pretty, pretty nice and attractive. Because visitors will first see that only and that decides whether they need to stay or not.
23. Optimize 404 Pages : Many blogs have ugly 404 error page. That makes the bounce rate to bounce more. Your visitors will leave your site and look elsewhere for the information they were looking for. So optimize the error page. Provide some solutions and suggestions there.
24. Optimize The Sidebar : Remove all those useless and time consuming widgets from your site’s sidebar and try to include widgets such as “Popular Posts” and “Recent Articles”. You can also use “tag cloud” in the sidebar.
25. Surveys and Polls : This is the best way to interact with your readers and visitors. You can ask them some questions or suggestions. You can check the results and you can predict whether they will stick around or not.
6 Ways to Lower Your Bounce Rate
26. Turn off related YouTube videos : After someone watches a YouTube video on your homepage, YouTube presents other relevant video options which all link off your site. Increases their views on YouTube, but is a big negative for you. Remember — keep links that don’t generate revenue to an absolute minimum and NEVER place them on your homepage. If you want your visitors to see a video that you have posted on YouTube, uncheck the box that says “Include related videos”.
27. Get rid of the popups and page peels : When content on a site is compelling, a blogger doesn’t need to annoy his or her visitors with endless in-your-face pop-ups to join their newsletter or ‘page peels’ that display advertising in an irritating way.
28. Limit or avoid advertising on your homepage : I know that sounds counter-intuitive, especially when you see all those popular blogs with 6 to 10 different banners in the header, sidebar and footers. The key phrase there is ‘popular’. A popular blog can afford a higher bounce rate through advertising. A new blog without much traffic needs to build rank and readership, and placing links out on the homepage is not the way to accomplish that goal. You want to warm your readers up to a product or service before sending them to the merchant’s site.
29. Create an Archive page : It is a must to have an archive page in your blog, it includes the list of all the posts category wise as well as monthly wise. If you’ve an archive page your readers can easily browse all your articles through one page. One of the best way to show all your articles and also make Google happy. If you want to create an archive page, use this plugin called Clean Archives Reloaded.
30. Next post/Previous post : In Thesis theme, there is a default option to display next and previous post below comment box. I really like this feature, if your theme does not have this option, no problem, I’ll tell you.
Open single.php file and paste the following code whee you want to display next/previous posts, I recommend beneath comment box.
Tag to display previous post
<?php previous_post(); ?>
Tag to display next post
<?php next_post(); ?>
Reduce Blog Bounce Rate Marketing Takeaway:
If your bounce rate is 50%, it means that you are losing half of your visitors to the reasons above. Imagine what will happen if you reduce your blog bounce rate by even half of that?
Same effort to generate traffic, but more long-term readers, subscribers, customers.
Now that’s what I call a win-win situation.
***Do you have some other great tips I missed? Give them up in the comments!***