This post is Day 17 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge. Post about the challenge on social media using the hashtag: #THNblogchallenge. (You can view all of the challenge prompts here.)
If you checked out my previous post on Google Analytics, you may recall a little something called a bounce rate. A bounce is when a user visits your site, but leaves without ever interacting with your page. They never click any other links or do anything! So, the thing about your bounce rate is that it’s the one number you want to be low. A low bounce rate means people are interacting with your site.
Since you’re likely trying to get visitors to your site to sign-up for your email list, buy something, or even leave a comment, you need them to interact with your page.
If you’ve checked your analytics and you’re seeing a high bounce rate, don’t get discouraged. Visitors to your site may have bounced because they simply got what they were looking for and left, didn’t find what they were looking for and left, or they found your site wasn’t user-friendly enough. However, it is worth noting that many popular sites actually have high bounce rates, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have a high one yourself. But if you are trying to get people to take action when they visit your site, you want to work on lowering yours by encouraging them to stick around for a while!
Here are a few tips to help you reduce your bounce rate:
10 Ways to Reduce Your Bounce Rate
- Share content relevant to your target market. First, you need to get clear on your target market. Once you’ve done this, you will be able to effectively provide them with exactly the content they’re looking for. When those people stumble upon your site, it will be so perfect for them that they’ll be reading post after post! Getting people to visit more than one post on your site is a simple way to start reducing your bounce rate.
- Interlink your blog posts. This tip kind of goes hand-in-hand with the previous one. You want people to stay on your site by encouraging them to read more posts, so another great way to do that is to interlink your blog posts. This means to include links to older, relevant posts in your new posts. (Like I just did in the first tip!)
- Make sure your site is user-friendly. I wrote an entire blog post with tips on making your site user-friendly. Check it out and see if there are any changes you can make. If visitors find your site hard to navigate or have any other issues with your site, they won’t stick around. And that isn’t going to help with your bounce rate, friends!
- Update high-traffic posts from your archives. Updating your archives can be hugely beneficial for your blog. If you notice that certain old blog posts are getting a lot of traffic, take the time to update them. If those posts aren’t up to your current quality standards, it may not help you land new readers. So, those people that land on that page may not get the best impression, which could send them running (and send your bounce rate soaring).
- Check your page loading times. Simply put, if your site takes too long to load, people are not going to stick around. Improve your loading times by reducing the clutter on your site.
- Add a search box. Make it easy for people to find the content they’re looking for on your site. By having an easy-to-find search box, it will encourage people to interact with your site through a search.
- Make links open in a new window. If you allow links to open in the same window, there’s a good chance your visitors aren’t going to navigate back to their starting point, especially if you’re sending them away from your site. If you want to reduce your bounce rate, the goal is to keep them on your website.
- Create a useful 404 page. Your 404 page doesn’t have to be a dreaded place. Instead, use it as a place to showcase other content by providing links to some of your best blog posts. I do this with a combination of the Genesis framework and the Content Views plugin. So, even when people do land on my 404 page, I’m still giving them a place to go, which can help keep my bounce rate low.
- Provide a clear call to action. Do you give your readers something to do when they reach the end of your blog post? If not, it’s no wonder they’re running off without ever interacting with your page. In order to lower your bounce rate, give them a clear call to action by asking them to leave a comment, providing links to other content, promoting your email list, etc.
- Figure out your common exit pages. Use your analytics to find out which pages people are leaving your site from. Check out the top exit pages and take a look at them to find out if there’s something wrong. Are those pages leaving your audience without a clear call to action? Fix them to help lower your bounce rate.
Note a few ways you can start lowering your blog’s bounce rate today and start taking action! Jot down your current bounce rate and check it again in one month to see how you’ve done.