8 Tips To Decrease Your Blog’s Bounce Rate

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 |

Bounce rate is a term used by Google Analytics; it refers to visitors who land on your blog and leave without going to any other page. The higher the bounce rate, the more people are “bouncing” when they land on your blog.

Keeping your bounce rate low is a wise move, as it keeps people on your blog for longer. Here are some tips to help you do just that.

1. Don’t display entire posts on your homepage.

It might seem convenient for readers to see an entire post on your homepage. Perhaps they wouldn’t read it all if you only displayed an excerpt. And maybe you just like seeing complete posts on the homepage.

But your homepage needs to grab people’s attention – and it’s a lot harder to do that when it’s a wall of text.

Including an image might help, but an entire post will push a lot of other content down the page. So you’re basically giving impatient visitors one thing to look at when they find your blog.

Chances are, if it’s the same post as when they last visited, they won’t bother looking much further.

Don’t lose people at the first hurdle. Do more with your homepage. A really good example is my recently redesigned personal blog.

2. Make good use of the Read More tag.

If you landed on the Quick Blog Tips homepage and clicked through to this post, did you notice how I was careful with how I chose the placement of  the “Read More” tag?

In WordPress, this tag allows you to break a post at any point. Readers will be greeted with a “Read More” link, which once clicked, will take them to the full post. This link will show on your homepage and category pages, but not in your feed – and not on the post page.

I’d highly recommend using it instead of an automatic excerpt, which breaks your post after a set number of characters. This isn’t great as you don’t have any control over where the break occurs. You could install an excerpt plugin, but then you’d have to write an excerpt for every post. I’d find that a bit annoying.

The “Read More” tag allows you to address the problem of displaying entire posts on your homepage. It also pushes you to write better post titles, and better opening paragraphs – two things that are massively important if  you want to get people clicking through.

3. Keep adding new posts.

Flooding your readers with endless new posts – especially if they’re not any good – isn’t the greatest way to keep people interested.

But you shouldn’t slow your posting frequency to a mere trickle, either. A lack of new content will make regular readers bounce until you publish a new post.

Be particularly careful about repeatedly buying adverts when you haven’t posted anything new since the last time you advertised.

4. Stop using sites that increase your bounce rate.

Google Analytics will show you the bounce rate for each of your referring sites. So if a social network is sending you loads of traffic but a very high bounce rate, that may suggest you’re not getting much in the way of quality traffic from that site.

A high bounce rate doesn’t necessarily mean you should ditch the social network though, especially if you benefit from it in other ways. But let’s face facts – if it’s a very popular site and everyone who hits your blog is simply bouncing away, you may want to look at the quality of content on your blog before you blame the social network.

5. Display related content links.

There are some plugins that will help you display related content on your posts. Go for the ones that use tags to locate related posts on your own blog, rather than posts that may be related but are actually from other blogs.

The benefit of displaying related content is that a reader who reads to the end of a post can easily find other posts on the same topic, or that have some similarities. This helps keep people on your blog for longer.

6. Link your posts together.

Once you have a few posts on your blog, you may find that writing a new post can lead to thoughts or ideas that relate to your earlier posts.

Don’t just rely on automatic related content links to bring these posts together – instead, make sure you include links between related posts so readers can get a bit more background on what you’re writing about.

This can create a much richer experience for readers. Think of Wikipedia – I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve looked up one article, only to lose track of time and end up on a totally different page an hour later!

7. Keep your navigation simple.

As you add more content to your blog, it’s important to help readers find their way around. Don’t use too many different types of navigation – use a few, and make them easy to use.

Also, be careful not to keep changing your navigation around, as your most loyal readers may get totally confused.

8. Don’t use “nag” popups.

If the first thing I see on a blog is a box that nags me to subscribe, I’m highly unlikely to stick around – let alone subscribe. Subscription is something that not everyone understands, and most people wouldn’t want to do just a couple of seconds after landing on a blog for the first time.

Lose the sales pitch! You might get a few more subscribers than usual, but you’ll probably piss off a lot more people than usual, too.

Something To Remember

Although these tips can help you, there is a limit to how much you can do. Don’t obsess over your stats – some people may just not be interested in your blog. That’s OK. Some things are out of your control.

Related With:


Post a Comment