Reduce Your Bounce Rate + Keep People On Your Blog!
Reducing Your Bounce Rate Is Important For Your Blog + Biz
When you look at your blog’s stats, you might be focused on your page views and the posts that people are reading the most. It might not even enter your head to check out your blog’s bounce rate, because you’ve never seen why it’s important.
You might not even know what that your bounce rate actually means, and why you should care.
Your bounce rate is basically the amount of people who navigate away from your blog without loading a second page. People enter your blog via one page, be it a landing page or a blog post, and if they don’t view another page within that domain before exiting out, then it counts as a bounce.
A high bounce rate can indicate that you need to put in some work to keep people on your site for longer.
It’s definitely disheartening to look at your blog’s stats on Google Analytics and feel like you’re doing something wrong.The last thing you wanna do is turn away those visitors that were already incensed enough to click-through to one of your blog posts! Click To Tweet
Rest assured that we are going to reduce your bounce rates.
We’re going to look at what you can do to reduce your bounce rate, and why it’s beneficial for your blog + your business. If you’ve never looked at or thought about it before then you will finish reading this post with a clear direction – you will know what your bounce rate currently is, for different areas of your blog, and be armed with lots of actionable steps to get it off the ground!
Background Info On Bounce Rate To Consider
For reference, an excellent bounce rate is around 30-50% and anything above 80% is pretty bad. If you’re in that 80% area, don’t fret, because there are things you can do to reduce it. This post is going to show you ways you can actively work on it.
Another thing to be aware of – there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bounces from your website. If your reader uses that first page and takes an action such as following you on social media, or subscribes to your email list, then the bounce away isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you provide answers or solutions within your content, then a person may find the answer within that one page and no longer need your website, so they will navigate away – but your job has still been done.
Don’t take every single bounce to heart – there may have been a perfectly good reason behind it!
Let’s look at how you find out your current bounce rate, and how to dig a little deeper into what this means for your blog.
Where To Find Your Current Bounce Rate
You can find out your bounce rate on Google Analytics. It’s a percentage of the people who only view the one page they landed on, compared to the total sessions you’ve had on your blog.
The result is actually on the homepage of your Google Analytics account, and is displayed in the top set of figures, alongside users, sessions and session duration.
This figure from the homepage is useful, but what you really want to do is look a little deeper into the bounce rate for each page of your blog, and work out what is actually going on, depending on the page. This gives you a better overview of how people navigate around your blog.
The figure given on the homepage of Google Analytics is an average percentage across your entire site, and doesn’t give you enough info for you to work from.
To find the bounce rates for each page and post on your blog, you need to go to the sidebar menu on GA and click-through to this report:
It will show you lots of data, but for this post we are going to focus on the bounce rate of each of your posts, and how you can boost it.
Don’t forget to change the date range to at least 3 months, so that you can an accurate result of how your posts are performing over time. I often use the entire previous 12 months of my blog to seeing how things are changing over time, and I keep an eye on whether this is decreasing as time goes on.
Bounce Rate | Your Homepage
The first thing to look at is the bounce rate of your homepage. This is pretty important because it will show you how effective your homepage is at encouraging people to click-through to your posts and pages.
Of course, this is pretty important, because a lot of your readers will enter your website via the homepage. This might be from social media, search engine results etc, and should definitely be a part of your blogging strategy as a whole.
It’s a brilliant indicator as to whether you are being effective with your homepage.
Things That May Effect Your Homepage Bounce Rate:
- the design of your website – whether it looks professional, attractive, and interesting to the reader
- your niche – whether the reader actually has an interest in your content
- whether it’s clear what you can offer the reader with the information displayed
There are other things that affect the effectiveness of your homepage as well, but those above are the most likely to impact whether people are interested enough to click on one of your posts.
If the bounce rate for your homepage is higher than 70%, then definitely have a look at the design of your homepage, and see whether you can follow-up with some improvements. It might be that you need a new theme for your blog, or you need to reduce the amount of options for people to click on. You could also look at making clearer exactly what it is that your blog offers, not just on your website, but on social media, Pinterest and within your blog posts’ meta data too.
A good way to see what might help is to survey your email list, and see what they like about your homepage and what they would prefer to see more of! You could also ask your social media followers for their opinions and see whether they have any suggestions or advice for you.
Never be afraid to take advice and ideas from the people who read and love your content already!
Bounce Rate | Your Blog Posts
Next, you want to look at the bounce rates of your posts. There are different ways that you can come at this, but I would advise looking at your most read posts and finding out what the bounce rate is for those.
Use the same report on Google Analytics as above and look at your top 10 most read posts. What are the bounce rates like? Are they below that 60%?
If not, there are things that you can do within your blog posts to encourage people to dig deeper within your blog and spend more time reading your content.
Things You Can Do To Reduce Your Bounce Rate Within Your Blog Posts:
- Include links to other related blog posts – I often include a ‘where to go next’ list of links at the bottom of my posts, as this is likely to encourage someone to keep reading more if they’ve reached the end of my post
- Also include links within your posts when you’re talking about a subject you’ve already written about. It also helps with SEO to do this – read more about SEO basics for bloggers if you need more info! It’s easy to include links if you do it naturally within your content when it’s actually helpful to the reader
- Add links to your sidebar of your most popular posts – use images to make them more enticing. I use the text widget on WordPress and upload an image in the correct size. Use the edit button to direct the image to a custom link and use the URL of the blog post you want to direct people to.
- Create killer content – it might be that you need to work on the level of depth and interest within your posts. Don’t take this in a bad way – use it as motivation to continue working on your writing! Everyone can improve, and there’s no such thing as perfection. Take time to go through some of your popular posts with high bounce rates and see if you can build on the ideas they’re based on.
- Improve your blog’s user experience – check the formatting on your posts. Use short, easy to digest paragraphs no more than 5 sentences long. Break up your text with images, bullet points, charts and videos. Don’t be afraid to include other elements such as tweetable phrases to encourage people to engage with your posts. All of the above will encourage people to stay around and interact with your posts.
A combination of these points will definitely help reduce your bounce rate and get those readers to stick around! You have so much to offer, and every individual has something unique to offer the world. Never stop working on it, growing it, and pushing yourself with new techniques.
Growing your blog is an ongoing project, and is something you should face with passion, determination, originality and excitement! These are the qualities you have within yourself and you just gotta keep putting them out there!
Bounce rate of your blog is something that might not sound very exciting, but it is actually really important. It can make a big difference to the overall success of your blog!
Where To Go Next: