When I first heard the phrase bounce rate I was confused to say the least. Of all of the metrics out there, bounce rate it one of the most important as well as one of my favorite metrics to try to improve.
What's a bounce rate?
Bounce rate (noun) The percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
In most cases, a lower bounce rate shows that a visitor was engaged in your blog, clicking on a link or article rather than leaving immediately after entering your page. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but today we're just going to focus on people that want a lower bounce rate.
When I first started blogging my bounce rate was HIGH. Like 80%+ high. That meant more than 80% of people that were coming to my page from Pinterest, Google etc. were leaving without clicking on anything else. I felt deflated. My blog sucks, no one wants to read it. <Insert tiny violin music here> And then I realized something: I wasn't giving people anything to look at after they saw what they had initially came for!
So, I started implementing a few changes and playing around with different ideas and features. My bounce rate decreased and so did my feelings of complete failure. It's still a work in progress and I imagine it always be. That's one of my favorite parts about blogging: the ability to constantly try to improve.
Here are just a few simple tweaks you can make to engage your readers, decrease your bounce rate and make your blog even more awesome!
1. Add a related posts widget at the bottom of your posts
This is a simple and extremely effective way to bring attention to other posts that your reader may be interested in. When a reader is done reading your post, having links and/or images to related posts at the end of the post will give them somewhere else to go and check out more of your fabulous content. There are tons of plugins that you can use. A few examples are Shareaholic, YARPP or summary blocks if you are using Squarespace.
2. Add a gallery of popular posts or best of in your sidebar
3. It's the circle, the circle of links
Give your readers somewhere else to go. Link relevant internal articles and categories that might interest them. I usually don't plan on sticking around if I read a blog article, but if there is something worth clicking on I will definitely check it out.
You can also go back and add relevant links to newer posts into your older posts.
It's great to share the love and link to other blogs and pages, just make sure that the link opens in a new window so the reader isn't taken completely off of your page.
4. Need for speed
5. Clear Navigation
Having a clearly laid out and simple navigation bar or bars is super important in helping your readers find other places to visit on your site. In addition to a navigation bar, I also have a few of my top categories outlined in my sidebar in a list of colorful buttons.
6. Are you responsive?
The mobile responsiveness of your site is even more important now than ever since Google has been putting the proverbial smack down on sites that are not responsive. Plus, tons of people use mobile devices more than they use a computer. You can check if your site is mobile responsive HERE.
P.S. If you'd like more posts like this; don't forget to sign up for the 8 Weeks To a Better Blog Challenge!