Thanks to a reader request, today we’re talking about reducing your blog’s bounce rate! If users are reading only one post on your site before taking a hike they might never come back, so here are a whole bunch of ways you can help to lower your bounce rate and better connect with your audience.
First off, what is a bounce rate?
A bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that leave your site after viewing only one page.
But bounce rate is more than just a number because ideally we want new readers to take action, like signing up for your email list, making a purchase, or following you on social media. Users who read more than one post and take time to explore your site are a lot more likely to spend money or trust you with their email than those that don’t.
Consider how you interact with a site on the first visit, especially when you’re looking for specific information or considering making a purchase. You probably check out a post or two, see what the author is all about on Twitter or Instagram, read reviews or testimonials, and browse their archives or about page.
And what about sites you’ve visited that you’ve click away from after one post or worse, didn’t even make it through the entire thing? What pushed you away? A confusing design, auto-play video scaring the crap out of you (because you left your sound cranked after watching House of Cards…no? Just me?), too many ads or pop-ups, not finding what you were looking for or not knowing where to look for more info?
The things that turn you into a reader / subscriber / buyer on someone else’s site are the same things that convert your audience as well!
So what is a good bounce rate?
It depends on the type of site you run, but a 60 percent bounce rate is a good number to shoot for. Content-driven sites, like blogs, tend to have a higher bounce rate, which could be closer to 90 percent while still being successful. Service or product driven sites, like that clothing site where you can’t help but look at every single new item, might have a bounce rate between 10 and 40 percent. For reference, the bounce rate on the Babes site is currently 27 percent and the bounce rate on this little site is 71 percent. (You can find this information in Google Analytics)
Alright, here we go! Nine things that move users into your site or send them running for the hills!
A super niche site
Sites that are full of content on one specific topic are more likely to hold users attention and keep them reading post after post because all the information they provide is related.
Links to related posts
If you’ve got a super niche site, but nothing for users to read once they finish that first post, you may have found your leak. What are people doing once they get to the end? Sending you an imaginary high-five and making their exit? Make sure you have relevant links within your posts, links to categories, and related posts to give readers somewhere to go.
Content relevant to your readers
If your ideal reader show up on your site, are they getting what they want? If you’re looking to grow traffic and even monetize your blog, focusing on content that will benefit your readers should be at the top of your to-do list. If you’re not sure I would use TypeForm to create a reader survey and ask them! This is exactly what I did to narrow the topics I write about on my own site.
If you’re receiving a lot of search engine traffic, are the people showing up on your site actually seeking what you’re sharing? Search engine traffic is only good if the keywords and phrases you’re using are drawing in quality traffic.
A clean, easy to navigate design
I guarantee you could remove at least five things from your blog design right now and it wouldn’t have any negative effect on traffic, followers, comments, subscribers, or sales.
Every single time I do Fix-it Friday I find myself looking at a whole lot of cluttered blogs, so think about what readers are REALLY REALLY looking for when they first arrive on your site and after they’ve read a post. You don’t need to show and tell them about everything all at once. Feature only the most important and most valuable things and put everything else (if necessary) a little further into your site.
Your design should be directing traffic and moving readers through your sales funnel one step at a time. Even if you aren’t selling anything you can use the same concept to take readers from a starting point to following you on Twitter or subscribing to your blog.
Also remove anything that moves. Pop-ups, auto-play video, and anything that shifts your site or grabs attention as the user is trying to read is MEGA annoying.
A responsive design
This is not only important because Google is giving a higher ranking to mobile-friendly sites, but also because it might be one of the biggest reasons users are jumping ship. I don’t know about you, but I spend A LOT of time on my phone. How easy is your blog to read on a mobile device? What about related links? If a user has to resize your site and swipe all over, they’re probably not going to stick around for a second post when the first one was such a pain in the butt. (Don’t panic, if you need a responsive WordPress site asap? I got ya >>>)
Clear blog titles and sub-headings
Since search engines will pull information about your posts from the title and headings (H2, H3 H4), clear headings means your post is more likely to provide the user with the information they’re actually looking for. And this is important because we already know that users who find what they’re looking for are more likely to continue moving through your site.
Are users leaving from a specific page on your site? Pages without a sidebar or internal links might be a total dead-end for users. They show up, get all the info they need, and then head on their merry way. Stop this from happening by adding a list of related posts to your site footer or embedding related links into the content.
A slow site
You probably already know this, but since the internet started, people have become massively impatient. They want their content NOW, so if your site is taking more than a few SECONDS to load, you might be loosing visitors like a sieve. How long does it take for your site to load? You can find out here >>>
Calls to action (because you’re too damn good)
On the flip sideyour content and website design might be so good users are stopping by, finding exactly what they need and bouncing without a second click. If this is the case, make sure there is something at the end of each post they would be insane to miss out on and give them a big, juicy, unavoidable reason to dig deeper into your site!
And as always with tech stuff like this, don’t worry too much. If your bounce rate is 95 percent and you’re still booking clients, landing sales, and gaining followers you’re probably doing just fine!
P.S. The countdown is on! The Badass Babes Blog Club + E-Course registration ends in just SIX DAYS!
Grab a spot and you’ll get the eight week e-course (that’s 16 lessons, videos, and even more worksheets), LIVE hangouts, AND lifetime access to the Google+ community where you can pick my brain about this sort of stuff foreveeeeeer! See the lesson plan and claim your seat here >>>