We keep talking about increasing traffic to our website, but two important factors which we often fail to consider are user engagement and user behaviour.
In this post-Panda world, factors such as these matter substantially. When a site gets 10,000 hits a day, but all visitors leave the site after visiting only one page, it is not likely a quality site.
In today’s post we will be learning what the term “bounce rate” means. The bounce rate of a site is an analytic factor used to determine what actions people are taking after reading your post. Are they moving to other pages of your site, or are they jumping away to a new website, closing your page, typing in a new URL or
burning their computer (joke).
Your site’s bounce rate is a great measurement for the success of your blog. Maintaining a good bounce rate is difficult but not impossible. I will share few tips which have been successful in helping me to decrease the bounce rate of my website. They should be helpful to you as well.
What is the bounce rate of a blog?
The bounce rate is the best way to analyze the activity of your blog’s visitors. It refers to the percentage of visits during which a visitor lands on your blog post and leaves that page without visiting any other page on your site. There are visitors who bounce soon after landing on your blog post. It is up to you how you welcome visitors to your blog and attract visitor’s to other blog’s pages as well.
First, let’s get some facts straight:
- The lower your bounce rate, the better.
- High bounce rates are bad for your website.
- “Exit rate” and “bounce rate” refer to two different things.
This Wiki article explains how you can calculate a bounce rate in simple words:
Bounce rate = View/Entry
- B.R: Bounce rate
- Entry: Total # of people who landed on the page
- View: People who viewed one page only
So, let’s do simple calculations to understand how it works:
Suppose this post gets 100 visits, and 50 people leave the site after viewing this page. Their exit could be for any reason — they moved to another site, closed the tab for some reason, they don’t browse other pages, etc.
So the bounce rate (B.R.) for this page would be :
B.R: 50/100 = 0.5 or 50% B.R.
Strategies to decrease the bounce rate:
If you are using Google analytics, you can quickly login to your site’s dashboard and check the bounce rate for a particular time frame. If you have made any design changes in recent past, I would suggest that you compare bounce rates before and after the design change.
Using Zero Bounce WordPress plugin:
I discovered this WordPress plugin in January of 2015, and I was surprised that no one had thought to create this useful plugin sooner. The Zero Bounce plugin is proven to be one of the best for any kind of blog with a high bounce rate. This plugin works in the following way:
When a visitor lands on your blog from search engines or from Facebook and hits the back button, (the primary reason for high bounce rates), you can redirect these visitors to any page of your choice. Here is a quick video demo of this plugin which you really must view:
The best thing to do in this situation is to redirect the visitor to one of your landing pages or something similar. There are smart ways for niche affiliate websites to increase their revenue using this plugin, but I will talk about that in some other post. For now, suffice it to say that this is a plugin that I highly recommend for your blog, and I predict that you will see great results from it.
Design and load time
They say the first impression is the lasting impression, and this goes for blogging as well. When a visitor lands on your blog, the first thing he notices is your blog’s loading time and the design of your blog. If you promote your articles on social media, make sure that your landing page does not take much time to load, or you might lose your new visitors. is another aspect of attracting visitors, and it’s best to go for a smooth and professional theme.
External site opens in new Tab:
Now that you understand what the term “bounce rate” means, you also understand how important it is for your visitors to stick to your site. These days almost all popular web browsers offer tabbed browsing, and it is important to take advantage of this by making all external website links open in a new tab instead of in your (current) tab. A case study by Uxmoment, explains the science of opening sites in a new tab, and why this is important for your website.
In short, when you are linking to any site (Wiki, YouTube, or any other external site), select the option which says “open in a new tab”, as shown in the screenshot above.
There are many bloggers who do not write concise, pointed articles. Dividing your blog posts/articles in parts (paragraphs that are separated by spaces) creates a good and easy user experience. If you do not divide your articles in parts, readers have more difficulty negotiating the article and can feel overwhelmed by the amount of unbroken text before them. Furthermore other bloggers and visitors land on your article because they want information on that topic. They may not have time to spend reading line by line by line, so you want to offer them an easily skimmed article.
Make your article scanable and easy to read for your visitors. Try to give a style to your headings (H2, H3, H4) , and use them to make your content scanable. This will also help you to drive traffic viasites.
Showing related posts helps a lot, because once a reader is finished reading the article, he may want to read more about that topic or a similar one. Think of yourself as a blog reader. What kind of action do you take after reading an article? There are many WordPress plugins such as Yarpp which recommend posts on related topics. This works out of the box and makes it easy to add related posts.
I like to place related posts after my posted information. Also, showing related posts with thumbnails or bullets has an extra advantage, as it increases CTR (click-through rate).
I would like to suggest that you start showing related posts based on categories and tags. More closely related posts will encourage more clicks.
Writing posts on topics related to your most viewed pages can make a significant difference to the success of your blog and can help you to increase a visitor’s time on your site
Your blog should make it easy to navigate from one page to another. Visitors should not get confused about the blog’s navigation. If they don’t quickly find what they are looking for, they will surely leave the blog.
Search box and relevant links
It’s always recommended to have a search box which is clearly visible. Visitors always prefer to search for articles. If you want to decrease your bounce rate, make sure that you link only relevant articles with each other. Irrelevant articles might irritate your visitors, and they will leave your blog if that is the case.
This is one factor which helps a lot to let your readers to remain on your website. Try to interlink your blog posts as much as possible. If you have seen Wikipedia’s SEO strategies, you know that they add lots of internal links within a page. This also helps in boosting your search engine ranking if you are linking using the anchor text technique.
If you are using WordPress, you can use plugins like WordPress Insight plugin to find related posts while you’re writing your blog posts. You can also use SEO Smart Link Premium to auto- interlink posts with your desired keywords. This is one highly recommended tip to decrease the bounce rate of any website. This will also help increase a visitor’s average time spent on your site, and will cause readers to browse more internal pages.
Bounce rates show how many visitors like to read your blog articles and find your blog interesting. So make sure that you use the strategies described above to decrease the bounce rate of your website.
If you have additional tips to share, please feel free to do so using the comments section below.