Let me start by letting you know that high bounce rate is not good for your blog and you should do everything within your power to reduce it to the barest minimum. If you already know what a bounce rate is, why are you not monitoring and improving on it? If you do not know what a bounce rate is, read on.
Your bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who came to your site and left almost immediately, probably after viewing just one page on your blog. Many bloggers have this problem and they do not know it. They just keep sourcing for traffic outside and these visitors don’t even spend up to a minute on your blog before they leave. Some even pay for Google Adwords and Facebook ads to get this traffic. This can be frustrating when it seems you are just wasting money. If you have been experiencing something similar, check your blog’s bounce rate now.
How To Check You Blog’s Bounce Rate:
Here is how I normally use to check my Blog’s bounce rate:
Google Analytics: The default view on your dashboard will include a small section showing some of your overall vitals which also includes your bounce rate. That is if you haven’t customized your analytics dashboard too much anyway. If your bounce rate is somewhere in the league of 50%, 60%, there is a problem. As far as I am concerned, 20% bounce rate is too much for me. It’s left to you to decide what you want.
Six Causes and How to significantly reduce bounce rate:
1. You are not interlinking your blog posts: one major reason you have a high bounce rate is that you are not linking to your older articles. There are ways by which you can solve this:
- When you are making reference to a piece of information contained in your old posts, link to them. This WordPress old posts interlinking feature is available by default in WordPress.
- Use Interlinking WordPress plugins. They use keywords and/or tags to link back to your old posts with similar keywords.
For example, if you write a statement like “How to get more Backlinks” and you have an old article that talked about backlink, it would link to it automatically.
- Use related posts widget/plugin to show a list of posts that are related to the one the visitor just read and this will keep them longer on your site when they click to read them.
2. You are not handling external links rightly: to reduce your bounce rate, you have to make it a habit of making external links open in new tabs or windows. When this is overdone, it annoys your users. Take note of that.
3. Too many ads: having too many ads on your blog adds too many external links and remember that most ads open in that same tab you are, so it’s always goodbye to your blog after one page view. Reduce the number of ads and improve on how you place them.
4. Your blog design and layout is bad: There are several improvements you should make in this area to reduce bounce rate, they include but not limited to
- Make use of you sidebar wisely. Use the latest post and comments widgets as this can encourage a visitor to read your other posts and also make comments
- Use excerpts on your blog index instead of displaying the whole article. This can make the page too long for the visitors to keep scrolling thereby frustrating them to leave. Also, excerpts makes your visitors read more instead of reading the whole piece on the home page and taking off
- Display your blog categories and pages prominently too. It helps!
- Use an easy-to-read font and font size on you blog.
5. You don’t have a search box on your blog: if you have a way to track how visitors relate with your search box, you will be shocked to find out how often visitors still use it. if your visitors can’t find what they are looking for, they can easily make use of the search engine instead of leaving.
Note that you should display your search box prominently on your blog; where people can notice it easily.
6. No 404 pages? Too bad: use 404 pages to receive your visitor when they come through a link that has been removed or when they type your URL with mistakes in it. Help them find the information they are looking for with 404 not found page. Place a few links like a link to your homepage, categories or sitemap.
These are just some of the causes and solution I identified and solved on my blog. You should lay your hands on them too if you have a high bounce rate. You can’t afford to be losing your visitors, turn them to regular readers.