If you use Google Analytics or a similar tool, you should be aware of the bounce rate on your blog or website. This number refers to visitors who leave your site from the landing page without visiting any other pages.
This is usually a bad sign, as you want visitors to spend as much time as possible on your website. In this article, we’ll be looking at some effective measures you can take to keep your bounce rate low.
Understanding Bounce Rates
While it’s generally accepted that you want to keep your bounce rate as low as possible, you should also realize that this is only one factor and doesn’t always mean your blog is unpopular or lacking in some important area.
Some visitors may be coming to your blog for a very specific purpose, such as to read a particular article. While you would prefer that they check out your entire site, they may have only been interested in that one item.
You also have to make sure that your tracking code is properly in place, or it can give you misleading data. For instance, if you have different tracking code settings on different pages on your site, when a visitor moves from one of these pages to another it may be considered a bounce.
Keeping all this in mind, you still want to do everything you can to minimize your bounce rate. Let’s take a look at the best ways to accomplish this.
Tip 1: Stay Relevant and Truthful
Relevance and truthfulness in this case refers to the topics that you write about on your blog or any offers you are promoting there. These must be consistent with the ad, article, video or whatever tool you used to gain the visitor’s interest.
The name of your blog, the topics you cover and any products you are promoting should all be closely related. When you do any type of promoting make sure that you give people an honest preview of what your site is all about. Some people are tempted to use misleading tactics just to get more traffic, but this type of traffic won’t do you any good.
With Google AdWords, this is very obvious. An example of a misleading ad would be one that offers something for free, but when visitors reaches your landing page they discover that they are being asked to buy something. In this case, your bounce rate will be very high. Your conversions, meanwhile, will be very low!
The same is true if you are getting your visitors from articles, guest blogging, videos or social media posts. If you want people to spend time on your site, don’t lure them there with misleading or irrelevant statements.
Tip 2: Don’t Put Too Many Ads on Your Site
If your site is overloaded with ads, this is a big turnoff to many visitors. They will immediately feel that your site is too commercial or even spammy, and leave right away. If you use AdSense or any other type of advertising platform, be aware of how these ads are placed.
Choosing the largest ads or having a large number of them won’t increase your revenue, but it will most likely increase your bounce rate!
Tip 3: Keep Your Blog Clean and Easy to Read
If there are too many distracting items on your site, this can contribute to a high bounce rate. Watch out for things like:
- Background colors and fonts that are difficult to read, or not enough contrast
- Too many graphics, banners, widgets, pop-ups and other items
- Menu is hard to navigate; people will not visit different pages on your site if it’s too hard to find them
Tip 4: Make Sure Your Site Loads Quickly
Nothing can cause people to leave a site in a hurry than delays in loading time. This is often caused by slow-loading content such as videos, widgets and high resolution graphics. If you have a WordPress blog, having lots of plugins can also slow your site down.
When placing content and features on your site, think about the affect it might be having on loading speed. It may be better to get rid of some items you’re fond of just to make your site load faster.
Tip 5: Keep Your Message Clear
It should be simple for your visitors to understand what they can get from your site. If you want them to visit certain pages for more information, make sure you give this page a clear and relevant title.
For example, if you want people to visit a page that explains how to build a WordPress blog, you should have a page title that says something like, “Learn How to Build Your Own WordPress Blog.” If it has a vague title like, “More Info”, people won’t know what to expect and may never click on that link.
If you have a call to action on your site, this should be highly visible. If you want to direct people to a sales page or a page where they opt-in to your mailing list, make sure this is visible wherever they are on your site.
It’s a good idea to keep track of your bounce rate using a tool like Google Analytics. This is one piece of data you should use to help you make changes on your blog. It’s not the only thing that matters of course.
If you’re getting steady traffic and getting the results you want from your blog, your bounce rate may be a major problem. Yet you should still pay attention to it.
If your bounce rate is higher than you’d like, you may not immediately know why. In this case, make a single change and see what happens. If you change everything at once, you will never know what the problem was.
Lowering your bounce rate can help make your blog more successful. This is a way to increase the value of each visitor you get.
Image Credit: the passenger seat