The Internet is full of information, both first hand and shared. Many have taken to searching for advice, explanation and discussion on the Internet, especially on blogs. That’s why search engines are an indispensable tool for users. With tons of blogs on the Internet, readers are spoilt for choice, which led to some websites experiencing high bounce rates.
What Is a Bounce Rate
Well, according to Google Analytics, bounce rate is defined as the percentage of visitors who land on AND exit from the very same page.
There are a couple of reasons why bounces occur.
- One, it could be that the visitors have found what they were searching for on that page and thus leaves or get timed out.
- Another reason is quite the opposite, where the visitors did not find what they were searching for, or at least didn’t think that they would be able to find them on your blog.
Methods to Reduce Bounce Rate On Your Blog
Whichever the reasons, a high bounce rate would cost you good SEO rankings. Search engines like Google, are penalizing blogs which have high bounce rates. To them, a high bounce rate is a sign that your blog is not providing information useful enough for visitors to click on to subsequent pages!
Thus, the question is how to make your blog stickier so that your audiences would be attracted to view your other postings too. Yes, quality content is a crucial element in getting more visitors to stick around but there are also others. Here are some tested tips on how to reduce your bounce rate on your blog.
Speed Up Your Blog
The faster your blog loads, the lower your bounce rate is. That’s because visitors these days want instant gratification and are quite unwilling to wait more than 5 seconds for your blog to load. But if your blog loads quickly, visitors are more likely to click on other posts on your blog.
So what can you do to speed things up? You can start by getting rid of unnecessary widgets and plugins. While you are at that, you can get tools and data from Google’s Webmaster Tools to check your page load times.
If you have a blog with lots of images similar to Pinterest, then you can opt for Lazy Load plugins in order to speed up your blog and improve server bandwidth. For a speedier blog, you can also check out MaxCDN, a very widely used content delivery network.
Better Blog Design
Yes, I understand that blog designs are very subjective. The colors and layout on your blog really depends on your taste. My suggestion is that the design should be appealing to your target visitors and your topics.
And no pop-up please! Personally, I find them a little on the annoying side, especially if it’s an advertisement.
But if you insist on using a popup to highlight related posts, I would advise that you limit it to just one and to show it after the reader has scrolled down to the end of your post, rather than have it shout at your visitors when they first land on your blog.
If your blog had good content, then a minimalist design should work better than a cluttered design!
Navigation and Overall User-Friendliness
Take into consideration how clear your website’s navigation is.
- First, don’t clutter your blog. Too many plugins and widgets not only will slow down your blog but also make your website messy. Remember, white spaces (i.e. blank spaces) can help users find their way around better.
- Second, your main menu should be at the top of the page for easy access. Use clear words and categories for ease of navigation.
- Third, have a search box on all pages and place it in an obvious location. Most visitors expect the search box to be at the top right hand corner of the web pages.
- Fourth, you may want to reduce external links that leads your visitors away from your blog. Should you feel that these external links are essential to create an informative post e.g. link to expert’s source, then consider having these links open in another tab or window.
Related and Popular Posts
Another effective way to reduce bounce rate is to encourage your readers to click on your other posts. There are a couple of methods to do so.
One, by listing a few relevant posts (with thumbnails if possible) at the end of all your posts. Chances are that your readers may find such similar posts interesting and thus, click on these posts. I find the LinkWithin widget a pretty useful tool in this case.
Another method is to add a popular post widget at the sidebar. Because they are your most popular posts, new visitors are more inclined to click on them. If you are using WordPress, you could do this very easily by using a related posts WordPress plugin. Just Google it and you will find a few which you can use.
Mobile Optimize Your Blog
There are more and more users accessing the Internet using mobile devices. Regardless of how well your blog is being displayed on computers, but if your blog is not mobile optimized, you could be losing more audiences than you can imagine! Chances are this issue may be one of the main reasons for your high bounce rate!
So do consider optimizing your blog today. The last thing you want is for visitors to get impatient navigating around your blog and leave.
Granted that bounce rate can never be eliminated, it can be significantly lowered. Give the above website building tips a try if you are concerned about a high bounce rate on your blog. Perhaps you would like to share some tips you find effective in getting visitors to stick, or in speeding up a blog?