Aha, lets learn to decrease bounce rate! Before that, do you know what bounce rate actually is? No? Read the content written below. Yes? Move on to the second heading.
What Is Bounce Rate?
Many techie’s confuse themselves with bounce rates and exit rates. They are almost same. Bounce rates tell you the percentage of users who leave your website / blog after visiting it and not reading your other blog posts and articles.
Bounce rate is the most common problem falling bloggers in trouble. Higher bounce have a bad effect on our rankings and conversions.
Also a higher bounce rate might confuse your minds with questions like,
- Why visitors aren’t keen in reading my blog?
- Is my blog not good?
- Am I just not the best?
- Or am I with ill-luck?
Higher bounce rates thus not only affect your conversion rates, but also have a negative impact on your brains. Main question here is how to cut the bounce rate effectively and of course easily. Whatever be your problem – mental stress due to higher bounce rate or conversion problems, this blog post will solve it.
Main Causes For Higher Bounce Rate:
- Large number of exit paths like banner advertisements, affiliate banners, etc.
- Having a lot of “External links” in your blog posts.
- High page load time.
- No / Improper directions.
- Lot of product / software / services / external sites reviews.
How To Reduce Bounce Rate?
1.) Don’t Use A Lot Of Advertisements & Hyper-attractive Banners In Your Blog:
In order to earn more almost all of us add a lot of banners in our blog. According to what I have noticed, having several banners in your blog won’t result in increased ad clicks nor product sales. Instead it will have a negative effect on your blog by driving your visitors away and increasing your bounce rates by several times.
So go ahead and remove a few banners from your blog which aren’t giving you returns and keep only the ones which are converting your visitors into dollars. I suggest placing ad banners at the spots marked in the green in the above image. These spots give me high ad click rates as well as more product sales. For many blogs the sidebar banner widget doesn’t do well, so it won’t be a bad idea if you decide to remove it from your blog, but if it’s converting for you let it stay there.
Don’t use hyper-attractive banners like “easy Adsense approval”, etc. anywhere in your blog unless you are promoting your own blog posts . They will easily drive away 90% of your visitors which will increase your bounce rate.
2.) Have Less External Links:
Having external links in your blog may or may not increase your bounce rate. Having less external links may not have a bad effect on your bounce rate, but if your blog posts, sidebar are full with tons of external links to other blog posts, your friend’s blogs, sites you recommend, resources, etc your bounce rate can’t help increasing.
Though I won’t say you to avoid linking to external blogs or sites altogether, but try limiting your external links. For example, don’t link to more than 2-3 external sites or less from each of your posts. Keep your sidebar clean from external links and instead promote your own blog posts.
3.) Be The Proper Blog Director; Direct Your Blog Traffic Well:
Many of us don’t direct our traffic well which is another reason for higher bounce rates. In order to reduce your blog bounce rate, you must learn to direct your blog traffic well. Link to your blog posts often from your blog posts, add reference links to your blog posts from other related posts in your own blog.
Giving your visitors something interesting more to read always helps in reducing your bounce rate. As far as possible link only to your own blog posts and in cases where you have no blog posts to link, link to your friend’s blog posts or an other blogger at random, but limit these links.
4.) Look, Analyze & Do It! (Must Read)
This work helped me cut my bounce rate by more than 15% in just 24 hours! I am assuming that you use Google Analytics for counting your blog’s visitors and tracking blog performance.
What to do?
- Have a look at your bounce rate in Google Analytics (https://www.google.com/analytics/reporting/bounce_rate)
- Now visit the top content page in your Google Analytics (https://www.google.com/analytics/reporting/top_content)
- Check stats of each top 10 pages in the list and open each of the links.
- Analyze each of the links and compare the page with the highest bounce rate to the one having the least bounce rate.
- Find the difference in both of the pages and edit the page with higher bounce rate accordingly.
Differences I Found:
- After visiting the page with highest bounce rate I found that the visitors didn’t get any place to go after reading the blog posts. They only option they had, was to click on the close button!
- The page with highest bounce rate was a blog post containing a list of some services with direct links to them. This meant that users had external links to leave the site and they used them.
- The page with the least bounce rate had proper links to internal posts, proper reference links, no external links.
What I did?
- Provided exit paths or directions to other blog posts in my blog.
- Instead of linking to the services directly from the list, I reviewed each product separately in new pages and linked them from the list. This brought me traffic from search engines as well as reduces my bounce rate by several times.
- Replaced the external links with related links on my blog.
Bounce rate decreased by a whopping 15%…
5.) Make Your Blog Fast By Using Proper Caching Plugins & Other Tweaks:
Everyone doesn’t have a fast internet connection. Many people in many small and less developed countries still use slower internet connections. So if your website is slow loading one, the visitors may close your blog before it even loads! So keep your blog as fast as possible. Use a CDN, WordPress caching plugins, less images, less sized images in your blogs, etc.
6.) Keep Your Blog Relevant:
People expect blog posts on mobiles, gadgets and tech related things in a tech blog and not latest cricket news! In short I mean to say, keep your blog relevant. If your blog is a tech blog, share only tech stuff with your visitors and not any other random things.
7.) Disable Pop-up’s, Text In Link Advertisements, Toolbars:
These factors not only create a bad impression in eyes of your visitors, but also increase your bounce rate. So if you use these forget your bounce rate because visitors won’t last long in your blog.
Pop-up’s: Must be removed at any cost. I mean the pop-up advertisements and no the pop-in subscribe box. Pop-in subscribe boxes are harmless.
Text in-link advertisements: Avoid using them. Or if you decide to use them, set them to display just a f ew links (3-4) else there is a high chance that you will lose your visitors.
Toolbars: I have seen many blogs using toolbars allowing users to chat, share, listen to radio, etc. I don’t know about others, but I never ever considered checking the toolbar and many a times seeing the toolbar irritated me. So I won’t suggest you to use toolbars in your blog. Many other visitors might also find the toolbar irritating.
8.) Don’t Use Misleading Headlines:
Just for the sake of getting more traffic from search engines, don’t use a misleading headline. You will surely get thousands of visitors for free but they will also bring in 100% bounce rate I bet! Don’t try fooling your visitors, they are intelligent enough so that they don’t return to your blog again.
9.) Add Related Posts With Thumbnails:
This widget actually works. According to my analysis, related posts with thumbnails works better than related posts with links. So use a plugin to add related posts with thumbnails in your blog posts.
Related posts with thumbnails will improve clicks/views ratios.
10.) Add Polls To Get Visitor’s Opinions & Keep Them Busy:
Polls actually work! They make visitors think on the question for a moment, find answers or decide and vote. Polls make your blog and your blog posts interesting.