The Daily Egg shares a perfect example that demonstrates how bounce rate works:
You walk into a store, turn around, and walk right back out. Whether you didn’t care for the look of the store, or you realized that the business didn’t sell the kind of merchandise you needed, you took one look and bounced out of there.
The same thing happens when people visit your website, give it a quick once over, and click away to look at something else online. In other words, your bounce rate reflects people who arrive on one page and leave from the same page, without visiting anywhere else.
Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce your bounce rate and get visitors to stick around longer. Here are 7 tips to help you do it:
1. Improve Content Readability
If you’ve ever tried to read through a huge block of content with lots of detail, you know how intimidating it can be.
According to Neil Patel, “User experience begins when your content is readable and legible.” To make your content easy to digest, incorporate the following strategies:
- Break up your content into short paragraphs—more than a few sentences can appear daunting.
- Use bullets and numbers—this will make it easier for readers to skim through lists.
- Ask a lot of questions—it encourages participaction, not just consumption.
- Add headers and subheaders—they will help you create a skimmable outline of your blog post.
- Make your content more interesting—include quotes, charts and compelling images.
- Write like you talk—writing in a conversational tone will get more people to read what you write.
2. Speed Up Page Load Time
Did you know that consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less? After that, they’ll move on to a blog that loads faster than yours does.
“Users make up their mind about a website in the first couple of seconds. You don’t want to waste this time showing them a blank page loading scripts and downloading content.”
The slower your site loads, the higher your bounce rate will be. And when Google recognizes that your blog is consistently slow to load, it could mean a slip in rankings.
To speed up your blog, you should optimize your images, consider using a Content Delivery Network, improve caching, and make the switch to a faster hosting provider.
3. Use In-Page Events
If you have elements on your blog that site visitors interact with—like signing up for your email list—it avoids a bounce, even if they don’t visit any other pages.
Referred to as in-page events, they can range from anything such as watching a video, providing an option for people to download a blog post as a PDF to read later, or clicking on headings to progress through an article.
“By adding one line of code to your Google Analytics snippet, you could fire off an event to GA after a certain amount of time elapsed.
“For example, you could set the ABR threshold to 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, or whatever fits your specific content. And if an event is triggered and captured via Google Analytics, then the visit won’t count as a bounce. Voila, you now have a much stronger metric to view when trying to determine low dwell time and actual bounce rate.”
4. Make Your Blog Mobile Friendly
We live in the mobile age where nearly 95% of your customers are on mobile. Is your site optimized for them?
“Customers no longer tolerate unoptimized websites with tiny text and buttons that are impossible to click,” says RazorSocial. “Google even marks whether websites are ‘mobile friendly’ in its mobile search results, so many people won’t even click through to your site if your site doesn’t have this tag!”
Build a responsive website to ensure that anyone who visits your blog from their phone or tablet enjoys the kind of experience that will make them want to stick around and explore further.
5. Include a Strong Call to Action
Once you’ve managed to attract visitors and they’re interested in your content, the last thing you want to do is lose them with a weak call to action (CTA).
If you want your site visitors to follow through with a particular action—like signing up for a product demo—then your CTA needs to be compelling enough to make users click and see what’s on the other side. When you have a CTA that engages users and leads them to a resource page on your site, you reduce bounce rate.
“Remember that great calls-to-action will improve usability. When that happens, your ideal customers will gladly stay on your site. Every second spent on your site, due to an enhanced CTA, will improve your conversion rate and lower your bounce rate.”
6. Build a Better Internal Linking Structure
When you create a blog post, are you linking it to other relevant content on your website?
Think about this: if your visitors follow an internal link, you’ve avoided a bounce. Plus, someone who’s found your blog due to their interest in a certain topic is likely to be interested in other posts on the same topic, so you’re improving the user experience by helping them find related content.
Internal linking certainly doesn’t hurt your SEO either. Search engines see your related content and index it as crawlers follow the links, recognizing you as an authority on the topic.
7. Target the Right Visitors
“Higher bounce happens when you’re getting the wrong website visitor from the start. This is a targeting problem,” states Neil Patel.
“There’s nothing as powerful as publishing custom content that’s “right” for your market, using a content strategy that takes each stage of the buying cycle into account.”
A lot of content marketers associate a high bounce rate with a lack of quality content. The problem with that is, not everyone’s definition of “quality” is the same. It’s more likely that a higher bounce rate is due to the wrong content.
If you create the right content, on the other hand, your going to reach the audience that will be interested in your offer. In fact, research data from HubSpot indicates that 50% of consumer time on the web is spent engaging with content that’s tailored to them personally.
When you attract the right prospects, you’ll naturally achieve a better bounce rate.
“It’s important to remember the baseline for a “good” bounce rate will vary from site to site, maintains RocketFuel. “Rather than worrying about keeping up with the Jonesees and their fancy 29% bounce rate, set a baseline for your website, and work to improve it.”
Implement the strategies covered above to make your content stickier and more appealing.
Anything you can do to encourage visitors to spend more time on your blog will not only avoid bounce but also help move them closer to converting on your offer.
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