13 Ways to Lower Your Blogs Bounce Rate, and Why it Matters P

13 Ways to Lower Your Blogs Bounce Rate, and Why it Matters P

Your Bounce Rate Measures Your Marketing Effectiveness

 

The bounce rate for a web page is an Internet marketing term used in web traffic analysis.  The bounce rate represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave or “bounce” rather than continuing to view other pages within the same site.  Your bounce rate is calculated by counting the number of single page visits and dividing that by the total visits.  It is then represented as a percentage of total visits.

Bounce rate is also a measure of your web page’s “stickiness.”  The theory is that an effective website will engage visitors and cause them to navigate deeper into your website.

To determine what your bounce rate is simply log into your Google Analytics account.  If you haven’t set up Google Analytics on your blog, it’s time to do so.  Google Analytics is powerful, provides invaluable information, and is completely free to use.   Learn how Google Search Console can improve your search rankings.

Once you’re in Google Analytics, go to Audience, select Overview and look at your Bounce Rate.  You should see a chart and a percentage that looks something like this:

 

Your bounce rate measures your visitor engagement

Most blogs don’t see much day-to day-variation in their bounce rate.  It may change slightly when you send out our email or take some other marketing action.  However the chances are good that your blog has a steady, even line when you view your Google analytics chart.

 

Most blogs don’t see much day-to day-variation in their bounce rate

How to Interpret Your Bounce Rate

 

A high bounce rate number, such as 99% means that a lot of people are leaving your blog without checking out any of your content beyond the page they arrive on.  Having a low bounce rate number means a lot of people are sticking around, and looking at more than one post or page on your site.

Bloggers automatically think that a high number is bad and a low number is good.  It’s worth keeping in mind that a high bounce rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  There can be many reasons that your rate is high, for instance:

  • You might want readers to leave and do something else.  A good example would be if you promote affiliate products.  You probably want to send readers away to buy them.
  • You might want people to call your business.  And a high bounce rate might suggest that’s working.  People are finding your site, and then picking up the phone to call you.
  • You might sell products through a major e-retailer such as Amazon or eBay.  If you are, you’ll need to send people away from your site.
  • You might be getting readers to sign up to your email list through a popup tool that doesn’t load another page on your site.

 

How to Analyze Your Bounce Rate

 

Although looking at the bounce rate for your entire site can be interesting, it’s more informative to focus on specific pages.  You can do this by going to Behavior →Site Content →Content Drilldown, and clicking on the page you’re interested in.  Here’s an example:

 

Your bounce rate for different pages may vary widely

Your bounce rate for different pages may vary greatly.  When people arrive on your front page, they’re probably trying to figure out what your site is about, they are trying to decide if your content interests them.  It makes sense that the bounce rate of that page may be relatively low.

Other pages, especially older content may have a much higher bounce rate.  A post from 2012 may get search engine traffic every day, but its bounce rate would probably be high.  People arrive, see that the information isn’t relevant for them, and leave.

 

How to Look at the Bounce Rate of Different Sources of Traffic

 

Another thing to be aware of is that bounce rates vary depending on the traffic source. In Google Analytics, you can go to Acquisition →All Traffic →Channels to view the bounce rates for different sources of traffic. It’ll look something like this:

 

View your bounce rates for different sources of traffic

When I’m looking at widely scattered bounce rates I’m particularly interested in the Google traffic because more than half of my traffic comes from Google.  Most of Google’s traffic comes from first-time visitors.  I’d love them to stick around and hopefully subscribe.

But I’m not particularly bothered about lowering the bounce rate for email traffic.  It’s already pretty low, and those people have already subscribed.

 

13 Ways to Lower Your Blog’s Bounce Rate

 

Armed with an understanding of bounce rates, now it’s time to break it down by page and traffic source.  Using the power of Google Analytics, let’s go through some ways to lower your bounce rate.

 

#1: Make a Great First Impression

 

When someone comes to your site for the first time, within seconds they decide whether it’s credible, is relevant to them, and has content worth reading.

They base those decisions on your design, branding, tagline, and other clear indicators to the benefits of them reading.

 

#2: Establish Social Proof

 

If you have a testimony from a reader, or even better from someone well known, include it.  If you’ve got a lot of Twitter followers or email subscribers, put the number on your site.  If you’ve been featured or quoted in the media and can use that publication’s logo, use it.  These are all signals to first-time visitors that your site is credible and useful.

 

#3: Remove Your Blog Post Dates

 

This is a bit controversial, but I’d like to suggest it anyway.  Consider removing your blog dates.  Doing so can help make a good first impression. Especially when you have a lot of older posts.

Many posts, even though from the past are just as relevant today.  However, if I included the date on that post people would probably judge it as less worth reading.

 

#4: Make Your Site Easy to Use

It might sound obvious, but people are more likely to click around on your site if it’s easy to use.  Ensure that your site loads quickly, and make your content easy to read.

It’s important to create scannable and snackable content.  Make sure your text is easy to read, have clear navigation, making your site responsive so it’s optimised for mobile, minimize interruptions, and so forth.

 

#5: Produce High-Quality Content

If a first-time reader lands on a well-written, articulate article that enhances their life in some way, they’re going to click around.  So focus on writing good posts that educate and inform your reader.

Investing your time to write great content improves your blog in other ways too.

 

#6: Ask Readers to Connect to You in Some Way

 

You want your readers to make an ongoing connection with you.  Perhaps by subscribing to your email list or following you on social media.  Make strong, clear calls to action in various parts of your blog to encourage readers to connect to you.

This will help keep readers coming back to your site as return visitors, which will reduce your bounce rate over time.  From our experience we also see that people who come back every day click around at a much higher rate than first-time visitors.

 

#7: Create Portals for Your Site

 

This is one of the best things I’ve done.  On my front page we have icons for different ‘portals.’  The same icons also appear in the sidebar next to every single post.

Each portal is a special page that includes a call to subscribe.  There’s also lots of information on each portal page.  It isn’t a category page with links to our latest posts.  Instead it’s a curated list of the best content we have.

These portals have reduced our bounce rate a loy.  The individual portal pages have a bounce rate as low as 40%.

#8: Create a “Start Here” Page

 

Our “Start Here” page is featured prominently in our navigation.  It’s the first item in the menu.  It’s targeted at first-time readers, particularly those coming from Google who hopefully spot the link in the navigation and click on it.

You don’t have to call yours a “Start Here” page.  An “About” or “My Story” page could serve the same purpose.

 

#9: Make External Links Open in a New Tab

 

When you link to another site or blog from one of your posts, a simple way to ensure you don’t lose your reader is to make the external link open up in a new tab or window.  That way, the reader won’t actually leave your site.

This is simple to do in WordPress.  Simply edit the link and click the checkbox to open it in a new tab.  It’s a simple way to keep people from leaving your site.

 

#10: Link Back to Older Content from Your Posts

 

When you write your next blog post, challenge yourself to create links to at least three of your existing posts.  For example, you could link to a previous post that covers something you mention in greater detail.

Another option is to add suggested reading or listening within or at the end of your post.  While you can do this using a plugin, I like to add in my own so I can choose exactly what I want to encourage readers to look at next.

You could also create an interlinked series of posts, which can be great not only for lowering your bounce rate but also for exploring more complex ideas on your blog.

 

#11: Link to Popular Posts in Your Sidebar

 

If you’ve got a post or even several posts that you know are popular, ensure that they’re really easy to find.  You could highlight them on your About or Start Here page.  But you can also link to them in your sidebar.

You can do it with a text link, or you can get more creative with a button or a banner.  A great example is on ProBlogger.  They have an image in their sidebar that links to their “How to Start a Blog” post, with the call to action text in the image itself.

 

#12: Create a “Sneeze” Page

 

We highlight a post because it’s always popular with our readers.  If a reader clicks that link, they end up on what I call a “Sneeze” page.

This page introduces the topic, then lists 40 or so different posts we’ve written that are relevant and specific to that topic.  The point of the page is to get people “sneezed” deeply into our archives.

You can also write entire posts with this in mind.  

 

#13: Make it Easy to Search Your Site

 

Many blogs don’t give readers the opportunity to search their content, or bury their search bar somewhere low on the page.  This makes it hard for readers to search for information they particularly want.

Make sure your search bar is easy to find.  You want you readers to find the right content as easily as possible.  I know that’s a lot to take in.  So here are some practical steps for what you can do next:

#1: Identify the top three posts on your site that consistently get a lot of traffic.

#2: Have a look at the bounce rate on each post. Are they all similar, or is one much higher or lower than the others? Can you figure out why?

#3: Try to optimise those three posts to reduce the bounce rate. You could add a call to subscribe, include further reading, or add extra links in that content.

If you want to go further, create a “Start Here” page for your site, or create some “Sneeze” pages or posts to list your best content in particular categories.

Don’t forget to leave a comment below to let us know how you get on.

 

How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog in 8 Easy Steps P

How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog in 8 Easy Steps P

Do You Want People Linking to Your Blog Post?

 

Let me give you a tip for getting more people to link to your blog.  Write lists!  There’s no denying the fact that most people like and even use lists in our everyday lives.  Most of us have a shopping list on our fridge or kitchen counter.  Why do you think that is?

Because we all use lists, there’s something about a list that bloggers and blog readers love.  Here’s a list of reasons why lists can be good for your blog:

 

  1. Lists are Scannable and Snackable – online readers are lazy. A list communicates your points quickly and easily.
  2. Lists keep your posts brief – a list keeps you focused and prevents rambling.
  3. Lists neatly format your content – No-one likes a site full of messily formatted text.  Lists on the other hand can be quite pleasing visually.
  4. Lists are easy to link to– most of the links to the link above simply summarize the lists keypoints.  Bloggers seem to like linking up in this manner.
  5. Lists can be comprehensive– even your seemingly complete list of topic points begs others to add their thoughts on the subject through their comments.
  6. Lists are persuasivea list can form a convincing case for something by quickly presenting many points that build your arguments toward a conclusion.
  7. Lists can add to the ease of writing– writing lists breaks down my thoughts into bite sized pieces which is good not only for readers but helps me express myself methodically in my writing.
  8. Lists Can Become Memes– it’s hard to describe, but your lists can unleash an avalanche of ideas.

 

For the above reasons, and many others, bloggers seem to love linking to and commenting on lists and as a result they have the ability to spread quickly

 

Don’t Over-use Lists in Your Blog Posts

 

There is obviously a good case for using lists occasionally when writing your blog posts.  However, there is a danger for you to use lists too much.  Sometimes a topic needs to be handled differently because the amount of content to be covered is larger and more in depth.  

In that case a long form blog post can work perfectly or the content may better lend itself to being covered in a series of posts.  Overall using lists as part of your blog writing mix is a viable strategy for spreading your message.

 

How Content Blogging for Your Business Can Improve Sales P

How Content Blogging for Your Business Can Improve Sales P

How Great Content Can Improve Your Sales

 

Blogging is about teaching people who are interested in your industry.  It’s important for your business to be better at teaching than everyone else in the world.  You need a strategy which possesses a creative vision, and embraces innovation to find solutions that others will receive benefits by adopting.  

You need great content that SEO embraces so that you get your message to the audience you are trying to reach.

 

Your blogging needs a strategy which creates a vision, embracing innovation to dicover solutions that others will benefit from and adopt

You need to understand why social media is not in your control.  Also you must learn why you need to have  informative content on your blog.  

Your blog helps you to communicate with your prospects and existing customers.  It’s important that you understand and measure how effective your content engages your audience.  You also need to learn the different ways you can use and repurpose your content for your business.

 

How to Use Content Marketing for Your Blog

 

The expression content marketing has exploded in popularity, and it’s going to become a more common marketing approach very quickly.

I recently had an opportunity to hear Marcus Sheridan speak.  Marcus is a globally recognized sales, marketing and communication motivational speaker.  He is also the founder of  Marcus Sheridan International and the author of several books on sales and marketing strategies.

During his speech, Marcus shared insights into the struggles marketers have to get results from business blogging.  You’ll learn what to focus your efforts and a few simple tactics that will work.

 

Content marketing helped River Pools & Spas become #1 on Google and how a single article made his company $1.2 million in sales

During his presentation, Marcus shared how content marketing helped River Pools & Spas become #1 on Google and how a single article made his company $1.2 million in sales.  You need to learn why content is the greatest sales tool in the world when used properly and how it can shorten the sales cycle for you.

Marcus uses his pool business blog to answer the questions his customers are asking.

 

How to Produce Great Content

 

You have to understand why it’s important to talk to your audience in your voice.  Your content has to deepen their trust in you and your business.  Follow the advice from the following tips to help you create the great content you need:

  • Speak in your own voice.
  • Eliminate the marketing message from your content.
  • Your blog is your education center to answer the questions your audience asks.
  • Offer more articles for readers to look at examples.
  • Add a call to action to help your readers learn more.

 

 

Connect Your Blogging to Business Results

 

You need to understand why it’s so important for your business to be aware of how your content performs in communicating with your audience.  Imagine if every one of your employee’s chould participate in your company blog.  Could employee input help strengthen your content and make it more engaging and interesting for your audience?

 

What are Today’s Hottest Blogging Tips?

 

I feel that these are today’s hottest blogging and content marketing tips for businesses:

  • Approach content marketing as a teacher.
  • Discover your content marketing tipping points that impact your business results.

 

 

Approach your content marketing as a teacher

If people spend enough time on your site, they will become customers.  You have got to put the content out there and make it valuable, and you’ve got to be a teacher.  When you do, you’ll start to see amazing benefits.

 

How To Write Killer Blog Headlines That Benefit Your Readers P

How To Write Killer Blog Headlines That Benefit Your Readers P

It’s Hard to Define a Good Blog Headline

 

It’s not easy to define what makes a good blog headline.  However, you know it when you see it, because it grabs your attention.  Your blog headline has to grab your audiences attention.  The competition for your content to be read is overwhelming.

Every day, millions of articles are shared online.  That’s why your headlines are more critical than ever.  We’ve looked at the tactics employed by several of the best writers on the web to glean these practical tips to help you write better blog headlines for your content.

 

Your Blog Headline Has to be Accurate

 

There’s a terrific newsletter, the NextDraft, curated by Dave Pell, who has become known as “the internet’s managing editor.”  Every day Dave scans countless headlines to find “the day’s most fascinating news” to include in his newsletter.

When finding and sharing unique content online, you quickly grasp how important it is to begin with an accurate headline.  You have one chance to get your audience’s attention.  Your headline must briefly and accurately tell what your story is about

 

 Your headline must briefly and accurately tell what your story is about.

Your headline is your one shot to say what you need to say.  So say it.  Most people scan through content, looking for a word or phrase that catches their attention.  Often your headline is the only thing that people see.  The only way that people have to judge your article is its headline.

 

Your Blog Headline Must Be Specific

 

When writing a blog headline, include specific words or phrases that are relevant to your audience.  It’s important to balance your headline by choosing words carefully from specific types of words.

Avoid using overly broad or generic terms.   Your choice of powerful and accessible words will resonate with your readers.

 

Balance your blog headline by choosing words carefully from specific types of words

CoSchedule’s Free Headline Analyzer takes this a step further.  Just enter your headline, and their program will give it a score.  The right mixture of uncommon and common words, along with words that have emotion and power, get higher scores.  This blog post’s headline got a 73%.

 

Your Blog Headline Should be Brief

 

The experts agree that the best blog headline is a short headline.  Your goal is to write a blog headline in the range of somewhere between seven and ten words.  

 

The experts agree that the best blog headline is a short headline

Your Blog Headline Must be Skimable

 

With just a glance, a good headline makes it clear what your blog post is about.  Usually when skimming content, readers tend to read the first and last three words of a headline.  

 

Most readers tend to read the first and last three words of a headline.

With just a quick skimming, your headline readers should have a good idea what your article is about.  As a writer you have to meet your readers expectations, right from the first glance.

 

Your Blog Headline Should be Searchable

 

Blog headlines should include searchable keywords and phrases so that readers can find your content easily.

 

Blog headlines should include searchable keywords and phrases

Your Blog Headline Should Express Emotions

 

Headlines that convey positive emotion tend to perform the best.  Your readers respond positively to the use of words expressing emotions in a positive manner.

 

Blog headlines that convey positive emotion tend to perform the best

Your Blog Headline Needs to Stand Out in Searches

 

With all searches it is very important how your Blog title and description appear in the featured snippet that appears in the results of every search query.

 

How your blog headline appears in a search featured snippet

Your Blog Headline Email Subject Line Preview

 

It’s important what your headline will look like as an email subject line.  The optimal reading length is around 20 characters.

 

It matters what your blog headline will look like as an email subject line

Your Blog Headline Can’t be Clickbait

 

We’re all sick of headlines that make outrageous promises which are impossible to prove.  Often writers attempt to get readers to click on their content by using a headline which has an unanswered question left dangling.  

Leaving an unanswered question in your headline promises that your information will satisfy a need readers didn’t know they had.  This is a something that I try to avoid.  I feel that it’s best to give people an honest overview and let them choose to click on something because they want to know more.

 

Your Blog Headline Can’t be Clickbait

Don’t be provocative.  Instead be sincere.  You need to tell your readers a story that is genuinely engaging and interesting.  You have to make trust the foundation of developing a relationship with your readers.  

It’s matters that my readers trust me when I tell them something is worth reading.  It’s not worth risking the developing relationship with my readers by getting them to click on an article under false pretenses.

 

Timing Matters for Your Blog Headline

 

It’s ironic that the perfect headline may be more about timing and less about it’s wording.  If your headline is relevant to a current topic, it is more likely to result in the clicks and email newsletter opens that you desire.

All stories have a momentum of their own.  You will be succesful if you can catch that momentum with your headline.

 

Make Your Blog Posts More Engaging and Conversational P

Make Your Blog Posts More Engaging and Conversational P

To Be Effective Your Blog Posts Must Be Engaging

 

I’m sure that you’ve already heard that your blog posts need to be written in a style that is  “conversational”.  You may not understand why it is important to do this.  Your posts are telling your story and creating a connection with your audience.  To keep your audience engaged, your blog needs to come across like a discussion.  You don’t want your blog to come across like your blog is a lecture.

 

Your posts are telling your story and creating a connection with your audience

That’s all true.  But writing in a conversational style goes against the normal rules for business writing.  However, If your blog posts sound dry and stilted your audience will become bored and click away.  To prevent that I’m going to discuss three simple things you can do to improve your writing style.

 

You Need to Talk Directly to Your Audience

 

You should write your post as if you’re talking to a specific reader.  I find that picturing an actual person helps me, it can be someone you know or just an imaginary profile that you are targeting.  If it helps you can even imagine you’re emailing them or writing them a Facebook post or comment.

It’s important to use words like “I” and “you”, even though you were probably taught not to at school.  When you’re blogging it’s preferable for you to write from your personal experience and to invite the reader to step into your post.

 

Blogging is telling your story and creating a connection with your audience

Here’s a great example from Jim Stewart’s post 9 Tips for Recovering Your Google Rankings After a Site Hack.  I’ve highlighted his use of “you” and “your” to help understand what I’m talking about.

“If your WordPress site has been hacked, fear not.  By following these tips you can fortify your site and kick wannabe hackers to the curb.

And provided you act quickly, your WordPress site’s SEO traffic—and even its reputation—can recover within 24 hours.”

In the sample, Jim is using a clear, direct writing style that speaks directly to his reader’s problem.  It’s also very easy to read, understand, and engage with.  it’s almost like having Jim on the phone, talking you through fixing your problem.

You may notice that as Jim does here, always try to use the singular “you” rather than the plural “you”.  I do hope that you have more than one reader.   However, each reader will experience your blog posts individually.  Avoid writing things like “some of you” unless you’re deliberately trying to create a sense of a group environment.

 

You Should Use an Informal Writing Style

 

Writing styles range from very formal to very informal.  I’ve included some examples to help you understand the differences:

Very formal:   Users are not allowed to duplicate, modify, distribute, reproduce or resell any of the included materials.

Formal:   To request a refund, complete our form, include your customer reference number.  Your refund guarantee period is for 30 calendar days from your purchase date.

Neutral:   You will get a confirmation mail after subscribing to our newsletter.  Click the link in the email to confirm your subscription.

Informal:   Hi Buddy, send the link to that thing we talked about.  Thanks!

Very informal:  C U 2morrow!!!

 

You Should Use an Informal Writing Style for Your Blog Posts

Your blogging should be an informal or at least a casual neutral writing style.  Write as if you were emailing a friend.  Doing this makes you seem warm and approachable. Typically, you’ll be using:

  • Contractions like “you’ll” for “you will”
  • Straightforward language such as “get” rather than “receive” or “obtain”
  • Chatty phrases like “you’ll be all set”
  • Possibly slang, if it fits with your personal style “thing”
  • Short sentences and paragraphs
  • Some “ungrammatical” features where appropriate, starting a sentence with “And”

 

This is a good place to take a closer look at some of the blogs you read yourself.  Check out how they create a sense of rapport through their language?  How would you rewrite part of their post to make it more or less formal?  What words or phrases would you change?

 

Give Your Reader Space to Respond

 

Conversations are two-way which means letting your readers have a say too.  If you’ve decided to close comments on your blog, you should open a different avenue for your readers to get involved.  You could use a Facebook page or group to engage your audience.

Remember, when you’re writing your post you don’t need to have the last word on everything.  You don’t have to tie up every loose end.  It’s fine to say you’re still thinking about a particular subject. Or that you’re still learning about it.  This gives your readers the opportunity to jump in and share their expertise or experiences.

 

You may want to consider opening up a different avenue for readers to get involved, such as a Facebook page or group.

You can simply ask readers to add to your post.  If you’ve written, “10 Great Ways to Have More Fun With Your Blogging”.  Ask your readers to share their own ideas in the comments.  Some people won’t comment unless you invite them to do so.  You could add a suggestion such as “What would you add to this list?” or “Have you tried any of these ideas?”)

 

Some of My Best Ideas Come From Comments

 

Some of my best blog post ideas have come from a reader’s suggestion or question in a comment.  Many other comments have gotten me to think more about a particular topic.

There’s no one “right” way to blog.  Some blogs will be more conversational than others.  If you’d like to make your own posts a bit more conversational, look for opportunities to:

  • Use “you” and “I”.  Talk directly to your reader.  Share from your own experiences where it is appropriate.
  • Make your language fairly informal.  Don’t worry about everything being “correct,” let your voice and style shine through.
  • Open the conversation, invite readers to comment.  Encourage them to check out your Facebook page or join your Facebook group.

 

Have you tried making your blog more conversational?  Or is it something you’re just getting started with?  Either way, leave a comment below to share your experiences and tips.