Wondering how to reduce your bounce rate? If you take the right steps it is nowhere near the challenge it seems, all you need to do is improve your user experience. Here we delve into why a bounce rate is key for converting traffic and creating loyal readers; as well as what you can do to lower bounce rates.
*Disclaimer! This post contains affiliate links!
What Is A Bounce Rate
According to Google Analytics, a bounce rate is:
“Bounce rate is single-page sessions divided by all sessions, or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the Analytics server.”
In layman’s terms, a bounce rate is all about increasing the number of blog posts the reader views, and how long they stay on your site. Just from this definition, you may be able to understand why bounce rate is so important. A low bounce rate could scream problems for your blog, or areas that are just not working. Noticing your bounce rate is an essential process to keeping people on your site. As I have said though, improving bounce rate is an easy process!
Why Are Bounce Rates Important?
Bounce rates and conversion come hand in hand, they really do. Very few users will read one post and subscribe to an email subscription. For this, they’ll read 3 posts, and get to know you. People want to know that your content is valuable and if they choose to opt in to something additional, that the product will be something they want. Posts can be (if you are monetising), a try before you buy. They want to know what you can offer for free, so, therefore, know the calibre when you are charging. Get them hooked on your blog, and more chance than not, they will return.
What Is a Good Bounce Rate?
This will always depend on the type of site you have. Ideally, anything under 40% is perfect. 40-55% is okay, and anything from 55-65%+ is a call for concern. Seasons and external factors can change this, so do not rely on statistics too much. However, you should choose to analyse your bounce rate at least fortnightly to monthly (via Google Analytics) to understand how users have reacted to changes on your blog.
Below are two images. The first – my bounce rate at the end of 2020. The second, my bounce rate 2 months later. Even though my session duration is not as high as I would like – this is due to some of my older posts being less than 1000 words. Shorter posts, obviously, will not take as long to read. However, the bounce rate has increased massively which is always positive.
How To Reduce Your Bounce Rate
Step 1: Related Content
It will be difficult for users to stay and continue reading your blog if they do not have areas where they can view older posts. You have to make it easy for the user. I use a carousel on my home page to show past posts on a revolver – to bring traffic to older posts. I then have my latest three posts on my sidebar – you could also choose to add trending posts (people like to read what other people read).
The key is to insert old posts in a way that is not spamming the reader or looks like a walking ad. For me, the best conversion comes from inline related posts, just a simple, “Because you are reading this, I thought you would like…”. When inserting past content into your current posts, ensure they relate to the same topic, to encourage users to click. For example, I have a post on spending a day in Monte Carlo, in which I link my 2-day guide to Nice, France.
Step 2: Internal & External Links
Just with anything, traffic and conversion will always be higher when your content is out there. Try to guest post on other blogs and get to utilising social media. Driving new traffic to your blog can be a great way to start when understanding how to reduce your bounce rate. Offer multiple links when guest posting to increase the chances of clicking.
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Step 3: Building Relationships
While I do not rely on Twitter comment threads or a “follow for follow” mentality, it can be a great way of establishing relationships. Over time, I have been able to rely on a set of bloggers who will always read my content and engage. Relationships like these are great for maintaining brand awareness and increasing conversion. Get to know other bloggers in your niche, and encourage them to read your content too. Should you be able to bring them to your site, keep them there, entice them to read more, and try not to upsell straightaway. That will simply cause a poor user experience.
I also focus on bringing in new readers via search engines. Get to understand keywords and how you can use them. I use Keysearch, which has allowed me to have 15 ranking posts on Google in a month by doing all of the hard work for me.
Step 4: Popups
As I had just mentioned, upselling is not the way to keep people on your blog. They need to trust you first. Popups are loved and hated by bloggers, and the opinion will change wherever you go. I have been on sites that open 4 popups on the home page, which if I am honest, is way too overwhelming. To keep your bounce rate high, if you are offering a popup, do choose for it to appear either halfway through a post or at the end of your post. Very few people will sign up for anything without knowing the person behind the upsell.
Step 5: Quality Content
The best thing you can do to reduce your bounce rate? Write good content. It can be the easiest thing to do and does not require skill, just experience. Get to know what your readers want to read, and the niche you have chosen thoroughly. When choosing a niche, the key is to write about topics that not only you are passionate about, but you know enough about. I always ask myself: can I write 1000+ words about this? If I can, and it fits my niche, then the blog post is a go. I love reading other blogs to understand different reading styles. Personally, I prefer a friendly, but informative tone and want to convey that myself (How am I doing?)
One of my favourite methods to improve my content was reading “The Art of Proof Reading” by my friend Eleanor. She explicitly breaks down the do’s and dont’s when it comes to post writing, and how to come across as professional and friendly. Check it out!
Making these simple changes has worked for my blog, and I hope that it works for you too! Great content deserves to do well, and part of that will always be due to reducing your bounce rate.