If there were one reason your blog had a high bounce rate – a measure of how many people leave your blog without clicking on anything – then we’d all fix it.
However in today’s blogemerica, there could be probably 14 reasons on your blog that create high bounce rate. There could be 1,000 reasons.
But there are features you can add which will immediately lower your bounce rate, and things you can remove – sometimes things you once loved – that will help improve your bounce rate too.
In this post I’ll target 14 strategies to reduce bounce rate, along with things we bloggers mess up, especially if you are new and just created a blog.
Why we need to reduce bounce rate
This one really stumps us sometimes. Is bounce rate just another number we see once we setup Google Analytics or is this stuff actually important. Why should you reduce bounce rate?
In truth, some bounces are OK. If your article is so good people get what they need right away, people may just leave satisfied. Think of any time you read eHow to WikiHow and get your 8 step answers on how to take a screenshot on PC, or how to save a gif to Gmail. These might be bounces even though your blog served it’s purpose.
Heck, doing my research at KissMetrics on this very topic, I almost bounced from their blog! But I made sure to click to their about page for good measures.
We will all have some bounce rate. For successful blogs it could even be as high as 75%.
BUT! We can build better blogs.
In short, you want to improve your bounce rate, because it’s actually a sound measure of your blog’s success.
Let me put it like this:
Let’s say your blog were a grocery store. In this grocery store you have one really good free sample, let’s say some French bread with cheddar cheese. Everyone stops by for your free sample, say thanks, is really happy then LEAVES.
What do you get from that exchange? Nothing, really.
If someone leaves this grocery store of yours without at least browsing one other aisle for food, it’s a bounce. All that person would have to do is click below and leave a comment, for crying out loud, and it’s not a bounce!
If visitors to your blog stop by for free advice but don’t interact, you get nothing. You probably won’t even know it either.
This is of course assuming you have some good content people are reading, which is an assumption I’m more than willing to make.
The idea here is that you need to ask readers to interact with your blog (leave comment, subscribe, share it with your best friend) because this is where you gain.
And ultimately, a bounce rate is just as much a measure of how much your gaining from each reader as it is how healthy your blog is.
Remember, you need people to click around. I can’t remember the last time someone subscribed from my blog or bought through an affiliate link without clicking, can you?
Now for those 14 reasons (and 14 things you can do today to reduce bounce rate)
Let me think up the best ways to reduce bounce rate right here. Shouldn’t be that hard either. As I sit back in my study fire blazing cats snuggled in for bed, these are swirling around my head already, because these are the features and tools I use at all of my blogs to drive interaction and clicks, thus reducing bounce rate.
#1: Your titles are vague and non-descript
Simple to fix this one. You can use Google Trends to look up the popular keywords and phrases surrounding your topic. Include a few of them with actionable verbs in your titles to reduce bounces and improve traffic.
#2: Blog does not appear a wealth of knowledge
To fix this one – one of our first problems here – choose a WordPress theme that lists your post entires in snippet form down the homepage. Many readers enjoy a good scroll until they find an interesting read, which they hopefully click on.
#3: Too many colors that don’t make any sense to ANYONE but YOU
Two is enough. One color for headers and logos alike, and one color for links and clickable things.
#4: Wrong audience arriving
If you run a blog about finance advice and people show up looking for fiance advice, you may not get clicks. Not that this example is worth anything at all aside from hopefully reminding you that the right audience matters. But thinking about what your right audience (target audience) is can cause you to create things more readers do click on.
#5: No related content links
Just put a list of your best content or trending popular posts in your sidebar. Make it a sticky widget if you need to.
#6: Menu not getting you clicks
Make it more simple, then make one menu item (like your about page) stand out with some catchy text.
#7: No call to actions
Need these in your intro and footer. Always should have them even if they are subtle.
#8: No pretty graphics
Check out the Free Guide (Start Now) Blogging Guide graphic at WPBeginner. So cool and clean. I clicked it just out of boredom and procrastination a moment ago, and, probably related in some UX way I won’t understand for a while, ending up buying a MaxCDN package through them too. Definitely a win for WPBeginner, props to them.
#9: No pretty icons
Easy to add anywhere on your blog with plugins like WP SVG Icons.
#10: Too much dense text
Break it up or reposition it so your points get better and better down the page.
#11: Typos blatantly clear
If readers see a typo first thing, they are very likely to deem your content unworth their time reading it. Insta-bounce.
#12: Poorly chosen font
Use proven readable fonts like Helvetica, Georgia or Arial and nothing too far off the beaten path unless you’ve tested it or observed a blog you admire using it 🙂
#13: Not enough buttons
You can add and style a button in any blog post if you know a little about how button html and css works!
#14: Header a mess
It’s the first thing readers see, so that logo aligned with your navigation menu, already! Also, keep in my that a skinnier header get’s readers to your content and other offers quicker, even if it is tempting to insert a hugely tall logo.
Tell us about your journey through bounce rate!
Have you had a look at your bounce rate recently? Is it a high bounce rate? (50-80%) I know the DearBlogger community includes a few folks who’ve been running blogs for about 6 months now, and am curious how you guys are fairing now that you’re content has had some time to grow.
And, speaking of call to actions, remember that you can still get a free copy of our eBook “Bye-Bye Bounce Rate” for a limited time.
Regardless of your blog stature, let me know how your bounce rate is doing by dropping a quick comment below! Thanks for reading, as usual!