If you have been blogging for a while, you should have know different tactics of driving traffic to a site, but keeping visitors to stay longer and addicted to your pages is another thing.
It can be frustrating, especially if you have invest time and money to drive traffic to your product page or blog post, and you don't want that hard work to go into waste. Thus, businesses needs to optimize their first impression in order to reduce bounce rate.
Bounce rate is the measure of how visitor's come to a page of your site and leave without viewing any other pages. It will give you an important glimpse of whether or not visitor's is satisfied with your landing or brand page.
Bounce rate should not always be considered as a relevant metric. A blog that offer all of it's content on one page will have a high bounce rate.
When a visitor's comes to your site and find exactly what they are searching for, or a solution to their problem, then why do they have to stay longer or visit other pages?
I believe that the more a blog grows, the more diverse traffic it gets, more likely some of the traffic turn to bounce. The two legitimate factors that impact bounce rate are direct and search engine traffic.
Direct traffic - These are most likely regular visitor's that come to check if you have published a new post by typing your blog URL in the address, and leave after reading it, thus increasing bounce rate.
Search engine traffic - The more popular a blog gets, the more it will be ranked for more keywords. Those keyword can brings in traffic but not bound to be targeted.
Assuming i mention a story book in my blog post and started ranking for it, people searching for the book are most likely not interested in web design tips, so this will lead to a bounce back.
Here are some insight effective ways to reduce bounce rate and get a jump on SEO
1. Improve your design
The first impression of any landing page is how well organized and neat the site design is. Try to look at your design with an unbiased eye and ask yourself, is this appealing?
Create an engaging design that can easily capture reader's attention and gives them a visually harmonious feel about your blog with a clear navigation to direct reader's to another pages of your site.
2. Improve loading time
The loading time of your webpage is not only an important factor in SEO, but also in having a visitor to stay on your site. The more widgets or plugins and content your site contains, the slower your pages will load and the faster your site visitor's will leave.
3. Check browser compatibility
Using one browser throughout the development of your site, failing to understand that what looks good in one browser may display completely different thing in another browser's. You can use your analytic tool to see the bounce by browser type or use a cross-browser compatibility testing tool like browser stack to check a page that influence your bounce rate.
4. Use responsive layout
Due to large number of user's surfing the web with smartphones, it is very important to have a mobile and large screen version of your website. If you have been receiving a large chuck of traffic from mobile users, then it is time to take a step further in developing your mobile site using CSS media queries to scale your site to fits wide range of any devices.
5. Navigation and usability
Having a super speed webpage isn't enough, what happens when a visitor land on your page? If a new visitor's can't tell what your page is all about within a few seconds, then there is a problem. Don't make people to hunt for information. Providing related links to other pages of your site can go a long way in engaging your readers more.
Implement search box can also be a great way of giving additional information to user's willing to learn more. Let user tell you want they want. Google custom search is a free service, so why do you have to suffer your page with it?
6. Avoid distractions
If new visitor's to your site is deluged with audio ads or player, pop-up ads, fly-out, auto-loading live chat and some other disruptive element, it can cause great increase in your blog bounce rate.
Pop-up annoys most loyal readers. In some rare cases, they may be useful to get people to sign up to a mailing list or increase social subscribers but with a well-timing.
Let's face it, nobody likes a site loaded with irrelevant element especially auto play audio or video. It is data consuming and it makes reader's feel disgruntled.
7. Ads placement
Stuffing your webpage with different ads don't only pissed off reader's, but can also get you penalized by Google. Though most website cannot survive without advertisement but you have to be conscious in positioning ads. Advertisement that's overlapping or too close to your content body or navigation can cause accidental click which force visitor's to leave your webpage. Also pop-ups ads are irritating and intrusive for visitor's.
8. Open external link in new window
When you are linking to another resource within your blog content, It is very important to open all external links in new window instead of redirecting user's off your site.
Including target="_blank" attribute within external link will perform the little magic.
Here is an example: <a href="http://www.example.com" target="_blank">Keyword</a>
9. Use good contrast
What else reader's observe beside great design or quality content? Certainly your blog contrast. No one will stay longer on a site they can't read either the font style or size is bad or the contrast level is poor. Paragraph with clear contrast, colors, patterns or boldly font quickly grab the attention of reader's and makes important content easier to find. Thus, your site should be readable as possible in any kind of devices with variety of screen resolutions.
10. Use catchy headline and short paragraph
Headlines needs to entice reader's to read on. Using catchy phrases in your headlines will quickly grad readers attention. Initially, this post headline suppose to be "How to reduce bounce rate" but how does it sound when you hear "11 effective ways to reduce your website's bounce rate," catchy right?
A big chunk of text are off-putting and no one is ready to read it. Use short paragraph, bullet points for better readability.
11. Keep writing great content
You can build a site that is constructively built with an eye catching design, load faster than a single HTML page, works perfectly well in all browsers, but if your content is inferiority, then you can expect a rapid shoot in your bounce rate.
- Check for any grammatical or typo error
- Keep it simple enough to understand
- Connect emotionally
- Use paragraph and bullet points to highlight important phrases
- Consider reader's point of view
- Study your community and write different topics on what they love reading in that same series.
The above list are written from realistic standpoints. They worth thinking about probably trying, but wasn't an enchantment that promise to reduce bounce rate below 10%, nevertheless you can still get an appreciable bounce rate below an average.
What other factors do you think it can influence high bounce rate? How have you addresses the issue of bounce rate? Please share your views.