How to reduce the bounce rate of your blog?

Bounce rate is the most important key performance indicator (KPI) of your blog once you start receiving decent amount of visitors. Google defines bounce rate as follows:

Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page. Use this metric to measure visit quality – a high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance pages aren’t relevant to your visitors…

Reasons for high bounce rate and its repercussions

As per the above definition, the prime reason for the visitors to ‘bounce’ away from your blog is the irrelevant content. The other reasons are the ‘unpleasant’ look and feel or the landing page or its low readability levels. Also, the users may hit the back button if they land on pages that have too many ads. Yet another reason for higher bounce levels is purchased traffic.

Regardless of the reasons, a high bounce rate result in low average page views per visit which in turn will affect your traffic ranks, especially the Alexa rank. A site’s Alexa rank is derived from (i) the number of page views, and (ii) page views per visit. High bounce rate could also bring down the ad income (not just CPM ads) from your blog.

A lot of people believe that it is okay to have bounce rate levels of 40-45% for blogs, though I personally think that it should be well below 25%. Also, you should treat the bounce rates of search visitors, direct traffic and referral visitors separately to address the issue more effectively. You may check out your blog’s bounce rate trend and details via your Google Analytics data.

Tips to reduce the bounce rate

Reducing the bounce rate is no rocket science! It simply means that the readers should be enticed or prompted to do just one more click from the landing page. The following simple tips may be helpful in reducing the bounce rate of your blog drastically.

  • Place your recent posts widget above the fold and in a highly visible area of your blog and have at least 5-6 recent posts listed there. Alternatively you could use ‘Most popular posts’ depending on which works better for your kind of content and post frequency.
  • Use excerpts of your posts in the home page instead of the whole text of the recent post. This will definitely ask the regular (non-feed) visitor to do one more click to read the whole story.
  • Put interesting video links (not in-place controls) or image thumbnails on your landing page, on clicking which the user should be taken to another page of your blog. Put an intriguingly titled link somewhere above the fold (could be even within the post content) that takes your search visitor to some of your services, offers or older posts.
  • Put keywords that are relevant to your content so that search visitors are not surprised at what they get to see in the landing page.
  • At the end of each post, put the Related Posts that may invite some users to the other similar content on your blog. There is an excellent plugin titled landing sites that could lure your search visitors to read more.
  • Link your services from your feed. This may help your blog if majority of your readers are RSS readers.
  • Stop any paid-to-click or cheap purchased traffic services that you might have been using until today. Even Entrecard could increase the bounce rate, I believe.
  • Any external site links (not everything) and referral links may be redirected via javascript redirect (not meta redirect) on an intermediate page that is executed after your analytics script.
  • Avoid too many ads on your landing page. In addition do not use any pop-ups, pop-unders or interstitial ads those will irritate the user and force him/her to navigate away from your blog immediately.
  • In addition to the above, always offer the reader the next possibilities that he/she could do at any time during his/her stay in your blog.

I hope this post was useful to you. Please let me know if you have any other tips to reduce bounce rate.

This is the 100th post on Dollar$hower.com

Comments

  1. Nagraj :

    congrats ajith and vidya!!!! for ur 100 th post………….hope u convert it into millions…..

    Interesting post about bounce rate…..to be honest i did not know about all these things before reading ur post………will try to make neceesary changes as suggested by …………in order to reduce the bounce rate for my blog…………..

    Nagraj’s last blog post…Simple animal with complex genome : Trichoplax adhaerens

  2. Hi Ajith, Congrats for completing 100 posts in such a short span of 6 months. Great achievement. Keep rocking.

    Prasanna’s last blog post…Share your photos in an amazingly new way using Microsoft’s Photosynth

  3. Hussein :

    My usual bounce rate based from google analytics is 70% I think it is not that good and I have to work on it to make it lower. Great tips anyway.

  4. @Nagraj, thank you very much for the encouragement.
    The bounce rate is something that you need to keep a close watch at, mainly because that takes a huge % of potential long term readers away from you.

    @Pras, thanks a lot… Will definitely try to keep the momentum…

    @Hussein, 70% bounce rate is a dash too high. 40 to 50 is acceptable at this stage and later you could bring down further.

    Thanks everyone!

  5. Hi Ajith,

    Congratulations on your 100th post. That’s a great accomplishment.

    Bounce rate is something I’ve looked at a lot. On one blog of mine, it’s pretty high (70%) and the other it runs between 45-52%. I used most of your tips and am also trying to do more internal linking in my posts. Hopefully that will help the number to decrease even lower. Thanks for all of the tips!

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post…NBOTW – Determined To Be The Best

  6. Hi Barbara,
    Thank you for your comments. I am trying to get the old ‘landing sites’ plugin code modified to attract search visitors… hope to bring my bounce rate further to mid 30s with that.

    Cheers,
    Ajith

  7. Ajith,

    I am definitely going to learn a lot from your site :-) I had no idea what bounce rate was in Analytics until I read this article. My bounce rate is really high – it is averaging at about 70%! And I seem to already be doing everything recommended in your article except for providing video links and using the landing pages plugin. Hmm … something to think about.

    Kim

    Kim Woodbridge’s last blog post…WordPress – How to Find the Best Free Themes

  8. SK :

    Congrats A & V on your 100th post – great achievement !!

  9. Thanks SK for the encouraging words :) Friends like you really keep us get going…

    Cheers, Ajith

Trackbacks

  1. […] couple of posts ago I talked about some tips to reduce the bounce rate of your blog. In this post I shall talk about 10 things that you could do in order get buy-in from […]

  2. […] TipsWe have talked a lot about bounce rate in the past (Bounce Rate = % of Single page visits, Read What is bounce rate and how to reduce it?). Many times, I have referred to bounce rate in the context of blog design, mobile device support, […]

Speak Your Mind

*