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Sunday, 14 April 2019

Reduce High Bounce Rate Using Smart Tips

Among the hordes of problems that bloggers face, one of the prominent problem is high bounce rate. If you use Google analytics tool or Alexa.com to check the traffic statistics of your blog, you might be well aware of bounce rate. Unlike visitor count, high bounce rate is unwanted! This article covers topics like- ‘what is bounce rate’, ‘factors responsible for it’, ‘tips to reduce it’ etc.

Reduce High Bounce Rate Using Smart Tips


What is bounce rate of a site/blog?

If you are a layman and know nothing about bounce rate, let me explain it to you. I’ll try to keep it simple. Basically, when a visitor arrives on your blog (following a Google search/from Facebook/Twitter etc), he arrives on a ‘landing page’. After going through the landing page, if the visitor chooses to leave your blog, it is called a bounce!

The percentage of such visitors, who come to your blog, lands on a page, goes through that page and chooses to leave your blog is called bounce rate. I hope you understand its definition by now.

Now, let us discuss about the tolerable limits of bounce rate, when should one be worried about it etc.

Tolerable limits of Bounce rate

In my quest to reduce bounce rate of my blogs, I have been reading many articles and experimenting. I stumbled upon an article related to bounce rate on Wikipedia. There, I read that a bounce rate of 50% is average and very much tolerable. Bounce rate above 60% should be taken seriously. If the bounce rate is above 80%, there could be something seriously wrong with your blog.

Check the bounce rate of your blog/site

Before you set out to reduce bounce rate, find out what the existing bounce rate is. The best tool for this purpose is Google analytics. Alexa.com also provides accurate information regarding the bounce rate.

If the value is less than 40%, your blog is doing exceptionally well. If it is around 50%, there is no need to panic! You should be concerned if the value of bounce rate is above 60%.

Factors responsible for high bounce rate

Basically, a bounce is said to have happened when a visitor leaves a blog after visiting just the ‘landing page’. A high bounce rate means very large number of such ‘single page visitors’. There are various factors responsible for high bounce rate. The prominent ones are:

1 Boring, Useless content
The prime culprit for high bounce rate is the content itself. Imagine yourself visiting such a useless blog. What would you do next? You would simply leave that site! If a visitor finds the content on your blog useless, nothing will prevent him from leaving!

2 Poor Loading speed
Poor loading speed also plays a big role in increasing bounce rate. If a user has had to wait for ages to get a glimpse of your blog, he’d assume that surfing your blog will consume lots of time. Chances are that he may leave your blog after visiting a single page.

3 Poor selection of design, fonts and colors
If a user finds it difficult to read your blog content, finds the font too small, finds the color combination to be affecting readability, he/she may leave.

4 Poor Navigation
A blog with poor navigation set-up is a nightmare for visitors. When a visitor can’t make his way around a site, he/she simply leaves.

Tips to reduce high bounce rate

Now that you are well aware of the factors responsible for bounce rate, let us check out the solutions. I’ve personally tested these tips on my blogs and got desired results with time.

1 Treat each post on your blog like a ‘Landing page’

This is what you should do first. Treat each post like a landing page and optimize it. The blog posts should be so designed that after landing on one, the visitor automatically finds another interesting post and clicks on it. The longer this ‘clicking’ process goes on, the better it is to reduce bounce rate.

But how to make sure that this process goes on? How to literally ‘force’ visitors to read other posts on your blog? How to transform each blog post into that ‘perfect landing page’? Brace yourself, these methods will help you build such a landing page :

# Use related posts plugin
The old and tested way to keep visitors engaged is to use related posts plugin. The function of such plugins is to suggest similar posts to a visitor. A variety of such plugins are available for WordPress users. I personally use WordPress Related posts by Zemanta.

Other good related posts plugins are- n relate and YARPP (Yet Another Related Posts Plugin). Such plugins usually displays related posts at the end of a blog post. Thumbnails are also attached. This prompts the users to click and read new posts.

# Display all time popular posts/most commented posts etc on sidebar
A post must have some stuff in it to become the ‘most popular post’ or the ‘most commented post’. By using a sidebar widget to display such ‘celebrity posts’, visitors will notice them and read those posts.

A tabbed sidebar widget will do the job. It will effortlessly display the most read, most commented and most shared plugins.

# Improve quality and usefulness of existing posts
This is the most important part. The quality and usefulness of a post decides whether a visitor will hang around for more. There is a saying that ‘first impression is the last impression’. The same principle is at work here. The first post a visitor reads will frame an impression about the blog in his mind. Avoid making grave mistakes like poor language, poorly written articles etc.

# Use internal linking to its fullest
There are plugins to get this job done. But I prefer to do it manually. Wherever necessary, do internal linking. Don’t overdo it though. Remember to make these internal links open in new tabs when the visitor clicks on them. This will allow them to finish the present post and move on to the new one afterwards.

2 Increase Loading speed of your blog

There is no substitute for this part. Improving page loading speed is beneficial in two ways. Firstly, users love fast loading sites/blogs. Secondly, Google, loves such blogs too!

When a visitor finds that posts are loading very fast, he won’t hesitate in exploring the blog a little more! But this won’t happen if the quality part of your content is compromised (I’m sorry to say that).

3 Tidy up Design, Navigation, Color setup, Fonts etc

Make sure that your blog is easily navigable. A visitor should be able to easily find his way around various sections of your blog. Don’t go for too sophisticated navigation systems. The simple the navigation system, the better it will be.

Blogs should be so designed that they work effortlessly across various devices and platforms. Nowadays, more and more visitors are using their smartphones and tablets to access blogs/sites. Make sure that the theme and design used adapts to browsers of such devices.

Color combination should be pleasing to the eye. It should compliment readability. Usually white background color and black text color is preferred. If you want a different combination, make sure that it does not affect readability negatively.

When it comes to font size, keep it at an optimum best. Font size should be neither too small, nor too big. Rectifying these small factors will have a telling impact in reducing bounce rate!

Try to write list styled articles. Provide adequate spacing between paragraphs. Use short paragraphs. Avoid excessively long ones. Try to keep your language simple.

4 Avoid these annoying things

I’m mentioning a list of things you need to avoid using on your blog. I have noticed that these things irritate users and results in them leaving the site abruptly.

# Pop Up ads
# Too many ads
# Too much flash and animated content

What are you waiting for? At once implement these tips and work on reducing bounce rate of your blog. After you are done, let some time pass by. On checking your blog’s statistics, you’ll find reduced bounce rate! I’ve got encouraging results, and you too will. Give your valuable feedback in comment section.

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