Do you ever find yourself on a website that you have either found from Googling a problem (wait, do you capitalise Google when it’s used as a verb), or been attracted to the headline on social media? I bet most of the time you read skim read the article and then press the x or back button and bounce right off. AMIRITE?
I mentioned last week in my latest Google Analytics post about looking at bounce rate to see if you need to make your blog more sticky. I also mentioned in my SEO tips for 2016 post that one of the factors Google takes into account then putting relevant page in order on search, is if the page satisfies the users needs – which is measured by their time on your site and if they go back to the search term to look for more answers.
To make your blog sticky means to keep people on your site for as long as possible.
You want people to stay on your site for a few reasons:
- More page views
- More chance of the reader coming back
- More chance of the reader following you on social
- More chance of the reader signing up to your e-mail list
- Increase in bounce rate
- Better ranking in search engines
Take a look at my first post in my Google Analytics series to find out how to set up Google Analytics and find your bounce rate. (see what I did there?💁)
How to reduce your bounce rate.
What is bounce rate? Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that leave your site after viewing just one page. So the lower the number the better.
Include internal links.
Link to your old content within posts. Content that is relevant to the article, as I’ve done above. This encourages people to click on links and almost get lost in your blogs.
Think of Wikipedia and how well that does at keeping you on the site by linking names, events, places and more.
WordPress makes this really easy by letting you just search for previous posts when you go to insert a URL, rather than having to find the old post.
Just highlight the text you want to use as a link, type a search query and watch it load up similar content.
Add a related posts widget or plugin.
I have the Related Post plugin on WordPress. There are also many ways you can add them to Blogger sites, such as with LinkWithin.
This encourages people to click through to similar stories.
I really like the Related Posts plugin as it allows you to pick your own related posts by search and select those you want to feature.
Make sure you have an About page.
In the first chapter of my 8 week blog course #ImproveYourBlog, I go into a bit of detail about what you should include in an About page and why it’s important to keep it updated. As one of your most viewed pages on your blog, you need to use it to really sell yourself and your blogs message to your readers.
Have a start here page.
Similar to an about page, you might want to have something quite eye catching in your header, menu bar or side bar that gets new readers to click. Maybe something that says something like:
- First time visiting?
- Start here!
- New reader? Click here.
This is similar to an about page, but can give you a chance to tell readers what your blog is about and direct them towards some of your most popular content.
Use your sidebar.
You might want to consider making a graphic for some of your most popular posts and having them in your side bars to encourage people to click through to them.
Make your content easy to read.
I have a full post about how to do this – by breaking up blog posts using images, bullet points, headlines and what to consider in terms of style, topic and how you use English.
You should to avoid writing huge chunks of text, using big words when there’s a short alternative and using complicated sentence structure.
Keep it simple, slick and clean as most people want to get the information they need as fast as possible. For more details, view my post about how to write and display great content.
Make your site user friendly.
If you site is hard to use or is full of popups, auto-play music and adverts, chances are people are just going to click off without even reading.
I’m sure you’ve been on those types of websites that basically rely on you to click an advert by accident. They’re usually click bait type sites that you have to click ‘next’ for each image. Think ‘what celebs looked like when kids’ type of articles.
They’re infuriating, right?
You want your site to be the opposite of that! Read more about how to make your blog user friendly here.
Speed your site up.
A slow loading website is almost as infuriating as a click bait one – so you want your site loads quickly. Users will often give up your site takes too long.
One way you can speed up your page load time is compress to your images – particularly on photo heavy posts. This makes the size of your graphics smaller without compromising the quality, therefore they load faster. You can do this by running your files through something like compressjpeg.
Do you have any tips to reduce bounce rate?