How to make your blog sticky to lower your bounce rate

how to reduce bounce rate

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.

how to reduce 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.

how to reduce bounce rate

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.

how to reduce bounce rate

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.

how to reduce bounce rate

Do you have any tips to reduce bounce rate?

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17 Comments

  1. April 19, 2016 / 7:13 am

    the reasons of why you want people to stay on your blog is so true haha
    you got some really great tips! x

    jess x | wellwellgirls.blogspot.com

  2. April 19, 2016 / 7:42 am

    I shall try compressing my posts! Thanks for that tip. My knowledge on all this is all because of you 🙂 as helpful as ever Corinne xx

  3. April 19, 2016 / 7:58 am

    WordPress seems to make this so much easier than blogger! I try to do internal links but sometimes I just don’t have anything relevant so I struggle. My bounce rate is really high and can’t seem to lower it at all :(. Going to try and break my posts up a bit more x

    Tamz | http://www.throughneweyesx.com

  4. April 19, 2016 / 8:25 am

    You’re always full of helpful hints!! I think I’ll try and utilize some of this over the next week or so 🙂 Tania xx taniamichele.blogspot.co.uk

  5. April 19, 2016 / 10:33 am

    I try to include links where I can and now that I have related posts plugin, my bounce rate has definitely started dropping a little. Gunna go and read some of your other tips now! x

  6. April 19, 2016 / 12:21 pm

    That sounds so convenient to find on wordpress great information thanks.

  7. April 19, 2016 / 2:01 pm

    I am already doing some of the stuff you recommend here but my bounce rate is still pretty high. What do you think is a good bounce rate for a blog?

  8. April 19, 2016 / 7:44 pm

    I do all this, I’m not sure how important is for my bounce rate. I try to add links to old posts so I don’t feel nobody will ever read them again. :))

  9. April 19, 2016 / 8:01 pm

    Brilliant post! I have been trying to link to my old posts more over the last few months and I have some of my own favourite posts in my sidebar – might look into seeing about getting a “related post” plug-in for Blogger; hopping over on your link as soon as I post this comment! 🙂

  10. April 20, 2016 / 12:49 am

    I find that having internal links really helps alot. I need to do something about my site speed though.

  11. April 20, 2016 / 2:14 am

    I feel like I do most, if not all, of these, but if I don’t comment on other people’s blogs, I technically don’t exist in the blogging world. I can tweet every day, but without the time to visit other blogs, it makes very little difference.

  12. April 20, 2016 / 7:58 am

    I have just moved over to WordPress and I’m finding it so handy for all of this! Thanks this post is really helpful too. I think I need to start laying out my external links better so that people read to the end and then click, rather than going off halfway through!

    Laura xx | Loved By Laura

  13. April 20, 2016 / 4:59 pm

    I think I’m doing all these but my bounce rate is still in between 72-74%, honestly I have no idea what else I can do to reduce it. 🙁

  14. April 21, 2016 / 9:47 am

    Bouce is so hard! I know twitter is also an issue, leaving a direct link to a post then just coming off it once you have read it – I know im bad for doing this, especially when I am up to date with the rest of the posts!

    http://www.makeerinover.co.uk

  15. April 24, 2016 / 9:36 pm

    This is a god send! I have been struggling with my bounce rate recently. This post is, hopefully, going to help me fix that up! Thank you! X

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