The bounce rate is the percentage that people visit your blog and do not take any action, such as clicking a link, filling in a form, purchasing, commenting, or making a purchase. You must create engaging content and improve the user experience to maintain a good bounce rate.
What is a good bounce rate?
Your industry and type of website will determine your bounce rate. Blogs can be described as “content” websites. This means that you create content for your readers to read. You can also monetize your blog content through affiliate links, or selling products and/or services. Bloggers have an average bounce rate of 40% to 60%, which is considered a “good” bounce rate.
Good and normal bounce rates across industries
Accurate Data & Analytics
You should also be aware that Google Analytics data may not reflect the correct information if multiple plugins are feeding into the tool. This was something I had to learn the hard way even though I’ve been blogging for years. One day, I installed a plugin that fed data to Google Analytics. (Read the fine print! Even though I already had a Google Analytics plug-in, it was still installed.
My bounce rate dropped to 50%. It is not common to see a bounce rate this high for bloggers, so it was a sign that something had happened. Look at the plugins you have and check for duplicates if you notice a high bounce rate. If your bounce rate is between 40-60% (good for bloggers), then you may just be creating great content that people enjoy reading.
You can see that sometime in February, I downloaded a plugin that gave me duplicate data in Google Analytics, resulting in a sharp drop in my bounce rate. This wasn’t discovered until the end of April. I removed the plugin and my bounce rate came back up literally overnight.
9 ways to lower your blog’s bounce rate
A high bounce rate on your blog means that your content is poor, readers encounter errors when viewing content, the blog is slow or user experience is poor. You can identify the reasons your bounce rate is high and make improvements to your content to increase traffic and income.
1. 1. Increase blog speed
Have you ever visited a blog that took forever to load? You want to learn how to make challah bread. But there are so many ads, pop-ups and data-rich features that it is impossible to even access the content. Instead, you look for a new challah recipe. This is not what you want for your readers.
Here are some ways to speed up your blog:
- Use a caching plugin.
- Limit your plugins to the essentials.
- You can choose a fast web host like Bluehost, or Dreamhost.
- Instead of uploading the videos directly to your website, use an external video host and embed them.
Use the WordPress.org plugin search to find a cache plugin. You can see if the plugin is compatible to your version of WordPress and review ratings.
2. Make your post easy-to-read
Which is easier to read? What is easier to read? A long textbook with few images and long paragraphs, or a magazine article that has many pictures and lots of short paragraphs. The brain is drawn to order, symmetry, and patterns. It will be hard to read if your blog post has a lot of text. Most likely, the reader will search for a blog post with less text.
These features can be added to blog posts to make them easier to read:
- Bullet points (see what? there?
- Numbered lists (Pro tip: Search engines hate when you include more than one number list in a blog post)
- Lesser paragraphs
- Pop-ups and ads are minimal (consider other business plan strategies).
Here are two examples of the same article. Which one do you find easier-to-read?
3. Take a look at other metrics
Are you having a bad bounce rate on one page or the entire blog? You should adjust the content of pages that have a low bounce rate for the whole site.
Google Analytics also offers other metrics to help you understand the state of your blog. If you are concerned about your bounce rate, look at the blog analytics “session duration” which tells how long an average person spends on your website. Low duration could indicate that your content is not great or is irrelevant to your reader.
22 minutes is a fantastic session duration. This shows that readers spend a lot of time reading blog posts in a single visit.
4. Enhance the navigation of your blog
It is easy to find other areas of interest on your blog, which will make it easier for readers to stay with you. You need a fantastic navigation menu to do this. Bloggers often include a “STARTHERE” button in their menu. This button tells the reader about you and your blog’s purpose. It also indicates what steps they should take (e.g., read this blog first, then this one next). This is the end of this article.
A button should be included for each topic that you blog about to create a great blog menu. It shouldn’t exceed three to five topics. A page about you and a search engine for your readers will be required.
An example of a start here page
5. 5. Make your content hyper-relevant
You probably have a keyword or phrase that you want to rank in search engines every time you write a blog post. It is important to pay attention to keywords that rank for terms you don’t mean to.
Let’s take, for example, a blog post about Voyageurs National Park at the Minnesota-Canada border. While you write about backcountry camping, you mention that the park also offers houseboat rentals. You might be #1 in the keyword “Voyageurs National Park Houseboat Rentals” if there is less competition than “Voyageurs National Park National Park,” but only #7 for your intended target.
Do you think this means that houseboats should be ignored? No. This can be tackled in several ways:
- You can write a bit more about houseboat rentals, and then create an entire guide to houseboat rentals at Voyageurs National Park. This ultimate guide can be linked to in your article about Voyageurs National Park.
- You can increase the section that you discuss houseboat rentals. This can be a whole section in the original article.
You will remain at the top of search results for this keyword and can answer any questions a reader may have about houseboat rentals in that national park. Because you answered all their questions, they don’t have any reason to click on another blogger’s article.
Using Ahrefs.com, we can see that the keyword difficulty rating of the term “voyageur national park houseboat rentals” is only 15. The original term, “voyageur national park” has a difficulty rating of 50.
Your ultimate guide to credit cards and travel has been created. The reader deserves and wants more. To encourage your reader’s exploration of the topic, share related blog posts in your Ultimate Guide.
You might link to a post about the best travel rewards credit card cards in 2020, for example. A blog post that you wrote about improving credit scores can be linked to so that readers can apply for rewards cards.
An example of linking to relevant blog posts within an article
(Source: Idyllic Pursuit)
7. Optimize Your Blog for Mobile Viewers
The percentage of global web traffic from mobile devices has been around 50% since 2017. You can expect to see a lot more mobile traffic to your blog. Make sure you optimize your layout to accommodate these visitors. You will need a responsive theme for your blog (sometimes called mobile-responsive).
Many themes are mobile-responsive, but others aren’t. Mobile responsive themes will look great on any device, whether it’s a tablet, a mobile phone or a desktop computer. Look for a theme that offers this option when choosing a blog theme.
A responsive theme for a blog is an example
The reader will leave your site if you link to another website from your blog post. They can only return to your website if they click on the back button or if they remember the name of the blog. Readers shouldn’t be able to do this. Instead, set your links so that they open in a new tab/window.
Just below where you insert your URL is an option to mark whether you want the link to open in a new tab.
When you attempt to navigate to a blog site that is no longer available, a 404 page will be displayed. This occurs when you unpublish a post or delete a blog entry. Many blog themes include a default page called 404. This page simply tells the reader that the page they are looking for cannot be found. Most likely, the reader will leave the blog to find another answer to their question.
It would be great if you could give the reader reasons to stay on your site, even if they land on a 404 page. Include links to your blog’s categories pages or “START HERE.” pages. A search tool can be included to allow the reader to locate a blog post that is relevant.
An example of a helpful 404 page
(Source: The Blonde Abroad)
A bounce rate is a barometer of how responsive your readers are to your blog content. A high bounce rate means that your site’s navigation menu, content, and user experience need to be improved. These changes are usually quick and easy.
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