This article explains in detail how to reduce bounce rate on blogs and websites in a way to boost SEO and get more traffic. Our guide will help your online content to appear on the first page of the search engine result page (SERP).
No one will bother visiting other pages on your website (blog) when the one they are currently viewing is not convincing enough and that’s why the percentage of visitors leaving your blog after viewing a page keep skyrocketing.
Bounce rate is one hell of a thing that deplete your SEO ranking and also increase your
VAPANERV (view a page and never return visitors).
Meaning of Bounce rate and 11 actionable tips to reduce your blog bounce rate
What is the bounce rate?
Bounce means to move away after hitting something, rate means frequency or measure, so bounce rate means the frequency of people who move away after hitting a page.
Google defined bounce rate as the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
In short, it means the percentage of visitors that visit your website and leave immediately after viewing a page without viewing other pages because the page they visited does not meet up with their expectations.
How to calculate bounce rate and bounce rate formula?
Bounce Rate = Total no of bounces / Total visitors X 100.
Let us say you have 900 visitors and 560 bounced back after viewing a page, the calculation will be 560 / 900 X 100 = 62.22%.
Who does the automatic calculation of Bounce rates on my website (blog)?
Automatic calculation of your bounce rates is done by search engines and will be used for your SEO ranking.
The best way to get your automated bounce rate calculation on your blog is by using a tool known as Google analytics, with it you can get your bounce rate calculation.
What is a good bounce rate?
Gorocketfuel.com said a bounce rate that stands between 26-40% is excellent; 41-55 is still normal while 56-70 seems absurd but anything above 70 is a serious case to be dealt with.
The benchmark for the bounce rate of an average blog should be between 20-55% while the benchmark of blogs with higher traffic should stand between 40-69%.
Many bloggers do ask me if a bounce rate of 0% is achievable, but it is not achievable! Even you as the owner of the blog will surely view only one page and leave sometimes hence the percentage of bounce rate increases.
I have not seen any blog except blogs under construction with a 0% bounce rate before——the only way you can get a 0% bounce rate is if you just installed google analytics
What are the things that increase my bounce rate?
- Boring and not well-ordered article
- Unpleasant fonts and font size
- No hyperlink or logo to your homepage
- Unattractive blog design
- Your pages take time to load
- Not interlinking your contents when called for
- Not adding related posts
- Not employing readers to take action after reading
- Why should I care about reducing my bounce rate?
Bounce rate affects your SEO ranking an
How to Reduce Bounce Rate on Blogs
1. Improving your content and readability
Visitors visit your web pages to read astonishing contents that will give solutions to their current problems.
What do you think will happen when what you write on did not meet up with their expectations and thus did not solve their problem?
They will leave immediately to search for greener pastures and will never return since you can’t give them what they want which will increase your bounce rate.
For example, this post is about bounce rate, if I start writing about Adsense here what will you do? Leave immediately!
As a blogger, you must be able to produce valuable and original contents that will solve your readers’ problems, failure to do so will increase your bounce rate!
Let us say you search for a keyword on google, you click the first link and you read it then you move to the next link only to discover that they both have the same content, what will you do? Navigate away from the second link right?
Hope you know that it is also possible for you to write engaging and original articles yet they will not be easy to read?
I’ve seen typical cases before and even the person writing this article is not yet a pro in this.
Furthermore, work on your first paragraph as this will determine whether the readers will stay or not.
If the first paragraph is enticing enough, the readers will love to read more but if the first paragraph is just a bunch of trash then it is an assumption that other posts on your blog are also not worth reading so why read them?
There are ways you can write that even when your article doesn’t make any sense people will be eager to read.
- Bullet list (seen my bullet list?)
- Add headings and subheadings like H2 & H3 to break down your posts
- Nice color contrast
- Eye pleasing font size with major text color in black
- Explanatory infographics.
2. Your page load time must be reduced
This should be coming first because it is the first decider of bounce rates but let’s leave it that way.
Time is money! No one wants to waste minutes opening a webpage to read contents they can easily read on other websites,
Some visitors will get disappointed along the way even before getting to read your content simply because your pages do not load on time.
The no 1 rule to page load time is that “The lesser the design the faster your load time”.
The attractive design seems to increase your load time since you will need to add images and customize your fonts to make your website (blog) load faster.
Take a look at websites like Gmail.com, Nairaland.com, and google.com, did you notice that these sites will only take a few seconds to load?
Their designs are not so lit and this is one of the major reasons that contributed to the decrease in load time especially Gmail.
Images are one hell of a thing that also increases page load time——the lesser the image’s size the faster your load time but as a blogger——should I stop adding images to my posts because they increase my load time?
Of course not, there are some WordPress plugins that will easily compress your images and retain their qualities like smush image compression and optimization.
These are the ways to decrease your page load time:
- Compress your images
- Lazy-load your images
- Compress your code (The lesser the design the higher your load time)
- Avoid unnecessary sidebars
- Reduce the number of plugins you installed
3. Interlink your pages
Interlinking your pages properly will easily tempt readers to move to the next page and this is a technique many bloggers employ to solve their problems because it keeps visitors to their blog.
There are many ways to interlink your pages and one of the ways to do this is by adding related posts between the content which we will discuss extensively in this post.
If you use WordPress, your WordPress theme is probably pre-built with several options to link pages like home, tags, categories, menu, and footer area with the next and previous post.
This will massively reduce bounce rate but believe me even if you interlink your post and you don’t solve their problem with the post they are reading they will still leave.
If you blog on blogger, these practices are also in place there but you may have to work on your coding to improve this as some blogger templates are not well-organized.
Another way to interlink your post is by taking advantage of your sidebar, you should consider dragging some widgets like recommended posts, trending posts, and recent posts to your sidebar.
4. Open external links on a new page
We all make this mistake, external links ought to be opened in a new tab to avoid losing your visitors.
When you open an external link on the same tab, it is of slight hope that they will hit back to check your post when they are true with the external link but when links are opened on a new page there is 70% assurance that they will get back to your post after reading that.
When a user clicks on an external link, it will automatically open in a new tab on their browser, the known way to make an external link open in a new tab is by adding target=”blank” to external links.
5. Add related posts
Like I said earlier on, adding related posts between and at the end of your post can be a very fast way to reduce bounce rate.
If the visitor finds the post he/she is currently reading very interesting then he/she will be very much interested in reading posts related to it.
For example, if you wrote a post on “How to wear agbada”, the reader got his problem solved with how to wear agbada.
If you included a hyperlink with further reading on “how to wear agbada in 2 minutes” won’t the reader click?.
There are various ways to add related posts to posts and the manual way to do this is by inserting the link can be done on WordPress on blogger and WordPress.
6. Create a survey to ask them why they are leaving
You can make a quick survey of users that view a page and eventually hit back after viewing, you can ask them why they are leaving and how you can improve their “users experience”.
But the cons here is that you will need the help of an experienced programmer you can use polldaddy plugin but It was not built for this purpose so you will have to tweak the settings
7. Optimize your 404 page
Your 404 page is a page on your blog where readers get to when they are directed in by a broken link.
Statistics show that 82% of those that visit this page on your blog will eventually leave since they didn’t see what they want to see which will drastically increase your bounce rate.
You can steal some percentages from this value by optimizing your 404 page, most themes were built with a 404 page but they are not confusing enough.
You can easily add more information to bring readers to the 404 pages by using page builders like Elementor pro.
In case you don’t know how to use elementor pro there are also pre-built elementor demos on 404 you can install to help organize your 404 page.
8. Avoid flashy pop-ups
Pop-ups are helpful when you want to generate more leads if placed Timely and structured properly but can be damn annoying when not properly set up.
Many bloggers don’t know that some pop-ups are not easy to remove on mobile devices because they use PC, some pop-ups will remain stagnant and will not be easy to use
9. Encrypt your website (blog) with https
In June 2018 Google started taking legal actions against websites without the encryption of HTTPS Google started reducing the SERP of http websites and chrome started marking web pages without HTTPS as not secure as seen in the image below.
Do you know that readers won’t click another page if they find out that your website is not secure as marked by Google chrome?
Even if your website is 100% secure, they will leave since they will still be scared to take any action on your website because google does not trust you hence increasing your bounce rate.
Whenever I see blogs without HTTPS the first question I ask myself is how come? Getting HTTPS:// for your blog is 100% free so I see no reason why you should not get it.
10. Improve your website (blog) design
This should not be on the 9th list because it is very essential, your design will be decisive in telling whether a reader will take further action on a page or leave, no reader wants to run through a wall of text when reading.
There are some blog designs you will see that you will get indignant to the extent that you will not even bother scrolling down to read again.
You will be seeing flashy designs with bad colour contrast and at the end, you will discover that they are using a bad theme.
You should not create a blog with yellow as the body font, purple as the headline font, and green as your logo.
Some bloggers use a very nice theme and still end up changing the settings and still end up spoiling the blog because they want to improve the design, if you know you cannot customize your blog properly just leave your Theme settings at default, major themes were built with a clean design already.
11. Employ readers to take action after reading
You should not just allow your readers to go after reading a post, you should place a CTA box-like opt-in form at the end of each post or sidebar.
A call To Action aims to direct a visitor to perform a specific action immediately, and this action should have a clear benefit to your visitor.
This will also generate more leads for you. You can sell e-books, get more email subscribers, etc.
Bonus: Also to reduce your high bounce rate, you must ensure that you avoid unnecessary redirections to external blogs.
Redirecting to other blogs will easily increase your bounce rate and it is not even only tour bounce rate that will get affected, your SEO juice will also be passed to the external link you are redirecting to.
Also, avoid placing many adverts on your blog as this will increase your load time since you don’t have the ability to compress those images.
Most times when you want to reduce your bounce rate, you have to let off something and they are reducing the number of ad spaces on the tour blog.
If you are a beginner blogger, you should not let the bounce rate bother you that much, since you don’t have enough traffic your bounce rate may rise enormously.
You should try getting enough traffic first then things will be in order.
If you discover that things are not still going right with your bounce rate even after getting enough traffic then you should work on these tips.