If you’ve been blogging for a while, you might have heard the term “bounce rate” before. Your blog’s bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who check out your blog and then “bounce” rather than staying for a while and clicking on more posts. You can find out your blog’s bounce rate by viewing your stats on Google Analytics.The lower your bounce rate, the better. Why? A lower bounce rate means that when you get visitors to your blog, they are:
- Staying on your blog for longer
- Reading more on your content
- More likely to take action on your blog—such as subscribing to your email list or checking out a paid product that you offer
- More likely to come back to your blog
A “good” bounce rate is subjective, but a general rule of thumb is that you want your bounce rate to be lower than 70%. If you have currently have a high bounce rate, there are some easy tweaks you can make to your website to keep visitors clicking around for longer. Here are ten simple strategies you can implement immediately!
Displaying related posts is a great way to encourage visitors to stay on your site and click through to your other blog posts. There are plenty of related posts widgets available for bloggers to install. Most of them display similar posts based on keywords at the bottom of the page. The problem with this is that not everyone is going to scroll all the way to the very end of your blog posts. That’s why it’s better to include related posts within your blog posts, where visitors are guaranteed to see them. My favorite way to do this is with the free Inline Related Posts WordPress plugin. It recommends some of your similar blog posts in line with the text of your post.
Like displaying related posts, interlinking encourages visitors to stay on your blog and check out your other blog posts. Interlinking is simply linking to other blog posts you have written. You can go back to your old blog posts periodically and update them with links to related newer posts you have written as well. If I am reading a really great post and the blogger includes links to their other posts, I often find myself opening the links in new tabs to read after I finish the original post! This is also a great way to bring visitors to your older posts.
Display your most popular or helpful blog posts in your sidebar. This will encourage readers to click around further on your blog and check out your top posts. The posts in your sidebar should be your cornerstone content, AKA the posts that really show off what your blog is about and provide value to your readers.
“Start Here” Page
Adding a “Start Here” page to your blog in a prominent place (such as the top menu and sidebar) will help keep visitors on your page for longer by offering them a guided path of what to do on your blog.On the page, you can introduce yourself and give an overview of what your blog is about. Then you can direct readers towards your most popular posts, your service offerings, your paid product offerings, or your email opt-in. A “Start Here” page is a great asset for reducing your bounce rate because it draws visitors in and then gives them a map of what they should do on your blog.
Including links to your blog’s different categories in a highly visible place, such as the top menu and sidebar, will help visitors navigate your page and find the exact content they want to read. The best places to include your blog categories are in the top menu and sidebar menu of your blog, right where people can see them.
Having a professional, organized, and user-friendly design for your blog is critical to retaining visitors. Think about what you would do if you clicked on a website and were immediately overwhelmed with multiple pop-ups, a million ads, and a bright neon background and clashing font. You would probably close right out the page without hesitation. When it comes to your blog, simpler is better. This means lots of white space, no distracting fonts or colors, and minimal pop-ups and ads.
It also means having clear and intuitive navigation. Make sure that your blog’s top menu and sidebar menu contain links to all of the places you want visitors to go on your blog: Blog categories, your about me or “Start Here” page, your product or service offerings, your contact page, etc.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but having quality content on your blog will keep a visitor on your blog for much longer compared to a skim-worthy post filled with nothing but fluff.
Detailed, information-packed posts will entice visitors to stay on your blog for longer and click around to more posts. Posts that provide value such as how-to guides, list posts, and posts sharing tips or secrets are great ideas for quality contact that keeps people interested.
As I just mentioned, it’s important to write quality, information-rich blog posts that provide value to your readers. However, you don’t want your posts to be long, gigantic walls of texts. Humans are visual creatures, and if they can’t scan your post for the main points, they’re more likely to click away from your blog without reading any other posts.
Some ways to make your content more readable are:
- Using subheadings to break down sections
- Keeping your paragraphs short (2-3 sentences)
- Using bulleted lists (like this!)
- Bolding important statements
Keeping your blog posts easy to read will encourage visitors to stick around and read more of your awesome posts.
Search bars are small and often overlooked features, but they can help greatly in keeping visitors on your blog. Search bars allow visitors to search for specific topics and keywords on your blog. Similar to adding a blog categories menu, the best place to add a search bar is somewhere highly visible such as your top menu or sidebar.
Include a call to action
Finally, including a call to action in your blog posts can get your visitors clicking around and spending more time on your blog. A call to action can be anything that invites the reader to take some action on your blog: “Sign up for my email list to receive even more easy holiday recipes—I’ll send 20 straight to your inbox!” or “Check out my full guide to traveling South America on a budget for even more backpacker-friendly travel tips!” With a call to action, you can include one at the end of your blog posts, but you should also try to include one within the body of your blog post where relevant.
How do you keep visitors on your blog for longer? Have you tried and found success with any of these 10 tips yet?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Coco Dale is a blogger who helps girls turn their blog into a business and chase their dreams. She writes about blogging, social media, and monetization strategies at www.blogdarling.co.