The difficulty of owning a blog is not only writing interesting posts regularly, but also to have the right kind of visitors to interact with the site. Google Analytics has a very useful and scary metric that can show you if your site is doing well, it is call “Bounce Rate”. A low bounce rate means that visitors are interacting on your site and visiting multiple pages while a high bounce rate means that the visitors see one page and leave. Should you try to reduce bounce rate on your blog?
To answer this question, we need to have a definition and see the causes of a bounce. Basically, a bounce is when a person enters your blog on any page and does not visit any other page.
Google Analytics definition:
Bounce rate is the percentage of visits that go only one page before exiting a site.
There are a number of factors that contribute to your bounce rate. For example, visitors might leave your site from the entrance page if there are site design or usability issues.
Alternatively, visitors might also leave the site after viewing a single page if they’ve found the information they need on that one page, and had no need or interest in visiting other pages.
A high bounce rate is essentially due to 2 contrary situations:
1. You are getting the wrong kind of traffic for the content on your blog. 2. You are getting exactly the right kind of traffic for the content on your blog.
Isn’t that weird?
Let’s see the two cases:
1. In the first case, without taking into account any technical issue with the blog, the people visiting your blog stay just a short time on the page they entered and leave without clicking a link to search further information. They obviously did not find the information they were looking for or the content on your page was not relevant to them. Their visit was an error.
2. In the second case, the visitor has found exactly what they were searching for and even when spending a long time reading your article, they leave satisfied without clicking a link to another page.
According to Matt Cutts, “Google Doesn’t Use Bounce Rate”.
Question: Is Bounce Rate a Signal in Determining What Content May be Spam?
Ans: No. Cutts said the Google web spam team doesn’t use Google Analytics data. It’s not a bad thing when someone finds their answer right away and bounces, he said.
As bounce rate does not affect your ranking don’t you feel better? There are still benefits of improving a blog for a reduce bounce rate.
A Few Tips to Reduce Bounce Rate
A low bounce rate is still an indication that there is a problem that could be corrected, so it is still worth to reduce bounce rate without being obsessed with it.
1. Improve your page load times.
If the blog loads slowly some visitors may be impatient and leave the site before it has completely loaded. This is a serious problem as loading time is a factor that determines your ranking in Search Engines. You can improve this by cleaning some code that can be too heavy, downsizing and optimizing images and not having pages of 10 meters long…
2. Do not annoy your visitors. Limit the use of popups and flashy banners. Work on your design and navigation to make it clean and easy for visitors to find your content. That can reduce bounce rate dramatically.
3. Create better content. Maybe your content is too short or too long, boring, etc… In Google Analytics you can see the bounce rate of each individual post, compare them and model your new posts on the one with the lowest bounce rate.
4. Other tricks to reduce bounce rate.
– Get rid of the posts with high bounce rate and the average bounce rate of the website will improve instantly.
– Cut your posts in two. Your reader starts to read and then has to click on a “Next” link to finish reading.
– Make sure that your content is properly viewable on computers with different browsers, and also on tablets and smart phones. Many of the bounces may be just coming from iPhones…
– Have links to related posts on each page of your blog to suggest articles to your readers.
– Reduce the number of external links in your posts and increase the number of internal links.
– Use nice graphics and images in your posts.
I hope these few ideas on how to reduce bounce rate will be useful to you.