Have you ever heard of bounce rate? This is an important analytic which you can find on Google Analytics and not only is it important to keep this low, it is also plays a big impact on your SEO ranking.
Bounce rate is the amount of users who click on to your website and then click straight back off it. This suggests to Google that they didn't find what they were looking for and implies your blog/website is less valuable. Google wants to be showing the best websites at the top of the organic search so bounce rate plays a big role in your search engine optimization strategy.
To improve this, we need the readers to stay engaged with your blog post and stay on your website for a longer period of time. There are a few tips you can use to do this which I have outlined below...
1. Using Internal Links
This is when you link to other pages on your website within your blog post. For example, you might notice that on some of my blog posts, I put 'Related:...'. This is because if someone is already interested in this post, they might also be interested in finding out more about blogging.
You want to make sure your 'related posts' are actually related because if they are completely different, people may not be interested making them absolutely useless!
This is such a simple tip but does require a lot of updating as you time goes on. As you write new posts, start adding in links to them in your older posts.
2. Create Catchy But Relevant Headlines
A catchy headline is key for getting someone to click on your post, yet more importantly the headline needs to be relevant.
If you are using click-bait and someone falls for it to only find out your post or not what they thought and isn't what they want to read, of course they will just click back off it, ruining your bounce rate.
It's important to find a good balance between a headline being intriguing but still relevant to the content in the post.
3. Quality Is Crucial
Such a simple tip but don't ever under-estimate the power of having high quality posts. This is going to make the biggest difference to your success as a blogger.
If your posts are super high quality and full of valuable information, not only are they going to stay on your blog post to read the whole thing, they are probably going to then check out your related posts or other posts on your website too meaning they stay on your site.
Longer posts tend to do better than shorter ones. I am definitely guilty of making my posts too short but trust me, putting in the extra effort to do a little more research and provide a little more detail is going to be a game changer for you.
Yet this doesn't mean fill your blog posts with aimless babbling because people will lose interest and start to get bored and trust me, you don't want that. Keep them interested by constantly providing value.
4. Split Up Your Content
I don't know about you, but I do know that for me and most other people, we don't like reading huge chunks of text in one go. It can appear pretty overwhelming.
That is the main reason most of my posts are things such as ' 10 Ways To...' because I can split the advice up into 10 small consumable chunks. Time is valuable and you want to make your readers' lives as simple as possible.
If I click on to a blog post and it's a huge clump of text, I immediately click off it because I want to be able to quickly find the parts relevant to my situation. For example, with this post, if you were in a rush, you could just read the headlines of each paragraph and only read into depth when something intrigues you.
5. Always Set External Links To Open In A New Tab
If you are linking to another website, you don't want to lose your reader and by opening the links in a new tab, you are helping yourself out.
If you send them to another valuable website, why would they come back to yours? But if the link opens in a new tab, both websites are still easy to see and accessible for them.
How you do this will vary on what software you use, on wix.com it is super simple to do as the option comes up as soon as you put a link in.
6. Site Speed Is Important
If a website is taking 5 minutes to load, would you wait? Probably not. The chances are there are competitors' websites out there with valuable information on that loads 10x as fast so they'll probably just head straight over to there.
People are impatient (including myself) and don't like to wait around for something.
You can improve your site speed with these easy fixes:
Don't use high quality images. Turn them into a smaller file that is still clear and appealing but loads much quicker.
Make sure your website is secure.
Don't have hundreds of pop ups.
7. Don't Have Too Many Ads
Ads can be a great way to monetize once your page views grow because it is essentially passive income. However, if you have hundreds of them (which can be tempting because we all like money, right?!), you will soon annoy your readers and distract them from absorbing your content and they'll click off your website on to another one.
If you aren't sure what the optimal number of ads is for your site, experiment and see what works best to bring in income without ruining your bounce rate.
8. Make Your Site Visually Appealing
If your site hasn't been updated since the 1990s, you might want to rethink your design. People like to read a site that appears to be modern and up to date because not only is it more appealing to the eye, it gives the impression that they content is also up to date. No one wants to read out-dated content.
Along with this, you want your site to be super easy to navigate by having categories and buttons to click everywhere. If I want to keep reading on your site, I want to know exactly where to click to find more information that I like and a messy, out-dated site just isn't going to do that for me.
9. Add A Call To Action At The End
I really can't talk here because I am forever forgetting to do this... However, it does really help (when I remember anyway!). It gives your reader a clear instruction on what to do next whether that's checking out another post, posting on the forum or signing up to your email list.
Sometimes people just need that little extra push to remind them they can get more value by doing a simple action.
10. Have A Search Bar
There might be something specific they want to know and spending time looking for it is going to be pretty boring for your reader so they probably won't bother. If you have a search bar available, they can quickly discover the exact content they want to read and it will make your site a lot more valuable to them.
When I first started blogging, bounce rate was my worst enemy. I have now worked out how to get my bounce rate low and keep it low and these are my top tips so that you can do the same.
It can take time, but going through your blog posts and website design to improve your bounce rate will have incredible effects for your blog. It really will improve your search engine ranking on Google and that's going to mean more visibility for your blog. You will be thriving in no time at all.
If you want to find readers who are really interested in your content, head over to the forum and introduce yourself (you can find the link at the top of the page)! It's a great place to interact with people who love both reading and writing blog posts!