So you just started a blog. It’s gotten some traffic, and now you’re trying to analyze your traffic stats to better improve your rankings. However, you can’t help but notice how many of your visitors bounce to other sites.
High bounce rate is something that almost everyone has to struggle with at one point or another. If you don’t know what steps to take to reduce bounce rate, it will eventually kill any stable source of traffic for your blog.
So if you’re struggling to keep your visitors, here are 7 ways that you can instantly reduce your bounce rate.
1. Better access to content
What do all books have in common? A table of contents. Books are generally long, and without a clear and concise way of directing the reader to the content, it’s easy to lose a potential reader.
In the same way, all good blogs that value visitors’ time will craft an entire page dedicated to helping them find exactly what they’re looking for. You can also have a table of contents inside your longer articles to improve navigation.
Here is an example of AllBloggingTips using this technique to reduce their bounce rate.
Just having all the content on your site properly categorized with links to relevant posts can be enough to significantly reduce bounce rate.
2. Make a landing page
I know what you’re thinking: A landing page for a blog is strange. But is it really?
All leading bloggers use a landing page on their blog. Below is a screenshot of a popular SEO blog called Backlinko. Blog owner Brian Dean makes use of a minimalist style landing page that has an email opt-in to convert readers to subscribers. It also has as a ‘featured in’ image to show authority along with two testimonials to further showcase social proof.
All these things help Brian establish himself as an authority and makes the reader aware of the contents of the blog. The other great thing Brian does is to give incentive to the reader by giving away a free eBook to make sure the readers feels valued for his time.
Best of all, learning to create a high conversion landing page is relatively easy. With so many free services and tools available now, you could have a landing page on your blog in the next 15 minutes.
3. Use enticing headlines
Nothing makes a reader want to click on a post than an enticing headline. With so many articles being published every day, your article’s headline needs to truly stand out in order to make sure it gets read.
Writing headlines is more of a skill than an art, and the best way to develop this skill is to make a habit of writing 5 headlines for each post you write. This will help you develop a much better sense of what works and what doesn’t.
When I first started blogging, I never put much focus on headlines, and it was a mistake. Later on, when I started to read other popular blogs, I noticed how they gave special attention to their headlines. Then I came across Jon Morrow’s Headline Hacks, which makes the writing headline process rather simple. Check it out if you’re unsure of the characteristics of a good headline.
Having tempting headlines helps decrease bounce rate because there is always an article in the reader’s mind that is pending and that he must read. This in result reduces the bounce rate because instead of bouncing off to other sites, the reader is bouncing off to other posts on your site.
4. Make your content skim-friendly
People no longer read long content online. Almost everyone skims, and if your content is too long, poorly formatted, or missing headings, it will almost always get ignored, thus increasing your bounce rate. So in order to make your content skimmable, you must:
- Bold or italicize key concepts, important lines, and words.
- Write small sentences that are easier to skim and are properly formatted.
- Vary the length of paragraphs.
- Use bullets to break content into pieces.
- Give special attention to the first line of each paragraph as it is going to be read the most.
5. Add images to your content
Without images, the content can feel dry and colorless. The major goal with images is to visually aid the reader and break the content into readable pieces.
Visual graphics can also help the reader consume the content more easily. It helps that images stay longer in the memory as compared to text. A picture is truly worth a thousand words. A beautifully crafted image that is relevant to your content can make a huge difference when it comes to keeping the reader engaged and decreasing your bounce rate.
6. Include links to relevant articles
A few years ago, having too many links in your article was considered a bad SEO tactic, but that’s not the case anymore. Analyze any high ranking article and you will find links to other sites as well as internal links to articles that complement the topic in question.
Having links in your content helps the reader know that your idea is authentic as it is verifiable by other sources and helps them better understand the topic.
The main goal of any post should be to give value to the reader. If you can do this by linking to your own articles or other people’s article, then by all means, do it.
7. Always create a call to action
If a reader is done reading your article and there is no call to action, then the next obvious step for the reader would be to exit your site. If you’re unable to convert a reader to a subscriber or commenter, it means your content either lacks persuasion or a call to action.
A call to action does not necessarily have to be an email opt-in or an eBook offer, although both of them are great options. It could also be as simple as a question at the end of the article asking the reader to comment with their thoughts about the topic.
This strategy works for two reasons. First, it helps the reader engage with you and your content, which makes your blog stand out in his mind. The reader is more likely to remember commenting on a post than just reading it. Second, this helps you further engage the reader in a conversation, establishing a relationship with the reader.
In order to reduce your bounce rate and increase engagement, you need to make your site as accessible as possible. Make your content skimmable, use images to add flavor, and add links (both internal and external). Perhaps most importantly, make sure you’ve created a call to action to make sure that visitors don’t forget about your blog.
By implementing these tactics, you’ll be able to significantly reduce your bounce rate.
What tactic have you used in the past that helped you reduce your bounce rate?