How To Lower Your Website’s Bounce Rate
Okay, so you’ve thought about your keywords and even done some on-page and off-page SEO (if not you need to check out this post!). You’re noticing traffic increasing and you have a steady stream of daily visitors thanks to all your hard work.
So that must be it right? Job done?
Well, not quite.
Search engines have recently added another factor in determining a website’s site ranking. Bounce rate.
A bounce rate for a site means how long a visitor actually stays on your site when they land on it. If they leave the minute they reach your site, then it doesn’t look too good to the search engines. It tells them that your the visitors you are attracting are not interested in your site and thus something might be wrong it.
So is this determining factor a curse set to make the lives of web and blog owners more difficult?
Well, I would like to look at it as a blessing. Because this metric gives you the opportunity to track and measure visitors on your site, and make sure that you’re offering them what they need. If you’re not, you’ll find yourself without any customers or orders very quickly.
Now I now know that to rank well in the search engines, I also need to come up with content that is worthy enough for my visitors to want to stay longer. And the bounce rate is a great measuring tool of that.
Let us take a closer look on what aspects of a website that we can improve to make sure the bounce rate stays in the lower numbers.
Balancing Quantity And Quality
There is no use churning out article after article every single hour for your site if you have to compromise the quality of your work just for the sake of quantity.
Lesser quality contents are one of the reasons your visitors wouldn’t want to stay on your site for long. You have to give your content purpose, and then you visitors will have a purpose to stay.
On the hand, if it takes you a month just to publish something, it won’t work in your favor either. Even if is quality content, people want FRESH quality content. Your visitors will hate to keep coming back to a site that has not been updated frequently enough.
The key here is a nice balance between quantity and also quality. Take some time to come up with quality and valuable content for your readers but don’t take too long for you to publish it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, if there is something of value for your readers, then it is already good enough to be published. Spell-checking and proof-reading beforehand can’t hurt either.
And has it ever occurred to you before that quality content doesn’t mean it has to be 1,000 words long. In other words, your content doesn’t have to be lengthy for it to be valuable. Even a short video or an image (which are related to your niche) are also good enough if there is something of value that your readers can gain from. So don’t confine yourself to just text. Explore other and employ other mediums as well.
Don’t have time to write a quality article every week? You can get 5 unique articles written for just for you every month and delivered directly to your inbox here.
Is your blog using a free theme that is also used by 1,000,000 other similar sites? If you choose a theme that’s widely used without customising it (at least a custom header and change the layout), then your website will not make a lasting impression on your visitors. Once they see your theme, it’s “If you seen one, you’ve seen them all.”
Like it or not, many people judge a book by its cover. And they will judge your website’s appearance first before seeing your content. A website appearance is especially important for first time visitors. If your theme is an eyesore, you can be sure they will leave as soon as the web page has loaded.
By having a clean and great looking theme, they will be sure to stick around longer and thus gives you the chance to present your killer content to them and and making them stick around longer. Cleaner looking themes also makes reading the contents on the site easier on the eyes as there isn’t many distracting things going on at once.
There are many website themes out there which are free and at the same time has that great and clean look. But you also can’t use a theme just because it looks nice. You have to also find a theme that is search engine friendly. Check out if a theme is SEO-friendly as the author will usually point out that feature if it is.
Sidebars and Columns
There is a fine line between over-populating and under-utilising the sidebar. Many other websites or blogs fall into either category. A sidebar has so much potential, and if you know how to use it properly it can benefit your website and its viewers in many ways.
Don’t go littering your sidebar purely with ads. A little here and there is fine but don’t let your sidebar be EXCLUSIVELY just for ads. If you do that, then it gives your readers a reason to totally ignore the side bar. A sidebar is NOT just for ads.
Have something like links to free giveaways in the sidebar, or links to the most popular post, which then it gives them a reason to always scan the sidebar.
When you have a lot of articles or posts on your site, they are most probably related in one way or another. If they are all on different and separate pages or blog posts, you can link them together. This is called interlinking, notice how I did it above with my suggestion that you read my ‘Search Engine Optimisation – What’s It All About‘ post?
You can link these pages together using a link or anchor text in your current content. Or you can always include a link to a related content or post at the end of the current page and then label it “Recommended Reading” or “Find Out More On ….”
Remember not to go crazy on the interlinking part either. If every other word in your content looks like an anchor text, not only will it look weird, it will look very suspicious and spammy as well. Only interlink content together which you think can really offer additional value for your readers or you genuinely think that the reader might be interest in.
So What Should You Aim For?
In the end, you need to remember that good old cliche; you can’t please 100% of people 100% of the time. People come and go on a website every time. It’s perfectly normal. They might be rushed at that moment, or maybe they just hate purple (in that case woe is me!). Generally speaking, the lower the bounce rate, the better it is, but don’t obsess over getting it down to single figures. Instead treat it as one factor in your SEO and website maintenance and keep it in the back of your mind whenever you’re creating new content or working on your website. But if your bounce rate is higher than 60% than it is time to take a close look at your website and do something about it.