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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Top 10 discussed ways to Reduce Bounce Rate Of A Blog Or Website

It's better late then never, maybe you might have ignored your analytics bounce rate for a long time but don't worry you can still work on it and get those high bars down. It's a normal problem faced by bloggers and website owners to get more than one page views from their visitors. This is something that no one has control over because you can't tell your visitors to visit all pages of your blogs but you can always guide them to visit another page on your blog.

Bounce Rate: the percentage of web site visitors who arrive at an entry page on your web site, then leave without visiting any other pages or leave without going any deeper into the site. Bounce rate is typically measured as a percentage. The lower the bounce rate that you have the better as this is an indicator of how users are engaging with your website.

In order to understand bounce rate, you must identify it within your site analytics. Google Analytics makes this easy by placing bounce rate as default item on your main analytics dashboard. This says something in itself, if Google has included bounce rate as a metric on the dashboard, they must think that bounce rate is a fairly important metric right? Well in fact it is a key metric when measuring user engagement on your site. A high bounce rate is a good indication that users are not finding the information that they are looking for and as a result are not proceeding any further.

What is a Good Bounce Rate Anyways?

Great question. We're glad you asked. As with many items in the world of SEO and organic search, the answer is it depends. Obviously a lower bounce rate is better, but bounce rate averages can vary by industry or type of site. Sites that are information portals will most likely have lower bounce rates than sites that feature limited content. The fact is that bounce rate is affected by the user's intent. That is, based on the user's query did they find the information that they were looking for? For example let's say you were looking for information about the TV program Las Vegas and you typed in "Las Vegas" in a search engine. You would no doubt receive a lot of Las Vegas (the city) related sites and potentially you might even be returned with a result that talks about the TV show albeit briefly. You might click through to some of these sites but unless the information that you were looking for about the show is present you would most likely revisit the search results page and/or re-enter a more specific search query. The bounce rate of the sites that you did click through would be affected as you were unable to find the information that you were looking for.

So to answer the question, what is a good bounce rate, generally speaking if you have a bounce rate that is in the 40-50% range that is not bad. If you manage to have an overall bounce rate that is in the 30-40% that is fantastic. As Avinash Kaushik states "a 35% bounce rate is very good..." We'll add that anything less is pretty spectacular. For the record, we've worked with clients and have helped them lower their bounce rates to less than 20% and in some cases to 7 or 8% which is quite exceptional.

So the question becomes, how do we lower bounce rate?

1.Use good quality, fresh content

Naturally, if you want visitors to stick around, your content should be worth reading and regularly updated. This also ensures that your content gets linked to from other sites, which will in turn increase your traffic.
It also helps to make your content easy to read. Learn the rules for writing good Web copy: Use short, single-topic paragraphs; condense content to bullet lists; highlight important phrases in bold; keep page lengths short.

2.Make sure the content is relevant

In order to engage visitors, your site's content needs to focus on the topic that those visitors are interested in.
  • Each page of your site, as well as the site overall, should be on-topic. For example, if your site is about dog breeding, don't have a page on the site that discusses horses.
  • Think about your site's overall objective, as well as your audience. Does all of your content help to achieve your site goals, and is it content that your audience want to see?
  • Use the Google Analytics Keywords report to see what people are searching for when they reach your site. Are you attracting a lot of traffic for keywords that have high bounce rates? Maybe it would be good to add some new content that gives visitors the information they are searching for.
  • Each page's title should match the content within the page. Don't use misleading page titles.

3.Use "related info" links

A great way to encourage visitors to read more than a single page of your site is to offer links to related information on the page.
For example, a product page might have a list of links to related products. Similarly, you could add a list of related articles or a "further reading" list at the end of an article page.

4.Use a professional, authoritative site design

First impressions count. When a visitor first lands on your site, the look of your site design can influence the visitor's decision to stay or leave. Generally speaking:
  • A professional, appropriate design lends an air of authority, inspiring confidence in the visitor and encouraging them to explore your site further.
  • An amateur or unattractive design can put people off and send them back to the search engines. It can also make your site harder to navigate, which means that visitors will spend less time exploring your site.
Of course, you may not be a professional designer, or you may not have the budget to hire one. However, there are some basic design rules — such as minimizing the number of colours and fonts in the page — that can have a big impact.


5.User-test your landing pages

Testing your site with real people can be a great way to find out the underlying causes of high bounce rates.
Show your key landing pages — particularly those with high bounce rates — to friends and colleagues. Ask them what attracts them on each page, and what turns them off. Are they inclined to buy your products or explore your site further? Or is there something about the page that discourages them from staying on your site?


6.A/B test your landing pages

As well as testing your landing pages with friends and colleagues, you can run A/B tests on your pages: Randomly serve 2 different versions of a landing page, and see which page results in more sales or other conversions. Google Website Optimizer can help automate this process.
As an alternative to A/B testing, you can make improvements to 1 landing page and measure how the bounce rate changes compared to other landing pages. For example, if bounce rates generally stay the same or increase over the course of a month, but your changed landing page shows a drop in bounce rate over the same period, then the chances are good that your changes reduced that page's bounce rate.

7.Use clear calls to action

If the purpose of a landing page is to encourage the visitor to take action — such as buying a product, signing up for a newsletter, or exploring your site further — make sure the call to action is obvious. The call to action is an element of the page — such as a button or a piece of text — that indicates what the visitor should do next.
For example, if your landing page needs to encourage people to buy an ebook then a large "Buy The Book Now" button would work well.
It's also a good idea to reduce page clutter. Remove unnecessary or distracting elements from the page so that the call to action stands out.


8.Use clear navigation

If you want visitors to engage with your site and explore it more deeply, make sure your site navigation menu is easy to find and easy to understand.
  • Place the menu in an obvious place, such as near the top of the page.
  • Use clear, simple words for your navigation options. Don't use jargon.
  • Try not to have too many main nav links. A maximum of 7 links is a good rule of thumb.

9. Build targeted traffic

Work on getting more targeted traffic to your website. The only way to do is to start optimizing your website for search engines. I know it's a very time consuming task but it pays you in long term. Make sure you have corrected all the above mentioned points to start working on SEO for your website. If you somehow get high bounce rate from search engine traffic then shame on you and start over again on these tips and this time don't hurry.

10.Surprise element: 

In your post content try surprising your visitors by offering them some new information but remember that must be related to the content of that post and the surprise should be pleasant of course, don't piss them off deceiving them. This will build an excitement in your readers and he would be interested to see what he is to get more in your other blog posts.

Now take a look at your own site's bounce rate and see if you can lower it. By reducing your site's bounce rate, you're increasing visitor interaction on your site. This usually means happier visitors and a more successful site. Have fun!





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