If you have Google analytics installed on your website you’ve probably noticed a stat called “bounce rate”. In case you are unsure of what bounce rate actually is, it is simply the percentage of your visitors who leave your website after visiting only one page.
In the majority of cases you will want that bounce rate to be as low as possible. I say “in the majority of cases”, because if you have Adsense on your site, or if you are promoting some affiliate products, you probably won’t mind if someone leaves your site by clicking on an affiliate link or on an Adsense ad!
For the purposes of this blog post I’m going to assume that you want your bounce rate to be as low as possible, so I’ve listed 10 tips for decreasing the bounce rate on your site.
Some of these are pretty obvious, but hopefully there will also be one or two suggestions that you may not have thought of before!
Tip #1 – Write RELEVANT Content to the Keywords You’ve Optimized for
One of the most common reasons for a visitor hitting that dreaded back button is irrelevant content. If you have chosen a specific keyword phrase for your web page or blog post, make sure that you write something that is completely relevant to that phrase. You’ve probably had the experience of clicking through the Google search results only to find that each page you look at is irrelevant (especially after that dreaded Penguin update!)
Tip #2 – Make your content as Compelling as Possible
This is probably the most obvious one, but it’s very important and will make a huge difference to your bounce rate. Try to make your writing as interesting and unique as possible. Don’t use rehashed PLR and reprint articles – write something original (or get it ghostwritten) and try to use images, examples and stories where possible to make the reader want to read more. Break up your writing with bullet points, headings and short paragraphs to make it easier to read.
Tip #3 – Open Your Affiliate Links in a New Window
You do want people to visit your affiliate links, but if you do not make these links open in a new window you will lose that visitor. If you open the link in a new window, the chances are they will come back and look at your site again.
Tip #4 – Invite Your Visitor to Leave a Comment on your Blog Post
If you ask your reader to leave a comment on your blog, there is more chance that they will do this. As well as asking them to comment you could also ask some specific questions.
Tip #5 – Increase the Load Speed of Your Website
Another common reason for hitting the back button is slow website speed. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the patience to wait 30 seconds for a web page to load. If you can reduce the size of your images, include width and height attributes and go easy on content that is pulled from external sites, this will help to speed up your load time. There are plenty free website speed checkers available online.
Tip #6 – Avoid annoying Popups, Slide-ins or Windows that Interfere with Navigation
Popups and slide-ins may increase the opt-in rate for your list, but they could also be losing you visitors and perhaps even sales. This is something that is definitely worth testing so that you can decide whether or not it is profitable to use these.
Tip #7 – Have a Good Clean Navigation System
Tip #8 – Tell Your Visitor What You Want them to Do
If you want your visitors to take action after reading a page on your site, tell them what you want them to do. It sounds obvious, but it can make a big difference. Whether you want them to sign up to your newsletter, read a related post on your blog, leave a comment, or check out your review of a related product, make this obvious.
Tip #9 – Choose a Color Scheme That’s Easy on the Eye
Even if you do enjoy white writing on a black background, be aware that most people find it difficult to read. Choose a color scheme that makes it easy for your readers to read without a struggle. If in doubt ask a few friends to tell you what they think of your color scheme.
Tip #10 – Don’t Turn off Your Visitors with Too Many Ads
A site full of flashing banners and ads can be a big turn off. Most websites have some sort of advertising as it’s one of these necessary evils to help pay the bills. Just make sure that your readers don’t have to make an effort to find your content in amongst all the ads.
Have you managed to decrease the bounce rate on your website using any of these techniques or any other techniques? If so, leave a comment below and let me know!
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