Let me outline 7 quick steps which will reduce your bounce rate:
- Blog Loading Time: First and foremost point which causes a high bounce rate is long loading time. You might have noticed some blogs which take minutes to load and this causes a very negative impact on its readers. Generally first-time readers or regular readers will generally keep away from long loading blogs. Internet readers are very smart and impatient. Web savvy readers want everything at the click of a mouse. A slow loading blog makes it difficult for them to get what they want and they’ll quietly leave your blog without even reading your article or leaving their footprint by commenting.
To combat this problem, you should install either of the two popular WordPress caching plugins freely available – (a). WP Super Cache and (b). W3 Total Cache. Both of them have got tremendous ability to load your blog faster. I would suggest the second plugin i.e. W3 Total Cache. You can do a quick search for the plugin at the plugin section of your self-hosted wordpress blog. The W3 Total Cache plugin generally works like a charm on most hosting servers, but if after installing the plugin, you still don’t notice any reduction in loading time, and then you should probably contact your hosting service. If they’re unable to help, then you might consider changing your hosting provider.
- Give Your Visitors What They Want: Having the right visitors will significantly help lower your bounce rate. To elaborate this point let me give you an example. Suppose if you write about Gardening and the type of visitors you get are looking for Technology products or Mortgage refinancing, then its simply wastage of your time and effort. These are potentially unwanted visitors and will increase your bounce rate.
On the contrary, if you’re writing about WEB 2.0 or blogging tips and your visitors are looking for blogging tips, then that makes sense. Your visitors will naturally be inclined to stay on your blog and read more articles which in turn will lead to a reduced bounce rate.
- Deeplink Your Blog: Another good thing that you should do to reduce your bounce rate is by having a good linking structure, i.e. you should deep link to many of your blog posts as this will significantly improve your organic search engine rankings and will lead to your visitors to many of your pages. This in turn will reduce your bounce rate. Having a Similar Posts/Random Posts plugin installed on your blog can be useful in this regard.
- A Good Title: When you write your posts, try to write good (attractive) titles or headlines as good titles tend to attract the attention of your visitors. When your reader reads about a particular topic on your blog and if he sees an interesting title in your similar/related posts section, there are high chances that he will click through the other posts. But you should never forget to write a good useful article along with a good title. Many bloggers try to write attractive titles and then write a useless article. This will increase your bounce rate for sure because nobody wants to be fooled.
You should work on improving your post introduction or rather your post excerpt. Your post excerpt determines the level of engagement that your readers will have with your post.
- Write Regularly: Well though I recommend this point, I’m the first one to break this ruleJ. This is one of the most important things that you should follow. Think yourself as a reader and imagine that you arrive at a website/blog which is not updated regularly. The first thing you’ll do is click away from that blog thinking that the content is no longer relevant. So, try to write regularly and keep your blog updated. Try to make it a habit.
You can also overcome this problem by removing dates from your blog and thus making your content timeless.
- Use a Good Navigation: One of the best things to have for your blog is to have a clear navigation and a user friendly clean theme. Follow the general web standards e.g. links are usually blue and hyperlinked. If you’re using a theme which does this differently, then I suggest you to tweak your Cascading Stylesheet (CSS) and make it a standard or you can simply change to a more robust and better theme.
For a proper navigation, I suggest you to have a top multi-level category menu. But make sure not to over load your blog with links. Having a good archives page will also reduce your bounce rate.
- Get High Quality Traffic: The quality of traffic that you receive determines the type of visitors and bounce rate you will have. You should not just waste time on getting traffic from traffic exchange or autosurf. It is very important that you get quality traffic to reduce your bounce rate.
Having a high bounce rate indicates that something is wrong somewhere though it does not mean that your blog sucks.
If you follow these steps then it is Guaranteed to significantly reduce your bounce rate. Having a high bounce rate de-motivates the blog author.
So, these are the 7 sure shot ways to reduce your bounce rate. What do you guys think?