Saturday, March 31, 2012

How to Reduce Blog & Website Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to your blog or website that leaves without visiting another page on your blog or website. Although I have argued earlier that bloggers should not focus too much on bounce rate, you should not ignore it entirely.

The point of bounce rate is that it is a signal for measuring how engaging your site or blog is. A low bounce rate is often assumed to mean that visitors disapprove your website, so they cannot stand it and leave as soon as possible. However, in practice this is not always the case.

Bounces occur for different reasons; your job is to ensure your blog is engaging and not to focus on bounce rate. You should also ensure that when bounces occur you gain from it. For example, bounces due to affiliate marketing or CPC could have some financial benefit for a blog.

However, if you own a business website or sell on your site bounce rate is an important measure of engagement as the only link you want visitors on your website to click is the one that leads to conversion for your business. So if you want to reduce your bounce rate here are a few things to do on your website or blog.

Have a Clear Navigation

Make the navigation of your blog or website clear and simple. Do not try to be too creative, most web users do not have the time to waste trying to figure out how to navigate your blog. Use standard conventions for your navigation. And make sure your links can be navigated on all devices.

Recently I visited a website of an insurance company that I could not navigate on mobile because of the way the navigation was designed. I had no option than to leave. So, before shouting over how high your bounce rate is make sure the navigation on your blog or website is easy to use.

Link to related content

Visitors to your blog will not visit any other post on your blog or website if they find no link to take them there. You should provide link within your content pages that are related to the subject on the page or that will enable your visitor take action based on the content on the page or blog post.

For example, a product page should contain links to a gallery where visitors can view more photos of the product. It should also link to a shopping cart or a contact page so that visitors can take action for conversion. For a blog post, links to existing blog post that are related to current post should be added to new blog posts.

If users do not easily find an inbound link to click on they will leave without visiting any other page, resulting in a bounce.

Optimise your pages for keywords

If your content pages are not targeting the right keywords, most visitors coming through search will bounce back since your content is probably not what they were looking for. So to keep visitors on your site or blog, pay attention to keywords and ensure you are attracting the right crowd.

Do not just target keywords for the sake of it. Make sure that the contents on the page and links within your content pages satisfies the targeted keywords.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

What Value is Low Bounce Rate to Blogs

One metric that bloggers usually watch when accessing the health of their blog is the bounce rate with the aim always being to make it as low as possible. However, a low bounce rate is not necessarily good news. It fact, it could mean missed opportunity to earn with your blog.

Your focus as a blogger is to develop good content on your blog what users do with your content is not entirely up to them. Metrics like keyword targeting, unique visits, traffic sources, time spent on site are far more important metrics for blogs than bounce rate or pages per visit.

So what is bounce rate?

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that visit a page on a website and left without clicking another page on the website. So if a visitor enters your blog and do not click any link on your blog to view another page on your site it is regarded as a bounce.

Note that if the user clicks a link to another site on your blog, closes the browser, or spends enough time on a page for the session of your analytics software to timeout it will be regarded as a bounce.

So why is low bounce rate important?

The theory behind bounce rate is that bounces occur because visitors do not like your blog, or your blog is not engaging enough, is hard to navigate, or contains low quality content. Hence, bounce rate is often used as a scale to access how engaging a blog or website is. In such a scale low bounce rate means an engaging blog while high bounce rate means the opposite.

However, this simplistic view of bounce rate is not true for all types of websites, blogs especially. Bounces do not always occur because of disapproval of visitors. For example, a visitor clicking on an out bound link on your blog is not necessarily doing so because he hates your blog, but to get more information, which is why you included the link in the first. Note that Ads on your site and clicks to your social networking pages will also result in bounces.

Bounces contribute to pay day

Bloggers should not focus too much on bounce rate. Ads on your blog will result in bounces. So, if you use CPC or CPA advertising, they will result in bounces. Why complain about a bounce if it contributes to your pay day? Most bloggers are in it for the money.

Having too low bounce rate with CPC or CPA advertising means you are losing money or your Ads are not properly placed. It is time to monetise those low bounce rate. Remember, you may go out of business soon with your low bounce rate, if you do not make enough money on your blog to pay your bills.

Stop chasing low bounce rate

To have a perfect bounce rate on your blog you should avoid out bound links, write half hazard content with read more links all over the place, remove links to your social networking pages, and remove all ads. But what value will that add to your blog. Your focus should be writing quality content, proper keyword targeting, and easy navigation. These should be your focus not bounce rate.

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