Saturday, March 28, 2009

Reducing Bounce Rate

Yesterday's post proved that Entrecard's traffic has little differences between regular traffic from other sources, including search engines, referring sites, and direct traffic. The difference across most sites is within the +/- 10% range, which isn't a huge difference as many first made it out to be.

There are several steps that you can take to reduce your bounce rate. Some of them are quite obvious, while others may take some more work on your part to implement. Please remember that these are general tips and cannot be applied to all blogs and websites.

The main goal here is to actively engage your readers more, "forcing" them to stay on your website for a longer period of time and browse multiple pages/internal links.

Here are several ways to do it:
  1. Remove some of the content from your home or root page. This is the page that is generally linked to your Entrecard profile, so you want to "make" it so visitors travel to other pages within your site. You could start with your profile or about statement, placing it at or whatever URL your blog host permits.
  2. Increase the number of internal, rather than external links on your homepage. Even ads can increase your bounce rate, as people may be interested in that ad, rather than content on your site. Another way to increase internal links is by placing more posts on the homepage (see next step).
  3. Post excerpts often decrease bounce rate, as people who want to read your content must click through to the post. Secondly, make it so people must click on the post title to view comments, which sends an additional reload message to the server (reducing bounce rate).
  4. Appeal to your visitors. If you don't have content that people want to read, why should they even consider clicking through to other articles, reading what you have to say?
  5. Reduce the number of ads on your site. One of the major problems with blogs in the Entrecard network is the relatively high percentage of blogs with a huge number of ads on them. This detracts from the value of your blog and places more emphasis on how many ads you can fit into a particular space, rather than the content that you have produced.
  6. Change the layout of your site.
Despite the fact that bounce rates might increase slightly due to the above-the-fold rule, you shouldn't see any significant changes as these new rules have been put in place. As long as your try to make a difference in how people use your site, you will be able to reduce bounce rate dramatically and drastically, even if it does take some time.
The best approach to doing this is to change and evolve your blog gradually, experimenting with what works and what doesn't. If using Google Analytics, set up goals that you want to achieve, as it'll help track down to the minute that you achieve them methods of improving and how much further you need to go.


LilysGramma said...

Thank you for that advice. :) I find your blog very helpful.

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Salute said...

Thanks for sharing and your blog is very informative.

Mike said...

Thanks for sharing these tips. Good are site.

infinitewebprofit said...

Forcing blog readers to stay on your site and browse more can be achieve, if viewers can see more interesting articles. Still, good article posts keeps visitors read more and stay longer.