What is bounce rate?
Bounce rate (sometimes confused with exit rate) is an Internet marketing term used in web traffic analysis. It represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and “bounce” (leave the site) rather than continue viewing other pages within the same site. —wikipedia.org
Another question to ask is this…
What does bounce rate have to do with my blog?
Actually, the more I get into this whole science of Site Analytics, I see the importance of bounce rate when it comes to your visitors staying on your web site.
When it comes to bounce rate, the higher the percentage, the higher the occurrence that a visitor will leave your web page to go to another web site, or hit the back button and go back from where they came.
Of course, you’ll want your visitor to continue visiting other pages of your site, because well, that’s what you probably want.
You want your visitor to become engaged and further explore other pages of your blog or site.
So, the lower the percentage of the bounce rate of any given page, the higher the occurence that a visitor will visit other pages.
A good place to monitor bounce rate is to use Google Analytics.
3 Ways to Lower a Web Page’s Bounce Rate
Add a ‘Related Posts’ section.
Actually, many bloggers have this feature already added to their blog. And typically, this is added to the end of a blog post.
If a visitor gets that far down a web page, then they’ll be offered a few options to continue visiting other related pages on your site. This is a great feature.
However, what happens when the visitor doesn’t get that far down your web page?
A solution to this would be to place the “Related Posts” section up higher so that the visitor has the option to check out another post, if the current one doesn’t interest them.
Provide an option to visit another page within the post.
I see a lot of the big blogs (like Lifehacker.com) do this simple technique. And, placement of this option is fairly crucial.
What you probably want to do is to add this option after the first or second paragraph of your current post. A good example of this can be found in a recent post: 5 Essentials To Pack In Your Overnight Backpack
That way, if the current post isn’t what the visitor is after, then s/he has the option (midway through the post) to visit yet another post that might be what they’re looking for.
Add the latest posts to the Sidebar.
Many blogs have a reverse chronological order in which the most recent blog posts are displayed. This is the standard in which most blogs work, with the latest post on top. Of course, there is a chance that the visitor won’t go further down your front page, for whatever reasons.
Option 1: Especially where the visitor is currently reading a blog post, having the latest posts featured in the Sidebar is a good technique for enticing the visitor to check out other latest posts. Making sure these posts are visible above-the-fold is pretty important.
Option 2: Another option is to have the most popular posts displayed in the Sidebar. This will allow the visitor to have the option to visit your best posts.
Option 3: And better still would be to have the Latest and Popular posts available in the Sidebar in different tabs.
Looking for more information on how to lower bounce rate?
This topic has been covered quite a bit, so check out these posts…