What is bounce rate and why should you care about it?

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to your site that only visit one page on your site then leave. The average for most sites is between 40% and 60% according to Google. The lower your bounce rate is the longer your potential customers or subscribers will be sticking around on your site. If they’re sticking around it means they probably like something on your site; the more they visit the higher the chance of you making a sale/subscriber.

My blog had a bounce rate of about 80%. After some rigorous testing, trialing and learning I’ve managed to lower my bounce rate below 10%. It’s not magic; I’ll show you how it’s done.

Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate from shaneatkins.co.uk | Source: Google Analytics

In this post you’ll be learning all the tips and tricks that helped me to lower my bounce rate. You don’t need to spend hours and hours researching (lucky you): all the information you need is here. Enough of my chit chat -- let's go!

One of the best ways  to lower your bounce rate is to include related content at the end of your posts.  Here’s a list of the most popular related content WordPress plugins:

  • Nreate - My favorite of the three, it’s painless to add to your blog, it has quite a few features and even a custom section to match the look of your site.
  • LinkWithin – If you’re seeking a minimalist look, then Linkwithin will be just right for your blog.
  • Outbrain – The most popular of the three, boasting users CNN, Fast Company and Time to name a few. Outbrain does have some cool analytics about clicks on your related content, and it is fully customizable.

What’s your site about?

When a new visitor comes to your site they should know almost immediately what your site is about and how it will benefit them. Why’s this important? People have less and less time nowadays and if they can’t easily figure out what your site is about then they’ll leave. On my blog I feature what my blog’s topic is under my logo; also in the widgets section, I tell my new visitors a little about me and how my blog will help them out.

Who are you?

Create an about page. This page is essential for any website. The page should go into lots of detail about your business right from the very start to where it is now. You can include information about yourself and other team members on this page or on another, it’s up to you.

Make it easy to share things

According to business2community, implementing social sharing buttons will lower your bounce rate by 1% depending on your audience. Even though 1% is small it’s still very significant to keeping your visitors on your site/blog. Sharing buttons help your readers to share and recommend your services to their friends, so it’s vital to install them. Below’s a list of the most popular sharing plugins:

Capitalize on people’s trust in Facebook

Facebook is an enormous social network with over 1 billion active users; your blog can easily utilize this network with a Facebook recommendations widget. The widget showcases 4 posts that Facebook recommends for your reader. As people love Facebook this is an easy way of showing them something that’s already familiar to them. When people are familiar with things they tend to relax more and are happier (from personal experiences). You can get widget by installing the Facebook plugin.

Display the crème de la crème

This is a great way to show of your best posts to new and old readers. If your blog gets dozens of comments a day then display your most popular posts by comments or by views if you think there isn’t enough comments. Either way will help your reader to find the crème de la crème on your blog.

Give your readers the power of free speech

Everyone has an opinion on something whether it’s the War in Libya or what your friends wearing. If your readers aren’t even give the choice of voicing their opinion then they’ll just move to a site that does. There are many free commenting plugins out there. Disqus and Livefrye are the two best.

Conclusion

Whether you run a blog or corporate business bounce rate is an important number to be looking at. Keeping your visitors on your site longer will increase the likelihood of more sales and/or subscribers.

What have you done to reduce your bounce rate? Share your tips by leaving a comment below!