Sometimes, my bounce rate makes me fairly upset. It has been as high as 88%, that means that close to all of my visitors leave without clicking on anything. It’s like they are not interested in reading any of my other articles.
Even though it has dropped a lot since the peak, I have to do something in order to get people more interested in staying and reading more of what I am writing.
If you want to know more about bounce rates, I suggest you read How to use Google Analytics Bounce Rate
The best of my writing
One of the things I’ve done lately, is to add a new feature to the sidebar of my blog called “The Best of my Writing”.
I have handpicked six articles, I think most of my readers will find fairly interesting. This way, if they see them, I hope they’ll click on at least one.
Related posts plugin
Another way of lowering my bounce rate, is to implement a related posts plugin.
I did this a while ago, but I haven’t really noticed any effect.
Clear internal linking structure
I believe that one of the most effective ways to keep my visitors reading, is to provide a clear internal linking structure. I have tried to edit my main navigation, to only include the most important parts of my blog and it only includes four links (and one of them is home and another one is contact).
I might have to change contact to “About me”, because I think a lot more people are interested in reading my story than to click on “contact”. The problem today, is that, “contact” is really the “about me” page. I should probably be a lot more direct when it comes to navigation, that’s the only way the majority of my visitors will understand the about me page.
Nice design and good content
You can’t really beat good content, with quality content. People will be impressed, and they’ll be looking at all the other stuff you’ve been writing. They’ll be glancing at your website, and if they really like your design, they’ll most likely be reading on.
First impressions are really important. The reason, is that almost every single decision when it comes to buying, subscribing to your rss feeds, is based upon their first impressions.
Provide your categories above the fold
I am really not sure about this one, but I think it might be worth a shot. If I included all my categories above the fold (so my visitors could see them, without scrolling). They might find a category they really care about, if they do, it’s a bigger chance that they will click on it, and continue reading.
I haven’t implemented this yet, but I’ll do it sometime soon, just to test if this will lower my bounce rate. I’ll just have to wait and see if including “the best of my writing” will be helpful first.
… but how important is the sidebar really? I always notice the sidebar when I visit other websites and blogs, but I’m not sure if I only notice banners or if I notice regular links at all.
Don’t make your visitors think
It might sound weird, but it’s really not. Your visitors shouldn’t have to think, when it comes to helping you to lower your bounce rate. They should do it because you’ve added easy navigation and awesome content. When you do this, looking at your other content and clicking on your links should be a fairly automated action.