Star Wars Kids, Yahoo! GeoCities, MySpace, planking, the Dancing Baby…
…Internet fads come and go.
But guess what? People are STILL blogging.
It seems this marketing platform – which is still essential for SEO – isn’t going anywhere.
People have perfected the art-form of the “perfect blog post” – helping them drive more traffic to their sites and increase their visibility on the SERP. However, getting people to visit your blog pages is only the first step.
After all, if you can’t get them to stay there, then what’s the point?
That’s where bounce rate comes in. It’s just a fancy term for the number of people who visit your blog and then leave again.
Having a high bounce rate is a big no-no, and means that people just aren’t sticking around to listen to all the stuff you’ve got to say.
But achieving a LOW bounce rate can be a bit of a challenge. There are a few ways to do it though…
5 Tricks to Decrease Your Bounce Rate
1. Attract an audience interested in your niche
To achieve a low bounce rate, re-assess the type of people who are visiting your pages.
Then ask yourself whether these visitors are actually interested in your niche or are reaching your pages because your keywords are resonating with a different demographic (one that won’t stick around on your site).
Laser-niche your target market
The key here is to market your site to people who are likely to purchase your goods and services, not those who have no interest whatsoever in what you are trying to sell them.
YES, you may hear some people claim that they can sell ice to Eskimos, but this isn’t always true.
It’s better to market your site to a CORE customer base, where you will be more effective in turning traffic into sales and conversions.
Do the work
Promote your blog on blog round-ups that are relevant to your niche. This can be a great marketing opportunity, especially if these websites have a huge readership and are well-known in your particular niche.
Some people waste their time trying to get their blogs noticed on content aggregators in order to expose their work to as many people as possible.
But this doesn’t always pay off, so it’s best to target a smaller, more concentrated group of people who will be HUNGRY for the services you have to offer.
Contribute to other blogs
Guest blogging can be another sure-fire way to reach the audience who are likely to bring the BIGGEST dividends.
So, do your research send out a few emails asking whether these sites will be interested in any of your content.
2. Be creative and CAPTURE your audience
Who likes boring blocks of black-and-white text? No one!
Don’t make it a chore for your readers to get through your content.
What you have to say might be REALLY important, but that doesn’t mean you have to bore your visitors from the outset.
Spice up your content with some great images, a video, map, graph – or if you’re really brave, a GIF here and there.
What else can you do to transform your content? How about…
+Catchy, concise headings
+Bold text to emphasize key elements of the article, or even CAPITALIZED words
You’ll also need to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. According to Moz (citing research from The Mobile Playbook), a whopping 57% of mobile users won’t recommend your business if you have a badly-designed mobile site.
And 40% of mobile users have even used a competitor’s site after a poor mobile experience.
3. “Have more than you show, speak less than you know…”
No one’s expecting you to be Shakespeare, but that shouldn’t stop you from creating unique, fabulous content that will reduce your bounce rate.
Create content that stands out from your competitors, is relevant to your niche, and CONNECTS with your audience.
Use quotes, refer to relevant research, comment on recent news developments – do everything you can to keep your content fresh, original, and creative.
Speak to your readers as a friend, not as a customer. Provide an answer to any query they might have, and use catchy titles that will catch the attention of your audience and get them to read through the rest of the article.
Encourage your readers to leave a comment or like your content, and post your articles on your social media pages.
4. Be careful with ads
Too many ads on your blog CAN lead to a higher bounce rate, especially if they are “in the way” or positioned badly on your pages.
NEVER block writing with ads, and make sure that ads aren’t too distracting. After all, you don’t want to have put all that effort into your SEO, only for all your customers to perform a mass exodus once they actually reach your site.
This is another reason why you should be fully optimizing your mobile pages.
Sites that look fantastic on a laptop might not have the same effect on a smartphone, especially when the structure of your pages looks like they’ve been invaded by the ad army from outer space.
5. Embrace the blank space
As your blog and service range grows it is tempting to fill up every bit of that digital real estate that is your website with blocks of information, ads, CTAs, archive, promotions, tickers, social media, etc.
It won’t hurt your user experience to strategically place these on your website as long as they serve your visitors.
It’s simple to get your bounce rate as low as possible. It should be common sense for any content marketer, even though some blogs are still making the same mistakes.
When in doubt, just try and remember why you set up your blog in the first place.
To provide a good service relevant to your niche?
To capture your audience?
To create unique and interesting content?
All these things will help to lower your bounce rate and keep your customers smiling all the way to the checkout page.
Here are a few extra tips to leave you with…
+ Use links properly! Ensure when people visit your pages, they are greeted with a summary of the article, rather than the entire piece of content.
Once they like what they see, they will be able to click on “continue reading” to view the entire piece.
Research shows that this can increase the likelihood of your readers clicking on other related content, meaning you get to keep your customers on your site for much longer.
+ Make sure your pages load quickly. Slow-loading sites can increase your bounce rate, even if people were tempted to visit your pages after reading an enticing meta-tag or description on the SERP.
Use Google’s own tool for testing.
+ After your readers have finished reading a particular piece of content, provide links to other articles on your site that your audience might be interested in.
Use tags to categorize your content, and post your articles under three or four broad “umbrella” terms.