Remedies To Reduce Bounce Rate for a WordPress Blog

Ankit Kumar Singla10/09/2014Blogging Tips

Before we enter the nitty-gritty details, let us first take a quick sneak peek into the definition of the term ‘Bounce Rate’.

Bounce Rate is the measure of the percentage of people who visited your website but bounced from their current page without checking out other pages. In a more informal tone, it depicts the number of people who visit your site and leave in an instant. The sooner they leave, the more negative your bounce rate % gets.

Now that we’ve established the premise, an extremely high percentage value indicates everything that is wrong with your website.

The genre and domain of your business doesn’t matter, it’s a known universal fact that if you can get your users and potential customers to stick around your company website for a longer time, you’re golden!

Ana HoffmanAna Hoffman already talked about making your blog sticky for visitors. Must check her top 16 ways here.

Why Lower Bounce Rate?

Lower bounce rate means more number of subscribers, which means more profits, which at the end of the day is the one single purpose of every business around the world.

Apart from the monetary relief, it also helps on the SEO [Search Engine Optimization] front. And we all very well know that this is the current buzz phrase in the technology world. Hence, one can’t possibly undermine the importance of reducing the bounce rate of a WordPress blog.

Now, many of you might not know how to stumble upon this holy number. For that, you’ll need to log in to your Google Analytics account or any other statistics solution. Make sure that you use your bounce rate measure as a barometer of how smoothly your WordPress blog is working. Here are a few general parameters:

  • Excellent Bounce Rate – Around or lower than 20%
  • Good Bounce Rate – Around or lower than 40%
  • Average Bounce Rate – 50 to 60%
  • Poor Bounce Rate – Over 75 to 80%

After all that has been said and done, let us look at the various ways by which you can reduce and stabilize your precious bounce rate:

1. Thoroughly Study your Analytics in Detail

Before you begin the bounce rate reduction process, you need to find out the intricate details of each individual blog page that you possess. You need to find out what kind of visitors get attracted by your blog, the various keywords that you need to target, the status of your landing pages, and more. Once you’re acquainted with the fallacies, you can come up with your own set of remedies.

2. Top Notch Content

This is perhaps the most crucial factor which proves detrimental to the success of every blog. Make your content informative, concise, simple and articulate at the same time. Even more than what’s being written, the presentation matters. Avoid long, poorly spaced paragraphs and employ lists whilst highlighting the significant headings. Treat your blog visitors like kings, and you’ll never go wrong!

3. Optimize Page Loading Times

Why would a visitor stick to your blog if it takes more than half a minute to load? It would be safe to say that a slow paced blog is a recipe for disaster. Follow the underlying steps:

  • Use compressed images
  • Install a caching plug-in
  • Choose a lightweight theme with non-complex graphics. (My recommendation: Genesis)
  • Compress your code
  • If the problems still persist, pick another web hosting provider. (My recommendation: Hostgator)

For more information, you can refer to this article.

4. Avoid Flashy Pop-Ups

Possessing splash pages, irrelevant pop-ups, and multiple advertisements will only push your visitors away, as they don’t add to your blog value. You need to polish your blog in a seamless manner without these distractions.

5. Display Excerpts on the Blog Pages

Avoid full post displays on your blog, as that will put off your readers. Give them a choice to click on the article they want to read. Improve your visitor experience by opting for excerpts, which will simultaneously optimize your page loading times and increase your page views.

6. Segregate Longer Posts

Well, the more the merrier doesn’t always work! No one will have the time to read an immensely huge blog post on a single page. Use the <!–nextpage–> tag to split your post into multiple pages. This will improve the reading experience by a significant margin.

7. Give Credible Headlines

Writing the most attractive piece of blog article in the world will still pay no dividends, if you can’t cap it off with an eye-catching headline. The main heading tag is the deal maker-breaker. It needs to be spot on, descriptive, and insanely attractive to say the least.

8. Invoke Seamless Navigation

Make sure that the path to your blog is easy and reachable; otherwise your visitors won’t stick for long. Moreover, to solidify your navigation quotient, you can install plug-ins like YARPP [this is one of the most frequently used plug-ins as it directly affects the bounce rate, by leading your visitors to other blogs that they would probably be interested in].

9. Random Browsing is Healthy

This is your chance to attract the visitors by being creative and articulate. You can employ a button named ‘Feeling Curious?’ which will redirect your visitors to a random blog post. This helps in keeping the spice alive!

10. Treat External Links with Caution

If you’ve instilled external links in your blog, make sure that all these links get opened in a new window or tab. Otherwise, your visitors will exit your website every time they click!

11. Boast a Healthy Blog Comment Ratio

Indulge yourselves in a healthy blog commenting regime by replying to every credible blog comment that comes your way. This will not only engage the readers, it will also improve the bounce rate whilst attracting more visitors. Avoid faulty plug-ins and spam comments which will lead to Google penalization.

12. Build Concrete Internal Links

You’re reading an interesting blog, and you find an internal link which oozes relevancy, what do you do? You will obviously click on it! The same pattern will be followed by your readers and visitors. This will increase your page views and optimize your SEO value.

13. Tackle 404 Errors by Redirection

A 404 error informs the readers that even though your blog is working, but the page that they’re looking for doesn’t exist. This is mostly caused due to inappropriate links, deleted posts, and fluctuating permalinks. Now, new visitors won’t strive this hard just so they can reach your blog. Hence, help them reach the right page with the help of the ‘Redirection Plug-in’.

14. Optimize your SEO Prowess

Use the right meta keywords, meta descriptions, and other SEO based techniques in order to bolster your bounce rate. If someone searching for their favorite team’s football score reaches your cricket blog, he won’t stick around for long, will he? Hence, bring in the right kind of visitors by targeting the appropriate keywords in your blog posts, titles, and file names.

Here is a quick guide on How to select the right keywords. Make sure to read it.

15. Consolidated Blog Search Option

If you’re using a search widget, make sure its working properly, or your readers will never come back. And if you’re not, start using one right away as it helps with the page views and visitor reach. If you’re a WordPress blog owner, you’ll know that the search option doesn’t work well. Hence, find a relevant plug-in for assistance.

16. Dynamic Themes

Free themes are ‘free’ for a reason. They’re not meant to attract visitors on a consistent basis. If you’re suffering at the hands of a lower blog bounce rate, consider altering your theme. We’re not expecting you to pick a Picasso-esque design, but still choose a template wisely.

Again, I would recommend you to use Genesis themes on your blog. You can also check this post where you’ll learn why you should use Genesis themes.

17. Interactive Sidebar

A dynamically interactive sidebar not only optimizes the visual aspect, but it also effectively improves navigation, and increases your page views. You can have a section display of most recent or most popular posts, buzzwords, various categories, and so on. Improve the readability and visibility quotient by employing buttons for your RSS feed, subscription, and e-mail updates.

18. Blog Testing on Mobile Phones and Other Devices

Prior to publically releasing your blog, you should always test its appearance and credibility on a smartphone or a tablet. Being mobile friendly is the need of the hour, as over 60% of the Internet users access the web via mobile devices. Hence, you need to indulge in device testing long before you start losing visitors.

19. Accurate Genre Classification

Although this is common sense, but still it is worth mentioning that you need to segregate your blog posts according to their genres and domains, for a seamless reading experience. This ways you can open the readers’ eyes to new trending topics they might’ve otherwise overlooked.

20. Reduce Bounce Rate WordPress Plug-in

Before you take the plunge, I’d like to advise you to take it at your own risk. Plug-ins can be effective when paired with all the above-mentioned techniques. They won’t do miraculous wonders on their own. But still, it this helps you sleep at night, install this plug-in and notice the changes.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, bounce rate reduction doesn’t happen overnight. It is a consistent gradual process, and only an amalgamation of above mentioned strategies can make a difference. Just adhering to these simple steps can ultimately cause a profit difference of millions, if performed diligently. So, act now before you start losing visitors. Good luck!

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About the Author
Hi, it’s me behind this blog - BloggerTipsTricks.com. Interested to blogging, SEO Area, WordPress Themes, Plugins and various blogging tools. Want to connect with me? Add me in your Google+ circle and lets get connected.

11 Brilliant Comments - Join Discussion Now!

  1. Nirmala says:

    What to say? Just an awesome piece of content to reduce the bounce rate of a blog!

    Bro, I do accept all your ways of reducing bounce rate but one thing I wanna insist is that the readers should not get distracted through any way while reading the blog post. This will definitely ensure the low bounce rate. I’ve learned this great stuff from Adam Connell of Bloggingwizard.com.

    In some blogs, I’ve seen annoying pop-ups, forcing pages to follow social profiles/email-subscription, multiple ads in-between the posts and so on. I never visit such blogs again.

    Yes, as you specified, theme should have a easy navigation and fast loading feature. Making the external and internal links to open in a new tab is a good tactic to drop down the bounce rate.

    I feel good that I’m following most of the ways which you’ve listed here and yes, will make use of the beneficial plugins listed here. Thanks for presenting such a nice post for the bloggers, keep doing your good work :)

    • Hello Nirmala mam,

      Thanks for your kind appreciation and yes Adam’s post was super informative. It was great to read.

      Glad to know that you are already doing well with your blog’s bounce rate. Keep rocking :D

  2. swaviman says:

    I hope these tips will help me in my blogging carreer. Thanks to the author for providing such useful content. i was totally unaware of- Faulty web hosting & faulty theme can cause a higher bounce rate. So once again thanks for this post.

    • Hi Swaniman,

      Yes theme and hosting have great value if you want to succeed with your blog. I must recommend don’t go with free themes and cheap hostings.

      Better to go with good quality services and you’ll surely get best results. Good luck!

  3. rakesh kumar says:

    Hi Ankit
    A good tutorial for all the new bloggers starting their journey using WordPress but it is not possible to reduce your website’s bounce rate below 40%. Though it seems to me that using applying all these can do some wonders for all the bloggers. Keep in touch :) and thanks for posting this wonderful article.

    • Hi Rakesh,

      Yes it’s very true. Reducing bounce rate to 40% is damn tough and if we have 40-50% bounce rate then it’s super cool I guess :D

      Thanks for sharing your views. Keep visiting.

  4. Reginald says:

    Hey man,

    Thanks for sharing this. I think the biggest problem is the loading speed. I could accept anything below 3 seconds. More than that, I would just give up on that page.

    A good hosting is important. I have 27 plugins and my loading speed is around 1.14sec without MaxCDN. With MaxCDN is around 700 ms.

    Moral of the story? Focus in speed. That’s important. Not the most important though but it is certainly good for the first great impression.

  5. Gobizen says:

    Hi Bro,

    Bounce rate is just for our reference but as you have said working for this to reduce seems modifying our website like a pro. I love your tips you have shared.

  6. Hello, Ankit
    You have written a great in details article, but I want ask you a question which is regarding link building, I want to build quick links from high authority site, can you please tell me the way.

    I am waiting for your reply.

  7. Wow! great post Ankit! Loved these top 20 tips. More specifically as you said treating external links with target=”_blank”.

    But high bounce rate isn’t always a bad thing. It mainly depends on what industry you are in. As an example of if you are looking your local restaurant phone number, you visit their site collect the info & leave. Think about Wikipedia, you search on Google “durga puja” visit the Wikipedia site, collect info & leave. These bounces doesn’t mean that the website wasn’t useful, it just means that the visitors could find all that they needed on one page.

  8. Ravi Chahar says:

    Hi Ankit,

    Bounce rate is a great stuff to think upon.

    Many bloggers face problem of high bounce. They need to know that they can lower it down by showing their recent posts, related posts widget. Inter linking in their blog posts and many more.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Have a great week ahead.:)

    ~Ravi

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