Blogs can be a great way to connect more deeply with customers, visitors, and prospects, but they're not without their challenges and minimizing your content's bounce rate can be a big one.
The truth is that there are many reasons why people might bounce from your site, including impatience (e.g., they don't want to read through long posts), boredom (e.g., there's nothing new or engaging on the page), confusion (e.g., navigation menus lack clarity), or simply being pulled away by something else that catches their attention elsewhere online while browsing blogs in general.
While it is difficult to create content that keeps readers on the page, it's not impossible. You have to make it enjoyable, but not so much that it's hard to read. To understand more about bounce rate and how to minimize it, we've asked the experts about their tips for making your posts more engaging and reducing bounce rate.
According to Google Analytics, a bounce is "a single-page session on your site that lasts less than five seconds." A bounce occurs when a session triggers only a single request to the Analytics server — such as when a user opens a page on your site — and then exits without doing any other action during that session. However, there are other reasons your visitor might have bounced, though. Oleh Sorokopud, Head of Digital Marketing at Fremont, CA-based Softjourn shares some of them.
You can calculate your bounce rate by dividing all your single-page sessions by all the sessions. Then you'll get the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the Analytics server.
Most businesses want to reduce bounce rates because they want more people to come to a page and then interact with the site to convert a customer. According to Meg Sakakibara, VP of Marketing at Vancouver, Canada-based Unbounce, "bounce rates affect the score of a business' website; when there is a high bounce rate, Google recognizes that as a poor quality page and it will impact the quality score which then also increases ad costs and page ranking. This is where bounce rate comes into play, and an increased bounce rate correlates to customers and dollars lost, providing a challenge to digital businesses."
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Usually, blog posts have higher bounce rates compared to other pages. The reason behind this is simple: if a visitor doesn't find the information he or she needs, they will move on to the following site on the search engine results page. Here are 8 tips our experts shared.
To reduce bounce rates in your blog posts, you need to ensure that you offer visitors all the relevant information as soon as possible while keeping the post friendly and fresh. Pay attention to the readability and that things get to the point quickly while still conveying the hard facts that make your post actionable.
"The main goal of a page is to ensure customers land on a page that matches their expectations, whether they clicked on an ad or an organic search," shares Sakakibara. Ensure that visitors have made the right decision by matching their content and design to how the post looks in the organic search results.
Every blog post needs a call to action (CTA) — a short phrase that guides visitors to take the desired action. Sakakibara recommends avoiding any distractions to the primary CTA. "Cluttering the page with too many actions might distract the user who may click away from the page and not convert as they follow a different cookie trail leading away from the original website," she said.
Bottom line is it's best to stick to one laser-focused CTA to make it simple and help the visitor move along its journey.
Your content should be clear and straightforward. Avoiding padding your article and keep things tight and concise. Give users actionable information in the first 100 words of your post to prevent them from leaving your site. If you take too long to answer their query or communicate the benefits of your posts, your visitors will leave for greener pastures.
Google's page experience and mobile first updates have highlighted the need for fast pages among other things. Page loading speed is an important factor to consider to reduce bounce rates. Sorokopud warns us about the perils of slow-loading sites by saying that "websites that are slow to load can force a customer to return to the search engine results page and pick the next site in instead of staying in your website. Especially for users using mobile devices that do not always have access to high-speed internet," Optimize your blog posts' speed by compressing your images and optimizing your overall site architecture.
You can use tools like Google's Lighthouse to see how your site and blog posts stack up and what you can do to fix them.
Related Article: Preparing for Google's Page Experience Update via the Core Web Vitals Report
New tools like InkforAll, MarketMuse and others helps writers optimize their content for the search intent. They offer tips like headline improvement, difficult to read sentences, overuse of keywords and more.
Remember that your visitors arrive on your blog post because they have been looking for information on a specific topic. Make sure that the topic of your post is clear by giving relevant information to your visitors. If you can do that, your visitors will be sure to stick around when they've landed on your website.