Whether you’re trying to promote and sell products or services, or communicating with people who share the same interests as you, reducing the bounce rate of your blog is your number one goal. No matter how many visits you get to your blog, it won’t matter at all if your bounce rate is near 100%.
What Is Bounce Rate?
Depending on your experience with search engine optimized blogs, you may or may not know what bounce rate is. However, even if you don’t know what it is, chances are, you have contributed to the bounce rate of a website in the past.
Have you ever clicked on a link, landed on a page of a blog, only to click the “back” button as soon as you read that page? Perhaps the blog had to many advertisements, the color scheme hurt your eyes, or perhaps the blog wasn’t about what you thought it was. No matter the reason, you clicking the “back” without visiting any other pages contributed to that blog’s bounce rate.
Based on that example, you probably understand why a high bounce rate is undesirable. Visitors to your blog are not useful at all if they don’t stay long enough for you to be able to promote your product or service, or for you to get your message across.
What’s a Bad Bounce Rate?
According to Google, the average bounce rate of a website is about 40%, therefore, you should shoot for a bounce rate around that percentage. A bad bounce rate would generally be anything above 70%, however a low bounce rate can be just as bad. If your website’s bounce rate is unnaturally low, then that may mean that very few people are finding your website organically, or via search engine.
Before you try to tackle a bad bounce rate, you should consider the source of your traffic. If most of your traffic is from direct links, yet you have a high bounce rate, then you should consider altering your content to keep your visitors from leaving. However, if most of your traffic is coming from search engines, then a high bounce rate may mean that people aren’t finding what they’re looking for on your website, so you should alter the keywords and title tags of your blog.
Common Reasons for a High Bounce Rate
Have you ever heard of a saying that goes along the lines of, “The best way to solve a problem is by getting rid of the source”? The first thing you should do to reduce your bounce rate is eliminate any common reasons for a bounce rate.
- Too Many Ads
Advertisements are a common way of getting revenue from a SEO blog, however, they are a common reason for high bounce rates as well. A few advertisements here and there are perfectly fine, because many Internet users realize that advertisements are a necessary evil, yet too many advertisements make a blog look spammy.
Avoid having the advertisements too close to the navigation bar. Some people do not mind too many ads, but they do mind them when they continue to accidentally clicking on them due to being too close to the navigation bar.
If you simply cannot reduce the amount of advertisements on your blog, try to have most of them below the fold of your blog. The fold of a blog is the portion you can see without having too scroll down. Too many advertisements in the fold makes the website look like it is entirely composed of ads, and the user has to do a lot of scrolling to get to the content of the blog.
- Too Slow
When you load your blog, do you sometimes get impatient due to the waiting you have to do? If so, the slow loading is probably contributing to your high bounce rate. Most people, who are used to the rapid speed of technology, aren’t going to wait around for a website to load when they can simply go to another website that loads much faster.
Third-party content, such as widgets, make a website extremely slow, especially when there is a lot of third-party content. You can solve this by decreasing the amount of third-party content on your website, or getting rid of it completely.
- Bad Contrast
No one is going to stay on a website that they have lots of difficulty reading. When a page is difficult to read, either the font or font size is bad, or the contrast of the page is bad.
Many people sacrifice contrast to make their blog look nicer, but no matter how nice your blog looks, your bounce rate will remain high if there is nothing to be gained from the blog due to readability issues.
Good contrast makes your blog more accessible with vision issues, and it also makes content easier to find. Your content will also be accessible on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
- Inaccessible Navigation
If the navigation bar of your blog is hard to find or even nonexistent, then the bounce rate is definitely going to be high. Visitors may absolutely adore your content, but if your navigation bar is nowhere to be found, they will have no choice but to look for another blog with quality content that fits their needs.
You should consider having the links that are in your navigation bar at the footer of your website, and you should avoid having drop down menus in your navigation bar because those are inaccessible on mobile devices.
As you can see, lots of traffic does not always equal a blog that is reaching its maximum efficiency. Bounce rate is just as important as the amount of visitors because reeling in many visitors is useless if your blog fails to keep them on your website, sifting through all the pages. The bounce rate of your blog can help you determine what you need to fix about your blog and what aspects can stay the same.