When someone lands on your website and then leaves without
visiting any other pages, that’s a bounce. Why should you care about that?
Because the longer you engage visitors, the more opportunities you have to
establish credibility and provide value, and the greater chance you have of
converting them to a paying customer.
Website visitors can bounce from many different types of
pages, but today we’ll focus specifically on blog bounce rates. Blogs play a
crucial role as an inbound marketing tool.
To make the biggest dent in bounce rates, marketers must take steps in two areas: (1) optimize content and (2) work with IT on the user experience. Improving page load speed, making sure the mobile website is optimized, and streamlining design and navigation are all examples of improving the user experience. To optimize content, here are some of our favorite quick fixes to reduce blog bounce rates.
Quick Tip #1 Check Those Outbound Links
Many marketers include outbound links in blogs to cite statistics,
examples, or corresponding content. One quick way to lower your blog bounce is
to check that these links are set to open in a new window when clicked.
On our website, for example, we discovered that links we added on the backend were opening in the same window by default. Oh no! Once we realized this, we went through every blog and changed all the link settings. Now, every time we upload a new blog, part of our process is to check each link and make sure we manually toggle it to open in a new tab.
Quick Tip #2: Piggyback off What’s Working
Analyzing content helps marketers understand how well their content marketing strategy is working. Notice that a specific post is popular? Piggyback off that to write blogs on similar topics. For example, it stands to reason that if someone is reading an article on how to eat well, they may also be interested in blog on what a healthy diet contains. A quick and easy way to brainstorm these types of topics is to look at Google’s Related Searches/People Also Ask. These are SERP results that Google serves up based on common related questions it’s seeing. Use its insights to guide your next blog post, and then link that post with a CTA from your original well-performing post. Now, you’ve given your website visitors a reason to stick around and click on to the next article!
Quick Tip #3: Set up Smarter Bounce Rate Tracking
If you use Google Analytics to track bounce rates on your
blog, you are relying on Google to determine which interactions count towards your
bounce rate. The tool registers page interactions as engagements, so making
sure those engagements are measured accurately ensures the resulting bounce
rates are accurate, too. A bounce is defined by Google as a session that
triggers only one request to the Analytics server.
But what if someone goes to your blog, reads through it, and
clicks through a carousel of reviews before leaving? Google won’t automatically
count those actions.
Did you know you can tell Google what it should count as an
interaction event vs. a non-interaction event, therefore gaining more control over
reducing bounce rates?
By changing interaction event tracking parameters and updating the related UA tracking ID, you can guide Google to make smarter bounce rate decisions based on your specific goals. So, if you’re trying to measure engagement with the blog and its supporting page elements, you can tell Google to count X amount of time spent on the page as one interaction event and clicking through the review carousel as another interaction event. More information on how to do this (and why) can be found here.
Quick Tip #4: Mix Your Media
Diversifying content types beyond standard blog formats gives
your audience more opportunities to choose how they want to engage with your
content. Here are some ways to mix your media, get people to stay on your site
longer, and ultimately lower bounce rates.
- Embed a video with its full transcript. This way, visitors can choose whether to watch the video or scan the text. Make sure that page links to other relevant videos or similar blogs via a CTA.
- Home-in on a specific subtopic within your blog and create a quick video that dives deeper on it. Then, add that video as a CTA in the blog. Don’t have video editing software? Use an inexpensive tool to create animated videos with minimal effort.
- Got a blog post that’s that keeps getting consistent traffic? Create an infographic, post it new, and then link that infographic page to the longer blog. Now the reader can scan the infographic for quick reference and then click over to your original post to learn more.
- Make sure you’re capitalizing on any opportunities to internally link from one blog post to another. For example, one of our more recent blogs on identifying priorities in your cybersecurity strategy references links to two older blogs that relate.
Reducing blog bounce rates is a task that takes patience, time, and effort. As you work through your bigger strategy to reduce blog bounce rates, keep these tips in mind to make some fast fixes in the meantime!