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I have decided that 2016 is going to be the year that I make improvements on my blog. I don’t want to overwhelm myself with too many targets so each month I shall be focusing on one thing. In June I decided to focus on reducing my bounce rate as it was silly high!
What is Bounce Rate?
Your bounce rate is how long a reader spends on your site before they click away. For example, if someone visits a page on your blog stays to read that post and then clicks away that is your bounce rate.
Essential the aim of the game is to keep readers on your blog for as long as possible thus reducing your bounce rate.
What is a Good Bounce Rate?
As a general rule, a bounce rate between 26% to 40% is considered excellent. Anywhere between 41 to 55% is roughly average. Between 56 to 70% is higher than average and anything over 70% is disappointing.
To reduce your bounce rate you need to encourage readers to stay on your blog for longer and read more of your posts.
How I Personally Reduced my Bounce Rate
When I checked my bounce rate for May I was horrified! It was 73.86% which is defined as disappointing.
As it was so bad I made this one of my priorities for improvements on my blog. By the end of June (one month later) it was 33.41% which falls into the excellent category.
Update: I can now show you my bounce rate stats from May 2016 until January 2017. As you can see it has remained low. My bounce rate for January was 12.24%.
How did I do this?
Reduce Bounce Rate Plugin
The first thing I did was to install a plugin called Reduce Bounce Rate. ‘Get the real Time On Site and Bounce Rate in Google Analytics.’ I don’t feel I would be able to explain properly how this plugin works so please do check out the link above as it explains it much better than I ever could.
WordPress Related Posts
I also installed a plugin called WordPress Related Posts. It sits nicely at the bottom of my posts with thumbnail links to related posts. I love this plugin because it’s editable. I simply click on the ‘Edit Related Posts’ button and I can personally select any of my old posts.
The plugin also has other customisation settings such as changing the text above the plugin, the amount of posts shown, how they are displayed on your post and excluding certain categories.
Show Popular Posts in your Sidebar
Another way I reduce my bounce rate was by adding my most popular posts to my sidebar with a clickable image.
Make Sure External Links Open in a New Tab
Go through your old posts and make sure any external links (links that go to a site other than yours) open in a new tab. You can do this in WordPress by clicking on the link and then the little pencil symbol which enables you to edit that link. Click the little wheel which says ‘link options’ Lastly click the ‘open link in new tab’ button.
Link to Old Blog Posts in New Blog Posts
Linking to old blog posts on new blog posts is a simple way to reduce your bounce rate. Obviously make sure the link is relevant, don’t start shoving links to home decor posts in posts about cooking otherwise your readers may get annoyed and leave anyway.
I hope you have found this post useful. If you have please do share it with others.
Image Credit: I’m Priscilla + Lauren Mancke