However great your blog, web page or online store is, it is likely you are still suffering from bounce rates that are higher than you would like. Of course no one will totally eliminate bounce rates and get every user to immediately engage. However, there are a number of ways you can get users to stick around for longer. But first of all, what exactly is a bounce rate? It’s actually not about total time spent on your site or blog, instead it calculates the number of users that get to one of your web pages, but no further. It’s a metric for single-page visitors. For whatever reason, they have clicked through to your site (great!) but then decided to log right off again (oh no). So what can you do about it?
Figure out the numbers
You might be shocked when you see an 80% bounce rate. But in terms of bounce rate benchmarks, the average rate for blogs is 70-98% and 40-60% for content websites. Before you start working to actively reduce your bounce rate it is important to understand your existing bounce rate and to set a realistic goal for the future. For example, if your blog is at 98% then there is definitely a lot of room for improvement, but it probably makes more sense to aim to get it down to 80 or 75% and not to bring it down to 40%. The high rate for blogs also makes a lot of sense – people who visit your blog through external links may come there to read just one article and leave once they’ve done it. But there are still ways you can get them to stick around.
Make things simple
Take a look at your website. Could your 90-year-old grandmother understand how to get from one story to another? Ok, most of your users probably won’t be aged 90, but figuring out how to keep things simple and straightforward is crucial. Your UX should be quick to load, seamless and easy to navigate. As soon as users get to a web page you can display links to other parts of your sites and include calls to action. You can also think about ways to integrate advertising. It’s important to do this in a way that is meaningful and not just an annoyance. Native advertising is a great way to have the ads you need but in a way that feels organic because they match your platform and content.
Make your website visually stunning
Are you guilty of running the same old blog for the past 5 years with basically no changes apart from the content? Do you have a horrifically outdated website from the 90s? Even if your blog is relatively new and up to date, it might be time for a visual overhaul. The phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” is true. And while you don’t need to replace all your text with images, great visuals can encourage your readers to stick around and explore your site for longer.
Create a conversation
The most interesting blogs and websites are the ones with lots of user interactions. The more people engage, the more interesting your site is and the more time and energy people are likely to spend there. If there is a place where users can interact and share their thoughts and opinions it is likely they will be willing to leave your landing page and go there. People love to be part of a conversation. A great way to encourage this would be to create calls to action where you ask your users’ opinions or ask your users to answer a question/s. You can also get more creative and interactive by creating simple contests or competitions for your users to participate in.
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