SiBounce rate means the percentage of people who visit your website and leave (‘bounce’) without taking more time to check other pages on your website. Tracking bounce rate is very important for your website since you will be able to gauge whether the visitors on your website are interested in your content or not. Bounce rate is the best seo measure of effectiveness of your content and can be a good place to begin improving your blog visitors experience. Google Analytics shows the bounce rate above 80% in one of my blogs, you too can add Google Analytics on your website and monitor your bounce rate. Google Analytics helps you monitor a number of metrics that determine the health of your website.
If you published a WordPress post and received a total of 100 visitors in a month but 80 of the 100 visitors left your website immediately, then your bounce rate will be calculated as follows;
Bounce Rate = Bounces/ Total Visitors X 100; in this case it is 80/100 = 0.80 x 100 = 80%
10 Simple Steps To Reduce Bounce Rate In WordPress :
Stop using WordPress Popups :
The first step towards reducing bounce rate on your website is to do away with all the popups. Popups are often used for a number of reasons in WordPress that include; email signups, social media promotion and advertisements. Nothing sends visitors away from your website than popups, especially in new websites. You should therefore avoid using popups or if you must use them, it should be sparingly. So You should also ensure your popups have a clear way to close them since persistent popups drives visitors away from your website. You can also incorporate the side popups or bottom popups instead of using those that block the entire site.
Improve Your Navigation
Recently I wrote a tutorial on how to build a responsive WordPress navigation. A menu in a website is equivalent to a map and it should help your visitors get across your website with ease. Your menus should be easy to use and they should all be clickable. Make use of WordPress categories, custom menus and pages to organize your website navigation properly. You should also ensure your menu is responsive and easily accessible in mobile gadgets and tablets.
Use responsive WordPress themes only
There are more and more people accessing the web via smartphones and tablets. These statistics show a growing trend that you need to consider when building a WordPress blog. When you are building your WordPress site you should ensure you use or build a responsive theme. This will help reduce bounce rate from mobile users. There are tons of free WordPress themes that are responsive and ready for use. A well coded responsive WordPress theme also helps solve the problem I mentioned earlier regarding navigation.
Improve WordPress Loading Speed
The amount of time a site takes to load has a serious role to play in SEO. Once you achieve a good load speed on your website, you will see bounce rate reduce drastically. There are a number of ways to improve website load speed that include; caching, slicing images, using content delivery network, among others. There are also several WordPress plugins that can help you improve the site load speed. If your website takes more than 10 seconds to load you should work on improving the speed.
WordPress Internal Linking
Internal website links are the best way to quickly reduce your bounce rate as well as improve your search engine ranking. Since I started implementing internal links as a strategy of reducing bounce rate, I noted significant improvement on website ranking. WordPress link feature allows you to link to existing content in your website. The more internal links you create in your WordPress posts the lower will be your bounce rate.
You should create the internal links based on relevance in order to promote related content. WordPress tags area great way to improve your internal linking. You should add related posts at the bottom of the posts using a plugin or as a feature in your theme as anther ingenue way of linking your posts. For you to leverage on ‘related posts feature’ posts should have well written titles that helps improve the click through rate.
Fix Broken Links on your Site
You should closely monitor links in your website using Google Webmaster Console to see which links are broken. Broken links can cause an increase the rate in which visitors leave your website and should be fixed as soon as they are found. There are also several other free tools you can use to analyze your website links and identify broken links. Google Webmaster Tools is good since you get a prompt report about broken links on your website.
WordPress 404 Redirection
High number of 404 pages can increase your bounce rate especially when they are not helpful. You should make your 404 pages helpful by creating alternatives for visitors to return to the home or view alternative pages. Just as I wrote in the tutorial – Building WordPress Custom 404 Page, you should consider making a custom 404 page. You should ensure you use 301 redirect for old permalinks on your WordPress blog since they are likely to be 404 pages.
Open WordPress External Links in New Tabs
When you are linking to external websites you should be careful not to lose your website visitor by opening the link on the same tab or window. You should instead target to open all external links in new tabs or windows. You can achieve this by adding; target=”_blank” to your URLs.
<a href=”http://yoururl.com” target=”_blank”>your anchor text</a>
By creating these kind of links, you ensure that you do not lose website visitors when they click on external links.
Place Your Ads Carefully
Ads can be a nice complement to good website design but if they are obstructive and distractive they lead to a high bounce rate. You should limit the location of ads to sidebars, below posts and when you use them inside content you should clearly separate them from content.
Content is King – Create useful content for your Readers :
There is no doubt about the value that good content contributes towards increasing your website audience and readership. If you produce useful content for your audience you will obviously make visitors stay longer in your website. Improving content should be the first and long term strategy you take towards reducing bounce rate. The content should not only be free of grammar mistakes but should also be useful to readers. Use bullets points to list items and H1- H6 headings to clearly show the content titles. You should also use both video and image content to spruce up your website content.
Now that we have looked at the different ways of reducing bounce rate on your WordPress site. You should implement these measures on your blog to improve traffic and search engine ranking. The overall goal of your effort to reduce bounce rate should be to improve user experience and build a loyal audience. This can only be achieved if you create high quality content, link appropriately, build a responsive website and augment it with good design.