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bounce rate

How to Lose a Reader in Ten Seconds


I’ll admit it. I can be a completely girl-girl sometimes. I like dressing up and doing my hair. I like a good shopping trip, especially if shoes or purses are involved. And yes, I like the occasional chick flick. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is one of my favorites.

In the movie, the main character writes for a women’s magazine decides to write an article about everything women do wrong when trying to snag a boyfriend. Of course, hilarity ensues when she puts her theories to the test and tries to drive a new guy away (who has unbeknownst to her recently made a bet that he can make a relationship work).

Sometimes, I feel like we’re all like the women in the movie – we’re actively trying to drive readers away. Forget ten days…if you’re not careful, you will lose readers in ten seconds.

Goodbye, readers...

We’ve been talking a lot about bounce rate here at BlogWorld recently, including compiling a list of links about bounce rate. One of the points several bloggers have made is that bounce rate is more significant if readers are only staying on the site for a few seconds (as opposed to remaining on your site for several minutes, taking the time to read a post). So what are you doing wrong? Well, I certainly can’t speak for everyone, but here are a few things that will make me leave a blog in under ten seconds:

  • Being smacked across the face with a pop-up

The great pop-up debate will likely rage on for decades to come. I’m currently not using them on my site, but I do understand why some people do. Whether you use pop-ups or not isn’t the point though – it’s about how you use them, if you make that choice.

If you smack me with a pop-up two seconds after arriving on your site, I’m probably going to click the back button pretty quickly. It definitely makes me trust your content less, since it seems like you’re just trying to sell me something, so even if I do get through the pop-up, I might click the back button pretty quickly unless your content is amazing. If you’re going to use pop-ups give me some time to like your blog first. Time your pop-ups well!

  • Content that doesn’t match the promise

Your regular readers aren’t going anywhere. They already love you. But to convince new readers to stay, you have to have great content. This goes beyond simply writing valuable content. You have to right valuable content that people want.

If I’m new to your blog, I’ve probably arrived there one of two ways – through a link or through a search engine. I click a link when the title looks interesting, and I visit via a search engine when your content looks like it might match with what I want to know. If I get to your blog and the content doesn’t meet my expectations, I’m going to leave. So:

  1. Make sure your content delivers on what your headline promises. Link bait is fine, but the content has to actually be good if you want people to stay on your site. (More on that here.)
  2. Look at the search terms people are using to find your blog. Are your posts actually covering the most popular terms or are some of your posts accidentally optimized for random keywords? (A good example: I once wrote a post called The Blog Sneetches, and sometimes people arrive at that post using the search term “sneetches” – which is probably not what they want!)

When I’m looking for specific information and I don’t get it, I’m going to leave pretty quickly.

  • You regurgitate content I’ve already read.

It’s important to write posts that are helpful for beginners in your niche, but if you’re basically rewriting what’s already been said, an reader with experience in your niche is going to leave pretty quickly. Personally, I think the best way to solve this problem is make sure you have some posts specifically for newbies (and named as such, like the beginner’s guide to bloggers basics I wrote) and some posts that answer specific questions (again, clearly titled), but then also write posts that are filled with original opinions, thoughts on news stories in your industry, personal experiences, and other things that your readers can’t find at any other site. The more original you are, the better.

I think a lot of the other things that make me leave quickly are more personal preferences than anything else. For example, I don’t like to see posts written by “admin.” What about you – what will make you leave a site quickly?

30 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Bounce Rate


Brilliant Bloggers is a weekly series here at BlogWorld where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every week, we’ll feature three of the most brilliant bloggers out there, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is that pesky statistic that tells you how many people click through to other pages on your blog after reading whatever page they landed on in the first place. Earlier this month, I wrote a bit about why bounce rate is important. Today, I wanted to take a moment to link to tons of other bloggers talking about the same topic, including many with tips on how to improve your bounce rate.

Advice from Brilliant Bloggers:

How to Reduce Your Website’s Bounce Rate by Matt Quinn

If you’ve interested in keeping people on your site longer, this post by Matt at Inc.com is a great place to start. Matt gives quite a few tips in this post, from Caleb Whitmore, CEO of Analytics Pros, but the best part of this post is that each tip ends with a “dig deeper” link – another post on the site where you can find more about making the specific tip work for you, whether you’re changing your design or improving load times.

From the post:

A site’s bounce rate is easy to track with tools like Google Analytics. Such tools can show you the bounce rates on different pages of your website, how the user came to your site (organic search, paid search, banner ad, etc.), how the bounce rate has changed over time, and other data so you can really dig into where you might have a leak.

As a rule of thumb, a 50 percent bounce rate is average. If you surpass 60 percent, you should be concerned. If you’re in excess of 80 percent, you’ve got a major problem.

After checking out the entire post, you can find Matt on Twitter @mattquinn16, and he also is a contributor to Wall Street Journal’s corporate finance blog.

The Bounce Rate Myth by Rick Allen

Most bloggers I’ve linked to in this post agree that bounce rate is important, but I think that Rick makes from really good points in this post. When it comes to metrics, nothing is truly black and white, so it’s important to understand your bounce rate and why it might be high (or low). In this post, Rick talks about how you can examine your stats more closely to really understand what’s happening on your site. This is a must-read post – don’t just blindly start to make changes on your site because another blogger says it’s a good idea! Writes Rick,

Analysts typically use bounce rate as a measure of poor quality content — or as an expression of dissatisfaction with your site. But bounce rate has a lot more to say than simply “your website stinks.” In fact, it might even say something good!

As with all web metrics, we need context to provide meaningful insights. Maybe one bounce means a visitor left because she immediately found what she was looking for or bookmarked the page to view it later. Every web metric has more than one angle.

After checking out Rick’s entire post, you can find him on Twitter @epublishmedia.

Bounce Rate: Sexiest Web Metric Ever? by Avinash Kaushik

This post is great because it gives you a really in-depth explanation of how you can track and understand your bounce rate. More importantly, with each step you take to examine your bounce rate, Avinash gives you an “action” – basically, what you can do to make your bounce rate better after looking at your stats. You can examine your site’s numbers as much as you want, but until you actually take action, nothing will change! Writes Avinash,

Start by measuring the bounce rate for your entire website. Any decent web analytics tool will give you this as soon as you log into it. You’ll understand better why your conversion rate is so low, if you have made changes over the last x amount of time then watching a trend of bounce rate is a sure way to know if the changes you are making are for the better.

Now you are ready to dive deeper.

After reading Avinash’s entire post (and hopefully taking some of the steps he recommends to improve your bounce rate), you can find him on Twitter @avinash. He is also the author of Web Analytics: An Hour A Day and blogs at Occam’s Razor.

Even More Brilliant Advice:

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about Bounce Rate? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link

Next Week’s Topic: Managing Forums

I’d love to include a link to your post next week – and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

Is Your Site Too Bouncy?


Bouncy balls? Lots of smiles! Bouncy readers? Not so much…

Right now, I’m compiling links about bounce rate for Brilliant Bloggers, and it struck me that a lot of bloggers out there might not even know what bounce rate is and why they should want a lower number. So, I’ll get to all the links and tips for creating a stickier blog tomorrow…today, I thought it might be helpful if we all talk about why this matters in the first place!

What is Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate is a number hidden in your states, usually reflected as a percentage. This is the one case when a lower number is better! Basically, a bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave your site after reading only their entry page, the page that got them to your blog in the first place. They don’t click any internal links. They don’t go to the home page. They don’t click the “read more” button. They just leave.

So, you actually want a lower bounce rate. The lower the rate, the more people are sticking around and checking out other areas of your blog, maybe even subscribing to your RSS feed or mailing list.

They Like Me…They Really Like Me!

Traffic is a great way to measure your success as a blogger, but I think sometimes the numbers can be more complex than we’d like to admit. Traffic spikes from, for example, a popular post on StumbleUpon can make your monthly totals soar. However, when you look at the bounce rate from that traffic, it tends to be very high.

It’s not that you didn’t have great content, because if you didn’t, it wouldn’t have gotten popular on StumbleUpon, but it’s more important that a person likes you, not just your blog posts. When a person is interested in you, not just your content, they want to read more, and they even want to subscribe or bookmark so they can stay connected in the future.

Readers to Consumers

Your readers consume your content, but you want them to be a consumer in another sense as well – you want them to buy your stuff, whether that’s items through affiliate links or your own products or services. People who bounce away from your site quickly don’t become consumers. The next step after becoming a consumer is becoming a brand advocate, where they actually go out and tell other people to buy from you as well…and that definitely doesn’t happen when they bounce from your site quickly!

Tricky Stats

Bounce rate is just one part of understanding your stats. I think it’s important not to have blinders on when examining numbers. Even bounce rate doesn’t alone accurately reflect what is happening on your site. Stats are tricky! But don’t ignore bounce rate, especially when you see a traffic spike. Understanding whether or not people are sticking around to check out the rest of your blog can help you create better content.

How much importance do you put in bounce rate versus raw traffic numbers? Leave a comment to tell us!

Importance of Bounce Rate & How To Improve It!


The bounce rate is a significant indicator of how relevant your blog is to visitors, so its important to determine yours and analyze ways to improve upon it, especially if the percentage is high!

What is a Bounce Rate
The bounce rate is a percentage that shows the amount of single-page visits to your site. This is the number of visits that landed on your site and then exited from that same landing page. The lower your bounce rate, the better. 50% bounce rate for blogs is somewhat normal and a 75% rate would be a cause for concern.

Importance of Bounce Rate:
A high bounce rate typically shows you that your entrance page isn’t relevant to your visitor. The more compelling your landing pages, the more visitors will stay on your site. But you need to look at the individual page itself. Perhaps you had a very specific topic that users land on, find all their information, and really have no reason to stay. Each page, and each analytic number is worth exploring.

How to Improve Bounce Rate:
A visitor will land on your blog due to your advertisements or keywords (which determines how you are displayed in search engines). When a user visits your blog, the content should be relevant to the content promised. But from there, you also want your user to stay on your site a while. The best way to keep a visitor on your site is to:

  • Have clear navigation so your visitors can see other topics you cover, and visit them easily.
  • Hotlink to related information, articles, and pages.
  • Encourage conversation with polls, forums and/or comments.

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Image Credit: SXC

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