*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links for your convenience*
As a blogger you do many things other than just blog. If you are at the beginning stages of blogging or have been doing this for a while, you know that your work actually begins the minute you hit that “publish” button. Yes. the truth is hard. The reality is that you need to get the word out, or else your blog post will just sit there and all you will hear is crickets.
So what do you do?
On Pinterest, on Twitter, on Instagram, on your Facebook page, in Facebook groups…. you name it, you have to do it.
But while you might have a solid social media sharing plan or know all of the steps you need to take in order to promote your blog post, you need to keep your readers on your site once they get there.
You need them to actually want to stay there. So how do you find out if they actually are?
Once you have connected your site to google analytics, you are able to see your BOUNCE RATE (one of the many benefits of amazing tool).
So, what is a bounce rate?
It is “a single-page session on your site” or in other words, when a person visits your site, lands on a page and then leaves without clicking on any of your other pages or posts…
There can be 2 reasons for this:
- Your content was deemed irrelevant & not useful them
- Your strategy to keep them on your site sucks (yes, tough love baby!)
Now, I am not going to tell you what everyone else does about user retention. The main thing I read on other blog posts is “write great content”.
Well, duh! You already know you need to be doing that so telling you that is going to make you just want to click away from my site.
And since my goal is to KEEP YOU HERE, I will tell you how I have managed to take my bounce rate to as low as 49.16%!
And this is just for this past week alone and I haven’t even written a new blog post in 2 weeks (yes, terrible I know!)
But okay, I hear you, that is just a week, so let’s look at the entire 2017 calendar year so far….
Still under 60%! Yeah baby!
And the funny thing is that I wasn’t even trying. I check my analytics about once every couple of weeks and sometimes once a month. When I went to look at my analytics recently to see how I was doing, I was blown away!
So, I started looking a little deeper to identify the factors that were causing this and I noticed a few things (#4 is the kicker!).
Here is what found:
- I have the Jetpack related posts activated on my site, and what it does is list similar blog posts at the very end of each post so that once your reader is finished, they may be enticed to click on something else that may be of interest to them. Easy peasy!
Here’s how you do it:
Select Jetpack in your Dashboard menu. Go to Settings.
Then, select the Traffic menu item and turn on Related Posts
I love this tool because you simply set it and forget it!
2. Another great way to reduce your site’s bounce rate is to make sure you use your sidebar correctly.
My sidebar is mostly filled with content that is my own. While I do have a couple of items that I promote with my affiliate links in order to help generate income, I keep it to mostly my own services and/or content because the key here is that you want them to STAY on your site – not go to someone else’s.
In order to do that you need to make sure your images are captivating. One way to do this is to use stock photos and then add overlays and easy-to-read titles with a program like Canva in order to capture attention.
TIP: I would also make them tall images, just like you would with Pinterest, this way they stay in view longer as your reader’s scroll down a blog post or page.
3. I make sure I link to other blog posts and pages within my site EVERY TIME it’s relevant. But I never say, “for more about this, click here.”
People don’t click “here”.
Because you told them what to expect if they do!
A little mystery goes a long way, here folks!
So instead, just add the link within your sentence. Your reader will see it highlighted and immediately wonder what that link is about.
In addition, I also like to add a quick “related” section and interrupt the flow of the blog post in order to grab the reader’s attention. They may not click on it right away, but they may go back to it if it sparked enough curiosity.
The key here is to actually make it related to the content you are currently talking about.
Both examples are show below:
4. Create your own landing pages on your site!
Yep! You read that right.
Seriously…. there is NO NEED to invest in pricey landing page creator like Leadpages. I did the very first year I was in business and frankly I regretted it almost immediately.
You don’t need a service like that for 4 reasons:
- It’s super pricey and while it may work for established bloggers making a pretty decent income, it’s not an investment that someone who is just starting out needs to make.
- It takes your readers AWAY from your site! Don’t you want them to stay? I mean, that’s what this post is all about right?
- It’s not as user friendly as it’s made out to be. You will need to get knowledgeable about yet another thing for your blog and I found there were too many glitches to be worth the price and the hassle.
- Most WordPress themes (at least the good ones) make sure you have a landing page template already in place! They are usually found underneath your Yoast SEO plugin on the blog drafting page (mine may look different from your’s since I use the Thrive Theme, Squared):
Now, the biggest issue with creating landing pages on your own website is actually designing the layout for them. You simply CANNOT edit them in the editor like you do a blog post and have it come out looking as professional and elaborate as all the other landing pages you see online.
But there is one plugin that will change your life FOREVER!!!!!
The plugin I’m talking about is the Thrive Themes Landing Page Plugin!
It is amazing because it provides you with pre-made landing pages that you can customize on your very own site to match your brand and increase conversions for your opt-ins.
The best thing about the landing page plugin is that it comes with the Content Builder, so you actually get 2 plugins! The Content Builder is the drag and drop platform you can use to build your landing pages from the ground up or use it to edit those pre-made landing pages right on your site!
You literally select from the menu at the right and drag it over!
Choose from column, page breaks, testimonial boxes, images, text…. you name it, it’s there! And the best part is that it happens in real time. There is no hitting the “preview button” from your editor to see if it came out the way you intended (which is what the plugins make you do).
Don’t think you need landing pages on your site?
Get your Beginner’s Guide to Landing Pages so you can understand how they work.
Plus, make sure to check out the video about the plugin here.
So, how do landing pages relate to my bounce rate?
In every way!
We already talked about the number one reason I use them: to keep readers on my site! When I offer a content upgrade, I make sure I take them to a landing page on my site and then once they have subscribed I send them to another landing page…
My thank you page.
It’s another crucial part!
This landing page tells them what to do next…
Here’s my thank you page and as you can see I clearly tell my readers what to do in 4 easy steps!
Step #4 is one I recently added and probably the reason my bounce rate went as low as 49.16%.
I mentioned my most popular blog posts on my thank you page!
So, not only did my reader just go to my site, they clicked a link to a landing page, which then took them to my thank you page once they subscribed, and then they could have potentially gone to more of my posts!
They just navigated 3 pages after they came over to my site!
End result: I get an awesome bounce rate with the implementation of one simple concept, my landing page.
And that’s it! If you implement these 4 strategies you too can reduce your site’s bounce rate significantly.
Do you have any strategies to help reduce your site’s bounce rate? I would love to know in the comments below.