With the increasing importance of search engine optimization, the factors those affect a site ranking in search engine are vital and need to evaluate and take into consideration for every blogger. After the two major Penguin and Panda update, sites those are poorly optimized and full of duplicate contents were greatly penalized. As a result bloggers now-a-days are much aware of duplicate content as well as SEO.
Bounce rate is an important factor in determining such rankings. After the major updates, search engine like Google tends to give less importance to those sites who have a high bounce rate.
What is Bounce Rate
When a visitor lands on a page of your site (either homepage, any post or any page) and leave your site without visiting any other page, it is called Bouncing. Hence the Bounce rate denotes to the percentage of the number of visitors who leave your site without visiting other page(s) except the landing page.
Suppose you get 1,000 visitors per day and 500 visitors leave the landing page without visiting any other page or post, so-
Bounce Rate Calculation
Bounce Rate= 500/1000 x 100 = 50%
Why Bounce Rate is Important
Bounce rate is important because if bounce rate is high, it indicates that people are not finding the right content what they are looking for. If search engine gives you high ranking for a specific keyword and visitors are leaving your site from the landing page without taking any further action, then search engine determines that visitors are not finding sufficient content for that keyword and as a result it downgrades your site and increase other sites positions in the ranking.
How to Improve Bounce Rate of Your Blog
If you are taking some actions to reduce bounce rate on your website, then consider to have the data before changes and after changes. You can analyze how the changes affect your bounce rate. Some factors to consider to reduce bounce rate of your blog.
Improve Bounce Rate with Site Speed
Speed is one of the most important element because each single second increase in page loading time makes a significant percent of visitors leaving your site and increase bounce rate. Site speed depends on lots of factors including your site design, theme, database, coding, plugins and some other factors. Some poorly constructed themes reduce the site speed as well as poorly coded plugins also have significant impact on page loading time. I use this nice plugin P3 Plugin Performance Profiler to check which of my installed plugins are slowing down my site.
If you are using shared hosting, have huge visitors and require more resources to handle everything properly, it is time to upgrade to VPS for better performance.
Reduce Bounce Rate with Site Design
What is your feelings when you land into a cool looking site? You tend to check other stuffs and designs of the site, right? It doesn’t mean that your site look need to be extra-ordinary but the look should be clean rather than clumsy. It is important to give your first time visitors a cool impression about your site. Some sites look clumsy and cluttered make visitors hard to find the navigation, content and sidebar location at first look. Better to avoid free themes which are most of the time coded poorly and always use some premium themes like Thesis, Genesis, Woothemes, Theme-Junkie and others.
Reduce Bounce Rate for External Links
Some people may argue not to make external links open in new window, but I love this feature as it really helps to reduce your bounce rate by leaving your site open while visitors open a new site through any of your link. The fact is that when that visitor finishes checking the new site- closes the tab and returns to your site, there is always possibility that he check some other stuffs on your site which in turns help to reduce the bounce rate.
Minimize Bounce Rate using Proper Internal Links
There are many SEO benefits of internal linking from one post to another post in your site. It helps search engines to find other contents while they crawl a page and also motivate the visitors to to check other content of your site. You can also choose to make the internal linkings open in new window/tab. Some great interlinking plugins are SEO Smart Links, SEO Auto Link and Related Post, and if you want manual interlinking you can try another great plugin ‘Insights’.
Improve Bounce Rate using Related Posts
When a visitor finishes reading an article, he thinks toward the next action what to do. Related post comes into action that time. Visitors can find similar post on the same topic and if they see an interesting title, the visiting rate increase. You can use any of the popular related posts plugin like YARPP, Nrelate, Outbrain, Link Within to improve bounce rate and there are also some more depending on your need.
Recommended Read: Why does Bounce Rate increase
Some additional factors like your Post Title, quality of your content and Navigation also have significant impact in determining your bounce rate. You can use Google Analytics to track your site’s rate. Alexa also provide information about the bounce rate of your site but Alexa information is not updated very frequently.
What do you think about improving bounce rate? What action you are taking to reduce bounce rate on your website? How to improve bounce rate more effectively? What is the Average and low bounce rates as per your thinking. Share if I have missed any important point.