Bounce rate is a measure of how many people visit your blog and continue on to the different pages. For example, if your stats show visitors land on your site and leave without hitting any blog posts beyond the entry page, your bounce rate will be relatively high. If visitors stick around and visit several pages before moving on, your bounce rate will be on the low end. The lower the better. Different blogs and websites have different purposes and therefore will experience differences in bounce rates.
In essence bounce rate is the equivalent of walking into a store. A low bounce rate means the customer is looking around at the different departments and, perhaps buying. A high bounce rate means that a customer might walk in, glance around and leave without further investigation or purchase.
Why is Bounce Rate Important?
Bounce rate is important because you want your readers to stick around and up those page views. You want them to read the current blog posts and more. You might also want them to look around, check out the affiliate links and maybe click on an ad or two. This doesn’t happen if your readers don’t like what they see at first glance. A high bounce rate means folks aren’t liking what they find or finding what they like. If a bounce rate is 30% it means 30% of the people visiting your blog leave right away. A 70% bounce rate means 70% of the people visiting your blog aren’t sticking around. Always shoot for lower.
How to Measure Bounce Rate
A good stats program will measure bounce rate. As mentioned in previous posts, I use both Performancing Metrics and Google Analytics. Each provide current bounce rate and will also compare a day’s bounce rate to previous days, weeks and months. If you notice a downward trend, this is a good thing. Now use your stats to check to the content and see what people are reading. Find the popular pages and use this to gauge your readers preferences.
Is There an Average Bounce Rate?
From what I can gather most blogs experience between 50% and 70%. Also, from what I gather from my research, anything about 50% requires further analysis. Above 70% means folks can’t get away quick enough. (Incidentally, the Freelance Writing Jobs network enjoys a 30% to 40% bounce rate.)
How to Lower Your Bounce Rate
Again, the lower the bounce rate the better. If you want people to stay on your blog, you have to give them a good reason. The best reason for anyone to visit any blog is for the content. Too many bloggers write content around keywords to bring in traffic and this can be a mistake. Don’t write for keywords, write for your community. A mixture of informative content, images, fun stuff, and humor is bound to keep them around. Don’t write content for content’s sake. Make sure it has value. How to’s are the best kind of content. Read your stats, your email and your comments. Combined they will tell you how and why people are coming to your blog. Also, even though you want to write for your community, make sure the content is relevant to the keywords. If readers discovered your blog using a particular search term, but they leave within seconds, it probably means the content wasn’t relative to the search and you need to do some tweaking.
Another way to up your pageviews is do some heavy linking among your articles and offer related reading at the bottom of the post. You can use plugins to recommend posts or add your own. The more your visitors have to read and click on, the better.
Bounce Rate is Important
While it’s not talked about as much as RSS or search traffic numbers, don’t discount bounce rate as a very important metric. Mere numbers aren’t enough. You want to know why people come to your blog, why they stay, and why they go. If readers are only staying for a couple of seconds and leaving, you’ll need to analyze why and take measures to correct it.
Create engaging, entertaining and educational content and they’re sure to sticks around.
What is your blog’s bounce rate – and why do you suppose that is?