One of the key metrics for growing any website is bounce rate. The lower this number, the better. However, the path to improving this number isn’t always clear. So today, I’m looking at X expert tips for bounce rates and if they work as well as they claim.
Now, this is going to be an ongoing experiment. Mostly because I am taking five of my own posts and applying “expert techniques” to improve.
So, this will be a two-parter: getting the experiment going and seeing the end results.
Why Care About Bounce Rates?
A “bounce” is when someone visits your site but almost immediately hits the back button. This is usually because the content is either not what the person expected or because the site is loading too slowly.
However, a lot of other things can cause a person to bounce. All you can really do is strive to make sure your title and descriptions are accurate for what a visitor will find on your page.
The reason you should care about bounce rates is because they demonstrate just how engaged in your content a visitor becomes. The more time someone spends on your site, the better.
Doing what you can to improve these numbers can greatly benefit your success both in search as well as any methods you use to make money.
15 Expert Tips to Improve Bounce Rates
After browsing through several of the top search results and experts (whom I follow anyway), I comprise our testing list of tips.
This is going to be quite the undertaking as I am testing these methods across three different websites that focus on three distinct niches. This way, I can see how these tips perform for various audiences.
So, what expert tips are there for bounce rates?
1. Have a Good Readability
In my professional opinion, readability is perhaps one of the most important. If people can get into your text, they’re not going to stay long.
This means keeping the language simple and not creating a wall of text someone needs to scroll through. Keep sentences and paragraphs simple yet informative.
2. Improve Storytelling Capabilities
No one wants to read a robotic piece of text. Seriously, how often have you relished the thought of glancing through a manual for a piece of build-it-yourself furniture?
Storytelling the right way can keep your audience on the page for longer a longer period of time. The real trick is to write something captivating, which depends on your audience.
3. Use High-value Keywords
Keywords that have a high value doesn’t necessarily mean a high volume. In fact, high-volume phrases only means that much more competition.
You want to use elements people are searching for, which then leads to understanding search intent.
4. Focus on Search Intent and Quality Visitors
Knowing the intent of people looking for your content greatly benefits on-page time. This is because you’re connecting with an audience that is specifically looking for your material.
That is as long as you can provide answers to what someone is searching.
5. Improve Page Speed
About 53% of your mobile visitors will abandon the site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Not to mention that Google holds faster sites in higher regard when it comes to the search results.
6. Work on the Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions don’t have the weight they used to have. However, they are often part of the search results page depending on the searcher’s criteria.
A well-written description of the content can lead to improving bounce rates as long as it encompasses what the post is about.
7. Avoid Popups
Popup screens that immediately fly into the face of a new visitor is often discouraging. The fewer elements someone has to contend with, the more likely they’ll stay on the site.
This is part of why so many people use the “on exit” option for popups. It only appears when someone’s mouse cursor leaves the page.
8. Have an Excellent Call-to-Action
I’m not sure how much of an improvement a good call-to-action works on just a simple blog. After all, it’s not like I have much to sell. However, I am going to use more verbiage to entice visitors to click links and explore the site.
At any rate, a well-written CTA can do wonders if you’re trying to get email subscribers, make sales, or otherwise need visitors to take a certain action.
9. Keep Blog Momentum Moving Forward
One of the more common expert tips for bounce rates involves keeping content fresh and consistent on the blog. However, I’m not seeing the relevance between the two.
And not just for my websites, either. I have clients who reach more than a million people per year with consistent posts and high bounce rates.
On the other hand, I have seen how a publishing schedule improves visibility in search results. From the data, it appears Google prioritizes sites that are consistently active.
10. Open External Links in New Tabs
Having your outgoing links open in a new tab keeps your site available on a user’s browser. This means the individual doesn’t have to click back to continue reading your post.
This is something I’ve been doing for years, actually. And I started before it become an expert trend.
11. Add Mobile Friendliness
According to Statcounter, more than 50% of people online use mobile devices for browsing the Internet. This means you need to make sure your site looks good on a smartphone.
This includes everything from loading time to images you may choose to use. It’s always good to continuously test the site to make sure it all runs smoothly regardless of the device.
12. Offer Credibility
People need to have trust in your content. Being honest while providing actual insights can go a long way to improve a site’s reputation. However, this is one of the more difficult things to address.
What makes your content more credible than another? That really depends on your audience and the information you’re providing.
Page navigation can literally make or break a website. If people have a hard time finding specific content or are otherwise unable to navigate your pages, they’ll bounce rather quickly.
Make the user experience as clean and direct as possible. No one wants to think too much about where to click next within your pages.
14. Improve On-Site-Search
Visitors will use your site search function more often than you might realize. In fact, this is something I started implementing and tracking a few months ago.
This is also one of the easiest things to adjust on just about any blog. Make sure users can find the search quickly so they can further explore your site’s pages.
15. Fix Broken Links
Broken links do more than just hurt bounce rate. They can also lead to lower search rankings should Google’s crawler stumble across a link that doesn’t work.
Besides, you’re working to improve the user experience. This involves making sure the links are relevant and active. Personally, I like the Broken Link Checker plugin for WordPress.
The Experiment for Expert Tips and Bounce Rates
With these tips in hand, it’s time to start our little experiment. I already implement a lot of these anyway, so it shouldn’t be too difficult of a process.
And as a whole, these “expert tips” center around simply creating good content. But, I suppose writing a blog post with two simple words such as, “Write better,” really doesn’t do well for search algorithms or keeping someone on the website.
Tracking 5 Low-performing Pages
In this experiment, I’m going to find five pages with the highest bounce rates across three different websites. I’ll track more than just bounce rates, though.
For this experiment, I’m tracking:
- Bounce rate
- On-page time
- Page Views
- Search Impressions
- Click-through rates
Because in reality, all of the advice above should lead to improvements across the board. And if I’m right, then these expert tips for bounce rates have less to do with “bouncing” and more to do with just writing good content.
Applying All of the Above Tips
Once I have all 15 articles ready in my spreadsheet, I’ll apply every one of these tips. As I said before, though, I already implement more than half of them. So, this shouldn’t be a massive undertaking.
Essentially, they fall into the category of a revamp that can keep someone’s attention for longer than 15 seconds.
I’ll keep track of every adjustment I make for each page so we can further analyze whether the above expert tips really improve bounce rates.
Out of all of the things above, fine-tuning the speed is perhaps the most difficult. This is because there are simply some elements that I just can’t adjust to make the site any faster.
It’s one of the reasons why I am debating on changing my themes.
Checking Page Stats Six Months Later
Once the modifications are made to each page, I’ll track the performance over a six-month period. This is because it can take four to six months for any piece of content to really gain momentum in Google search.
If all goes well, then the comparison data should display improvement in virtually every category.
Did you know I have a book on Amazon about how I became a success as a freelance writer while developing my blogs? It’s a story about dealing with impostor syndrome and depression while striving to become more than I was.
Why Am I Following Expert Tips for Bounce Rates?
I hate it when some “experts” give advice that really doesn’t go anywhere without being honest with their audience. And since “bounce rate” is a high-value keyphrase, I want to make sure these tips are viable and not some form of click-bait.
Because it is easy to write for search intent and get an audience to go over your tips. But if these techniques really don’t bear fruit, then it’s a waste of everyone’s time.
In other words, I despise people who take advantage of others for the sake of getting traffic.
If these methods work and I lower the bounce rate of my posts, then all the better. I am comforted with the thought of learning something new and you can see whether these tips are viable for yourself.
It’s a win-win.
After making these suggestions, we’ll take a look back at those fifteen articles and see where they stand in terms of visitation.
It’s All About Finding What Works Best for You
The problem I have with many experts is how they show the data as a rule of thumb. In reality, the data they collect, find, and use is often a generalized average across many industries.
What works for one site doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to work for another. This is why it’s important to run your own tests and browse your specific data points.
It all comes down to what is the best method for you and your audience.
Once the experiment is over, I’ll add a link to the results on this page.
- 9 Features of Reedsy That Make it Great for Writing - August 5, 2022
- How to Easily Add Momentum to Your Writing Goals for Success - August 3, 2022
- Review: Is Basic by Ezoic Worth Setting Up on the Blog? - July 20, 2022