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March 22, 2020

What’s a Good Bounce Rate for Blogs? (And How to Improve Yours)

Brand new bloggers are likely to see a bounce rate between 90% and 100%. Where bloggers with good interlinking strategies should be able to lower their bounce rate to well under 80%. A lower bounce rate is considered better because when visitors view multiple pages per session it can dramatically boost your pageviews and time on site. Which typically leads to higher earnings per visitor.

What is a Bounce Rate?

Google Analytics defines a bounce as a session that only triggers one request to Google Analytics. This usually happens when a visitor opens one page on your website and then leaves.

It’s important to note that any 2nd event within Google Analytics prevents that session from being counted as a bounce.

This makes your “bounce rate” a bit of a vanity metric that can be easily manipulated. For example, say you fire an event to Google Analytics when a user subscribes to an email list or scrolls to the bottom of the page. Sure, maybe you should count those things as conversions, but not every site will have the same setup which makes it useless to compare yourself to other websites.

Why is a Low Bounce Rate Good?

In short, users who stick around longer are more likely to become customers.

According to Salesforce, it takes 6-8 interactions with your website before a person becomes a viable sales lead. If a user comes to your website then bounces, they’re gone forever. The more valuable content you can serve to them, the more likely they are to become repeat visitors or a sale.

Will a Lower Bounce Rate Increase My Google Rankings?

Back in 2010, Matt Cutts said that Google doesn’t use any of your Google Analytics data to determine rankings. So bounce rate, dwell time, etc.

As far as if the bounce rate is a ranking factor, it’s tough to say. Most SEO’s say yes, but so many people have attempted to hack this over the years that Google may have lessened its impact. Remember websites that would create list posts and make you click the link to the next item on the list? They did this to hack their bounce rate in Google.

Whether it helps your Google ranking or not, it will improve your conversion rate if you can keep visitors on your site longer. So let’s look at how to do that.

How To Improve Bounce Rate: Link to Other Posts In Your Content

Whenever you’re describing something you’ve already written about, link to it in your post. So if I wrote a post on how a new blogger should do keyword research, I should make sure the link is in my content when it comes up.

This keeps visitors on your website longer. It also helps to spread Google link juice throughout your website and move your site up the rankings.

Remove Ads

I wrote an entire post on why ads are a terrible way to monetize your website. It’s centered around the fact that you get a low RPM (revenue per thousand page views) compared to selling your own products. There’s also another problem with ads.

Why ads on your website is like throwing away your traffic.

That’s right; whenever a user clicks your ad, they’re not coming back. They just bounced forever. Sure, you made a small amount of money, but you could have gotten a lot more out of that visitor if you kept them on your site.

There’s another problem with ads, they can slow your website down significantly.

Better Page Speed

You won’t rank better on Google by increasing your website’s speed. Not unless your website took 8+ seconds to load, and you got it down to under 3 seconds.

That said, people start leaving your site en-masse after waiting more than 3 seconds for it to load. Every second of load time costs you perfectly good traffic.

Bounce Rate Load Time

Don’t improve your site’s speed for the Google ranking. Do it because if your site takes 8 seconds to load you just lost nearly 60% of your traffic. Getting your load time under 3 seconds will improve your bounce rate.

Fewer links to External Sites

Linking to external sites is a good thing, and you should do it if it’ll help your users find what they’re looking for.

That said, when somebody leaves your site, they’re gone forever. Think about how valuable an external link really is before you litter your site with them. They’re exit ramps you’ve placed all over your website.

This includes Amazon Affiliate links. Many people see affiliate link clicks as the primary goal of their website. There isn’t anything wrong with this mindset, but if you sell your own product, you’re removing potential customers from your site when you get these clicks.

Add Multimedia and Headers to Break-up Text

Most users land on a blog, skim the contents and only decide to read if the formatting looks appealing.

We like to think our content is what matters. And it does, just not as much as the formatting or the pretty pictures you use to describe what you’re saying. Readers will feel stressed and leave your site if you present them with a giant wall of text.

Create a Related Articles Section After Post

When the user finishes reading your post, if there’s no call to action, they leave.

Now is the time to either hit them with related posts or to pitch your product or email list to them. If they liked what they read, they’re much more likely to be receptive to more content or products.

Optimize For Mobile

In 2021, this should be common sense. However, some people still have websites that are hard to navigate on cell phones.

Over half of your website’s traffic will come from cell-phones. Don’t let half of your visitors bounce because of your theme.

Conclusion

While you should attempt to lower your bounce rate to convert more leads to sales. It’s not the end-all-be-all of metrics and won’t determine the success or failure of your blog. Do what you can to optimize your bounce rate and then move on.

Shaun Poore has run a blog for about 3 years now. And in that time he's meticulously checked his bounce rate and worked to lower it. He currently has a bounce rate of under 80% by following the tips he lays out in this article.