The Google Analytics application is a very useful tool for webmasters to analyze the strength of their blog. Among the many statistics available is something called bounce rate. This is listed as a percentage and details how many visitors to your site leave without ever visiting another page on your site. A high bounce rate means that viewers are not sticking around to explore everything your blog has to offer. They are simply brought into your site through a link or search engine, peruse one article, and promptly leave to go on with their Internet journeys. Analyzing your site’s bounce rate is a great way to determine whether readers are getting real value from your blog or just merely stopping by.
All serious bloggers go to great lengths to drive traffic to their blogs. There are many ways to do this. Some work hard at establishing links in by negotiating with other hosts. Others post comments on other blogs religiously, leaving a trail back to their site. Another technique is to guest post on another blog. By offering quality content on another established blog, a site can tap into another blogger’s fan base and bring more traffic to their site. These are all great strategies for building traffic, but the problem arises when the traffic is coming but they just are not sticking around. This is where the bounce rate comes into play.
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The first thing to consider when trying to lower your blog’s bounce rate is how users are coming into your site. Look into search results and links in and find out what the average reader being enticed into your blog is coming for. A provocative title may bring in tons of hits, but if none of these readers stick around or subscribe for the RSS feed, little has been accomplished. The idea is to bring targeted traffic to you blog that will be enamored with your content and want to check it all out. Most importantly, they will want to revisit your blog later and see what your latest posts have to offer. So, the first step to lowering your bounce rate is to make sure that the traffic you are working so hard to drive to your blog is the right traffic. Post comments on other blogs in the same niche as yours. Don’t spam random blogs with links to your site. You might cause a temporary spike in traffic, but these are not quality hits. They are visitors that have basically been tricked into visiting your site while they were looking for something else. Most users that stumble on your site in this fashion will only raise your bounce rate when they quickly exit without soaking up much content.
Content, of course, is the other key. Make sure your blog offers value to the reader. Someone who has stumbled onto your blog needs to be impressed initially. Be vigilant in every post to provide value and substance to your readers. Make sure the site is dynamically designed so that readers can easily navigate to other areas. A ticker with relevant and interesting titles that relate to what the user came to your blog for will entice them to stick around and check out some other areas of your site. Getting visitors to stay awhile is the objective, and Google Analytics bounce rate feature lets you gauge your success.
Targeted traffic is another key to keeping bounce rates under control. By targeting traffic, you are using techniques to bring viewers to the site that are interested in what you have to say or offer. Stop focusing on driving mass traffic to your site, but focus on driving dedicated, interested traffic. Meaningful hits mean a lower bounce rate. A lower bounce rate translates to more return visits, and on down the road, more backlinks to your site. Cater to your audience and they will always be wanting more.
Jeff Gross is a blogger and writer, with four years of writing experience in the fields of SEO and internet marketing. Currently he is a writer and content contributor at Queens homes.