What Is Bounce Rate & How Do I Decrease It?

Decrease Bounce Rate On Blog

Over recent months, I’ve seen more bloggers are getting their hands dirty with delving into their stats and looking for ways to improve them that go beyond just increasing visitors. This is great, as using Google Analytics is a great skill if you ever want to grow your blog, or work in marketing as I know some do.

One of the metrics on Google Analytics which I’ve seen debated a few times on Twitter is bounce rate. There’s a bit of confusion around what it is, and why it appears to be so high for many bloggers.

In this post I’ll tell you a bit more about what bounce rate is, what it means to your blog, and a few tips on how to improve it.

What is bounce rate?

Bounce rate is the % of people who ‘bounce’ right off of your site without visiting any other pages than the one they first landed on. For example, someone may come to your blog to read your most recent post, and then leave.ย This is pretty common, as the nature of a blog dictates that the visitor is there to view the one post and then go elsewhere.

Where do I find it?

You’ll need Google Analytics for this (read my post here for how to get started with GA). Once you have GA installed and it’s recording data, you can take a look at your bounce rate.

For an overview of bounce rate for your whole blog, go to Audience > Overview. You’ll see Bounce Rate next to Avg Session Duration.

If you want to look at the bounce rate for individual posts or pages, go to Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages. Then you can use the search box to type in a keyword relating to the URL of your post. For example, if my post had the word ‘analytics’ in the URL, I would use this term to find it.

You’ll see Bounce Rate next to Entrances.

Why is the bounce rate so high?

As I said, blogs will always have a higher bounce rate than a shopping website, for example. When reading a blog, chances are you landed on it to read a particular post – once you’ve read it, you’re done and move on with your life. If lots of your visitors do this, your bounce rate will be quite high.

But fear not – it’s totally normal. My overall bounce rate for the past month is over 70%! As a rule of thumb, a blog can have a bounce rate from 60% upwards. If it’s lower, then great – but if not you certainly aren’t failing as a blogger at all.

What can I do to decrease bounce rate?

If you do want to work to keep your bounce rate % down, there are a few things you can do to try and keep your visitors on site.

Internal linking

This nifty trick is also good for SEO. Internal linking is basically just linking to other blog posts within a post. For example, further up you’ll have noticed I linked to my Google Analytics guide for beginners. By utilising internal links, you’re inviting visitors to take a look at other related content.

Make sure to only include relevant links – e.g. if you have written a review of a skincare product, you may wish to link to another review of a similar product. Keep it natural, otherwise people won’t click through.

You can also add internal links at the end of a post to encourage people to check out similar content.

Related post widgets/plugins

You may have heard of LinkWithin or a similar related post widget or plugin. My WordPress theme from Pipdigย has a plugin which shows similar content below my posts, designed to encourage people to click through if they want to read about related topics.

The key for relevancy with these is to make sure you are using categories or tags with your posts, as these widgets will tend to display posts that have the same or similar categories/tags attached. You’ll see that other posts of mine with the category ‘blogging’ will show below.

You can also add ‘popular post’ widgets into your sidebar to encourage visitors to view your most viewed posts. Depending on what platform you are on, you can edit the settings to show the posts you want to direct more traffic towards as well.

Blog design

A surefire way to improve bounce rate is to have a blog which is nice and clean, and easy to navigate. Categories are handy again here, as you can add themย to your top navigation menu, or in your sidebar. You’ll see at the top of this page that I have my main blog categories available to click on which then take you through to all posts with those categories assigned to them.

Never underestimate the importance of the way your blog looks – confusing navigation will discourage people from staying on your site.

So there we have it! If you have any questions about bounce rate, or Google Analytics in general pop me a tweet or email and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

Share:

12 Comments

  1. February 19, 2016 / 7:37 pm

    GA can give bloggers serious shudders but over time I did too realize what’s normal and acceptable! Thank you for your tips! I do find deep linking beneficial as well as the related posts widget! ๐Ÿ™‚ x

    Jadirah Sarmad at Jasmine Catches Butterflies สšฯŠษž

    • Cat Fyson
      February 19, 2016 / 9:28 pm

      I think it’s about getting the balance right…not obsessing over numbers but just keeping an eye on things. It can be a real achievement when you work on your blog if that’s what you want to do – but it’s also cool to learn a new skill! ๐Ÿ™‚ Deep linking is definitely useful when used naturally.

  2. February 19, 2016 / 9:03 pm

    These are some great tips. Think it’s always really important to keep things natural for anything SEO.
    People get turned off if it looks otherwise. Also making everything mobile friendly is another good one haha!

    Eleanor
    elleanorwears.com

    • Cat Fyson
      February 19, 2016 / 9:30 pm

      Thank you! Yeah definitely, it’s all about being natural. I think I get the balance right, and yeah mobile friendliness is so important! x

  3. February 20, 2016 / 9:32 am

    Haha I’m so glad I read this. According to analytics my bounce rate is low but in my mind I thought that was bad!

    I do need to work more on linking back to previous posts though! Xxx

    • Cat Fyson
      February 20, 2016 / 11:39 am

      It can be confusing, because with almost all other metrics on GA, the bigger the number the better! That’s great that your BR is low, but like you said there are always ways to try and improve ๐Ÿ™‚ Linking back is great because it can breathe some life into old content too x

  4. February 22, 2016 / 1:43 pm

    Very helpful info! Thanks for taking the time to write about this, I’ll be giving it another check over next time I can bare to check my GA stats!

    Shiona | LifeAfterLdn

    • Cat Fyson
      February 23, 2016 / 6:42 am

      You’re welcome ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  5. April 4, 2016 / 9:34 am

    This is such a handy post to read – I’ve recently revamped my whole blog to make it more user friendly so hoping this can decrease my bounce rate. I’ve been blogging for almost 2 years now and so much more terminology is thrown at me but I love the we can get stuck in more and make blogger a more interesting hobby! Thanks for the post!

    Chloe Mary Davis | http://www.lovefromlucky.com

    • Cat Fyson
      April 5, 2016 / 5:23 pm

      Glad you found the post handy, Chloe ๐Ÿ™‚ Even though I work in digital marketing/websites etc for a living, there’s still new things I am learning all the time. Part of the appeal of blogging as a hobby for me is taking what I learn in my day job and applying it to my blog…and also helping others with it too!

    • Cat
      May 9, 2016 / 9:01 pm

      Hah, you’re welcome! Let me know if you need any help ๐Ÿ™‚ x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *