To effectively maintain and grow our blogs we need to pay very close attention to the facts that lie within our site’s statistics. The sole purpose of statistics is not just to show off our rising numbers in visitor traffic but can be an extremely useful tool for making those well needed adjustments to our performance that can make the difference between an OK blog and one that truly rocks.
Your blog’s bounce rate, in particular, represents the number of visitors who came to your blog and left without clicking to another page which generally indicates that there was nothing else that really interested them. The ultimate goal is to get visitors to stay, read our content, subscribe, purchase our products and all the other good stuff.
So, here are some effective techniques to capture the interest of your readers and get them flipping through the pages of your blog.
Appropriate Calls To Action
Regardless of how amazing your blog’s content is, your readers will need a little visual aid or extra push to get them to specific pages or click where you want them to. If you want readers to subscribe to your blog, say it in a very clear and concise way. Use bright and shiny buttons and graphics that are sure to grab the reader’s attention and moves them to action. Bearing in mind of course that any designs you use should flow with your blog’s overall theme and can shout, but not too loudly to scare them away.
Ultimately, if you want your readers to curiously move through the pages of your blog you need to grab their attention to let them know that there is other cool stuff they may be missing out on.
Ensure that those links to other areas of your blog are brilliantly positioned to catch your readers’ attention. The areas to aim for when placing your calls to action are:
- Above the fold of your page
- Exactly below your posts for when your visitors finish reading
- In the body of your content
Display Related Interesting Content
Using plugins like the Popular Posts and the Yet Another Related Post Plugin (YARPP) can increase page views throughout your blog since it easily exposes other posts that are related to the ones currently being viewed. Readers will click through, provided that the titles are catchy and hopefully they find the post that they already read interesting.
Fluid Blog Design
I see many bloggers with the annoying practice of overcrowding their blogs with lots of unnecessary widgets, gadgets and badges that generally don’t make sense since they don’t serve any particular purpose. This is one of the biggest mistakes you could make with your blog’s design and will undeniably turn off your visitors and scare them away, regardless of how awesome your content or services are.
You don’t need to be a graphic designer to see that something does not look good. Conduct an audit of your blog’s design and content to determine what is necessary and remove the items that are not. Only links and content that are strongly related to your blog’s goals and visitor profile should be allowed in your sidebars and headers.
Diversified Content & Services
If you blog about graphic arts for example, you may not need to strictly stick to blogging about designing techniques and tutorials, but an effective strategy would be to become a huge source for a variety of things related to that topic. You could offer design services, setup a bidding system for clients and freelancers, create a job board, create and offer templates for download, etc. There’s so much that you could do with that topic that would keep the passionate graphic designer clicking through to more amazing content on your blog and will keep him coming back for more.
The key here is to offer additional useful options for your readers that will allow you to effectively connect with their related interests and satisfy their needs. That graphic design junkie will keep coming back to you for everything because he knows he can find answers on your blog.
Discussion & Conclusion
I’m sure the purpose of your blog is not for it to just sit there, but truly make a mark in the minds of your readers; and making that mark is what is going to keep them coming back and diving deeper into your blog’s content. All the tips above will help to lower your blog’s bounce rate and provide fulfilling experiences for your readers.
What’s your average bounce rate and what are some of the strategies you’ve begun to implement to improve it? What do your readers respond to the most? Please share your experiences with us in the comments below, we would love to hear from you.