You work hard every damn day to get people to your blog. Pushing yourself to research topics, keywords, spending hours writing, and then promoting your blog posts.
Because of all that hard work, it’s a real kick in the gut when visitors arrive only to bounce off the site within a minute of landing there.
But what does bounce rate mean? In layman’s terms, it means someone showed up, checked you out for a hot minute, and left because they didn’t like what they found.
Whether you know how many readers are bouncing or not, the signs are obvious.
- Low traffic
- Poor engagement
- Sluggish growth
These are all the symptoms of a bouncy blog. No blog is a perfect match for everyone who lands there. But if most people who are visiting your blog end up leaving, you have a serious problem.
While you can’t make your blog bounce-proof, you can make it bounce-resistant. To do that you need to understand why they are bouncing.
Here are 5 common reasons why your bounce rate may be high.
Your Headlines Are Writing Checks Your Content Can’t Cash
Your headlines need to entice people over from wherever they are to where you want them to be: your blog. A weak headline or false headline will kill your blog post, no matter how amazing the content is.
Never forget that a headline is a promise from you to your reader. You’re saying “read my blog post and I promise it will answer your question.”
If you hook them with a spectacular headline and it leads them to an average post, you can count on them bouncing and not coming back.
When you start a new blog post, start with a strong topic idea and figure out the headline as you go. Many seasoned bloggers will craft their headlines last.
You’re Using Too Many Words
Writers love words. We love to chase that magic word count number for each of our blog posts.
But for the average reader, word count doesn’t matter, and too many words can be a detriment. All they are concerned with is getting the information they need.
Readers do not want to click your link and endlessly scroll through a wall of plain text.
If your blog posts read like a mile-long terms and conditions page, you can expect the readers to leave fast.
The following formats can transform your post from hard-to-read to hard-to-resist.
- Short sentences and paragraphs
- Bulleted lists
- Features and inline images
- Quotes and callouts
Make sure you include some visual love “above the fold” the part that’s visible before you have to scroll down). Otherwise, readers might bounce too soon.
Check out our article on How To Write a Blog Post That Ranks on Page 1 of Google. In that article, we provide a visual of how your blog should be formatted.
You’re Directing Readers Off Your Site
Adding external links to your posts is a great idea. They boost credibility with your readers and the Google algorithm making you rank higher on the search results page.
External links are a double-edged sword though. Yes, they are great for the above reasons, but if used in the wrong way can work against you and your bounce rate.
Every external link is a side tunnel that diverts readers away from finishing your post. Each one is an invitation to leave your blog for another website.
Use external links strategically and ensure they meet the following criteria:
- Open page in a new tab or window
- Don’t break the natural flow of your writing (no attention-grabbing calls to action)
- Highlight supplemental, not essential information
Readers might intend to return to your blog after checking out that external link, but the reality is they probably won’t be back. Browsing the internet is like a labyrinth of rabbit holes; you rarely end up where you started.
You’re Exploring a Saturated Topic
Every time we click a link to a blog post we hope to learn or see something new. The majority of the time we’re disappointed and bounce, but continue to search.
That’s why the moment your blog content seems to say the same thing that’s been heard thousands of times, we lose interest.
So, what is the antidote to keeping readers on your page?
Make sure you know what’s already been said on your chosen topic and put a fresh spin on it. Come at it from a different angle that nobody has done yet. Be original. Be unique. And never ever copy someone else’s work because of your lack of creativity.
Be bold. Be brave. Even shocking at times. But don’t ever be predictable.
You Leave Your Readers Hanging | Give Them Options
Sometimes people will like what they find on your blog, but they still bounce after they are finished reading it.
Often that just means they didn’t know what to do next. Without any direction, they will just click the back button or close the tab altogether.
Experienced bloggers always know what they want readers to do next, and they tell them by using the following calls to action.
- Direct them to a related post on your blog
- Ask them to join your email newsletter
- Ask them to complete a quick survey
Make sure you always have something for them to do next.
For instance, when someone signs up for your email newsletter, put a link in the welcome email directing them back to your latest blog posts for them to read.
None of this is a guarantee that they will not bounce off your site, but if they do decide to leave anyway, just make sure it’s not because you didn’t invite them to stay longer.
It’s one thing to get people to your blog, it’s another thing to keep them there.
Visitors who bounce off your site never get the chance to turn into repeat readers, loyal subscribers, or valued clients.
Keeping people on your blog for longer periods of time isn’t as hard as you think. You just need to eliminate the most common reasons people leave.
Do that and you’ll see more traffic, more opportunity to monetize your blog, more comments, and more subscribers.