Community Talk: How do you improve your bounce rates?

5 Comments

The last Plugin I reviewed was Reinvigorate, and I’ve been using it since. Stats can be a dangerous thing to obsess over, but one thing I’ve found myself checking more often lately is this site’s bounce rate.

A bounce rate, put simply, is the percentage of visitors who leave your site after only viewing the entrance, or landing page. It’s one of a number of metrics that can help you determine just how engaging your website is.

On any given day WPCandy’s bounce rate will fluctuate between 50% and 60%. I realize that getting an extremely low percentage is just not very likely, but I still want to bring this number down as far as I reasonably can. I’ve been thinking about what to do on the site to engage visitors further, and to show them what else they can find on the site.

What techniques have you used on your sites? What works, and what doesn’t?

5 thoughts on “Community Talk: How do you improve your bounce rates?

  1. While it’s easy to think of ‘bouncing’ visitors as bad, don’t forget that someone coming to a single page, getting all the information they need, and then heading off to do something else might be exactly the best way to serve your readers. I’ve seen sites lower bounce rates by splitting articles (or slideshows) into multiple pages–at the expense of annoying your readers.

    My favorite “lower bounce rate” technique is definitely a good “related articles” box under the current article. My best implementation I’ve seen is also the simplest: Devour.com. When looking at a video, they also provide a additional thumbnail of another post and the text “(watch this video too)”. I think it gets me about 30% of the time!

    Rob (who is wondering if this visit will be counted as a bounce since I just came here from the rss feed and plan to close this tab now. I guess it depends on whether your comment form is a slick ajax one or submits me to a second page! We’ll see.)

    • YARRP has scalability issues on larger sites, something like Efficient Relqted Posts accomplishes the same thing but with less database queries.

  2. I think that an important metric to go along with how many visitors visit only one page is also average time on site. That is, if a visitor finds information, stays and reads the article and then leaves or goes to an external link, that’s not the same as the 5 second visitors.

    Another way to keep people clicking is to have related posts or to link to related content manually at the bottom of each post.

    At Mashable, we do both. We have related posts that are sort-of accurate pre-generated, but we also insert other resources related to a post or feature depending on the topic. So if I write about WordPress, I might link back to some of our past WordPress features and how-tos that relate to the current post.

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