Generally, when it comes to content marketing, we aim for high numbers. We want higher conversion rates, more readers, more shares, more backlinks, more everything. But that attitude changes when we look to bounce rates.
A high bounce rate would suggest that your site isn’t “sticky” enough, that it isn’t encouraging readers to explore more content. It can also suggest you’re not attracting the right audience to your content.
You may be seeing hundreds or thousands of site visitors, but if you have an 80 or 90 percent bounce rate, you're probably doing something seriously wrong when it comes to whom you’re targeting or how you're creating content.
Here are five simple hacks to help you improve your bounce rates and conversions with content:
The best overview of your bounce rate is through your All Pages Report on Google Analytics. To find this, follow: Google Analytics Dashboard > Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.
From here, you can view the bounce rate of each individual page on your website and sort them to identify exactly which pages are performing well and which need improvement.
Say you discover during your audit that your blog content is performing at around an 80 percent bounce rate. To fix this, consider condensing your blog content. BuzzSumo calls this the "less is more" tactic.
Rather than prioritize quantity over quality, use your blog as a tool to share content your audience truly wants. If you’re publishing one post a day, perhaps focus instead on publishing one long-form, high-quality article every two weeks, and then compare bounce rates.
There are a few golden rules to creating content, and one of the most important is readability. A big wall of text will scare off even the most diehard researcher.
Subtitles, short paragraphs, and lead-on phrases are all methods designed to help skim-readers digest your content fully. What’s more, segmenting your content into easily digestible chunks will have a tangible effect on your bounce rates.
Let’s take an article I produced on the topic of personal trainer salaries as a case study.
You may think that’s a pretty niche subject, and you'd be right. Considering the audience and the outlet, though, niche topics can attract highly engaged readers — and using subheadings, images, charts, and more to format your topic the right way can help maintain that engagement.
In fact, at the time of this writing, and after some post-publication tweaking, we’ve managed to get the bounce rate on that article down to 5.26 percent.
After a bit of experimenting, we found that a long-form article packed with resources, infographics, and internal links worked best. We’ve also started seeing a good return in terms of backlinks and steady traffic, as people want to link to this content for its practical value for their own readers.
Introducing a simple curiosity gap in the early stages of your articles is one way to keep your readers hooked.
The best way to accomplish this is to introduce the promise of a case study or technique with a high level of practical application early in your content and follow up with the specific details later in the body of your article.
Readers are more likely to stick around to learn more about that valuable information you alluded to in the introduction, and you'll have more chances to keep them engaged on-site. Of course, the details need to be worth it for this method to work. If readers feel they've been misled or tricked into staying on-site or clicking through to other resources, they'll quickly lose trust in your brand.
If you have a page on your site that has a ton of backlinks, and is therefore more likely to rank well on Google, you can transfer some of that link juice over to other pages by including relevant internal links.
Internal linking can also help you turn site visitors into leads and clients, while also improving your bounce rate.
There are 81.8 million new blog posts on Wordpress platforms alone every month. If you’ve managed to drive traffic to your blog post, you’ve already done the hard part of the job. Now that readers are there, you want to make the most of that opportunity.
Here are some tips for leading your visitors through your site (and into your funnel) using an internal linking strategy:
With recent changes to Facebook algorithms that reduce the reach of organic distribution, paid ads are not so much a necessary evil as they are just plain necessary.
If you’re paying for something, you need to make sure that you’re getting the most out of it. To start, analyze your content's performance and consider conducting surveys of your audience members to collect data. What are they interested in? What content do they like seeing? What more could you do?
Another tactic we employed that generated a ton of new leads was manual A/B testing on our ads. We changed everything from geographic tags to image and background colors, fine-tuning our marketing bit by bit to suit our website content.
By getting specific with your marketing and prioritizing quality of content over quantity, you can better pinpoint exactly who your target audience is. All of this data can help you create better ads for content your audience is actually interested in consuming and improve your bounce rate as well.
To stand any chance of succeeding with content marketing, you need to understand how your readers are interacting with your site and how to improve bounce rates. Once you've learned how to effectively convert leads into sales, you can begin to scale up your content marketing and expand your business.
George Aird is a content marketer, with specialist knowledge of social media marketing, content creation, google analytics, and SEO. He has worked in many industries, and has an extensive knowledge of start-up businesses and the fitness industry. He currently works as a content marketer for OriGym Centre of Excellence .