5 ways to slash bounce rates and drive conversions

The higher your bounce rate, the less time people are spending on your page, getting to know your brand. Here’s how to keep restless readers hooked.

This article originally appeared on PR Daily in May of 2018.

When it comes to content marketing, you generally aim for high numbers.

You want higher conversion rates, more readers, more shares, more backlinks, more everything—but that attitude changes when it comes to bounce rates.

A high bounce rate would suggest that your site isn’t “sticky” enough and 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:

1. Perform a bounce-rate audit of your high-value pages.

The best overview of your bounce rate is through your “All Pages Report” on Google Analytics. To find this on your Google Analytics Dashboard go to 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.

2. Judge your book by its cover.

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.

3. Introduce curiosity gaps.

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. Of course, the details need to be worth it for this method to work. If readers feel they’ve been misled or tricked, they’ll quickly lose trust in your brand.

4. Use internal links.

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.

Consider these tips:

  • Be specific with your links . If you’re writing a post about traveling, and you’ve already published another article all about ways to keep fit while you’re traveling, include a link to that piece in your new article that makes sense and can offer more value to your reader.
  • Use links sparingly . Using too many links will make it difficult for your readers to determine where to go next.
  • Have an end goal in sight . Think through which pages are most likely to engage readers of certain articles and deliver even more value to them, and deploy your linking strategy accordingly.

5. Get more specific with your advertising.

With recent changes to Facebook algorithms that reduce the reach of organic distribution, paid ads are a must.

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?

Try A/B testing your ads, analyzing everything from geographic tags to image and background colors. 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.

George Aird is a content marketer, with specialist knowledge of social media marketing, content creation, google analytics, and SEO. A version of this article originally appeared on the Influence & Co blog.

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