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Avoid the Bounce: Best Practices for Boosting Blog Engagement

People generally use the term “bouncy” in a happy, cheerful context — but when it’s applied to commercial websites, the smiles disappear. If your company blog experiences a high bounce rate (a measure of visitors who leave before they do what you want them to do), then your anxiety is understandable. Here are some things you can do to get a grip on that bounce.

View Those Bounce Rates in Context

If you’re having a fit over high bounce rates, the first thing to do is stop, calm down, take a deep breath, and look at where the bounce is occurring. Not all types of bounces represent a problem, after all. For instance, if a visitor exits your site to call your phone number and place an order, that’s not a failure — it’s a sale!

Some parts of your online sales funnel naturally have a higher bounce rate range than others. Since blog posts are usually a point of initial contact — often with people who used the wrong search term for their needs — they tend to have a relatively high bounce rate of 70 percent or better, so this shouldn’t throw you into a panic. (Simply focus on getting that bounce rate down to the low end of that range.

Make Your Blog More User Friendly

If visitors are bouncing away from your blog within the first seconds of their arrival, they may have found the page itself a pain to comprehend or navigate. Keep in mind that many web surfers rely on mobile devices to find what they need while on the go. If your website doesn’t sport a responsive design, your articles may appear on these smaller screens as a confused mess of tiny print and unusable links.

Page loading times can be another deal breaker in today’s world of instant online gratification. Yes, adding pictures and video can boost your blog’s effectiveness, but it can also bog it down — so go easy on the slow-to-load images and embedded media.

Connect the Right People to the Right Content

You may be a whiz at using SEO and online advertising to pull people to your website, but if they’re all bouncing, then what’s the point? If online searchers are responding to your keywords, then the keywords are clearly relevant to their interests — but are the pages they land on just as relevant, or are you in fact baiting and switching them without even realizing it?

Blog articles, in particular, are designed to respond to a specific need. If you appear even slightly off-topic, or if the content itself doesn’t dazzle, you’ll lose your reader. Take a close, unflinching look at the quality of your web page content, and ask yourself:

    • Does it really relate to the keywords it contains?
    • Are the people who read this content likely to feel that they’ve truly arrived at the solution to their problem or need?
    • Does the content inspire trust, excitement, and a desire to learn more?
    • Is the call to action (click to another page, contact the company, download a free report, et cetera) obvious?

Live up to the promise implied by the keywords attracting eyeballs to your blog. Only then will your visitors stick around long enough to become buyers!

Keep Those Links Relevant

The longer your visitors remain within the parameters of your website, the more comfortable and interested they will become, and the lower your bounce rates will drop. The easiest way to do this is by beefing up your blog page content.

Work on building a library of articles loaded with helpful resources, tips, explanations and other juicy details so your visitors won’t feel any further need to look elsewhere for their answers. Then build a solid, logical network of internal links, both between blog posts and to your principal site pages, to build your audience’s trust in your authority. You’re not just “stalling for time” — you’re increasing your credibility and reinforcing your case with every internal click.

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Make your blog an authoritative, internally-linked information resource.

The more relevant and entertaining your blog content, and the user-friendly the website on which it sits, the less you’ll have to worry about visitors bouncing away from you. Download this white paper to learn more about the amazing benefits of a well-tended blog!