Why Your Bounce Rate Matters and What You Can Do to Fix It

Your bounce rate is the percentage of people who come to your site and leave after just one read.  You can find out your bounce rate by using a program like Google Analytics (which is highly unreliable in terms of actual traffic accounted for but widely used by most) or something like AWStats which is part of my hosting package and what I use to track.

You want people to stick around for more than one page view but it isn’t easy to do, especially if you are participating in linky parties or blog hops or comment exchanges.  These, by their very nature, increase your bounce rate but they also bring traffic to your site and you get to connect with other awesome people who also enjoy blogging so you do have to balance it all.  And the level of influence your bounce rate has on the search engines is debatable.  It’s one of those things I think is important but not a super high priority EXCEPT that I do want people to find more than one page interesting.  I want them to want more so it’s important to me from that perspective.

Here is a great article on The SITS Girls website that explains in more detail and gives you some tips on how to reduce your bounce rate.  Their 4 main points are to have related posts at the bottom of your blog posts, have a popular posts in your sidebar, don’t have a popup, and have really great content.  Their main point with the popup was that they didn’t like ones that show up right away.  There are ways to do a popup and have it delayed and I can tell you personally, I’ve grown my subscriber list by 50% over the past couple of months so popups do work.  Remember, it’s all about balance.

Be sure to check out their post for more information about bounce rates AND a great suggestion for writing content that increases page views naturally.

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