Bounce rate. It is a pretty important metric… and one that I admit I have been guilty of overlooking.
In case you’re not aware, the bounce rate is simply the percentage of your visitors who arrive on your site, only to back away without visiting any other pages of your site. So, in other words, they are in and out. They visit only one page.
Different stat services measure bounce rate differently, and I spelled out in this article the difference between Google Analytics and Clicky (the two stat services I’m using) in the reported measurement. It was pretty substantial.
But, even if Google ends up coming in high on how they measure bounce rate, we can’t ignore it. After all, it is Google.
There has always been a long-standing debate in the SEO world about just how much bounce rate affects search rankings. But, we do know that Google is on a mission to show the best, most relevant content to anybody who searches. It only makes sense that bounce rate would be taken into effect. And, Google can gather that data in a number of ways. If you’re running Google Analytics tags, they’ve got it. And, need we forget they own the Chrome web browser?
So, we want to reduce bounce rates on our sites.
There are a number of ways to do that – and perhaps we can talk about some more of them in a later post. But, today, I’m going to share one with you that is SUPER easy to implement starting RIGHT NOW.
On OUTGOING links, be sure to have them open up in a new window.
For internal links, you can do whatever you want, but if you link to an external website in your blog post, make sure to have it open in a new window.
Why? Because, you might have given the reader VERY valuable content. But, to take advantage of it, you have them click on a link to some resource. And, if they click on that, they just left your site. At least if they click on a link which opens a new tab, YOUR site is still sitting there and they can return to it.
On a related note, this is a good reason why you want to make sure you do some internal linking within your blog posts. Link to past posts you’ve done, or perhaps list a related post at the bottom. Doing something to entice that SECOND CLICK will get your bounce rates down.
So, that’s it. Make all your outgoing links open up in a new window.
Lastly, don’t get too hung up and paranoid about your bounce rate. While it is important, there are a lot of factors which go into it. It is inherently a fairly inaccurate statistic. But, you can still use it as a baseline for yourself and work to get the number down.