Simple (Yet Powerful) Tip For Reducing Your Site’s Bounce Rate

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 RateBounce 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.

Simply put…

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.

 

About David Risley
David Risley is the founder of the Blog Marketing Academy, a 20-year veteran blogger and online entrepreneur. His focus? Building a reliable, recurring business around his "lifestyle" and the lives of his students. He has this weird obsession with traveling in his motorhome around the country with his wife and 2 kids. David also likes to talk about himself in the third person. In bios like this one. Read his full story.
  • Natalia Ulla says:

    Very usefull article. I think it´s good not to overlook Bouce Rates although it´s not something we should be obsessing about either. My site has high bounce rates because I provide articles which are very specific to a subject, the fact the people found what there were looking for in just that article is, in a sense, good… but still I would like them to explore the site more, so that they end up as a client.. Thanks

  • Amy Hagerup says:

    I’m really glad to have the bounce rate explained like this. I actually am already doing what you suggested – having external links open in a new window. But now I need to go “bounce” to that other article on clicky. LOL. blessings, Amy

  • David

    I have struggled with bounce rate. What I found is you have to grab their attention in the first paragraph they are gone fast. Also find if your site is slow to open, people will leave before page fully opens fully.

    Suggest GZIP check..!

    Having outgoing links open in new page is good because if they X out of page, you still have them on your site!

    The longer they stay and look around, the better chance for a sale.

    Steve Schellert

  • Eric says:

    Yeah, people get caught up in bounce rates and all. It’s always been a good idea to open outgoing links in a new windows and link to internal pages otherwise.

    But, the real bottom line is, if you can gain new subscribers, even if they leave your site, that’s even better.

  • siegfried says:

    hi!
    form my observations bounce rate gets lower after few months, when google fully test your site with different search queries… so its nothing to be too much worried about 😉
    best regards

  • Very practical, senseable, and easy to do thanks for sharing Dave.

    I also have found that VIDEO has helped decrease my bounce rate as people watch the video until it ends.

  • chris says:

    WordPress makes it easy to do this when you add a link to an article. There is a small option box within the “Add hyperlink” window that reads something like “Open link in new window.”

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