If blogging is a big part of your brand’s content strategy, then it likely brings you a good number of visitors each month.
But if those visitors read your post and leave without checking out the rest of your website, you may need to make a few changes to ensure your efforts aren’t going to waste.
Write for humans, not bots
Lots of organic traffic and a high bounce rate would suggest that while search engines think highly of your content, real visitors might not. This could be down to several reasons:
- Misleading title and/or meta description
- Posts answer a specific question and therefore attract visitors that only want an answer (i.e. ‘when do the clocks go forward?’)
- Blog posts based on keyword research rather than ideas
- Copy reads unnaturally due to high number of keywords
- Content that doesn’t live up to its title (e.g. ‘5 incredible snacks to try before you die’ that include pizza, chocolate, and toast)
More internal links
Readers coming from social media and search engines are likely to see your blog posts as isolated pieces of content, especially if they haven’t come across your brand before. Providing internal links to other posts and services will not only provide context for the post itself, but will also suggest other pages worth visiting. If done consistently enough, internal linking can also increase your search ranking for certain pages and terms.
Sidebar banners can also be useful for driving internal traffic, providing they’re not mistaken for ads. Using colours and fonts consistently across your site can usually prevent this from happening.
Include a call to action…
Encouraging comments, subscriptions, and registrations can all work towards lowering your bounce rate. The most effective calls to action come at the end of the post — right when your visitors are wondering what to do next — and suggest a clear, straightforward course of action (i.e. ‘take a look at this post in infographic form’ or ‘leave a comment’ as opposed to ‘register for an account, decide which of our newsletters you’d like to join, then check out our events page that we forgot to link to’).
…or at least a suggestion
Include a search box, tag cloud and list of related posts in your sidebar so that your visitors can read more on the topics they care about. Keep these suggestions relevant, and aim for less than half a dozen — too much choice is overwhelming, and your visitors are more likely to leave your site than decide which of 20 articles they most want to read.
Consider your content
For social traffic in particular, a high bounce rate exclusive to the blog section of your site can suggest that you’re aiming your content too low or too high for your audience. If you sell specialist engineering products, for example, your Facebook followers are likely to expect blog posts that reflect the level of expertise needed to use your products. While a blog about engineering basics would be useful for a lot of people, those people aren’t likely to be the ones buying specialist equipment, so those visitors are more likely to bounce.
Experimenting with different content types can also help you lower your blog’s bounce rate. Blog posts that are most relevant to your key services are more likely to keep visitors on-site, even if they don’t draw as much traffic as broader posts. Keep experimenting, and see what works.