Let’s say you’ve been blogging for a while, working hard, putting out great content, promoting it via social media – generally doing all the things successful online entrepreneurs do. But you’re not making many sales or earning the CPM revenue you hoped you would.
When you check Google Analytics it seems as though you’re attracting enough visitors.
Digging a little further into Analytics you discover Bounce Rate. It looks terrible, but TBH you’re not exactly sure what it indicates.
So you search and read up on how Google decides what constitutes a bounce. You’re mortified to discover it could mean anything from a visitor who spent 15 minutes reading one of your epic blog posts to someone who bailed on your site before it could finish loading.
How are you supposed to know what the actual issue is – if there even is one?
Figuring out what to do about a high bounce rate
Since it’s hard to know for certain what’s behind a bounce rate, it makes sense to try the simplest things first – especially if they’ll benefit you in some other way.
With situations like a deep-dive post that readers enjoy and then leave, you can try things to get them to signal Google that they’re not a bounce. If you’re including prompts to comment, an e-mail signup form with an opt-in they’d want, and linking to other content, services or products the reader would value, you’ve made a good effort.
Yes, if the visitor doesn’t click, Analytics will call them a bounce. However I wouldn’t necessarily consider this a loss (we’ll come back to that thought).
Now, what about legit bounces? Why do people come to a site and then leave?
Sure, there are plenty of rookie mistakes one could make that drive visitors away (e.g., content isn’t what the visitor expected when he/she clicked, site is confusing to navigate). But for the most part, they’re not mistakes I find when I work with intermediate to experienced bloggers/entrepreneurs.
Instead what I see is good content, great photos, super SEO – and terrible loading times.
While we can’t always tell what’s behind each and every bounce, there is a definite relationship between site speed and bounce rate.
Here’s what Neil Patel said about high bounce rates (emphasis mine):
If your bounce rate is over 50%, one of the first things you want to check is your site speed.
The faster your site is, the lower your bounce rates should be.
In one study by Google, they found that 53% of mobile ad clicks never resulted in a pageview when the page took more than 3 seconds to load.
And then there’s this:
So, yeah – finding out if site speed is an issue and then taking steps to correct it are absolutely the best first steps to take when your bounce rate is high.
I don’t say that because site speed issues are my jam. Actually, the reverse is true.
Site speed issues are my thing because they hurt little guys and average Joes/Janes like me who are working hard to build an honest, independent living via the web.
You can’t monetize what no one sees
It doesn’t matter if you write/design/develop the best blog post/download/course, etc., in the universe. If you don’t attract people to it, and keep them around long enough to check it out, you and your prospective audience both lose.
You lose page views, sales, CPM revenue, reputation or all of the above. And assuming you have genuinely great content, your woulda-been visitor loses out on the value you tried to provide.
But when visitors actually do see it…
A few paragraphs back I said we’d come back to the idea that it’s not always a loss when Google Analytics labels a visitor a bounce. In fact, I’m going to suggest you put those not-really-bounced bounces last on your list of website things you worry about.
Because when you provide content that keeps a visitor engaged, the fact that it was a one-page visit doesn’t matter to an ad network.
Yes, more page views = more engagement and higher revenue and is definitely ideal.
Unlike Analytics, however, Mediavine and other ad networks understand that the visitor who read every word of your 10,000-word blog post is not the same as the person who bailed on your site before the page finished loading. You will earn money for that valuable content, despite what Analytics thinks.
Now, about people who actually do bail out…
Let’s make sure visitors see your stuff
Whether you’re still building an audience or you have hundreds of thousands of page views per month, it’s my mission to help you KEEP the visitors and revenue you’ve worked hard to earn.
From customized services tailored to a site’s specific problems, to basic done-for-you speed optimization, to (coming very soon!) a 7-day program – I help ambitious bloggers, entrepreneurs and “bloggerpreneurs” of all levels with bounce rate and site speed issues.
I take my mission quite seriously, but then if you’ve talked to me or followed any of my social media accounts (even the personal ones!) you know this. If you’re similarly serious about your mission and think you might have speed issues, you should hire me to help you.