When your WordPress site is up and running but seems to have a high bounce rate, it can be really frustrating after putting in so much time and effort to get the site exactly how you wanted it. You may have no clue as to what is causing your page views to be low and bounce rates to be high seeing that you’ve put a great deal of effort into the website.
Even with what you believe is a great-looking page, great content or an enjoyable website, it may be that the pages run too slow or that the content isn’t as great as you thought. With site traffic and engagement looking good, it still takes experimentation to understand what encourages a visitor to stick around and to come back for more. While it differs for every website owner, here is a look at some common fixes to reducing bounce rates and increasing page views on WordPress websites.
Why is this becoming such an issue?
Internet users have an increasingly short attention span with the current rate at about 8 seconds. That means you only have eight seconds to spark an interest in an internet user and convince them to stick around for more. You need to convince them that your content is valuable enough to stick around to see more, to want to share them on social media and to come back on a regular basis for the next piece of content.
How do I begin reducing my bounce rate and increasing my page views?
While you can work all day and night on site promotion, this will do you no good if users are being brought to a site with poor content or less than desirable designs. It’s time to look in the mirror to ask yourself if your content is really worth people’s time and if your page actually looks good to the general public and not just to your friends who are trying to encourage you to be nice. Get honest with yourself to see if the information is the same stuff found on several other sites and if the theme is pretty standard and boring.
Perhaps all of that is just fine but your site is loading way too slow. Visitors arrive to the site to see that it’s taking several seconds to load, so they give up and move on with their day. Check to see if your site loads in two seconds or less and use a caching plugin in order to compress your images that slow down the load speed.
Analyze your bounce rate
Your bounce rate refers to a single-page visit that is not followed by anymore action outside of leaving the site completely. You can gather clues on your bounce rate by taking advantage of Google Analytics traffic stats or by adding plugins to your site. Google Analytics will help you find your bounce rate by searching Behavior, clicking “Site content” and then going to “all pages.” Look at the table on this page to see your site’s bounce rate.
Typically, you’ll want a bounce rate of around 41-55% but if it’s a lower percentage, you’re in great shape. Google will look at how much time is spent on a page and the time between site entry and last page view. If your bounce rate is high, it generally means that the page didn’t meet their expectations or that it did but they didn’t find anything else worth clicking on.
If you feel that you weren’t able to match a visitor’s expectations, consider if some of your pages could use some updated research, if the formatting is lacking, if images and videos are needed or if the pages are “thin” or lacking. Try to break up lengthy posts into a series, feature popular posts on a sidebar or categorize your posts in a value-added manner.
Once you’ve done all of this, consider taking the time to:
- Add an SEO plugin
- Breaking up longer posts using a page-link tag
- Inserting related links where they fit
- Using the sidebar for your most popular content
- Creating a category menu
- Adding excerpts on pages and posts
Use these tips and you may find your bounce rate decrease while your page views increase.