How to Reduce Bounce Rate on Your WordPress Site

Post synopsis: Worried about high bounce rate on your website? You can reduce the rate by making your readers check out more content on your website. This post explores some simple tips to improve your bounce rate.


You have a lot to share on your blog. Perhaps you want to share professional tips or nuggets of personal growth. Perhaps you want to share about your travels or your beauty hacks. Perhaps, you want to share your family recipes.

And you work very hard at not only creating solid content that is SEO-friendly but also promoting it social media platforms. Your page views are going up but somehow so is your bounce rate. This worries you. You

Well, here’s the good news. High bounce rate does not necessarily mean readers are not finding your content useful. It’s possible that

Or, perhaps you have fallen prey to the Facebook promotion thread guidelines where most people are visiting your site with no intention to engage.

Wanna find out? Read on to understand the concept of bounce rate, what a high bounce rate means for your website, and how you can reduce the bounce rate.

How to Reduce Bounce Rate on Your WordPress Blog

Worried about high bounce rate on your website? You can reduce the rate by making your website check out more content on your website. This post explores some simple tips to improve your bounce rate.

What is bounce rate?

Bounce refers to an event when a visitor lands on your website/webpage and exits without clicking a link (to another post or page) or commenting. Bounce rate is the percentage of events when a bounce occurs on your website.

You can find out the average bounce rate of your website in your Google Analytics account.

Why should you care about high bounce rate?

Turns out, bounce rate is one of the million (!!) determining ranking criterions when it comes to search engines, especially Google Search.

It is, however, not known how influential it is because Google doesn’t share that data.

But more importantly, a high bounce rate could be indicative of unengaging or unhelpful posts. That goes completely against the objective of most blogs–to help other people.

If people are not finding good content to engage with on your website, it is unlikely you will earn followers, subscribers, and high rankings.

What does it mean to have a high bounce rate on your website?

When I started blogging a year ago, my bounce rate was through the roof. I think I was averaging around 97%. With time, I worked on my content and marketing to bring it down to high 20s. For good part of the year, the average bounce rate of my website hovered around 30-32%. I put all my learnings in an email series and created the 7-Day Sticky Blog Workout (have you signed up yet?)

However, in the last month or two, I have kinda, sorta gone slow on content creation and even slower on promotion. My traffic has dropped and my overall average bounce rate is creeping up again. Law of average, you’ll! At the time of writing this post, my bounce rate is somewhere in 80s :-O There! I said it.

I am determined to bring it back down to 30s in a month or so. The 7-Day Sticky Blog Workout works! I want people to engage with my content more.

Anyway, back to the reasons for high bounce rate.

There are two ways of looking at this. Your bounce rate is high because your content is:

  • Very helpful and super focussed
  • Not helpful and all over the place

Let’s consider the first scenario: a visitor lands on your website looking for something super specific. And you, being the keyword champ, have in-depth information on that subject. The visitor comes and reads the content, finds all the answers she was looking for, and leaves.

You’re good!

But remember, the key to the first scenario is that you are retaining the visitor on your website/page for the duration of the post. Even if they do not interact with your page in any other way, such as click an internal link or check your About page. For example, if your in-depth post is a 5-minute long read, the visitor should be spending a minimum of 2-3 minutes on that page. If you see the average screen time for this page is just a few seconds, you need to work harder on your retention strategy (we will discuss how to do this in a bit)!

Let’s take my example: even though my bounce rate is high, take a look at my “time on page” number:

5+ minutes!

That means people are reading what I have to say and it’s probably enough to answer all their queries at that time.

Now, consider the second scenario: readers do not find your content useful or your content is not focussed. This is a more deep-seated problem because this requires attention. In a moment, you will learn about some practical ways to increase reader engagement on your website, and consequently, reduce your bounce rate.

Related:

But before we get to that, here comes a curve ball: given that most of us are promoting our blog posts on Facebook promotion threads, it is very likely that your bounce rate is high for no fault of yours. You could write great content that is on point and compelling. But, because of the promotion threads, a majority of participants visit your blog post with the sole intention of fulfilling the promotion thread guidelines. Most of them won’t take even a second to look what your post is about. They just want to hit the share button, exit, and move onto the next promotion thread. Not ideal but it’s the reality.

That’s why working on your SEO is so important. You want the majority of your audience to be interested in what you have to say. Check out this SEO-boosting cheat sheet to improve your Google rankings and increase organic traffic to your website.

How to reduce the bounce rate?

It is not difficult to bring down a bounce rate floating away into the far skies.

Deliver content that your audience wants

Pretty basic, right?

If your target audience does not find what they are looking for on your website, they are going to exit pronto! So, be very intentional about what you put in your post.

First of all, do your research. Find out what your target audience is looking for. Scan the search engines to see if there are other posts about this topic and whether there is a gap you can fill.

Related:

Once you have a topic, decide on the type of post you want to create. There are many styles of blog posts. Choose the one that best serves your intentions and do justice to it.

Readers appreciate posts that focus on one topic comprehensively. Write it in an interesting manner. Make your readers stay and automatically your bounce rate will reduce.

Related:

Also, here’s a cheat sheet to boost your SEO ranking. After all, you first have to get people on your website.

Related:

Optimize your website to load super quick

Let’s take a look at my page load time:

Holy moly! 14.7s is terrible! But I know what’s going on. I haven’t compressed my images in a while. I also have a ton of plugins and themes installed–I need to delete those.

Think about the last time you tried to open a website and it just wouldn’t load. Remember how frustrating it was? Now, check your own website’s speed on GTMetrix.

How long does it take?

Visitors abandon sites that take more than 5 seconds to load. In fact, a good page load time is less than 1 second. It’s true!

So, how do reduce page load time? There are some technical and some non-technical aspects to it:

  • Choose a good hosting partner and the best plan for your needs. I recommend SiteGround for their reasonable packages and spectacular customer/technical service team.
  • Compress your images because these take up a lot of space. Believe it or not, when you upload one image on your WordPress media library, WordPress saves up to 8 copies of that in different sizes. I use the EWWW image compression plugin.
  • Delete images that you don’t need. Why fill space with unnecessary junk?
  • Delete plugins and themes that you don’t use. Themes and plugins use a lot of backend files to create a seamless user experience. However, those files add up and slow down your load time.
  • Install caching plugins. For example, W3 Total Cache save parts of your website so that it doesn’t need to contact the server each time a repeat visitor lands on your website.
  • Use CDN services. These services distribute the load across various servers across the globe. This means if your host is based in the US but someone from India is trying to access your site, their ping will be sent to the US server and back. This takes time, even though it’s a matter of seconds. Instead, with CDN installed, the India visitor will ping a destination closer to her (such as India or Singapore) instead of pinging the US-based server.

Here’s an article with even more ways to speed up your website.

Update your content regularly

Okay, so you got someone interested in visiting your website by researching keywords and writing stellar content. Google can take a long time to show any movement in your posts ranking. But that day has come. A long time has passed since you created this piece of content–it has become outdated. And someone has landed on your website to read this post. Yikes!

Always make sure your content is up-to-date.

  • Revisit old posts and check if content is still relevant. If not, update it to reflect the latest information.
  • Remove the date display from your blog posts
  • Sort comments from newest to oldest

Related:

How to Reuse Old Blog Posts

Use simple language

In most cases, your blog is not your creative writing canvas; it’s an instructional content platform. Unless you are an author, poet, painter, actor…and your website is your portfolio.

Readers come to your website to find information and/or learn something. Make it easy for them to learn.

When you create content that is not only interesting but also easy to understand, readers will stay and check out your other content.

Related:

How to Grab Your Readers’ Attention

Build a web of your posts

Now that your reader wants to read more of your content, guide her to your best content.

How will she know what she should read next? Where can she find more content on the topic you have written about?

Use internal linking.

The idea is to not only guide the reader to appropriate reading material but also to be a one-stop-shop for her.

Be generous with linking to your existing content. Create a storyline that demands that you add the links to related content. Do not force-fit though.

An additional advantage of internal linking is creating backlinks. More backlinks = high Google ranking.

When appropriate, do not be afraid to add a few external links as well.

Make your site mobile-friendly

With the advent of smartphone technology, more and more people now access the web on their smartphone or tablet.

Now, you may think if you have a website, it should load and be accessible from all platforms. Well, that used to be the case.

But now, it’s just the minimum threshold of any website. Your website has to load in a prescribed manner on a smart device. Factors such as page load speed, resize responsiveness, pop-ups, etc. determine whether someone will continue on your website.

When selecting a theme for your website, make sure it is mobile responsive, or AMP compliant. Non-compliance means poor user experience on mobile device and results in users navigating away quickly.

Here’s a post that explains how to make your website AMP compliant.

So, there you have it. Those are some of the most common ways to reduce the bounce rate on your website.

For even more tips on reducing your website’s bounce rate, join the

FREE 7 Day Sticky Blog Workout

This is an email series designed to share not only tips but actionable items at the end of each day.

Alright, let’s wrap up…

Do you track your bounce rate? What changes have you seen over time?

Pin for later.

Worried about high bounce rate on your website? You can reduce the rate by making your website check out more content on your website. This post explores some simple tips to improve your bounce rate.

How to Design an Amazing Sales Page for Your Next Big Launch!

Post Synopsis: A powerful (i.e. highly-converting) sales page is made up of two things: a good copy and a good (visual) design + layout. Without one or the other, your sales page will fall flat. In this post, you will understand what makes for a good copy and a good design when it comes to a designing a sales page.


Last week, I introduced you to the characteristics of an effective sales page. This week, I want to introduce you to the components that make up an effective sales page, i.e. how to design a sales page.

Broadly, these components fall into two categories–text and design.

The text (a.k.a. the copy) is the story of you and your product or service. The design is how you organize the story to make it easy to understand. Together, these two aspects bring your sales page to life and primed for action.

Ready? Let’s go!

How to Design a Kickass Sales Page

A powerful (i.e. highly-converting) sales page is made up of two things: a good copy and a good (visual) design + layout. Without one or the other, your sales page will fall flat. In this post, you will understand what makes for a good copy and a good design when it comes to a sales page.

Text Elements

The “hero” headline

When designing a sales page, this is the biggest, the boldest, and the most beautiful element. Your hero headline (often also your course or package name) is the hook of your sales page…this is what grabs the attention of your target audience. Without the hero headline, most potential customers won’t bother even scrolling down to know about the offer.

  • Keep it short and snappy: Headlines are most effective when they are short…about 60-100 characters (without space!). Spend a good amount of time coming up with your hero headline. Believe it or not, most effective headlines are not the first headline the writer thought of.
  • Choose clear over clever: Snappy need not be unclear. Often, in an attempt to be cute or show their offbeat personality, some bloggers construct sentences that are ambiguous or bring no value to the table. While it’s always good to be true to your personality, your sales page may not be the most appropriate place to showcase it. This is not to say you shouldn’t even try, but remember being humorous in a sales copy is a lot more difficult than writing a straightforward copy that resonates with readers. Make sure what you write prioritizes clear over clever.  
  • Make it compelling: This builds on the previous point. Your headline should be strong enough to compel readers to find out more about you and your offer. One way of doing this is to promise them something aspirational or relief from their pain. This promise is essentially the unique selling feature and the primary benefit of your product or service.
  • Examples of hero headlines:
    • Struggling with low traffic? Grab our revolutionary traffic building strategies for a never-before price!
    • Want guaranteed sales on your next amazing product?
    • 5 High Converting Facebook Ad Templates (even if you’re in a competitive niche)
    • Want personalized landing page advice?
    • How I earn $10K every month (and you can too!)

The sub-headline

Sub-headline is what comes under the hero headline–it’s like the tagline of your sales page. Make it descriptive but don’t write a novel here.

  • Use this area to describe the objective of your product or service.
  • In 12-15 words, draw attention to how your product or service can address your target audience’s core frustration, problems, weaknesses, struggles, etc.
  • Examples of strong “solution” headlines:
    • How I landed my first $10K client and you can too!
    • What if it didn’t have to be that way?…
    • I have the perfect solution to get rid of that nagging voice in your head…
    • What if (your life, business, etc.) could look like this… (use imagery)

The “sales copy”

This is your main selling message…the part where you talk about your extraordinary product or service.

  • Deliver a clear value proposition: Explain the “what’s in it for me?” or the WIIFM, of the course. You know that your offering is not for everyone. That’s why you did audience analysis; that’s why you did competitor analysis; that’s why you created your ideal customer avatar? It’s time to bring all that research to the table. Spell out clearly who this product or service is for? What will they accomplish if they take your course or hire you as a coach? The last thing you want is to target the wrong customer segment and then receive poor feedback.
  • Use benefit driven language: Benefit-driven language presents your course to your audience in a way that appeals to them and their needs. Instead of saying, “I’m giving you 5 hours worth of content that I spent 2 months creating!” You can say “After taking this course you’ll be able to X which will result in Y and Z.” Make sure that your sales copy is less about you and more about your audience and product or service. In other words, focus on the benefits rather than features. Here’s an exercise for you: work on finding the benefits of benefits. Confused? To impress upon the real pain point of your ideal customer, you need to know what is really going on and what exactly are you helping address. To find out, drill down to the lowest level of benefits, that is, the benefits of benefits. I learned this very cool trick from a copywriter to help extract the actual benefit of your offer–using the “so what” method. For example, let’s assume you are a money and/or mindset coach.  Put yourself in the potential client’s shoes and think:
    1. I am offering a free 30-minute discovery call > so what?
    2. On this call, you and I will discuss why you are afraid to market yourself > so what?
    3. If you are afraid to market yourself, you will not be able to land high-paying projects > so what?
    4. Without the high-paying projects, your bank account will not swell > so what?
    5. Without a swelling bank account, you will not be able to pay off your student loan > so what?
    6. Without paying off your student loan, you will not be able financially independent > so what?
    7. Without financial independence, you will not be able to create time for things you love to do (or relationships)… > so what?

Get the drift? Go on till you cannot drill down anymore. This exercise will also help you validate your ideal customer avatar.

  • Split your content into several paragraphs: Let’s face it…too much text is a turn-off for most of us. Chances are even though this post is packed with useful information, you are starting to get restless. SO.MUCH.TEXT. Sorry!! Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do on a blog post without spending hundreds of dollars or breaking your website. But what you can do is break your content into smaller paragraphs (blog post writing best practices, anyone?). This makes your content scannable and adds white space for visual relief.
  • Focus on the benefits: I know this has already been discussed but this is just SO important. At no point can you let go of the benefits of your product or service. For each paragraph, ask yourself “Why should anyone read this?” Translate the answer to create a compelling sub-heading.
  • Use sub-headings: Breaking the content into scannable chunks is great but customers are busy and greedy. They need quick answers. Use sub-headings to present those answers. Can a visitor understand your basic offer by just looking at the paragraph sub-headings? The answer should be YES! Because again, customers are busy and greedy.
  • Entice the reader: The majority of potential customers will scan your sales page. A small percentage makes the effort to read the first couple of sentences in each paragraph. An even smaller percentage will read the entire copy. Keep it interesting for them. Draft your sub-heading and the following content in a way that entices the reader to read further and find out more. More the time they spend on your sales page, higher the chance of you landing such clients in your pocket.

The price and payment methods

Humans (well, most of us at least!) value money. We work hard to earn it and would think 10 times before spending on it on something.

  • Don’t let the price overwhelm: Make sure if you are selling a high-ticket item, the amount is not the most prominent chunk of text on your sales page. Conversely, if you are selling a low-priced item or offering a heavy discount, increase the font size. In short, highlight low price; downplay high price.
  • Offer tiered pricing: This involves offering 2-3 different versions of your product, each building on the previous version and add additional features and benefits. This ensures that you are casting your net wide and targeting various customer budget points. This strategy works beautifully for both product and service providers. Here’s an example of tiered pricing on my preferred web hosting partner, *SiteGround’s pricing page.

Example of tiered pricing

    • Offer bundles: Instead of offering a tiered structure, you could also offer complementary products and/or services to create a high-ticket combo. You may have seen this technique being used heavily in retail shopping–buy 1 get 1 free; buy 1 get 2nd at 50% off; buy 4 get 40% off, etc. Bundling is so successful because they bring a sense of “value for money” in potential customers’ minds. Here’s an example of effective bundling on *Suzi Whitford’s course listings page.

Example of bundling

Example of payment plan

Alternatively, if you can present or teach your content on a monthly membership basis, that will ease the burden of one-time payment and will really add up in the long run.

    • Offer multiple forms of payment: Fun fact: a few months ago, I tried the free plan of Tailwind for the first time and LOVED the convenience of it. I almost bought the paid plan but did not go through with the payment at the last moment because they offered only credit card payments. No Paypal. Now, I don’t own a credit card (you heard me!) and I didn’t want the heavy transaction fees on my debit card (it’s HEAVY due to savage foreign exchange rates). So, I did not make the purchase at that time. But scheduling pins was taking up too much of my time. So I ended up borrowing my husband’s credit card and signed up for the paid plan earlier this month. I guess this round goes to Tailwind but it’s really bothersome to have only one type of payment option. That said, if you haven’t signed up for *Tailwind, you must! It’s a great scheduling tool that has freed up several hours of my week. Please don’t make this mistake with your products and service. At the least, offer Paypal and Credit/Debit card payment options. Here’s the gist of it all when it comes to payments: make ordering easy.

The call-to-action button

Very clearly, communicate what you want the potential client to do on your sales page.

Unlike a landing page, a sales page is designed to drive one and only one action from a potential customer–buy your product or service. This is not the place to book discovery calls or sign up for your mailing list (if you want those actions, you need to create a landing page, not a sales page).

Related

The social proof

Whenever possible, add social numbers (such as existing student numbers, followers on social media platforms, etc.) on your sales page.

But to really make a case, ask these social followers or your existing customers to write a solid testimonial for you.

The testimonial is nothing but an approval for you and your offering. Take a look at *Suzi’s sales page–it’s full of testimonials and even presents the number of current students.  

Examples of testimonials

With such solid testimonials, who wouldn’t be tempted to invest in her courses?

The FAQ

No matter how good a sales copy you write for your product or service, a majority of potential customers will still have doubts and objections. Use the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section to address their doubts and objections.

Common examples of doubts and objections are:

  • Will this work for my unique situation?
  • Is this going to be too hard?
  • Will I have time for this?
  • What if I need to return this?
  • How can I trust this person?
  • Do I really need to buy this?

Use your sales copy as an opportunity to remove all possible objections your potential customers may have. It could be about the price; it could be about your credibility; it could be about payments or refunds. By addressing their concerns, you build your credibility and trustworthiness. Become your own ideal client. Think of everything that could hold your customer back. And then, break the holding spell.

Design Elements

The look of your sales page plays a HUGE role in raising or crashing the perceived value of your offer.

Depending on your personality and the offer, your sales page may be colorful or minimal. Irrespective of the tone you take, make sure the design is streamlined.

Colors

  • Use colors intelligently. Use contrasting colors for the background, font, and CTA buttons.
  • Do not use more than 3 (max. 4) colors. Do not layer two brights or two pastels on top of or next to each other. This can reduce comprehension and readability.

Formatting

  • Streamline and format the page properly.
  • Do not use script fonts.
  • Do not center-align bullet lists. They don’t look good.
  • Leave plenty of white space for visual relief.

CTA buttons

  • Make it a BUTTON–not a hyperlink.
  • Keep the CTA button front and center.
  • If using multiple CTA buttons, keep their colors the same.
  • Use Serif font on CTA buttons.

Misc.

  • Include the image of the product or the creator (if service based).
  • If possible, include images of people whose testimonials you are displaying.
  • Do not use sliders or heavy animations on your sales page. Design it as a static page to avoid visual distractions.
  • If creating tiered pricing structure, keep the highest price on left and lowest on right.

Additional Guidelines

  • Adjust the length: Depending on the price of your product or service, you need to alter the length of your sales page and the number of details you need to add. Generally speaking, more expensive the product, longer the sales page. This is because money matters. Think about this: you know what you need desperately. But, if two people were to pitch you the same exact solution for $97 and $197, which one would you pick? You want to be really, really sure about an investment of $197 compared to an investment of $97. Yes? Same goes for your client. Spend the time detailing every damn thing your potential customer needs to know to believe in your product.
  • Use personal language: Make the CTA button personal. Writing in first-person and second-person puts your reader in control when compared to using third-person language. For example, test using “Send me my workbook” versus “Send the workbook” in your button copy. Another example “YOU can do this!” or “I can do this!”
  • Design a great CTA button: The call-to-action (CTA) of your sales page is not just another button; it’s another chance to persuade your potential clients into buying your product, booking your service, calling you for a consultation, etc. Make sure your CTA button is designed to attract your readers’ attention. Here are some tips to design a high-converting CTA button.
  • Create a sense of urgency or scarcity: When pushed against the wall, our survival instincts kick in. The same applies to your sales page. If your readers know your product will be available forever, they will procrastinate buying it. But if you use phrases like “available limited time” or “grab at a never-before, never-after price” “limited seats” it creates a sense of urgency and/or scarcity. They don’t want to miss out on this amazing “deal” and so they are more likely to go through and make the purchase.

Pin for later.

A powerful (i.e. highly-converting) sales page is made up of two things: a good copy and a good (visual) design + layout. Without one or the other, your sales page will fall flat. In this post, you will understand what makes for a good copy and a good design when it comes to a sales page.