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When starting out, most bloggers believe that it is super hard to get people to your blog. Whereas most expert bloggers think that getting people to your blog is the easy part. Getting the users to stay on your site is harder. Most users come to your site and end up leaving without even going to the second page. When a user leaves without even going to the second page, it increases your bounce rate. It also decreases your pageviews per visit. On a bigger picture, it decreases your ad revenue. In this article, we will share with you tips and tricks that will help you increase pageviews and reduce bounce rate in WordPress.
Bounce rate represents the percentage of visitors who enter your site and “bounce” (leave the site) rather than continue viewing other pages within the same site. Page view is a request to load a single page on an internet site. We use Google Analytics to track our data.
Now that we know what a bounce rate is, you are probably wondering why the heck do these numbers matter?
If your primary purpose is to monetise by banner ads, then the number of pageviews matter. If you are trying to build an audience base, then the number of bounce rate matters. Also the lower bounce rate leads to better ads eCPM (cost per thousand impressions) or CPC (cost per click). When the same user goes to the next page, your ad provider most likely has a better ad to serve them thus giving you a higher eCPM or CPC.
P.S. These techniques will ONLY work if you have Good Content.
Interlink Your Posts
Anytime when you interlink your other posts within the post content, you are going to see an increase in pageviews. In WordPress, interlinking got even easier because you can simply search for the post you want to link while adding links. Interlinking techniques work great when you have a site with a lot of articles. If you are just starting out, then you will be a bit limited. So how do you go back and interlink older articles when you have something new? You can manually do it, but it will take some time. There are plugins that lets you automatically link keywords in WordPress. Not only does interlinking help you increase pageviews and reduce bounce rates, it also helps with SEO as well.
Show Related Posts After the Post
One of the main reasons why the user leave your blog after reading the post is because you are not showing them what to do next. By showing the user with a list of “related posts” or “other popular posts”, you may get them to go on to visit another post in your site. There are a lot of ways you can add related posts to your blog. Now a days lot of WordPress themes provides the plugins that are fitted with advanced algorithm, these plugins picks the related post and showcase them at the position specified by you.
Show Excerpts on Front / Archive Pages
Showing excerpts on front/archive pages have two advantages. First, it decreases page load time. Second, it helps increase the pageviews. You should almost never show full posts on your front page or archive page. Imagine having like 25 images in one post, and then have 5 of those on one page. It would be a horrible user experience because of (slow load time and super long page) which would make the user leave your site. Most good theme frameworks like Genesis, Thesis, Headway etc. already have this option built-in.
Splitting up Long Posts
Are you writing a super long posts? Well, you can split it into multiple pages using the WordPress <!–nextpage–> tag in your post. Simply add it wherever you want, and your post will split into multiple pages. You have to be very careful when doing this because if you do not have a sufficient amount of content on each page, then the user might get pissed of. A lot of big name sites like Forbes, NY Times, Wall Street Journal and others utilize this technique.
Your sidebar can play a crucial role in increasing pageviews and reducing bounce rate. You can show your popular posts in the sidebar. You can even customize it to show popular posts by week, month, all time. You can also show your most recent posts only on single post pages. We have seen sites that create custom images to navigate to specific posts of theirs.
When we started out Developers Journal, we faced a lot of criticism. People were saying that sites like these fail to grow because it is hard to keep a loyal audience. We asked around and a lot of people who had done something similar in the past reported that the bounce rate for a similar site was soaring in 85% range. Average user would view only one page per visit and leave. We started the site out to get some base data. Our bounce rate was in the 80% range. We slowly started implementing the changes mentioned above. Bounce rate decreased from the average of 76% to 52% and we are working continuously to get the bounce rate to 30-40% range. Our pageviews per visit increased to 2.34 / pages per visit. Average time spent on page went to the average of 2 minutes and 50 seconds.
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