If you are working as a content writer, then you need to understand what bounce rate is, and what you can do to improve it. In this short blog post I take a look at this important visitor behavior metric, and come up with some ideas to improve it.
What is Bounce Rate?
Bounce rate is a visitor metric, expressed as a percentage, which tells website owners how many of their visitors arrive and leave from the same page. For example, if a visitor were to arrive at this site and read this page, and then leave, they will have bounced.
A high bounce rate tells a webmaster that their page content is not engaging the visitor, making them want to read more of the site. In a perfect world, every site visitor would read every page of a website. In reality this is not going to happen, but we certainly do not want visitors to click away after reading a single page.
Most traffic analytics platforms such as Google Analytics allow webmasters to see the bounce rate for every single page of the site, not just an overall percentage. So it is possible over time for site owners to improve their bounce rate by tweaking the pages which fail to engage visitors.
Content in Context
Although the written page content is not 100% responsible for the high bounce rate of a page, it is a very large part of the overall picture. Before I make some recommendations on how content can be crafted to improve bounce rate, I want to first place some of the blame at the feet of project buyers.
How many times do we see projects listed asking for X pages of content, on subject Y? Without even specifying the URL of the site it is to be published on? When a project buyer posts a project description like this, we naturally write these pages as standalone content pieces.
In reality, site content should relate to the website it is being published on. It’s a matter of context. So if any project buyers are reading this, consider giving fuller details of your requirements, including the site the pages are to be published on, so us content writers can craft content that fits the site better.
Writing to Improve Bounce Rate
It is not particularly difficult to write content which aims to reduce bounce rate. The main tool we can use is the referencing of other sections of the website, possibly with embedded internal links, that reinforce key concepts. For example, I could suggest that content writers use some fundamental copyrighting techniques to engage visitors, making them more likely to stay on the site. I wrote a post about this a while back which can be viewed here:
When Content Meets Copy
With luck, visitors will follow this link, and once they do, they can no longer bounce, they have moved on to read more sections of the site. Ideally, every page would include some form of cross linking to encourage this type of visitor behavior.
We can also use a variation of a call to action, by suggesting that visitors check out other section of the site. For example, I could close this blog post with something like this:
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