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How To Really Improve Your Bounce Rates

First off I want to give credit where credit is due and in this case it goes to a post my mate Mitch wrote called Too Many Tags And Categories? That particular post, one that I recommend you read, refers to a blog Mitch had read where the blogger claims to have reduced his bounce rate to 2% :bigsurprise_ee: :flush_tb: The thing about that bloggers post that caught Mitch’s attention was when the blogger mentioned that smaller tags and tag clouds were beneficial because it allowed the reader to focus on what the blog is really about. I’m assuming that having a huge amount of tags would confuse the reader causing him to leave without searching any further.

Will Tags Decrease Your Bounce Rate?

The question is whether or not having a tag cloud decreases your bounce rate? Personally I feel that they are next to useless and the space would be better used for something else. I know that I have one on my Buy Lottery Tickets Online site but that’s only because I like the way it behaves more than anything else. :tongue1_tb:

The only way to get a true result to that question is to run this poll. As you well know the more people that take part in any given poll the more accurate the result and so I urge you to get the word out.

Do You Click On Tag Clouds

View Results

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How To Improve Your Bounce Rate

So, how do you improve your bounce rate? First let’s say that the way the bounce rate of any given site is calculated is related to the amount of time someone spends on your blog and whether or not they choose to explore it by reading some of your other posts.

  • Select Your Keywords Carefully: Sure I said that tag clouds were next to useless but let’s not forget that the real reason for choosing your tags keywords carefully is for their SEO benefit. Keywords are one of the best ways of letting the search engine know what you’re writing about. Therefore you want to make sure that you select keywords that relate exactly to what you’re writing about otherwise people will be bouncing like crazy.
  • Great Content:This is a no brainer and I’m going to include good grammar, introduction and heading in this point. Get all them right and people will take the time to read your post increasing the time on your blog and decreasing your bounce rate. Who knows, they may even want to look around your blog to see what other gems you have to offer.
  • Interlinking Great For SEO:You may have read before how linking between your posts is great for SEO, well that’s not all as it’s also great for reducing your bounce rate, especially if you’re linking to related content. Sure there are plugins that will do this for you but they normally appear at the end of the post but it’s so much better to do it from within the post itself as it’s more likely to grab their attention.
  • Related Posts Plugin:Sometimes you may find it a bit difficult to link from within a post and that is when a related post plugin will help. I usually use Microkid’s Related Posts plugin as it allows me to search for the right posts to link to. I am however trialling nrelate Related Plugin as it has some unique qualities which I will touch on later in this post.
  • Open Links In Another Page:I’ve read some posts that actually recommend the opposite but that never made sense to me. They reckon if you do that it records another visit when they return to your blog. The question is, will they return to your blog? That’s an awful big chance you’re taking if you go that route. It’s so much better to open all links in another page.
  • Entice Your Readers To Comment:This is important for many reasons. The most important reason is it makes your posts more interactive but just as important is that if they’re going to take the time to comment they will inadvertently stay on your blog longer improving your bounce rate. You could also go the extra mile by using a plugin that allows them to edit comments because there are a lot of people who take pride in their comments and will take the time and appreciate the opportunity to fix any mistakes.
  • Make Good Use Of YouTube:If you can find a video that adds to your content then I recommend you include it in a post. If you can’t find one then that’s good too because it gives you the opportunity to make your own video, one that others may find useful  enough to include in their posts. Whenever I include a video I will use the ‘more’ tag so that it’s not displayed on the front page so as to not slow down the page load speed.


nrelate Related Plugin

I only learned of this plugin yesterday when I was contacted by someone affiliated with it. I have to admit that I wasn’t all that interested because I already have a related post plugin, but I thought I would do the right thing and give it a try. I must say I am impressed, so much so that I’m going to keep them both. Here’s a few reasons why I like it.

  • Upon installing the plugin will take a couple of hours before appearing as it indexes your blog so that it has more of an idea when searching for related posts.
  • It uses thumbnails to link to your related posts. Everyone knows that people are more likely to click on an interesting image than just a boring old link so to me this is a big plus. It pulls the image from the post and if the post does not have an image it will use a default one that you can upload. I’m thinking of making a Sire recommends this post image using cleavage to get their intention :lol_ee:
  • Once installed it finds related posts for all your posts unlike Microkids which only works on those posts where you remembered to use it. There are so many posts where I’ve forgotten to make use of it resulting in lost potential.
  • Another cool feature is you can configure it to search your blogroll for related content. This is great for those who have more than one blog or have the tendency to link to certain blogs in their blogroll.
  • It’s very configurable including giving you the opportunity to make money by availing yourself of their advertiser network. You can see the plugin in action at the end of this and every post on this blog. The thumbnails appear after the ‘You may also like –‘, also totally configurable. The fourth thumbnail is the one belonging to the advertiser. Naturally if you don’t want to use this feature you don’t have to.

That’s it for now as this post is a lot longer than I’m used to writing. Don’t forget to take part in the poll and to leave a comment, especially if you have any other tips on improving the bounce rate of any given blog.


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Peter Pelliccia

I'm an Aussie blogger who loves to blog and share everything that I've learned on my blogging journey, including blogging tips and ways to blog for money. I am also trying to make my way on YouTube. You can follow my progress by subscribing to My Bonzer Channel.

This Post Has 81 Comments

  1. Hi Sire, I don’t have too many categories, or tags on my sites.

    I had an old site where my bounce rate was high, once I ‘trimmed the fat’ my bounce rate went down. I use a similar plug-in (the name escapes me at the moment).

    I also use Broken link checker. It does exactly what the name says. It alerts you when there’s a broken link. I’ve been using that for a few years. Because of that plug-in I no longer have broken links on my site, and I don’t link out to sites that are no longer around, or have removed a page.

    By the way, I like your temporary background. It’s hard to believe that Christmas is right around the corner. ;)
    Opal recently posted…Food cravings: A bit spicy…My Profile

    1. What exactly did you get rid of Opal when you ‘trimmed the fat’?

      Also, I changed more than just the background :drunk_tb:

      1. Yep, you changed the header and footer too, I’m putting them all under the same category. I like the snowman the best, but I’ve always liked those.

        Well my trimming the fat, meant I had to look and see whether some of the categories could be merged with others. I think I had about 40+. I also did a poll on that site. That site is no longer around, but at the time it received a lot of traffic. I added a poll, and my readers voted how I suspected; they tended to not pay attention to the category section if it was too long. I know I do the same thing if I see too much on a site. It was a lesson learned, and I’ve never made that mistake again.

        Because I was willing to let go of some of my ‘precious categories’ my bounce rate was lowered. More importantly, my readers were happy since they didn’t have to scroll through a huge list.
        Opal recently posted…Saucy; Homemade pizzaMy Profile

        1. Thanks for elaborating Opal, I really appreciate it. Trimming the categories makes a lot of sense too, especially if it was that big :tongue_wink_ee:

  2. I voted that I have not clicked on a tag cloud – and I haven’t – but I do use tags included at the bottom of posts to find other articles (posts) on the same topic on that blog.

    On my blogs, I try to keep categories to a bare minimum and use no more than 3 or 4 tags per post to identify the main ideas of the post. That is not optimal for SEO, but it seems to enhance the reading experience, and I write for my readers not the search engines.

    Cross-linking related posts is a great way to help the readers find more, related info.

    (I like your Christmas theme) :thumbup_tb:

    1. Nope, I’ve never ever clicked on a tag Allan, whether it’s in a tag cloud or below the post. I have however clicked on related posts links.

      I usually keep my tags down to a minimum too but only because I can’t be bothered with thinking of too many :lol_ee:

  3. To tell the truth I’ve never known exactly the reason why I needed to put tags on a post, but I see now.

    I like the way this plugin shows the related thumbnal, I reckon images are great for enticing clicks, so this can only help reduce my bounce rate.

    I’ll try it on the site I used in this comment


    1. That’s certainly the plan Bruce, I’ve also included those thumbnails in the sidebar as the plugin comes with a built in widget.

  4. Hi Sire – I totally agree that tag clouds appear to be a waste of sidebar space. Your suggestion to narrow the number of tags is a good one. We are constantly advising clients to narrow their marketing focus. When they do, they always see better results.

    1. It wasn’t actually my idea Michael :wink_ee:

  5. Twitter:
    Hi Peter,

    I complexly agree, tag cloud is truly useless. I have never ever clicked on any.

    Thanks for the tips about decreasing bounce rate. What surprises me is that so many bloggers (even those pro bloggers) dont have their links open in a new tab. I always have links open in a new tab.

    1. I wonder if it’s because they are so sure of themselves Satrap that they believe people will come back to finish their. I actually find it annoying and rarely go back to finish what I was reading.

  6. Hey Sire,

    I don’t think I’m using tags as I should but I will definitely get rid of the excess, I already did once but I think I can improve anyway.

    As for categories I agree with Mitch.

    Many people use a TON but if they are well organized I don’t see why we shouldn’t use them.

    I do click on tags when I find a blog that interests me a lot and I want to know everything about a particular subject.

    Actually I’d find a bit odd if NOBODY clicked on tags, that’s the whole purpose of tagging an article!

    But I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion. ;-)

    Have a great day Peter!


    1. I always thought tags were for SEO purposes Sergio, although I do know the purpose behind tag clouds is to entice people to click on them, I just never have.

      I also agree that categories are beneficial and allows the reader to quickly browse those areas they are interested in.

      You have a great day too mate.

      1. On several occasions, I’ve seen entries on a google serp where a site’s category page or tag page ranked high. So, it must be important for seo purposes.

        As to clicking on tag clouds, I’ve never ever clicked on one, although I once hovered over an animated tag cloud where the tags revolved like they were part of a sphere.

        I must try that nrelate related plugin as well. Looks like it can indeed lower my bounce rate.

        1. Yeah, I sometimes play with the tag cloud on my lottery blog. It’s kind of nifty making it rotate in different directions. :smile2_ee:
          relate does look like a pretty good WordPress tool doesn’t it?

          1. Yeah. Also noticed you no longer have those zaparena thumbnails. Or was it zaparena, or something else?

            1. I was Zaparena but they no longer exist and have become part of Zapunited ads which I am currently trialling out.

  7. Excellent tips Sire and personally think that if your link opens in another window, it will significantly reduce your bounce rate.

    1. Well, that’s my theory :wink_ee:

  8. Nice article, bounce rate is a important stats to look at. I also like broken link checker. It is really plays an important role in making sure all links are working correctly.

    I use tags, but I do it in a limited way. max is 4 for a post, I think this is ok for SEO. I do not use tag clouds on pages and does not like showing that.

    PS: I think the article title should say how to decrease bounce rate…:), improve sometime sounds other way round.

    1. Hi Sanjeev, in my honest opinion improve means decreasing the bounce rate and I’m sure most people would realise that.

  9. I have found that having lists of categories and tags really does improve your bounce rate and get more page views.

    1. How have you found tags to improve your bounce rate Steven?

  10. Hi ..some very nice tricks to reduce bounce rate..i always try to use a youtube video on my sites to decrease bounce rates…
    thanks for the share..


    1. Always a good idea as long as it’s related to the post otherwise most people will just ignore it.

  11. Good tip Sire, I do keep my tags and categories to a minimum level. I also think that keeping your content related to your niche will decrease your bounce rate (or that’s only me?).

    1. I think you’re right Sanjay, that is unless you don’t have a niche blog, like this one. :wink_ee:

  12. i don’t use tags i have installed all in one seo plugin i am just entering meta keywords in it ,is tags are important to add?

    1. Hey Iona, both are basically keywords, the only difference being that the ones you use in the sep plugin are not seen by your users so they are unable to click them, were they so inclined. I use both ensuring that I don’t double up on keywords.

  13. Hi Sire,

    i visit this site for few weeks, and now a came back. My English is now better, and i read your post, because i think, it’s interesting for me.

    i`m a new blogger and in last weeks a read many sites and blogs about SEO and all the other Methods.

    I agree with you in all Points. It’s really important to have good, fresh and unique content. written with quality and humor.
    Links to other sites are important. When you link to older posts on your own site, you have a really great link building.

    I test this method on my blog and its great!!! Links from content ( keywords) are useful for search results, because the bots can find a way from site to site, from post to post.
    This is good for ranking and became traffic on your site.

    On my blog- network is use tags. Wow, this is also great. It works very good. Many blog platforms using tags, many have an other plugin.

    Wish you all the best, much success and good ideas for the future.

    Greetings from Germany
    Sandy recently posted…Partnersuche TestMy Profile

    1. Hey Sandy, welcome to the blog and congratulations on your comment, especially considering that English is not your native language.

  14. Actually I keep my bounce rate below 4% and I’m pretty satisfied with this result.

    I use a related post plugin,but mine is named “Related Posts Thumbnails”

    I’ve also voted on your poll!

    ps: I like your Christmas theme….I love the header and also the christian footer

    1. Hey ALbert, 4% is extremely low. I’ve heard that sometimes you can get false results if you enter Google analytic code incorrectly and that it can also happen if you inadvertently add it twice.

      Glad you liked the theme and I had to give it the Christian touch because we are celebrating the birth of our saviour.

      1. Thanks Sire, I will check out if I’ve added twice.
        Anyway I received few visitors daily and the are very targeted so the Bounce rate could be correct

  15. I do a lot of these things, except the first one. I use any keyword that has anything to do with my posts, hoping for more people to come to my site. My question is: Is it more important to have more people come or a lower bounce rate?

    1. What is important Katie is that you get people coming to your blog who find what they are looking for otherwise they will just leave. That is why you should select your keywords carefully. If you use any keyword you will increase the amount of people visiting your blog but they will leave straight away which will increase your bounce rate.

  16. A very good way of reducing the bounce rate is obviously the related posts widget, the linkwithin widget is really good in this regard.

    1. That is true which is why I included it in the post. I wonder if having to related post plugins will decrease it even further :lol_ee:

  17. Twitter:
    Nice topic Sire but I’m amazed, unless I just missed it, that no one has mentioned the number one way of helping bounce rates – the title tag, at least from search traffic. That title has to be as descriptive as possible so the searcher knows exactly what the post is about before they even click.

    We, as bloggers, tend to focus on using our key word phrase there, and that’s important, but the title has to be descriptive. I don’t have any stats to back it up, but I’d almost put money on the fact that a very large percentage of searches never read the description and go with the title every time.

    I agree with all of the other points too. BTW Sire, I’m using a related post with image plugin too but I’m not sure if it’s the same one. I love it.

    If you want to try a really great SEO plugin, give the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress a try. I’m kicking the ll In One SEO plugin to the curb after using the Yoast plugin.

    Good day mate. lol

    1. Hey Brian,

      I think I may have mentioned it in passing, but you’re probably right, I should have placed a lot more emphasis on it.

      I use a descriptive title for the blog and the use the SEO plugin to incorporate a more keyword laden one.

  18. Greeting from nRelate! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on our Related Content plugin. We really appreciate it and if you ever need any assistance with your own plugin, give us a shoutout on Twitter or shoot us an email! Have an awesome day.

    1. Thanks for dropping in Amanda and that’s a nice plugin you have there. :thumbup_tb:

  19. really useful suggestions, i already have used some of them. But not the tag clouds. If i could ask you a question: what do you think, which one is more efficient: the optimal keyword managing or the tag clouds? I mean which increases more the traffic of the site.
    Cindy recently posted…Toothache – home remediesMy Profile

    1. Cindy, if you read the post carefully you will find how I feel about tag clouds. The fact that I don’t use one should tell you something.

  20. Open Links In Another Page is a better strategy for a blog owner to let the reader stay. What more if the content of these links are total helpful to everybody. Providing relevant content that reader needs must always be the top most priority to decrease bounce rates.

    1. Supplying the reader with the correct content is indeed a very important point Christina

      1. Yeah, Content is an important factor. But how come that others continue to use crap content and remains to enjoy the benefits that they shouldn’t have in the first place.

        1. Remain to enjoy what Christina? If their content is crap they’re not likely to get much traffic and what little traffic they get it won’t generate much income.

  21. I do clicking on tags cloud to see which is popular or recent post terms to know what make the post stand out .
    Andy recently posted…Simple Resume Creative DesignMy Profile

    1. There always has to be one :tongue_wink_ee:

  22. I always tried to stay away from tags to try to cut back on the amount of links on each page. I may have to give tags a try.

    1. Tags are a lot more than a mere link Sandy, it’s also helps the search engines to find you.

  23. interesting blog..
    I like the way this plugin shows the related thumbnal, sounds like the images are great for enticing clicks, so this should help reduce my bounce rate.thanku for your help

    1. I’m sure it’s a lot better than a your normal regular link Julie.

  24. For the longest time I did not know what that jumble of words (tag cloud)on some peoples blogs was. I do not use it and I have never clicked on one. I find on my site it is about 50/50 (tag/categories) on how people navigate my site. I am always looking to reduce my bounce rate and 2% seems crazy low. But if you could get that I am all for trying new things.
    Jay recently posted…Plan #2521My Profile

    1. Hi Jay, just goes to show that a day never goes by without the opportunity to learn something new :wink_ee:

  25. My blog have high bounce rate and I believe like you said that the keywords is the problem. If the keyword is not right, the wrong people will come to your blog.

    Btw, I like your casual tone :D

    1. And if the wrong people come to your blog they won’t stick around for long. You can go to the top of your class :wink_ee:

  26. Hey Peter,

    thanks for the tip re: nrelate – I’mm going to give that a looksie – you’re right pictures are probably more appealing than links & I’ve seen this around a bit & wondered what plugin it was, so thanks again!

    take care,
    Alan recently posted…How To Create A 100% Free Website In Less Than 3 MinutesMy Profile

    1. No problems Ala, it’s what I do :wink_ee:

  27. This is an issue that until now, I have not looked at. In the photography business it is very competitive and I need to keep people on my site and get more conversions. The points you raise are eye openers to me and i will certainly increase my inter linking between posts. Thanks for the advice

    1. Hey Linus,

      Considering you have photo blog this plugin will work especially well as it will pull a photo right out of the post and display it and linking to the related post. I’ll be adding it to my photo blogs first chance I get.

  28. I’ve found that interlinking is the best way for most blogs (which have high quality content already) can decrease their bounce rate.

    Also, do you know if the bounce rate can effect the rankings in the search engines? I’ve often wondered if you had a low bounce rate what would happen?

    1. I’m sure that Google has configured that into their algorithm Thor.

  29. Twitter:
    Thanks for the love Sire. I’m curious, but I just found where those posts are that you were talking about with the new plugin and I notice that the last one actually links back to their site. Is that intentional or is it that you just haven’t added anything for that yet? And has anyone clicked on any of them that you know?

    Something that I do every once in awhile is I add an internal link that actually sends people to either the tag or category based on a word within my content. So if I’m talking about SEO, I could just as well have the category or tag connected to that as I might have a post I’ve written on the subject. As I’d said in my post, I see through Google Alerts that sometimes it’s the tag that comes up as someone clicking on it, which is pretty neat.
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted…Are You Keeping Your Browsing History?My Profile

    1. It’s intentional on my part Mitch. I could have it so that they all link to my posts but I want to see if that forth image will generate any money for me.

  30. I’m not so sure bounce rate is something to worry about.

    I was concerned for a while that mine was too high, then I realized that was because many of my regular readers and subscribers simply came to read my latest post. Only the new visitors (some at least) were clicking through multiple pages.

    Still, always good to encourage people to look around more. One neat trick I’ve seen some blogs using is to split your post over two posts and make people click to read the second part….

    Might look into the plugin – I haven’t gotten ‘related posts’ to work yet and I need something like it. Interested to know how you get on with it mate…

    1. Certainly nothing to stress over Jym but there’s certainly nothing wrong with encouraging people to stay on your blog as long as possible. Apart from improving the bounce rate they may even see something they like :wink_ee:

      My posts generally aren’t long enough to split but that may work for some. As to the plugin,so far it seems to be working well so I reckon I’ll keep it.

  31. nrelate plugin seems really good! I used to use Yet Another Related Posts Plugin earlier, but it consumed way too much hosting resources, so I had to take it off. Thanks for the recommendation! (And the other tips)

    “This is a no brainer and I’m going to include good grammar, introduction and heading in this point. ” << That's absolutely true. When it comes to the heading especially, inducing curiosity is the key. Saying "XYZ Review" won't exactly excite the reader much. But "5 Things I Hate About XYZ" or "XYZ: Better than others?" etc. might. The key, after all, is to make a smooth transition from heading to first paragraph, from 1st to second paragraph, and so on.

    1. It is really good Jack ands far I’ve noticed it does a pretty good job of selecting related posts. Apart form using images instead of links the best thing about the plugin is it goes through every post and not just the ones since it was installed.

  32. Nrelate plugin would be wonderful experience ,I think.
    Dear Sire your post has great steps for bloggers to learn something valuable. In my opinion tags could tags sometimes may increase a little bit of bounce but mostly cant…Thank you so much for your highly informative article.

    1. Hi Deewave, I have to agree with you, it is a great plugin.

  33. Very good tips. Regarding “Make Good Use Of YouTube”, I’ve read that photos help as well, not necessarily videos. I prefer funny pics related to the subject, making readers smile even on serious subjects might be a good thing.

    1. That’s probably true but videos will keep them on your blog longer, as long as they watch the video that is :wink_ee:

  34. 2% is crazy. If I see that I will think it is caused by an error on the site. There are some problems that can cause this. For example I think there was one related to 404. It is basically automatically making the user visit two pages.
    But I will read the post for the 2%, there could be important info. And about the tags, I think they are not very useful. In some of my sites I have removed them totally. They could be useful for user in some situations, but I do not think that they use them that much. And it is a good idea to at least make them noindex by the way, so the Google Panda is happy :).
    Nikolay recently posted…How To Deal With Spam In Skype?My Profile

    1. I wouldn’t get rid of tags altogether as some people may actually click on them. Tag clouds, now thats something else entirely.

  35. I use tags on all of my post, but don’t bother with having a tag cloud on my site. I think it looks funny. I have had the best luck with writing really good content and adding videos to my posts as well.

    I have also noticed that the lower my bounce rate the more google likes my sites and the more traffic they send me.

    1. That’s probably one of the many factors they use in their algorithm.

  36. Writing relative contents and replying to the comments is one of the best practice to increase the bounce rate of the website.

    1. You mean decrease :)

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