How did I reduce bounce rate by 45% overnight?

The post describes how can one reduced bounce rate of a blog site. #bouncerate #blogging #bloggingtutorial

A blogger’s dream is that readers will read their posts. This is obvious. Otherwise, we won’t be blogging, rather we would be writing diaries in the first place. By definition, a blog is an online diary that is public. We do not want our readers to bounce to any page other than our blog. Bounce rate is an indication of what percentage of readers bounced to something NOT relevant to our blog after landing on a page. Bounce rate is higher if readers come to a page and then leave without engaging with the blog. Lower bounce rates are better. Many SEO strategies are out there to reduce bounce rate. I rarely used any such sophisticated strategy.

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How may I know the bounce rate?

Good question. The standard way to view the bounce rate is via Google Analytics. In this post, I assume that you have already have a Google Analytics account and you placed the Google Analytics tracking code on every page of your webpage. Actually, you do not have to manually place the tracking code on every page. There is a WordPress plugin called Per Page Add to Head that will allow you to include anything in the head area of all posts and pages. After you add the Google Analytics tracking code to every post and pages, you will be able to see how many people visited, how long did they stay on your blog on average, and the Bounce Rate along with many other insightful statistics.

I did an interactivity test

As a part of my study, I created three quiz-posts on three consecutive days on three related topics: (1) Authoritarian parenting style, (2) Equalitarian parenting style, and (3) Permissive parenting style. Notice that each of these quizzes are have 10 questions and a participant can see one question at a time. The participant hits the next button to reach to the next question. As a result, readers were interacting more with these posts. Naturally, the bounce rate reduced.

We published the three quiz-posts on May 30, May 31, and June 1, respectively. Throughout these three days, the bounce rate of our blog reduced from around 85% to 73.5%, which was substantial in our experience. Yes, we had been suffering from the bounce rate problem from the birth of this blog.

Is Google Analytics doing it right?

That is a very good question because Google Analytics is not doing it right for low traffic blogs. More specifically, Google Analytics is computing a visitor’s session duration lesser accurately for a low traffic blog than that of a high traffic blog.

If a reader goes to a page and leaves without interacting with the website, Google Analytics cannot calculate how long the reader was on that page. As a result, this page visit is considered to have a 0.0 second duration. Basically, the stay-duration is computed from the landing time to when the user goes to a next page of this blog.

If the user clicks on a link to a second page of the same blog and leaves after some time without going to a third page, Google Analytics will have enough click-information to calculate the duration on the first page. However, Goggle Analytics will miss the duration on the second page because there was no click on a link to a third page. For a low traffic website like ours, this “last page not counting” accumulates as a large percentage. Our readers mostly read only one page. Some read two, or three pages.

That is great. Problem detected. The quizzes made the site more interactive and reduced the bounce rate by around 10% but they did not make Google Analytic’s calculations right. So, how do we solve that problem?

How did I reduce the bounce rate of our blog by 45% overnight?

I just made sure that Google is receiving the stay-information of each reader on a page properly. There is a plugin named Reduce Bounce Rate, which will make sure that Google Analytics receives the information that the user is still on a page after each certain interval (probably after every few seconds). Basically, this is what fixes the “last page not counting” problem and gives a more accurate analytics for our blog. With this plugin installed, our bounce rate dropped to 28.57%. Average session time also improved overnight. I mostly kept the default settings of the plugin after installation.

Reduce Bounce Rate plugin helped reduce bounce rate.
The bounce rate dropped drastically after using the Reduce Bounce Rate plugin.

This is how we improved the bounce rate of our blog. Around two weeks ago, the bounce rate was close to 95%. Now, the bounce rate is less than thirty percent. The Reduce Bounce Rate plugin alone seems to have dropped the bounce rate by around 45%. For high traffic websites, the strategies we used may not work because users probably already visit tens of pages of those websites. Counting the last page on high traffic blogs will not make that much of a difference.

The following figure provides a summary of this post.

Reducing bounce rate and making your blog interactive.

Thank you. Have a great weekend followed by a wonderful week.

Settle in El Paso

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45 thoughts on “How did I reduce bounce rate by 45% overnight?

  1. Am not an expert on the whole traffic thing and haven’t really looked deep into google Analytics since I started my blog. I just presume that everything google analytics gives is accurate.

    Thanks for the eye opening information on this post I think am going to give more attention to the relevance of this post.

    1. I am glad to know that the information in this post was helpful. Thank you for visiting and commenting. Have a wonderful day.

  2. I have half a dozen WordPress websites. Some of these websites have a very high bounce rate (around 85-90), whereas some websites have a low bounce rate (40-50). Based on my observation, I can say following techniques can reduce bounce rate
    Create long contents that are unique, original, interesting, informative and useful.
    Add media (photos, videos)
    Add poll or quiz
    The last one is the most effective.

  3. I must say that this article is really informative for anyone that is into blogging and those that are starting out yet. There are some bloggers that do not care about how the visitors come to their site, but I think it is also cool to check statistics and decide if there is somewhere changes needs to be done.

  4. Nice post. I’m fascinated on how a blogger can come up with so many ideas. I wish I could be just like one of you. I wish I could start my own blog.

    1. Thank you for the kind words. I don’t see why you shouldn’t start a blog. Definitely you can write about your experience and lifestyle in where you are.

      Thank you so much for all your kind and thoughtful comments. Have a wonderful weekend.

  5. Other than alternative plugins/services that you can use to improve your bounce rate, the best thing to do is to improve the content of your site. If a blog has interesting content on the site then after visiting the blog, the most likely thing that the reader/visitor will do is go and read another blog post which is exactly what you want.

  6. So that’s what bounce rate means. So according to the statistics, how is your bounce rate doing? Hope it’s at its lowest.

  7. I am happy to know this information. I am just planning to create a blog about food and music and knowing this bounce rate can affect my site is so informative. Thanks for this post!

  8. This is something new I learned today. I am learning a lot from your blogs. This is an interesting post and people will learn a lot. Keep up the good work and your readers will increase in no time.

  9. This is fantastic news! My bounce rate is out of this world but people tell me about their reading things. I am going to try to use this plugin and see my results. Thanks for sharing.

  10. I never know the source of this, but Google Analytics as you say it shows us the bounce rate. Bringing a lot of visitors and trying to make them loyal one is the hardest work I can do online. Blogging is not that easy as some say it is, we need dedication and a lot of work!

  11. I am a bit new to this whole blogging world, I dabble a bit in college (in blogging that is) as required by some of my classes, but things are still new to me. I had never even heard of bounce rate, so reading this post was in a way educational for me. I suppose it makes sense to have concerns about how long readers stay on your post/site. I agree, what is the point of writing blogs if people aren’t reading them… a personal diary/journal does seem that it would be easier in that case. Either way, congratulations on lowering your bounce rate. I assume that it is of importance to you, so I’m glad you found a way to lower it so substantially.

    1. Yes. Lower bounce rate is important for all websites because this an indication of engaging content. Thank you for visiting and commenting. I am happy to know that the post gave you some new information.

  12. Not that SEO plays an important role in the blogging world, keeping tabs on you bounce rate is very important as it plays a vital role in you either ranking no. 1 or no 52 on google. I guess i will also be trying out those plugins if actually they do what is listed above then it will be truly awesome.

    With a good bounce rate, search engine will begin to see my blog a a user friendly one which will be vital in my ranking. The quiz either also made sense. Just try to keep visitors engaged with delivering awesome posts from time to time is the golden rule. thanks for the insights.

  13. I actually have a small blog set up where I post my everyday adventures or random things that happened throughout the day. However, I can admit that I don’t have much knowledge about all of these terms such as ”bounce rate” and so on. After reading your post, I actually understand now! It is pretty easy to grasp. I didn’t know that Google Analytics can provide you this information. Now, all that I need to do it implement the whole thing myself and see if I can also reduce the bounce rate of my blog! A big thank you and keep up the informative posts 🙂

    1. I am glad to know that you found this post useful. Please feel free to add your webpage in your profile in our blog so that people can go to your blog from our site.

      Thank you once again for your kind words. Have a wonderful day.

  14. I couldn’t agree more with every point in this post. The essence of blogging is to get visitors to your page. But it’s not only important to drive visitors to your page alone it is important to retain them. Now driving visitors could be easy with seo and google ranking, but the appropriate and interesting contents will retain them thereby reducing the bounce rate.

    1. Yes, it is important to reduce bounce rate and compute it correctly. Thank you so much for visiting and commenting. Have a wonderful Sunday.

  15. There is a professional approach really. Atleast some of us follow that. “You scratch my back and I will yours” And this has a cascading effect in that one who scratches your back has a great following and vice versa.

    1. Not sure what you meant but I appreciate your visit and comment, as always. Have a wonderful weekend ahead.

      1. Sorry about that. I was kind of sarcastic here in that there is kind of an arrangement no one talks about but it exists everywhere. It is giving back what you give others and with this arrangement you come in touch with either followers. And both are happy.

        1. Haha ? . Please do not be sorry. Yes, there is this unwritten arrangement. This has some benefits. This also allows bloggers know more about what others are working on. Thanks a lot for visiting and commenting. Have a wonderful weekend.

  16. Ah, some very intelligent ideas and philosophies here. I have been meaning to get into the analytical side of my online website business but this has not always been one of my strongest points. Thanks for the post.

  17. Thank you for post this. I always thought that this was probably happening with Google Analytics but I didn’t know how to prove it. That’s one reason that you want to have links leading your visitors from one post to another to keep them on your site and visiting other pages.

    I really don’t want to add another plugin to my blog but this might be something to turn on every now and then to get a more accurate picture of how long my readers are staying.
    Wayne recently posted…Are You Really Hungry?My Profile

    1. I was also observing a lot of 0 sec session duration, which was due to that last page not counting thing. I am happy to know that the post answered your question. I appreciate the visit and the comment.

  18. Hi my dear friend,
    If you have no trouble opening my site you can ignore this message.
    I messed up my site link. I made a little change and got in big trouble.
    My old site (deleted, that’s why you can’t find me anymore)

    My new site is The Shower of Blessings (the “s” is in different place, so is the link)
    The new link is

    You may have to follow my new site again in order to see me show up in your Reader.
    Sorry for the trouble. Miriam

    1. Hi Miriam, I have no trouble opening your link. Also, WordPress is showing that I am following your site. Thank you so much for checking.

      1. Thank you so much. You’re so sweet! I get many messages ask me “where are you?” And 50% of my regular bloggers didn’t show up. So I’m going to them one by one to tell them that I messed up my blog! Thank you again! Good night!

        1. That is a lot of effort. I appreciate that you are reaching out. You too have a good night. Thank you.

  19. I Am not that into statistics.

    If somebody writes a comment I mostly start to read their blogposts.

    But furtheron I just Enjoy my writing.

    Kind regards,

    1. Definitely, many bloggers including you and me like to write and read blogposts regardless of the statistics. I am passionate about technology and I like to play with the tech that are within my reach. This is why you will see some posts on how to do this and that using a software or plugin. 🙂 I appreciate and always look forward to your visit and comments. Have a wonderful weekend.

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