In the content marketing world, your success depends on being able to appeal to your key demographics. The trouble is, sometimes it’s hard to tell if your strategy is working on that qualitative level. You might be seeing lots of traffic, or you might be seeing more followers trickle in, but are people actually reading what you’re creating? As Neil Patel explains, one of the most important qualities of any profitable blog is that people are actually interested in it—so are they?
Thankfully, there are a handful of metrics that can help you determine whether your blogging strategy is as effective as it needs to be, and they can guide you in the right direction if issues need fixed.
Bounce and Exit Rates
Enter bounce and exit rates. On the surface, you might guess that they’re two versions of the same metric—the number of people who leave your site—but there’s a subtle and important difference between them.
The Benefits of Lower Rates
Having lower bounce and exit rates is a positive sign for the health of your blog; it means more people have enjoyed what they’ve read and are interested in what else is on your site. It also has a number of benefits for your strategy in general:
- More engagement. More people exploring the other areas of your site means you’re getting more engagement. People are spending more time with your brand and reading your material, which means they’re getting more invested and familiar with what you have to offer.
- More opportunities to convert. Having more visitors explore various pages of your site means you’ll have more opportunities to earn conversions. That, of course, means all your traffic will be more valuable, and your strategy will ultimately be more profitable.
- SEO. The question of whether bounce rates affect your rankings in search engines has been debated, but the shortest succinct answer given by SEO Roundtable suggests the answer is “no.” Google can’t measure the bounce rate of sites not enrolled in Google Analytics, and even then, bounce rate isn’t a uniform metric—it could actually be positive in some circumstances. Still, a lower bounce rate means more engaging content, and peripheral factors associated with that engaging content will support your SEO strategy.
How to Improve Bounce and Exit Rates
So with those benefits in mind, how can you actively improve the bounce and exit rates of your blog?
- Create deeper, more detailed content. This is a no-brainer, but it’s an element that many content marketers forget. If you want people to be more involved with your content, you have to create deeper, more enriching stories, with more original information and more details. Otherwise, your content will be skimming fodder and will blend in as white noise.
- Provide more visuals. Visual forms of content, like images and video, are simply more engaging. They help users stay on-page for a longer period of time and let them have a better overall content experience, which will keep them on your site for longer.
- Offer interactive elements. You could also offer more immediately interactive features within your content, such as calculators, quizzes, or surveys. This gets people involved and makes them more invested in your strategy.
- Guide users through key takeaways. Be sure to summarize your content toward the end, or at least offer some call-to-action that keeps users moving throughout your site.
- Use internal link networks. Finally, make sure you include plenty of links to the other pages of your site. You’ll need to ground these with appropriate, compelling anchor text, but if you do, they’ll help direct your visitors to other areas of your domain.
Like any goal in online marketing, there’s no simple or instant way to get your bounce and exit rates to improve. Instead, you’ll have to experiment with various new ideas to improve your performance, measure what works and what doesn’t, and either stick with them or move along accordingly.
The more you’re willing to adjust, and the more you’re committed to eventually mastering this element of your content strategy, the more successful you’ll be in the long run.