Just a quick definition to start this post with. Your website’s bounce rate is the number of visitors who arrive on your site and hit the “back” button without ever visiting another page of your content.

Now, why is it so important? Mainly, two reasons:

  • If most of your audience leaves your website within the first three seconds or so then you don’t even get a chance to promote any affiliate products, and
  • Google pays close attention to metrics like bounce rate and considers it one of the ranking factors for determining the quality of your site.

In short, the smaller your bounce rate is, the more you’ll be able to sell and the higher rank your site will get (which also means more traffic to your website). Of course, it’s not actually that simple, but it is true to some extent nonetheless. Therefore, here are six ways to reduce your bounce rate.

Create a Getting Started Page

A very common scenario for any website is that most of its audience are fist-time visitors, especially if they’re coming from Google. Such an audience can really benefit from a clear starting point if you’re just willing to provide it.

A getting started page can be just a standard blog page, but the most important thing about it is that a link pointing to it should be placed in the main menu.

Promote the Most Popular Posts

Your most popular content is what has proven to be perfectly in tune with your current audience. In other words, it’s the content that has the biggest chance of keeping visitors on your site, and as a result reduce your bounce rate.

You can get a number of plugins that will allow you to display links to your popular content just below the current post or in the sidebar. You can start with something like WordPress Popular Posts or nrelate Most Popular.

Display Related Posts and Offers

The goal here is quite similar. You’re simply providing additional content to the visitors so they are more likely to stay on your site.

The best placement for related content is just below the current post. Since someone has managed to read some specific piece of content all the way through then they are probably actively interested in what you’re saying. You can start with plugins such as Yet Another Related Posts Plugin or nrelate Related Content.

Showcase the Community

If your affiliate blog has any user activity at all then it’s really beneficial to display this activity in a form of a recent comments box, or a top comments box. The idea is that when people see that others are actively engaged with your content, they are more likely to stay. No one likes to sit around in a desert-like website.

You can start with plugins such as Better WordPress Recent Comments or Top Contributors.

Use Subscription Boxes

In spite of various spam issues, email still is the most effective method of promotion online. And one of the most valuable things you can do for your affiliate site is to convince a visitor to join your email list. It isn’t a groundbreaking piece of advice, but it can still help you reduce the bounce rate massively, provided you have a quality bribe to convince people to join your list with.

The best placement for a subscription box on a WordPress site is either in the sidebar, or within the content block itself.

Quality Design

This is pretty a basic advice, but it might just be the most important one. There’s nothing more discouraging for a visitor than encountering a site that’s simply ugly. Unfortunately, these days not even quality copy can save you if your design is not visually attractive.

For great looking WordPress themes you can pay a visit to a popular theme store, for instance: DIY Themes, Studio Press, or Theme Fuse.

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