Bounce rate is the percentage of people, visitors who left your blog without visiting any other page. In most cases, particularly for bloggers, high bounce rates are not good, as they mean their content is not attractive or relevant, that they are not effectively targeting the right audience for their blogs, or that there might be some technical issues that are preventing readers from access.
To keep your blog profitable you need to capture readers’ attention and keep them on your pages, no matter what and how you are selling. Use Google Analytics to track this valuable data and apply marketing tactics that work.
You can find great tips on how to retain readers and reduce your bounce rates in another Blogger Babes post. Here we’ll talk about seven plugins for WordPress bloggers that help create that engaging experience for visitors. They are all free, and we encourage you to try them and share your comments with us.
(Update March 22, 2015: nRelate has informed us that this product has been retired. You can find an updated list of nRelate alternatives here.)
The nrelate Flyout plugin lets you display related content from your blog in an attractive flyout box at the end of every post. Readers can’t ignore it, so it helps catch their attention without being too intrusive. Make sure your post titles are engaging enough to invite readers to click and visit more pages.
Once you install and activate the plugin, it will automatically analyze all your blog content and associate similar posts. You can also fine tune the settings to get the most related and best suited results in the flyout box.
Loading speed has huge influence over bounce rates, so it’s great that nrelate runs all the processing and analyzing on their own servers and does not overload bloggers’ hosting accounts.
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)
Blogs usually don’t focus on one type of content in particular, but they must offer readers opportunity to also read something else on the topic after they finish reading the first post. YARPP is another awesome WordPress plugin that can help you engage visitors and reduce your bounce rates by showing customizable related posts and stories on your pages. The fact that there are almost 3 million downloads just confirms how useful and popular the plugin is among bloggers and webmasters.
SEO Smart Links
The SEO Smart Links plugin is a great optimization tool with lots of SEO benefits, but it also helps you reduce your blog’s bounce rates. What it does is link the keywords and phrases in your posts and comments to corresponding posts, pages, categories and tags on your blog. The links invite readers to click and find out more, and once they click they are automatically out of the bouncers list.
WPtouch Mobile Plugin
If you check your analytics you may notice that large percent of the bouncers are mobile users. It may be because your blog is slow on mobiles, or because it’s hard to navigate and not presented well on these devices. Once installed the WPtouch Mobile Plugin automatically enables simple, stylish, user-friendly and fast loading version of your blog for all mobile visitors, without making any modification on your current desktop theme.
Since, according to latest Pew research, 63% of mobile owners now use their phones to access the Internet, and 34% of them do this in most cases, it is essential for the success of your blog to appear and function good on these devices too. Otherwise, you’ll be missing out lots of traffic and potential sales.
Thank Me Later
Thank Me Later is an amazing WordPress plugin that lets bloggers invite readers back to their blogs by sending ‘Thank you’ emails and asking them to check for replies to their comments. You just need to write a message saying thanks and the plugin will email it in HTML after a specific time that you set – 3 minutes, 15 minutes, a day. The emails also include links to your RSS, to Twitter and Facebook, and you can also add discounts and promotional offers. This not only helps you gain more blog readers and followers, but also keeps them longer and coming back for more of your content.
The plugin automatically sends first-time commenters to a page of your choice, where you can thank them, ask them to subscribe to your blog, follow you on social media, or encourage them to keep reading more. Comment Redirect is an amazing tool to use if you want to push certain content and direct readers to it. Depending on the type of blog and offered products and services this can even be a well-optimized sales page.
Dreamgrow Scroll Triggered Box
This WordPress plugin is so amazing that you won’t believe it’s free. The Dreamgrow Scroll Triggered Box helps you get the attention of readers who are already engaged with your blog content and makes them respond to your calls-to-action.
The pop-up box is completely customizable with any content you desire – to invite interested readers to subscribe to your newsletter, share the post on social media, read more related content, or fill out a contact form and buy your best offer on certain sales pages only. The box is triggered after an event that you specify, like certain percentage of scroll, reaching the end of the page, or after commenting. This way you are sure that you have reached and potentially converted a highly-targeted audience.