Visitors are the lifeblood of your blog, people you probably will never meet unless they’re your relatives or you attend conferences where you cross each other’s paths. The former may take pity on you and make the occasional visit to help brighten your day. The latter may smile to your face, but secretly wish your blog was more user-friendly.
If people were honest, they would tell you what is wrong with your blog. Then again, if you were to ask them, you might find the following shortcomings are contributing to your blog’s high bounce rate:
1 – You talk too much about yourself.
Yes, it is true: you are the hype king, a self-promotional type of person who talks all about himself and forgets that he has an audience.
Guess what? Blogging isn’t about you: it is about them – your readers. Lose the first person voice and write in the third person. Talk about people besides yourself and generously link out to quality websites.
Self-promoting has its limits. Unfortunately, you’ve pushed this boundary a bit too far and too often here.
2 – Your language is too difficult to comprehend.
You run a technical blog and are an expert at what you know. Trouble is, most of your readers aren’t and are mystified by the technical jargon you use throughout your articles.
There are two problems here: your words are too technical and need to be rewritten in laymen’s terms. The other problem is you’re coming off as pompous — no one likes a Mr. Smarty Pants.
Write for a middle-school audience and you’ll attract and retain more readers. You’ll reach more people including visitors whose native tongue is not English.
3 – You aren’t making use of quality photos.
Blogging 101 includes the following advice — use at least one related photo with every article.
Photos are eye candy, what attracts people to an article and quietly invites people to read on. Trouble is, your photos are a problem and may: a) be unrelated to an article; b) be of poor quality; or c) have boring or confusing captions. Perhaps all three problems are evident.
You can fix this problem quickly by sourcing free photos from sites such as SXC.hu or Dreamstime.com. If you’re a good photographer and own related pictures, you can include those too. You’ll also want to invest in some higher quality photos from time to time too.
4 – Your headlines just don’t snap, crackle or pop.
One important reason why your blog isn’t keeping and retaining visitors is that you’re not writing magnetic headlines.
Most certainly, your content is king. But, your readers won’t bother to read what you wrote unless you attract them with a kick-ass headline. There is a reason why article titles such as “10 Things Amazon Won’t Tell You” and “What a 9-Year-Old Can Teach You About Selling” are tweeted, recommended and shared so frequently: these articles have great headlines to go with excellent content.
5 – Add a call to action.
Readers may like what you have to say, but you frequently omit what keeps them on your site and buying your products: a call to action.
A call to action can be as simple as “please subscribe to my site” or “click here” to read my recommended products. You have to tell your readers what you want them to do, not assume that they’ll take the desired action. This is what Copyblogger calls the “persuasive power of specificity” or telling readers what you want them to do next. Try it. It works.
There may be other reasons why your blog isn’t rocking your niche including a poorly crafted theme, odd font or type sizes or an overcrowded sidebar loaded with widgets and advertisements. If you’re not sure why your bounce rate is so high, simply ask your readers. Likely, they’re already offering up some cues including failing to leave comments or not subscribing to your feed.
About the author: Matt Keegan is a freelance writer, editor and publisher. He manages seven websites and is a fan of guest blogging as a means to help blogs thrive.
Image credit: Cheon Fong Liew