Want to know why your first time visitors leave your blog and never come back?
Let me tell you a first-hand story.
I recently clicked a Pinterest pin to a read a blog post about a specific hair problem I’ve always had. It was a fantastic tip. I was excited.
So I went to see what else I could learn, because…this could be life (okay, just hair) changing for me. There was no link at the bottom of the post to read similar posts. Naturally, I went to the homepage to learn more.
Unfortunately, what I saw was just a long list of blog posts, and not one of the most recent ones applied to me or answered my questions.
This is the point where visitors give up and leave…and never come back. (Technically called a bounce because they get to your blog and then bounce right back off. If you have a ton of these it’s called a high bounce rate.)
I want good hair, but I don’t want to dig through page after page of posts that don’t apply to me in hopes I’ll find one that does. At this point, I’m not even sure if you DO actually help me or if that was a random one-off post.
Then I realized this was the second time I had visited this blog, and the second time this happened. Even though the post was great, I didn’t want to come back because it was too much work.
But blogs are what I do. So I stuck around to analyze the problem so I could help YOU not make the same mistakes.
What could she have done differently to keep me on her blog?
I read the first post, and became so hopeful that she could give me the hair I wished I had for years. I wanted to stick around, but I didn’t see anything else for me.
Here’s what she could have done, and what YOU can do to keep visitors like me who want to hear from you on your blog longer.
(Side note: fixing a bounce rate is also very good for SEO, which means more traffic from Google.)
4 ways to fix a high bounce rate:
- Make it clear you’re here to help me
Give me one clear sentence telling me you are here to help me.
Are you a DIY blogger? Try:
Modern DIY projects to keep your home stylish on a budget.
Healthy weeknight meals in under 30 minutes so you can take back your evenings.
How to care for all types of natural curls the right way and every day will be a good hair day.
Put this sentence at the top of your homepage, and in your sidebar.
- Tell me where to start
This isn’t the vague and often self-serving “Start Here” page that is becoming popular. This is a specific “Do you need help with X?” and a button that will lead me to a page where I can start from the beginning.
Need to learn how to cook gluten-free?
Then take me to a page where you give me very basic starter advice, and then link to your most helpful, basic posts on the subject so I can learn more.
Address the most common problems your visitors might have (1 to 4 would be good).
Put these questions and links towards the top of your homepage and in your sidebar.
- At the end of each post, add a specific link where I can learn more.
If nothing else, have category links below each post.
But please go above and beyond and show her you care and want to help her solve her problem: link to the page from #2 above.
You can add this manually to each post, or if you’re comfortable with the new WordPress editor, you can create a CTA for each of your main categories as a reusable block, then just quickly pop it in each time.
- Make it easy for me to engage.
When we put effort into engaging with a blog, we’re much more likely to see ourselves as part of a community, and therefore, we’re more likely to be “loyal.”
If you accept comments, make it easy to comment (but don’t expect much, comments aren’t common like they used to be).
Make it easy to share on Pinterest and Facebook.
Make videos or printables or step-by-step instructions if applicable…anything that will make it easy for me to follow through and take action.
(See what I did there?! #3 in action.) 😉
P.S. Because I did stick around to analyze why her blog wasn’t keeping me, I did eventually find what I needed and I now know how to take care of my hair properly. I still didn’t subscribe because most of her posts don’t apply to me and there wasn’t an easy way to subscribe to just my category. Hopefully I remember to check back in every few months and see if she has anything new for me.