This is the fourth of five guest posts from AdSense publisher Brandon Gaille. Brandon has built his small business marketing blog, BrandonGaille.com, to over 2 million monthly visitors in less than three years. He’s featured as our guest blogger to share insights and tips from his personal blogging experience to help AdSense publishers grow earnings. If you’re new to AdSense, be sure to sign up for AdSense and start turning your #PassionIntoProfit.
Google Analytics defines bounce rate as the percentage of single-page sessions, which essentially means the people that left your site after seeing only a single page. When your bounce rate is high, it also means that your AdSense ads may not be seen by a large percentage of your audience.
Over the years, I’ve researched this topic many times over in an effort to constantly decrease the bounce rate of my sites and my clients’ sites. Through countless hours of A/B testing and deep analytics research, I was able to identify 25 tactics that consistently reduced the bounce rate.
The great thing about most of these tactics is that they usually only take a matter of minutes to incorporate, and you can start seeing results the next day.
#1 Do not use more than 7 sentences per paragraph
You never want to block too much text together. One really long paragraph can easily overwhelm your visitors and lead them to hitting the back button.
Most bloggers write their posts on a desktop or laptop computer. From a computer, the occasional 12 to 15 sentence paragraph does not look too intimidating. However, over 50% of my blog visitors are using their phones to read the posts on my site. On a phone, these long paragraphs will fill up the entire screen and add to your bounce rate.
I like to break up my paragraphs into different sizes. This can make the text of a post visually stimulating, which can turn scanners into readers.
Using an occasional single sentence paragraph will speed up the flow of article and add some nice white space.
#2 Keep your column width between 700 and 800 pixels
There have been many big name bloggers that have been considering ditching the sidebar. Although the sidebar does not get as many clicks as it once did, this is largely due to the increase in mobile traffic.
A post without a sidebar will have a column width well beyond 800 pixels. This is going to make your content look very long on a desktop computer. The ideal width for engagement is 700 pixels, which will allow between 80 and 90 characters per line.
Smashing Magazine did a study on the typographic design patterns in websites. When they looked at a segment of websites with the highest engagement, they found the majority of these sites had between 75 and 90 characters per line.
|Source of image: Smashing Magazine
#3 Organize your content with headers and sub-headers
Based on reviewing heat maps of million and millions of page views, I’ve found that visitors of blog posts are made up of a mix of readers and scanners. To be precise, the results showed that 40% are readers and 60% are scanners. The readers start by reading the introduction paragraph, and the scanners scroll through the entire post. The scanners consistently stop scrolling to read each header and sub-header.
For the readers, most bloggers are pulling them into the post with a great introduction. However, the vast majority fail to create compelling headers. The easiest type of post to break into headers is the list post. For example, “13 Habits that Lead to Success.”
Each habit should be turned into a bold header and be able to stand alone as its own title. The goal here is to create thirteen compelling titles. Each title is designed to grab the reader’s attention and drive them into reading that section.
If you’ve enjoyed these three tips to decrease your bounce rate, go here to read all of the “25 Proven Ways to Decrease Your Bounce Rate.”
Brandon Gaille is an AdSense publisher. You can learn more about Brandon at BrandonGaille.com and listen to his popular blogging podcast, The Blog Millionaire.
If you’re new to AdSense, be sure to sign up for AdSense and start turning your #PassionIntoProfit.