Hi everyone. I've been reviewing my Google Analytics and took another look at Jay's video on bounce rate, Ending Your Bounce Rate Nightmare. Mine is fairly high and I'm looking at ways to improve it.

Visitors are staying on one page long enough to read it but then aren't clicking anywhere else. I think my content is decent but do have to keep reminding myself not to write for the search engines (someone once said they don't buy anything). Might it be a matter of improving my call to action? And should it be the last thing a visitor sees at the end of a post? I sometimes add another line or paragraph after my CTA because it seems to make sense.

I am linking naturally within my post to another page when it's useful but those aren't getting clicks either. Thoughts are greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Carson Premium Plus
@Rick - as a side note, do a Google Search for the title of this discussion! You ranked this within 5 minutes of posting it in #1 spot in Google!
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Rick Jantz Premium
Wow, just checked and I guess it just goes to show the value of WA. We were talking about this on Craig's after-wabby last night. So cool to see it in action. Thanks Carson.
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@RICH. Premium
I think the most successful technique I've found to date, and it's already been recommended by Carson, is to have in-text links to other content on my site as well as to external links. In the same way as you make a natural link from Street Articles to your own site, do the same within your own site to other content. :) Steve recommends this technique too in regard to affiliate links, I'm always advising everyone to read https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/training/my-top-10-tips-to-improve-your-amazon-com-earnings and apply it to their internal, external and affiliate links as well. Rich.
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Rick Jantz Premium
I've read that one before but now have it tucked away, thanks. I keep recommending Street Articles because it teaches you to write and link naturally. Will review some of my posts with that in mind. Thanks for your comments.
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nathaniell Premium Plus
This is something I struggle with as well. Unfortunately I don't have any real advice, but I will definitely share what I find with you. Here are some things I've tried that DIDN'T work, so at least it'll keep you from wasting your time!

I tried a "popular posts" plugin, as well as a "related posts" plugin. My thought was that if I gave people ideas of what to read next, or what other people were reading, they would click those things more often. I ran it for several months, and did not see any improvement AT ALL.

I also thought that more internal links (relevant links of course) would help. I am very consistent about putting at least a few internal links on my pages/posts. Again, NOTHING.

Most recently I've tried to put more images in my sidebar in an attempt to attract people to click to other posts. I mean, I make a nice image, and link to to a post (rather than a"recent posts" widget). I think this may be slowly improving, but it's hard to tell if this is the thing that's working. I'm seeing a slow (very slow) improvement after doing this. I'll PM you more details if you don't understand what I mean here.

Oh, another thing I tried and failed at was adding more menu items. I thought that giving people more choice would encourage more clicks. I was wrong. Recently I removed many menu items and made only a few attractive ones with titles like "start making money", or "#1 Product". Again, I've seen improvement after this, but it's hard to say if this was the reason.

One idea I want to try is using more obvious links within the text. For example, if this was an article I was writing, instead of using a [natural link] here, I would finishing what I"m saying first.

[insert centered link here + call to action]

I haven't tried this yet, but it might be worth making it more obvious where you want people to click.

Hopefully these ideas can get you thinking, and at least show you what didn't work for me.
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Rick Jantz Premium
Thanks Nathaniell. I have the related and popular posts widget activated, too because I thought that might provide easier options. Might need to look at removing those. As I noted below, I need to revisit my menus, too and make them make sense to my visitors. As always, appreciate your feedback.
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Carson Premium Plus
Hi Rick,

Higher engagement is what you are wanting to achieve. When you are writing your content, try to write with intent to get people to go elsewhere on your website. Text links that are subtly linked within the content on important and relevant keywords are great ways to get folks to go to other pages on your website.

You do not need to say things like "Go here to check out my other post". Rather, leave links within the content will interest your audience and are highly relevant.

The relevance of the landing page also has a lot to do with bounce rate.. If people are not finding exactly what they are after and are not interested enough to read the full content, they will end up leaving. People who come to the site and learn something and feel that the site is a great source of info will click to other pages. They will look in your main menu, they will seek other content.

So, I would suggest making some tweaks to the content so that your users are learning something and finding value within the content as much as possible. People do not want to feel like they are cattle being herded from page to page, so be subtle with your linking and position the inline text links in the content where they make sense. Don't force them.

All comes down to the engagement.. Call to action is NOT going to fix your bounce rate and it could really hurt your bounce rate.

Here's an example of how you can lead into something.

"Recently I blogged about ________, and I discussed how ________".

You can link the "blanks" to other pages and entice folks to go check out what you said.

Bringing up previously published posts within the content is a really good way to get people moving throughout your website, but it needs to be done in a way that is natural.

Keep working and refining your site content to make it as helpful as possible. Your bounce rate will fall as a result!

Carson
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Rick Jantz Premium
Thanks Carson, great points. I'm trying to keep my linking to a minimum and only do it if it adds value. I also think I have too much in my menus, they look confusing when you click on the menu and you get a blast of posts drop down on you. Perhaps I need to get rid of some of the earlier posts when I was just starting up as they may not have the same quality as the newer stuff. Would this be useful to do?

Also want to spend some time making my menus user-friendly and easier to read.
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Carson Premium Plus
You could always update your old posts rather than get rid of them. However, if they do not add value to the website then it's ok to remove them yes.

Linking your content together is a very good thing to do because it creates a great map of your content for both your users and Search Engines. Interlinking is highly recommended when it makes sense.
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