How to increase page views and reduce the bounce rate in WordPress
Do you want to increase pageviews and decrease the bounce rate in WordPress?
Users who stay longer on your site and view more pages are more likely to join your email list, leave a comment, make a purchase, follow you on social media, and more.
In this article, we are going to show you how to increase your pageviews and reduce bounce rates in WordPress using best practices.
What is the bounce rate?
The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who land on your website and leave without going to a second page. A high bounce rate means you couldn't convince a visitor to stay on your page and take action.
A visitor can bounce off your website in many ways.
- Click the Back button
- Enter a new url
- Close the tab or window
- The session is expiring (due to hosting errors).
People are leaving websites all the time. It's normal because that's how people navigate the web. However, there is a difference between a good bounce rate and a bad bounce rate.
A good bounce rate means that your visitors had a good user experience and found what they are looking for on your website. A bad bounce rate means a lot of your visitors will land on your website and leave quickly.
What's a good bounce rate?
Good bounce rates depend on your industry and the type of website you have.
There are some general rules that you can follow when looking at your own data.
- Over 80% is very bad
- Between 70 and 80% are poor
- Between 50 and 70% is good
- Between 30 and 50% is great
- There is usually a tracking error below 20%
There are many reasons why your bounce rate could be high. Fortunately, most of these reasons can be fixed.
- Your site is loading too slowly
- Your visitors will find it difficult to navigate your website
- You have a bad design
- There are no clear calls to action
There is a lot you can do to improve your bounce rates and increase the total number of pageviews your WordPress site receives.
Before you begin, you need to know your existing bounce rate and average number of page views.
We recommend using Google Analytics with the MonsterInsights plugin. It's the best analytics solution for WordPress, used by over 3 million websites.
This way, you can easily view your traffic and user data right from your WordPress dashboard. As you implement the tips in this post, you will find that your numbers will improve.
For more information, see our guide on installing Google Analytics in WordPress.
1. Speed up your WordPress site
When you have a high bounce rate, it's easy to assume that your content or website is to blame. However, your visitors could leave before they even had a chance to see your content.
If your website doesn't load within 2 seconds, your visitors aren't waiting. This applies to both mobile and desktop visitors.
As you speed up your WordPress site, you will improve your user experience, increase the total number of page views, and help with your WordPress SEO rankings.
First of all, you want to do a website speed test so that you can see how your website is currently performing. For more information, see our guide on how to properly run a website speed test.
Once you know how your site is currently performing, you can start making your WordPress site faster.
Fortunately, there are tons of ways to speed up your WordPress site's performance.
For most websites, WordPress hosting or incorrect WordPress caching configurations is the biggest problem slowing down their website's speed.
To help you improve the speed of your website, we've created the ultimate guide on how to increase WordPress speed and performance.
2. Enhance your WordPress navigation menus
Your navigation menu is one of the main ways that visitors navigate your website. Most website owners don't think twice about their navigation menus.
However, a navigation menu that is too complex or confusing can result in higher bounce rates.
You want your navigation menu to be simple and to help your visitors find exactly what they are looking for.
We use a drop down navigation menu to easily organize thousands of posts on the WPBeginner blog. Even if you have a content-intensive website, keep your menus organized in a logical way.
WordPress makes it easy to create menus and submenus on your WordPress site. For more information, check out our beginner's guide on adding a navigation menu in WordPress.
3. Improve your internal links in WordPress
Linking your content internally is not only beneficial for search engine optimization, it is also one of the best ways to lower the bounce rate while increasing page views.
Internal linking is the act of linking from one page of your website to another.
For example, here in this sentence we can link to our best WordPress SEO plugin guide as our internal link.
Internal links are relevant links that improve your existing content.
You can easily add internal links right from your WordPress content editor.
For more information, check out our beginner's guide on how to add a link in WordPress.
Note: Some of the additional options you see in our screenshot above are added by the all-in-one SEO plugin for WordPress. We recommend using AIOSEO to improve your SEO rankings.
4. Add internal search to WordPress
With internal search, just like Google, your visitors can search your website for the content they are looking for.
Often times, users will use your website's search bar to find the content they are looking for before they leave your website.
WordPress has a built-in search widget by default. However, the result algorithm is quite limited.
We recommend using a WordPress search plugin to improve your visitors' search experience. For more information, check out our list of the best WordPress search plugins to improve your website search.
5. Open external links in a new tab
Linking to other websites is also good practice. It helps you build relationships with other website owners and makes your content more valuable.
However, external links can cause your visitors to leave your website, which can increase your bounce rate.
The best way to fix this is to open your external links in a new tab or window. This way, a visitor won't leave your website when they click on an external link.
WordPress has the option to open your external links in a new tab in your post editor.
For more information, see our guide on how to open external links in a new window or tab.
6. Add related or popular posts
One reason your visitors leave after reading a post is because you aren't showing them what to do next.
Instead of staying to read more, they leave.
An easy way to fix this is to add a "Related Posts" or "Popular Posts" section at the bottom of your post.
When a visitor reads at the end of an article, you know they're engaged and enjoying your website. It's time to encourage them to read on.
There are many ways to do this. We recommend using a popular WordPress post add-on from MonsterInsights. That way, you can easily add popular posts to WordPress and control the layouts.
You can even use it to add inline trending posts to your blog content:
7. Make your content readable
Most websites rely heavily on written content. If your content isn't formatted properly for the web, your visitors may be turned off.
There are a few important points to make to ensure that your content is easy to read.
First, make sure that the text on your site is readable on all devices.
When readers need to zoom or blink to see your text on their phone, your font size isn't big enough. For more information, see our guide on how to easily change font size in WordPress.
Second, you need to format your content correctly. Readers tend to scan quickly rather than reading line by line. So your content needs to match the way people read online.
There are several ways you can properly format your articles for the web.
- Use sub-headings to break up your content
- Make your paragraphs short
- Use bullets and lists whenever possible
- Embed videos and add pictures to your content
- Write in a conversation tone
8. Optimize your WordPress site for cell phones
Over half of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices. If your website is not optimized for mobile devices, you will be delivering a poor experience for many visitors.
If your bounce rate is high and you are not optimized for mobile devices, this could be the reason.
The best way to determine if your website is optimized for the mobile web is to use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test.
All you have to do is enter your url and you will get a report showing you how to optimize your website.
The easiest way to ensure that your website is mobile optimized is to choose a responsive WordPress theme. An appealing WordPress design automatically adapts to the screen size of your visitor.
This is how your WordPress site looks great on mobile, tablet, and desktop devices.
We have compiled a list of the most responsive WordPress themes.
Using a responsive theme makes it easy to optimize for mobile devices. All you have to do is install and activate the theme and your website will be mobile friendly.
There are also ways to preview and edit the mobile version of your website so you can make sure it looks great on mobile devices.
For more information, see our guide on how to preview the mobile version of your WordPress site.
9. Use WordPress popups correctly
Popups can be a great way to add to your email list. However, they can negatively impact the user experience if not used properly.
You have likely been to a website bombarded with popups. When all you tried was to read the contents.
Instead of creating a bad experience, you can create popups that will appear when visitors leave your website.
You can either let go of them or try converting them into a subscriber.
The easiest way to do this is by using OptinMonster. It's the best lead generation software out there, used by over 1.2 million websites. With OptinMonster we were able to expand our email list by 600%.
Exit-Intent® technology allows you to display popups when visitors want to leave your website. There are also advanced targeting features that allow you to create and display popups that are highly relevant to your visitors.
For more information, see our guide on building your email list with OptinMonster in WordPress.
10. Create a custom 404 page in WordPress
On a 404 page, your visitors can see if they reached your website via an invalid link. The page is not yet being created on your website, so an error message is displayed instead.
The goal of a 404 page is to redirect visitors to the content they might find helpful, rather than hitting the back button and leaving your site.
Depending on your WordPress theme, your default 404 page may already list your pages, categories, or posts. However, this still leaves a lot of room for improvement.
The goal of your 404 page is to provide relevant information to your visitors so that they can find what they are looking for and stay on your website.
You can get creative with your 404 page. Some websites use humor while others provide a helpful search tool for visitors.
The easiest way to create a custom 404 page is to use the SeedProd plugin.
For more information, check out our list of the best WordPress 404 error page design examples.
11. Enhance your WordPress sidebar
If your WordPress blog has a sidebar, there is a lot you can do to tweak that area. For example, you can add popular posts, email sign-up forms, display ads, and even Instagram photos.
However, since your goal is to reduce the bounce rate and increase your page views, you should include helpful resources that point to other areas of your website.
We'll maximize our sidebar and direct our visitors to other popular resources on our website. If you scroll down the page, you'll find images that point to detailed tutorials, a search bar, and useful WordPress guides.
Note: If your website doesn't use a sidebar, use the rest of the tips in this post to optimize your website.
12. Display WordPress post excerpts on your homepage
If your homepage contains your most recent blog posts, you can convert them into excerpts instead of whole posts. This helps your website in two ways.
First, it will reduce the time it takes to load your page. Second, you can increase your pageviews by giving your visitors more options for finding the right content.
Our homepage offers readers the opportunity to read our 5 latest blog posts.
On our blog page you will find 10 articles as well as excerpts and other links.
You can add post excerpts in multiple places on your WordPress site.
For more information, check out our guide on how to customize WordPress digests without the need for coding.
Final thoughts on increasing your blog page views
Over 70% of the people who leave your website will never return. This is why it is important that you have a way to contact them after they leave so that you can get them to come back.
The two best ways to do this are to create an email newsletter and add a web push notification to your website.
Both of these will help you increase your website's pageviews and overall traffic.
You can also check out our ultimate guide to increasing blog traffic with 27 proven tips.
We hoped this article helped you increase page views and decrease the bounce rate in WordPress. You might also want to see our expert list of 24 WordPress plugins and our comparison of the best webinar software to engage your audience.
If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe to our YouTube channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.