I've noticed that I have a very high bounce rate on my blog. What would cause such a high bounce rate and how can I lower it?
Bouncing in Bethel
First off, for those readers who aren't familiar with the term “bounce rate,” it's a metric in Google Analytics for measuring the percentage of people who visit only one page on your site or blog before exiting.
I feel blogs will always have higher bounce rates than websites, as very often people are just visiting to read your most recent post. Even if they subscribe to your blog via RSS or email at that point, it will still probably count as a bounce since many subscription methods will take them off site or process their request without requiring them to visit another page.
If you are monetizing your blog with ads or affiliate links, then a high bounce rate may reflect that people are clicking on those affiliate and ad links, which is good news for your bottom line.
If you have a lead generation blog (like the flyteblog), where you're using your blog to increase your search engine visibility and funnel that traffic to your website, e-commerce site or other online property, then a high bounce rate may be demonstrating that your tactics are effective!
In short, I wouldn't use bounce rate as a leading indicator of how effective your blog is; visits, repeat visitors, subscribers, search volume and other metrics are going to be much more important to your business overall.
If you are still concerned about your bounce rate, you'll need to find ways of leading visitors from one post to another. One tool that could help is the Yet Another Related Post Plugin (for WordPress.) It will find 5 related posts from your blog and create links to each one…that can help both your search engine visibility as well as your audience, as they will discover other quality content that relates to the post they're currently reading.