A low bounce rate indicates valuable, interested visitors and offers plenty of benefits in terms of interaction, sales and repeat visits. Here are a few ways you can help visitors view more pages (and stay longer) on your WordPress website:
Use jumps/breaks in your blog entries rather than displaying complete entries on your index page.This is very easy to do using WordPress – see the codex – or by using/creating a theme with short introductions to posts. Make the break carefully, using suspense or even a half-finished sentence to encourage visitors to click through. Mentioning a photo, image or download and then including it after the jump helps, and has the added bonus of improving your homepage load time. This also works particularly well for contests which are funnelled by social media; if the visitors have to click through to leave a comment, your bounce rate won’t increase.
Think about changing or varying your linking strategy. If you link directly to your new blog post from Twitter or Facebook, try linking to the homepage of your blog occasionally instead. Your visitors might have missed a couple of your other recent entries or find one on the homepage that grabs their interest more than the most recent entry. Alternatively (or additionally), install a related posts plugin to automagically suggest more posts your visitors may enjoy.
Don’t go for the shocking/impressive title approach unless you’ve got a strong post to back it up. If your visitors are expecting something different from the piece, or you’ve promised something new when it’s the same old tips, they are likely to leave quickly. Keep titles brief and interesting, and write them for your visitors before search engines or social media targeted click throughs.
‘Popular’ or ‘Trending’ posts in your sidebar are great for catching the attention of new visitors as well as encouraging ongoing discussions. Check out these plugins, and make use of thumbnails to make popular post snippets stand out.
Featured posts as seen on problogdesign.com.
Engaged visitors and commenters tend to stay on sites for longer and explore more pages, so encourage people to stick around and visit your site again by rewarding them. Some of the best plugins for this include Top Commenters to list those with the highest number of comments, and dofollow links for commenters who reach a certain number of comments. CommentLuv also provides a good incentive for visitors to comment.
Think twice before adding a StumbleUpon social media button or plugin. Although you may see a big increase in visitors, your bounce rate will often suffer dramatically as the vast majority of Stumblers are untargeted visitors and quick to move on.
When using thumbnails, don’t link them directly to their full-size counterparts. Instead, give the full-size image its own page like Six Revisions do with this infographic. Not only does it reduce your bounce rate, but it also encourages people to link to a page rather than just the image.