For your website to be successful, you need traffic. That’s pretty simple.
But, you also want some quality to that traffic. Traffic with a high bounce rate – where people come to your site and immediately leave – isn’t so useful. If you have a high enough search volume, that may be ok. But, it’d be nice if people browsed around your site for a while. Users that read four or five pages in a visit increase your traffic numbers (and, therefore, advertising possibilities) a lot faster than one-off bounce visitors.
Today, I was looking through the Google Analytics report for this site. I haven’t been doing a good job of maintaining it, so the traffic isn’t amazing, but there are still a decent number of daily visitors that read some of my old guides/walkthroughs. When I looked for the pages with the lowest bounce/exit rate, I noticed one page that stood out from all the others: How to Complete the Main Quest Line, Chapter 6: Tranquility Lane.
What you see above is the navigation summary for that single page. On the right hand side, you’ll notice one interesting thing: only 15% of the people that get to this page then leave this site. 85% of them click on a link and stay on the site.
On the left hand side, you’ll notice a second interesting thing: people getting to this page are both entering the site (either from a referral or a search engine) and clicking through from another page on the site. The page is a hook that keeps people on the site – whether they’re fresh from another site or reading through for specific information about this topic.
What Makes This Page So Successful?
So what makes this page so successful at keeping visitors here? Here are two things I see that are beneficial here.
It’s part of a series. The site introduces a topic (a walkthrough for a section of Fallout 3) and then links to various parts of the walkthrough. People can then jump in to the specific point that they need to read about.
Each part of the series links back to it. There are six pages in the walkthrough, and each one contains links to the previous part, the next part, and this table of contents page. The left-hand side of the chart shows pretty definitively that people are reading one of the sub-pages, clicking back to the table of contents, and then clicking through to another sub-page. It’s an example where intuitive navigation is helping users find the content that they want.
So, there’s two components to this. On the one hand, there’s good content. People want this information, and I gave it to them. I wrote the walkthrough a year and a half ago, and people are still searching for and reading it. Two, I designed the pages to have intuitive navigation, and people are using that to stick around on the site.
So, if you want to reduce your bounce rate, start writing up some series of articles that address a big topic or theme. Then link them together with a table of contents, and make sure people can find it. If it’s good, they’ll stick around and click around.
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