When it comes to our websites and blogs, we all want to generate a lot of targeted traffic. But there are some obstacles that keeps us from accomplishing this. In this post I’m going to talk to you about a couple of obstacles that affected the traffic I generated and in having a high bounce rate.
Many of you may be suffering from having a high bounce rate, loss of traffic or just not generating a lot of traffic to your blog or website.
It’s a shame that a lot of us that are putting in a lot of work when it comes to our sites, are just not getting the results that we want. But the problem is not the hard work we put in, the problem is we’re afraid to make the necessary changes to get better results.
A friend of mine told me a couple of years ago that “The hardest working people are the laziest”. At first I was offended, but I thought about it. I got the point.
We all get into this routine, and yes we can actually pat ourselves on the back for fulfilling these daily routines, but how is it helping us?
You know what? Although I don’t drink beer, I was starting to get the traditional beer belly! Yes, for those that know me, they know I do work out 2 to 3 times a week, but on the contrary, I don’t necessary eat the right foods all the time.
With that said, it’s slowed me down. I get tired more easily and at times I would get more lazy with my work outs at the gym.
So how is it that I’m working out 2 to 3 times a week, but yet still feel out of shape?
Well maybe for one I need to readjust my thinking and focus more on having the type of diet that gives me the energy to work out and get rid of my beer belly!
Now although this may not have anything to do with blogging and internet marketing, it’s a great analogy.
Well because I work on my blog every week, trying to pump out great, valuable content for my target market, but yet my bounce rate was high and I wasn’t getting the consistent traffic I wanted compared to most serious bloggers.
So yes, I work my blog out, but at the same time my blog was tired and in bad shape.
Do you ever get that feeling about your blog?
How Your Bounce Rate Affects Your Incoming Traffic
The goal for many of us is to get ranked well in Google and other search engines. And you know what, I just found out that the search engines do work together in the internet world.
But one thing is for sure and that is we don’t want to disappoint them too often.
Especially when it comes to generating traffic!
We all want our sites to be ranked in the first couple of pages of Google, right? So one of the things I discovered is how the bounce rate affects how well search engines respond to my blog.
If you don’t know already the Bounce Rate basically is measured by how long a person stays on your page before leaving it.
So lets just say someone does a search for “How To Start A Blog” in Google, and your blog post about how to start a blog comes up on the first page of Google. Now that’s pretty good.
But what if 99% of the people clicked on your site and leave within 10 seconds? Then you’ll have a high bounce rate. Google ranks your site based on the response of the people visiting your site.
With a high bounce rate, this triggers Google to take your blog post off the first page of it’s site because their goal is to provide the top 10 search results for that specific subjects.
This means you want to come up with content that will keep your visitors much longer on your posts, resulting in lower bounce rates.
With a lower bounce rate, you’re more than likely to get more incoming traffic. Now I’m not saying that this is the only way to generate more traffic, but it plays an important factor.
This is just one of the ways to lower your bounce rate. Another way is to make sure that you have no bad backlinks and permalinks which is what I ran into a couple of weeks prior.
How 404 errors and 301 Redirects Affected My Bounce Rate
About a month prior to writing this blog post, I changed my theme. I started using the Genesis Framework and also installed a child theme on top of it.
My blog looked much cleaner, and plus it is mobile ready for all of you that like to read blog posts through your mobile phones.
The one mistake that I did was changed all of my permalinks for my old blog posts. And yes, it was a big mistake LOL.
Not only was my blog affected, but also all the blog posts that I commented on were affected. And yes, it left some people pretty frustrated with me.
With that being said, my bounce rate started to go up and a couple of bloggers sent me messages on facebook and emailed me about the 404 errors since I changed the my blog post links.
Now although I was working hard on my blog, I was overlooking these errors as well as a couple of other things. I was like a hamster running in place on a wheel. Have you ever felt like that?
This goes back to the analogy of working out hard but not get the results I wanted. When it comes to blogging, you want to make sure that also you’re maintaining your blog in order to not only for it to stay “healthy”, but also get the results you want.
As far as me, the 404 errors weren’t helping me as well as it wasn’t helping other blogs that I commented on. So I had to do some “spring cleaning” in order to maintain my blogs health, and also not have a bunch of pissed off bloggers!
What Did I Do To Correct The 404 Errors?
I have to admit, my thinking was backwards at first. I went through each of my blog posts (I had over 400 since 2010) and changed my internal links, thinking that was going to fix the problem.
It helped since it lowered my Bounce Rate by 10%, but that was only part of the problem. I commented on a bunch of blog posts, and other bloggers were losing traffic because of the permalink change.
So a blogging friend recommend that I go to my .htaccess file so I can change the permalinks all in one shot. I just had to learn about .htaccess rules in order to redirect my old permalinks to my new permalinks.
I thought great, I can probably do this. But on the contrary, after doing some research, it was pretty confusing for me to do this.
So I turned to plugins. I found 3 plugins, but one really worked. They were:
Simple 301 Redirects
Change Permalink Helper
I’ll described each one, but Change Permalink Helper is the one that really did the trick!
Simple 301 Redirects – This plug allows you to manually redirect your old permalinks to your new ones. You simply type in the old permalinks in one column and type in the New Permalink in the other column. This is simple to do, tedious, but simple, hence the name!
404 Redirected – This plugin is pretty versatile when it comes to 404 errors. From my experience, it tells you what pages and post have been redirected, and also allows you to trash old posts.
It’s main function is that it provides suggestions for your users to click on and also gives you detail information on pages and posts users were looking for. But overall this plugin is great for those who want detail information on 404 errors on their site.
Change Permalink Helper – This was simpler than the Simple 301 Redirects plugin. Once I installed it, after about 10 minutes, my old permalinks was automatically redirected to my new permalinks. This plugin basically looks for the “slug” of the new permalink or url, and searches for an ID in the wordpress database. If it finds the ID according to the slug, then it will redirect the correct post and send a header message to change the url in the index of search engines. This plugin actually helped bring down my bounce rate another 3%.
Now if you’re not sure if you have 404 errors within your blog or website, then here is a website I used to look for broken links. It’s called Broken Link Checker and it has been quite helpful.
But yes, you definitely want to always keep your blog as healthy as you can. If not, you may be losing some valuable traffic from search engines! So make sure you have some valid links for yourself and for the blogging community!
Now It’s Your Turn!
Getting targeted traffic is the goal for home business entrepreneur, especially if you’re using blogging to build target traffic. Without it, we lose out on the primary step to building our businesses.
So do you have a high bounce rate? Did you have a problem with 404 errors? Have you ever changed your URLs and had to redirect your old URLs to your new ones? If you’re a blogger, have you ever done this? If so, what methods did you use? Did you use .htaccess rules or used plugins to redirect them?
Please share your comments below and share this post with your friends. I look forward to read them!