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How to Reduce the Bounce Rate on Your Nonprofit Blog

Marcella Vitulli

Imagine you’ve written a great post for your nonprofit blog -- we’re talking awesome title and everything. And after sharing it with your subscribers + across your social networks, you’ve finally got visitors coming to your post + reading it.


Great! Then what? Are visitors perusing your other posts, navigating your landing pages, or checking out the amazing content offers on your site? Or do they just bounce?

If you haven’t taken a look at your website’s bounce rate data (or don’t very often), you might be surprised to see a higher-than-expected number of visitors leaving your site after only a few moments on one page. In fact, on average, these rates can be as high as 70% of your blog’s visitors!

Analyzing your bounce rate data can offer insights into your visitors' behavior when they arrive at your website. Google Analytics lets you map the "users flow" around your pages, including bounce rates from particular subpages, which can help you better understand where you're losing visitors and how to keep them on your site.


So we’ve convinced you that lowering bounce rates is important. But how do you actually put together a plan to do so?

The best way to take steps in reducing bounce rate is by:

A) identifying your most viewed pages with the highest bounce rates,

B) setting smaller goals for reducing bounce rates on individual pages,

C) reporting success by showing the effect on your overall site bounce rate.


Let’s say you want to reduce the bounce rate to your blog by 4% in the next fiscal period. We’ve created an easy bounce rate reduction calculator for you to see how much you can reduce your overall site bounce rate just by focusing on a few pages.

1. Start by creating a list of the top viewed blog posts, their pageviews, and bounce rate.

2. Then, set goals for bounce rate for the individual posts with the highest bounce rates.

3. Enter the total pageviews and bounce rate for your entire blog. 


The calculator will show you what the new site-wide average bounce rate will be if you reach your individual page bounce rate goals.

Ready to start reducing bounce rate on some individual pages? Here are four best practices you can start implementing today.


You guessed it: mobile

Optimizing for mobile is your first line of defense against bounces. With barriers to navigation and ease of viewing, it’s no surprise that an unresponsive webpage is almost guaranteed to result in a bounce. 

Gorgeous, functional websites are quickly becoming the standard and you can find inspiration everywhere so explore opportunities to update and improve upon your current layouts.

The Girl Effect is one of our favorite mobile nonprofit websites because it does three things really well: puts the organization's stories and work front-and-center, makes mobile navigation simple and streamlined, and allows for easy, filtered searching.

Girl effect titleScreenshot_2015-03-30-14-19-112Screenshot_2015-03-30-14-22-202


"You might also like…"

Your content is awesome - are you doing a good job of showcasing it? Try creating a dedicated section for your top posts and, if you don’t already, make a habit of adding internal links throughout your posts.

The most popular content on your blog should be highlighted and accessible so that visitors can easily browse the titles and see what you've been discussing lately.

A dedicated, eye-catching section for your most shared posts (like we see with the American Wind Energy Association's blog) can significantly increase the likelihood a visitor will check out another post. 



Make action easy

We can’t stress it enough: there should always be a next step for visitors to take after reading your post. Calls-to-action (CTAs) exist to compel additional action, whether that’s subscribing to blog updates, downloading related content offers, or sharing. 

You don’t need extensive design knowledge to create beautiful, effective CTAs. Free tools like Canva (which we love/are obsessed with) can help you produce impressive graphics that visitors won’t be able to resist.

We like the way charity : water makes organizing a fundraising campaign look easy - not only do they break down the process into a beautiful step-by-step adventure, but they also make the decision to start a campaign a no-brainer.




Deliver the right content to the right audience

Why do donors support your organization? The answer isn't easy, is it? Each person has individual motivations and interests when it comes to your cause and your blog should allow them to easily explore related content throughout your website.

Using the Users Flow tool in Google Analytics, figure out which pieces of content attract high traffic but also have high bounce rates - then ask yourself why this is happening. Most likely, visitors have found all that they're looking for on that one page + you're missing crucial "dots" that will help them connect to your other content.

Jobs with Justice does a great job of pairing related pieces of content so that visitors interested in its key issue areas don't have to go far or try too hard to continue exploring the organization's work on the topic.




While you should also consider how often users are sharing your content + the amount of time they’re spending on your page, high bounce rates are still an issue to address as they may be a sign that you’re not effectively engaging your visitors. 
Website Redesign Ebook

Topics: bounce rates, nonprofit blog