Here’s a quick update on the results of applying some basic optimisation of your blog sidebar to reduce the bounce rate on your blog.
About two weeks ago, I wrote this post on displaying features conditionally in your wordpress sidebar based on the page you’re viewing by using some very simple php. Basically, why display all of your outbound links (blogroll, twitter and so on) on every single post on your entire blog site? I got that idea from the rethink your sidebar section of Yoast.com’s WordPress SEO guide.
Check out the sidebar on my homepage and compare it to the one on the post. Here’s what’s happened:
There has been a measurable reduction in my bounce rate. It’s currently sat around the 43% mark, which compared to 75% is a definite improvment. I made two key changes:
1) Removed my external links in the sidebar except from the homepage
2) Added a “Most popular” links list linking to my highest traffic posts
So, if you want to reduce your bounce rate, go and take a take a look at the links on your blog, and decide which ones really have to be on that page.