The importance of sneeze pages in reducing bounce rate

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his week we are continuing on with reducing bounce rate series and this time we are looking at something that you can directly do that will help your lower your bounce rate. It’s the use of a sneeze page to reduce the bounce rate overall on your site.

The importance of sneeze pages for your blog in SEO and reducing your bounce rate plus top tips on creating your own pages that convert

To lower the bounce rate you need to take a 2 fold attack on it – work on areas which have a very high bounce rate and introduce content with a very low bounce rate.

Back in 2011, I did the 31 days to a better blog from Pro-blogger and it was one of the 31 activities to do. My site Rainy Day Mum was just starting out and I didn’t have a lot of content but I put together my little sneeze page and kept it updated regularly. That single page on my site is not only one of the pages with the lowest bounce rate it also is consistently in my top 10 posts each month with a high percentage of traffic to it coming from Google.

What is covered

  • What is a sneeze page?
  • How effective are sneeze pages at reducing your bounce rate?
  • Creating a sneeze page – ACTION TO TAKE

What is a sneeze page?

A sneeze page or landing page depending on which blogging blogger you talk to is a page that directs people to your content generally all on the same topic or theme. These differ to round-ups that you may produce as they are 100% your own content. If you are a YOAST user these sneeze pages could also be considered your cornerstone content too especially if you focus your first sneeze page on areas that you are getting good impressions from in your search console.

So why should you use a sneeze page to lower your bounce rate? When you look at the bounce rate of your site it is an average of the bounce rate for each page – which is an average of the bounce rate for each visit.

To lower the bounce rate you need to take a 2 fold attack on it – work on areas which have a very high bounce rate and introduce content with a very low bounce rate.

A sneeze page introduces that content that has a low bounce rate and can also be used to work on areas that have a high bounce rate.

How effective are sneeze pages at reducing your bounce rate?

The importance of sneeze pages for your blog in SEO and reducing your bounce rate plus top tips on creating your own pages that convert

I have a number of sneeze pages now set up on my site – below is the average bounce rate for those posts.

  1. The top performing sneeze I have has a bounce rate of 67.67%
  2. The second performing sneeze page 67.85%
  3. The next two 77.13% and 75.43%

The only other pages that have lower bounce rate aren’t really pages but the categories on my site that people visit – which average around 55% bounce rate. On a site that has an average bounce rate of 86.4% this helps considerably to lower that bounce rate.

Those posts I mentioned above are not just fantastic at being top performing for bounce rate. They are also consistently in the top 20 posts on my site for pageviews as a sneeze page has the double benefit of being great for SEO not just as it improves that bounce rate but because that bounce rate is low and all of the content is connected then it will start to perform better and better in terms of organic traffic.

Just the top performing post has 63.7% of its traffic coming from Organic Searches and 23.38% from social (Pinterest and Facebook) primarily.

Creating a Sneeze Page

I have included affiliate links in this section for resources that I recommend and have investigated, tried and tested

Research your topic

This is specific to your site, so ignore keyword research you need to know exactly what is going on your site. Somewhere you should have a list of your posts if you don’t then now is the time to create one and then use a system to add to it as each new post is added to your site.

On WordPress, it is easy to export using Export to CSV plugin and setting for posts and categories. In blogger, it’s a little more complicated but doable. Back up your posts in a XML form then open in Excel, sort by the column that includes your post titles (Perform a search in the table that you have opened) and then sort remove those entries that are empty as well as the comments that have appeared on the table and you will have a list of all of your posts that you can then use to research the topic for your sneeze page.

Once you have all of your posts then look for areas where you have content that you can group together – combine with your search console results and see what search terms your site is ranking best for that you have multiple posts on that you can collate.

Create the sneeze page

SO…… if you have dates in your Permalinks then you will be creating this as a page on your site however if you don’t then this is fine to create a post.

Work through it as if you were writing a “round-up” but rounding up your own posts no others.

If you are looking for advice on creating these pages then the Cheat Sheet from Learn to Blog Hangouts is a fantastic starting point. It walks you through the areas of a well optimised, monetized sneeze page for your site.

Once you have the page sorted that isn’t the end of the process though.

Building your site structure

Apart from sneeze pages the only other pages on my site that have consistently low bounce rates, approximately 55% are the category pages

Up above I shared that little snippet of information and there is a reason why – those category pages are “linked” throughout my site in two places – the nav bar and any blog post that falls into the category at the bottom of the post!

So our sneeze pages which are much more useful as unlike categories which shouldn’t be indexed by Google need to have a similar linking.

These pages need to be included in related content on the blog posts mentioned and others that would naturally lead to it as well as in your nav bar. They don’t need to take the place of your categories but can be sub-navigation within the appropriate category so that you continue to work on lowering that bounce rate.

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Cerys Parker

Cerys is the founder of Rainy Day Mum a top UK parenting blog. Prior to having children, she taught digital media and web development. Supporting other bloggers to develop, grow and expand their blogs through actionable tasks that aren't as terrifying as they seem to be!

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