My technology niche blogs are less “bloggy” (by which I mean “online conversations with readers”) and more reference-like. A majority of my hits come in via Google searches, and a high percentage of those folks bounce after getting the information they were looking for.
I’m okay with that as long as I continue to get plenty of hits and plenty of ad clicks / affiliate referrals. Still, I’d like to keep up with Darren Rowse’s suggestion to “stickify” and keep readers on the sites a bit longer.
All of my sites include some sort of ‘Recent Posts’ list (like the one you see in the sidebar here), but I think I might be better served by replacing those ‘Recent Posts’ with a list of the most popular posts on the site. My thought is that since many of my visitors are getting a first impression of my site, I need to put my best content right out there for them to see. Maki of Dosh Dosh does this, and I think he’d agree with me.
In order to get the ball rolling, I’ve installed Alex King’s Popularity Contest to start automatically tracking the “popularity” of individual posts on all my sites. This not only tracks views, comments, and pingbacks for each of your posts, it allows you to assign weights to each kind of “touch” a post can receive. The plugin tends to prefer new posts when first installed, so I’m running it for a week or two to allow my most hit posts to build up some weight.
After the initial break-in period for the plugin, I’ll replace the recent posts lists with top posts and see if that serves to decrease my bounce rate. I’ll report back here with the details.