10+ Ways to Reduce Your Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is a measure of how many visitors to your site leave after viewing only one page. Webmasters want to reduce their bounce rate and keep visitors on their sites for longer periods of time because this causes more visitors to become interested and either convert to your goals or keep coming back to the site. A high bounce rate can be an indicator that visitors aren’t interested in your site.

  1. Show links to related content. Showcase what you have to offer to grab people’s attention – this is one of the most effective ways to get people interested and reduce your bounce rate. All you have to do is make sure people can see that there’s more content on a certain topic on your site and they’ll happily go read it. This interlinking of pages is also great SEO.
  2. Make sure your text is easy to read. There’s no reason for people to stay on your site if they can’t easily get information from it. Break up your text into paragraphs and use a font that’s easy on the eyes and you’ll notice a significant change in your bounce rate.
  3. Use a spell checker. If you make too many spelling or grammar mistakes your visitors won’t want to stay. The is a part of step #2; you want to allow your visitors to easily read your content. Checking for spelling and grammatical mistakes also increases your brand’s reputability.
  4. Simplicity. Don’t overwhelm your visitors by offering different things everywhere. Have some blank space to let your site look simple, clean, and professional. Don;t clutter everything with advertisements; your visitors will stay on your site longer.
  5. Speed up your site. Start by optimizing your server and your PHP code, then consider using a CDN. Nobody likes slow sites and the faster your site is the more likely people will continue surfing it.
  6. Create in-content links. Link to other areas of your site within the content when they’re relevant. Did you click one of the links above? They’re much more attractive than links in the header or sidebar.
  7. Use a unique theme. You want your site to be memorable, and using a unique theme can get people to keep browsing your site or remember it to come back later. Generic themes won’t cut it. A unique theme will let you stay above the crowd of competitors.
  8. Offer a search box. When people haven’t found what they’re looking for they can search for it. If you have what they want a search box will help visitors find it. If not, you can learn what you should ad to your site by analyzing the search trends!
  9. Use creative titles. There’s a huge difference between titles that will grab people’s attention and bland titles. Start using the former and you’ll see more clicks around your site.
  10. Analyze your pages. Do page vs. page comparisons to see which pages are doing better than others. Why do some pages have lower bounce rates than others? If you can find the answer you can optimize all your pages to keep visitors interested.
  11. Create custom 404 pages. If a visitor reaches your site through a link that no longer exists you want to offer them options for navigating around your site. An unhelpful 404 page will get people to directly hit the back button.

  1. NuclearCoding01-13-2011

    I think another important point would be to keep your content short and to the point whenever possible. I saw some study or statistic regarding the average Internet user's attention span and the results were ridiculous. They basically said that if a page they loaded had nothing but long, wordy paragraphs of content they were a lot more likely to immediately click the back button than sites with two or three sentence paragraphs.

    Now I know it's not conventional to have short posts, and it's most likely not a good thing either. But, I'm willing to bet it will decrease your bounce rate a small amount in most cases. Whether or not that small decrease is worth it or not is a whole other question.

    • Techie01-14-2011

      Maybe that shows that images are also important. And it's important to break up your text in a logical way.

  2. Setting Goals01-17-2011

    Another suggestion I would thrown in would be to have a little video towards the top of the page. On one page I trie this it boosted my avg on-time from :35 to over 7:00.

    Besides that, I love using the first suggestion you mentioned! It's fast and easy, and it usually enriches the experience for users. Wikipedia is great at this. You get tangled in that web of links and don't emerge for hours.

  3. John01-17-2011

    Great tips for reducing a site's bounce rate. I think the two most important tips you have pointed out here is to make sure your text is easy to read and make sure the loading time on your site is fast. If I could add one more tip it would be to make the links on your site open up in another separate page. So even when they click on your links they still remain on your site.

    • Techie01-17-2011

      Great tip! I try to make sure all in-post links open up in new pages so people can come back to the article when they've finished reading the other page.

  4. Malcom Chakery01-25-2011

    Very helpful tips! I would also add that if your bounce rate is above 50-60 percent it is time to take some corrective action. You can try to test out creating test landing pages to see which pages gets better results that ultimately drive the percentage down to say 20-30 percent over time.

  5. Chris R. Keller01-29-2011

    Great article and Malcom I think I would have to agree based on some quick reading I did. I think I may write an article now on bounce rate stats and averages because this has got me interested.

  6. Guest01-30-2011

    Relevance is the key to reducing bounce rate, as proven the "look" of the site isnt all that important, these days people want what they want FAST. Thanks for the article.

  7. Steve02-01-2011

    I like the Firefox built in spell checker. Anytime I post into a WordPress site, I can spell check right in the browser. The only issue is the British content that I receive, as the spell checker is for American English.

  8. John02-07-2011

    I'd have to say "Use a spell checker" should be number 1 on the list. I have been to websites for major corporations and found grammatical errors numerous times. It's more prevalent on the smaller sites though.

  9. Deborah Niche02-08-2011

    Great. Other factors may include

    Design. A pleasant presentation encourages to visit the site.

    Loading time. On a site whose pages take a long time to appear one is incited neither to continue, nor to return. The use of a CMS must be associated to a quality hosting that has reactive databases.

    Size of the contents. Short articles incite to read other pages (but complete texts are more lucky to obtain backlinks and thus new visits). A low rate obtained by shorter articles is only useful if one wants show statistics to others.

  10. Guest02-17-2011

    Also font in important, if you have a kinda of awkward font (some people feel the need to be eccentric), its better to use boxy font and a web 2.0ish theme, that would attract the most people right off the bat. But great article, quickly and concisely explain everything to optimize your site for traffic.

  11. Brian Sisko02-24-2011

    Useful post. I think a lot of people overlook number 5 too much. Google doesnt like sites that load slowly and also many people (including me) have attention spans that can only be measured in milliseconds. So if a site doesnt load quickly there off! Spelling is another good point. I try to write my blog posts in Office first then copy anf paste to WP as it doesnt have a spell checker, but i've noticed that many others clearly dont. If you're running a business, bad spelling looks awful!

  12. Tom02-27-2011

    When it comes to "easy to read" I use a simple arial font, but I do use white letters over a black background. Would that be considered difficult to read? (note the mobile version of blogger shows my pages in white and text in black).

  13. Daniel White03-08-2011

    You may want to mention that having a high bounce rate isn't always a bad thing. Depending on the setup of your site, the visitors may not need to click through your site to find what they want. An example would be my blogs, where I have it setup so visitors don't have to click through to read full articles from my homepage, instead they can read the full article right then and there. My bounce rate is between 60% and 75%.

  14. Wilfried03-09-2011

    Great tips. I think the easy thing is the one many people like. if the visitors come to the site with low speed, bad grammar… they will leave as soon as possible. I guess using the first suggestion in your tips mentioned! It’s fast and easy, and it usually enriches the experience for users, and they will come back to the site later on.

  15. Rachel03-29-2011

    Hey,

    Awesome guide! Right now im struggling with a 82% bounce rate so any tips to reduce this percentage is great.

    Thanks again!

    All the best,

    Rachel

Leave a Reply