20 Effective Tips to Reduce Bounce Rate of Your Website

Bounces - How to Reduce Bounce Rate of your website

Bounce rate is an important website measure that you must take your close attention. If your website Bounce rate is too high, that mean people don’t like what you are talking or they already know what you’re going to explain them.

If your website bounce rate is too high, That means,

  1. Your message is too simple that your target traffic knows about
  2. You’re acquiring the wrong type of traffic to your web pages.

First of all, let’s learn what is bounce rate.

What is bounce rate?

As Google Analytics Bounce rate definition, website bounce rate is the single sessions. In simple words, single pageviews are bounces of your website (they don’t visit another page on your website). As a bloggers perspective, high bounce rate is terrible, they can reduce your conversion rates and decrease the user engagement.

Google Analytics Bounce Rate - How to decrease Bounce Rate

In other hand, as an SEO, website bounce rate is another important ranking factor which influences your SERP rankings very well. Just think as this, what will Google think about your website if your average bounce rate is too high than industry average bounce rate? If majority of traffic bounces off your web pages in the first place without spending a second on the page?

Too high bounce rate doesn’t mean that they are too bad. If you are an Internet marketer who want just collect emails, not to navigate through each web page, you shouldn’t worry about web bounce rate.

Also, if you are monetizing your blog using Google Adsense (They don’t allow you to open links in a new tab) or collecting email address or any other activity that take your visitors outside of your blog matters take to average bounce rate to a high bounce rate.

The difference between Bounce rate and Exit Rate

Many bloggers think that Exit rate is similar to website bounce rate. As Google Analytics definition about Bounce rate, website bounce rate is single sessions (or single page views). But the Exit rate is the number of percentage people exit from a particular web page.

Bounce Rate and Exit Rate Colleration

There could be some reasons to increase the exit rate of a web page such as it is converting better than other web pages (click on ad, link and sign up to newsletter etc) or it doesn’t convert well (people exit from webpage).

Although website bounce rate is not similar to website exit rate, there are some correlations between website bounce rate and exit rate.

If a certain web page’s exit rate is too high, that means the bounce rate should take a high number.

Bounce rate calculation

You can calculate the Bounce rate easily. The image below will explain how to calculate the Bounce rate of a web page.

Bounce Rate Definition and Calculation- How to decrease Bounce Rate

Ex: Let’s assume that page “A” received 125 entrances. And 78 people bounced off “A” web page.
So the bounce rate should be,

Bounce rate = (78/125) *100
= 62.4%

The total Bounce rate of a website is calculated by, dividing Total bounces of a certain time from total entrances of the particular time period and multiplying it by 100.

Ex: If your website received 128,852 total bounces in a specific time period and the total entrances is 178,256, the website bounce rate should be,

Bounce rate of website = (128,852/178,256) *100
= 72.285%

The lower Bounce rate of your website means people are engaging with your content, they read your posts, click on the links and are in the last steps of the cycle of converting into a customer or subscriber.

Even you have a small business blog, you should try to decrease the bounce rate of your website. In this post I will list some effective ways to reduce the bounce rate of your website. They have proven to work well on all blogging niches. Make sure you note down special tips in a paper, so you can implement those techniques on your blog.

How to Reduce Bounce Rate: Effective Tips and Tricks to Follow Up

 

Tip #1: You Should Avoid Using Pop Ups

If you use pop ups to collect email addresses, monetize blog or ask people to follow you on Google+ or Twitter, they will matter to increase the overall website bounce rate. Not only people don’t like pop ups as they annoy people from reading the articles, but also they will not like to follow you on social media, if you forced them to follow you.

Yes, Pop up subscribe boxes have a higher conversion rate than regular sidebar sign up forms. However, that depends on how you use pop ups to collect email addresses. It’s good to use user-based pop ups (showing pop-ups as user behavior) and exit pop ups that will not irritate your regular readers.

If you use pop ups on your blog, I suggest you to remove those pop ups for one day and check how much the percentage Bounce rate reduced.

Tip #2: Website Design is more important than you think

Yes, website design matters a lot to website bounce rate. Before reading your blog post, people look at website design first. If website design didn’t get the traction of people, they won’t read full blog post and probably won’t come again.

That is a huge mistake you do in your blog. If you want to get people to read your blog posts, you should design your website theme first. If you want people to click on internal web pages and read the full content without any annoy, don’t add too many ads and widgets around the content. Just look at Moz.com and QuickSprout blog. Do they have too many widgets around content?

You can get a professional website template from Themeforest. Themeforest have hundreds of premium Templates and themes for WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Drupal, Magento and other content management systems.

Also, you can hire a freelancer on Freelancer, Elance, Odesk or Guru to design own website design.
If your website design can get the attention of people in the first span, they will read the rest of content and would like to read other related contents same.

Tip #3: Site Speed

Google has said that they use Page speed as a factor to rank web pages on Google SERP. So, No matter in what niche you are, you must start reducing page loading time of your blog. It will not only help you increase the search traffic, but also reduce the bounce rate quickly.

There might have a lot of reasons to increase the page loading time. Here are a few common reasons and suggestions to fix them.

  • A lot of HTTP requests: One reason why your blog takes a lot of time to load is that there are lots of HTTP requests. When you use too many plugins, images and other external media, actually it takes lots of time to load. If you can reduce the number of total HTTP requests, you can decrease the page loading time and eventually decrease the overall bounce rate.
  • Compress Images Before uploading: You should use images on your website. But, if they matter to increase the page loading time, it is worthless adding too many images on blog posts. Another thing is that adding too much images cause to readers skim your blog post. That’s not you want. So, make sure you compress your images before uploading. You can use these tools to compress your attractive images.
  • Resize Images: If you use same size-images in your blog (ex: 1280 x 1320), they will matter  to increase the page loading time and people will never click on another link on your blog. Instead, they will close the tab. So you should resize images before publishing the blog post.
  • Minimize CSS & JavaScript: Although people want white-space to understand techy-codes, browsers don’t want white-space. They can understand what’s in the CSS and JavaScript files and what to do next. So it’s better to minimize the CSS and JavaScript files before uploading to server.
  • Load Unimportant widgets and files Asynchronously: By loading widgets, CSS and JavaScript files asynchronously, you can decrease the page loading time. Learn more about loading CSS and JavaScript files asynchronously from here.

By using above few tips, Not only you can decrease the page loading time, but also reduce the average bounce rate.

Here are a few tools to check your website’s page loading speed and get some recommendations to fix those flaws.

Tip #4: Readability

If your potential readers can’t identify what’re included in your blog post, how can you decrease the bounce rate?

If a 5 grade student can understand your message, perfect. Remember, only 30% of world population can understand English. You can check your website’s readability score through the readability-score.com website.

Here are a few recommendations to increase the readability of your site and get people to read your blog posts.

  • Write shorter sentences.
  • Use simple English words. Don’t use complicated terms that confuse readers.
  • When necessary, use images, screenshots, charts and clip-parts to convey your message.
  • Videos can increase the engagements.
  • Make sure that your target audience can read your blog posts easily. You may pay special your attention to font-family, font-style, font-size, text-indent, word-spacing and line-height CSS properties.

Besides these tips, you can also use a text translation gadget on your blog to increase the user experience. Google Translator and Bing Translator are two of excellent language translators.

Tip #5: intuitive Navigation Menu

You can get your readers click on internal links using an intuitive horizontal navigation menu. Just look at Mashable. It has an attractive fixed Horizontal navigation menu that people can use to read hottest posts on the day. And also navigate through other important web pages.

Mashable Navigation Menu

Tip #6: Mobile Friendly Design

Take a look at this screenshot taken from Google Analytics.

Device Category - Google Analytics

What can you learn from these stats? Bounce rate: 78.66%, Pages/Session: 1.38, Avg. Session Duration: 02:30

Yes, mobile users are engaged and more likely to read other articles rather than desktop visitors.
You can only see these types of stats, if you use a mobile friendly design or responsive template. There are a lot of responsive themes out there. You can use one of them to optimize your blog for mobile users.

Tip #7: Interlinking

This is one of biggest reasons why people don’t navigate through internal web pages. You should add at least one or two relevant interlinks on a blog post. That will not only help in decreasing website bounce rate, but also pass the link juice and authority to other web pages, so increase the search engine ranking.

Here are a few tips to consider when interlinks.

  • Only interlink relevant web pages that you think they will add value to your blog post.
  • Add a link in the first few sentences. By adding an interlink in the first 100 words, you can decrease the bounce rate well.
  • Add Keywords in anchor text, so you can get more people to read blog posts and increase the keyword ranking.
  • When necessary, you can use images to interlink blog posts. So ALT tag will become the anchor text.
  • Add title tag on <a> element. By adding a descriptive title to anchor, you can get people to click the links like this: Keyword research using GKP
  • Use different colors for non-visited links and visited links. By using different colors for visited links, people can easily identify what they already have visited.
  • Use font styles to emphasize hyperlinks. By using bold, italic and underline styles, you can get the people’s attention to links.
  • Ask questions when you interlink. People read your blog for getting answers to their problems. You can create a question in their mind when adding a new link.
  • Don’t add too many links in a same place. Mobile users will click on a link that they didn’t think of.

These are simple tricks to decrease bounce rate, but the results are huge. Make sure you add at least one link in the first few words.

Tip #8: Internal Search

Internal search is another great way to reduce the bounce-rate. When you produce popular and unique content, people more likely to read more relevant content on your site. Internal search is helpful in this place for engaging readers. You can show a search box on your site to let people to search internal content.

If your website doesn’t have an internal search box, you can use Google Custom search engine on your site. Here are a few tips to get people to search in your blog.

  • Show the search box in an open place prominently. Above the fold and in a scrolling widget are great places to show search box.
  • Design the search widget. People will not see the search widget clearly, if it does not have a unique look. Add a stylish search box and attractive Call to Action button.
  • Mention in your blog posts that people can search in your blog.

Not only internal search can minimize bounce rate, but also increases the user engagement.

Tip #9: Lazy Loading Third Party widgets and blog posts

The best example for this is Mashable. When you scroll down the page, it loads more blog posts and show Google Adsense ads. If you can load more blog posts like Mashable does, you can increase the page views per visitor and decrease the bounce-rate.

Also, if you use the Disqus comment system on your blog, you can load the Disqus comment box when scrolling down the page or clicking on a link/button. It will help in increase the page loading speed.

Tip #10: Offer Related Content

Related posts widgets do a good job at decreasing website bounce rate. You can use AddThis related posts widgets on your blog to display relevant posts links bottom of the page. Related posts widgets not only reduce the bounce rate, but also increases the user engagement.

Nrelate related posts plugin has some attractive designs and advanced settings that will help increase the pageviews. If you use the Disqus comment system on your blog, you can enable the related posts service to show most popular/commented and relevant blog posts at the bottom of each blog post.

Tip #11: Open External Links in New Tab

Adding outbound links in your blog posts is a great way to build the authority, show you are an expert and increase SEO performance. But when you make them to open in the same window/tab, you increases the bounce rate as well.

By adding target=”_blank” attribute to <a> element, you can easily open links in new window. There are a lot of ways to open links in new windows, but this is the easiest way.

<a href=”target external link” target=”_blank”> Anchor Text</a>

 

Tip #12: Split up Long Blog posts

You should write more in-depth blog posts that people want to read. But if you don’t split out long paragraphs into short paragraphs, people won’t read all the text. To get more people to read the full content and build the engagement, you should write shorter paragraphs including 2-3 sentences.

Tip #13: Offer a helpful 404 error page

The larger your site, you will get more 404 error pages. It might because you deleted blog posts, edit the blog post permalink or user’s typing mistakes. But you can use the 404 error (Not found) page to get more people scan your website.

Add a link to a homepage, contact page and search box on Not found page. You can follow these tips to fix 404 errors and use 404 errors to improve the SEO. Also by visiting this page, you can generate JavaScript code for a custom 404 error page which will display relevant blog posts on 404 pages as user behavior.

Tip #14: Color contrast and Typography

If you use a black background with red font color and yellow hypertext color on your website, it is not a surprise why you see a higher bounce rate rather than the industry average bounce rate.

You should first design your website for readers by adding clear text colors, anchor text colors and more white-spaces. Neil Patel has found that the optimal font size for QuickSprout audience is 11px. You should A/B text in order to find the best typography for your blog. It will take some time. But, it is worth doing A/B test.

Tip #15: Use right Keywords & Give a reason to navigate other web pages

This is one of the biggest reasons that matter to increase the website bounce rate. People want answers to their problems. That’s why they come to your website through search engines. If your content doesn’t match what they were expecting or solve their problems completely, they will not navigate through internal web pages.

The problem with the content doesn’t match to people were looking for is that you didn’t use the right keywords. Make sure you used right keywords in your blog posts that solve people’s questions. You can use Google Keyword Planner, Long Tail Pro and SEMrush to keyword research.

The other reason why your website gets higher bounce rate is that you solve the reader’s problem completely. I was surprised why some of my blog posts get a higher bounce rate than others, even they are unique and give good value to people.

The reason is, they solve their problems completely. One example post for this is Horizonal navigation menu bars post. It provides all the information they need: Why they should use a navigation menu, importance of navigation menus, how to install the navigation menu in Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress and static websites, DEMOs, HTML and CSS codes for menu bars.

In fact, it provides information more than they expected. As a result of this, they don’t need to navigate other internal web pages. If I installed demo scripts in ProBlogTricks, I would be able to reduce the bounce rate.

Therefore, by using the right keywords and giving reasons to visit another webpage, you can reduce website bounce rate.

Tip #16: Clear Call to Action

If your call to action is not clear and concise, people won’t click on the link. You need to provide a reason why they should read another web page on your blog. You can do this by,

  • Asking a question: encourage them to read another post by asking a question
  • Using title tag: add a short description about the post linking to. Ex: Email List for Blogging
  • Using styles: by diversifying the anchor text, you can increase the CTR of clicking on a link.

People will not follow the link you refer, if you don’t provide a clear Call to Action. Ex: If you want Increase the Social Shares effortlessly, use these FREE tools

Tip #17: Brand Your Blog

People want to read action tips, that work in their situation too. You can brand your blog by using social media and building an email newsletter. When you build an email list, you would see that the email subscribers help in decreasing the bounce rate of your website.

email newsletter decreases bounce rate - Google Analytics

As you can see in the above Google Analytics screenshot, BlogSpot SEO blog post is one of the best posts in my blog that has 53.12% bounce rate, 2.75 pages/sessions and 05:20 average session duration time among my email subscribers. The amazing thing is that it has over 8500 words discussing all about Blogger SEO strategies.

Tip #18: You Should (probably must) avoid using self-loading multimedia

Would you like to visit another web page on a website which plays background musics automatically and auto-play videos that you can’t control? I think you wouldn’t.

Therefore, if you use or intend to use self loading multimedia on your blog, please stop using them. They annoy people to use your website and in some cases increases the page loading time as it takes to load multimedia files.

If you want lower bounce rate and increase the user experience (UX), you should (I suggest must) avoid using self-loading multimedia.

Tip #19: User Guide

Have you seen some smart bloggers use user guides on their blogs? They have created different static pages for new readers landing to their blogs in first time. It is actually a great practice to lower bounce rate.

You can add your important or most popular blog posts in the user starter guide. This will not only helps in lowering the bounce rate, but also increase the user experience and SEO performance.
If your blog has a sidebar, you can show important (manually added), most popular or most commented posts. Smart Passive Income shows images instead of text for recommended posts that scroll down with user behavior.

Smart Passive Income recommended posts

By increasing the user experience of your website, you can easily lower down the website bounce rate.

Tip #20: Anchor Text Diversification

I explained you the importance of anchor text diversification in Interlinking section. However, I want to explain it bit more. By diversifying the anchor text you can get the user’s eye to anchor text. People have the Banner-blindness. Also, when a reader become a loyal reader, he also has the anchor-text-blindness.

You can use CSS and HTML styles to diversify the anchor text. Also use Images, charts, GIFs and infographics to get people click the link.

Use different colors, separate links, add buttons and enlarge the anchor text. These will hopefully lower website bounce rate.

Neil Patel has published an attractive infographic on how to decrease bounce rate on his blog QuickSpout. I thought you would find it valuable by adding it to this post.

How to Decrease Your Bounce Rate

 

Conclusion

Website bounce rate is an important website ranking metric that you should take your close attention.

It stops conversions, leads and engagements.

There might have a lot of reasons why your website gets a higher bounce rate. You can calculate the bounce rate of your website by using the Google Analytics data easily. While bounce rate is a terrible measure for bloggers and SEOs, Internet marketers who just want to collect email addresses don’t need to worry about it.

You wouldn’t be able to use above all tips to reduce bounce rate. But you can use several easy strategies such as installing a related posts widget, interlinking, diversifying anchor text and list building to lower bounce rate quickly.

So, How do you reduce the bounce rate of your website? Share your ideas in the comment section below.

Chamal Rathnayaka
 

A blogger, Growth Hacker, and Internet Marketer since 2012. Chamal Rathnayaka is the founder of this very site and he's sharing his experience and knowledge on Internet marketing through Pitiya blog. Send him a message on Pitiya.com/contact.

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