The 8 ways to lower your Bounce Rate

bounce-rate
Bounce Rate is a percentage that shows the number of visitors that leave a site directly from the page they entered, without viewing other pages of the website. Usually having high percentage leads to low conversion rates. You can check the Bounce Rate of your site in your Google Analytics account under the “Content Overview” or under the “Top Content” page.

Some of the reasons of high bounce rate are the following:

  • Website Attracts wrong visitors.
  • Visitors are facing a not user friendly landing page or a confusing content.
  • The loading time of the page takes ages.
  • Irrelevant ads in PPC Campaign.

These are 8 simple ways to lower your Bounce Rate:

1. Use a nice Web Design / Layout

The design of your website is one of the most important factors. Try using eye friendly colors, avoid animations that popup in the middle of the page and anything that could distract or make the visitor feel uncomfortable. Organized content without information overflow in one page can deliver your message to the visitors effectively. Avoid using template sites and have the layout designed by a professional. Make sure that the HTML of your website is valid in order to have the same result in all the browsers. Use our HTML Validator to check your site.

2. Keep the size of your pages low

Make sure you have optimized the size of your images, keep the text/html code ratio low and try your best to keep the loading time as low as possible as it affects the user’s experience.

3. Build a user friendly Navigation (Menu)

The hyperlinks are the power of the web. Your site needs to have a user friendly menu that will allow the visitor to find what he wants easily. Avoid placing the menu on the bottom, try to organize the pages into categories and do not bury the important pages more than 3 clicks away from the homepage. Suggesting relevant products or services and placing links in strategic place in the text is something worth doing. Try using text links that contain keywords and avoid flash menus.

4. Create well written texts

Check that the title, the headers and the metatags of each page are relevant with the context. Have an abstract in the first paragraph or try to answer all the visitor’s questions in the first lines of your page. Use our Keyword Analyzer to test their relevance. You can find more in the article “5 basic rules of SEO copywriting“.

5. Optimize for the correct keywords

When it comes to SEO, always optimize the pages for relevant keywords. Each page should target to 1 or 2 terms. Make sure they have a good keyword density and that they appear in the important parts of the document such as the titles and headers. Do not try to trick the users and Google by including unrelated or too generic keywords. Even if you manage to rank first, the users will leave right away and you will increase the Bounce Rate. Use our Keyword Analyzer to check the keywords of your site.

6. Get Quality Links

Try to get some good links pointing to your page. Make sure they contain the correct anchor text. You can lure other webmasters to link to your pages by placing good content in your pages (interesting texts, a free service, start a clever marketing campaign etc). Try to avoid link exchange as in most of the cases one of the 2 linkers loses more PageRank. Use our Site Submitter to bring more links to your site.

7. Start a PPC Campaign on the most important keywords

Consider starting a Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaign on the important keywords of your site. Make sure you will pay a reasonable price per click and select the ones that are relevant to you content. Pay attention to the bidding management of your PPC campaign. Bid for the right keywords in order to avoid wrong traffic.

8. Study the reports

As a webmaster, when you evaluate how successful the online marketing campaign was, you should not only take into account the amount of traffic, the PageRank or the page views of your site but also focus on the Bounce Rate, the Average Time on Site, the Pages/Visit and the Conversion Rates. Use a web analytics tool like Google Analytics, define your goals, study the reports, categorize your visitors based on their behavior and redesign your SEO plan when needed.

Here are some simple thinks to have in mind:

  • The user must find what he searches for. Averagely you have about 8 seconds before he leaves the page.
  • The content (titles, headers, texts) of your page should be clear and easy to read.
  • Get to the point and do not distract the user with popups, huge ad banners, tones of links etc.
  • Give him the option to search or suggest him something relative pages.
TRY THE WSA TOOLBOX
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  • Rebecca

    Excellent article and very valid. Most stats programs will reveal this information as well, but you’ve highlighted the main reasons why traffic can bounce. It’s all part of SEO, working out how to keep visitors :)

    Keep up the excellent articles.

    Rebecca Habel – Rebecca’s Resource.

  • Matt Smedley

    Great article! So much of what makes people bounce is tied to the look and feel of a site. If the site looks hastily put together and is poorly organized, you can pretty much guarantee I’ll jump immediately. Design draws me in, content keeps me.

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  • paulacb

    great article, thanks!
    I think that Optimizing for the correct keywords is one of the most important points in order to decrease bounce rate.
    Regards from Madrid

  • Sachin

    Since I launched my site I’ve maintained a really low bounce rate (3%, yes 3%). It all depends on the quality of the post and how the content is set forward.

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  • Urho Oskari – My Learning SEO Blog

    1# Keep simple text formatting, Avoid using too many links, font types etc.

    Thumb rule is K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple, Stupid)

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  • sam

    My site has a high bounce rate (60%) despite the fact that I have a lot of positive feedback on the site’s design and ease of navigation. I get decent incoming clicks from Facebook and twitter and use appropriate keywords and I post new content regularly that is relevant to the site’s users. I am going to try your additional tips, though, as I’m currently at a loss for why my bounce rate is so high. I offer a lot of contests and giveaways (again, relevant to my site’s members- the prizes are always geared to my target audience)- do you think contests are the problem? I wonder if people are just visiting to enter them and don’t bother to explore the rest of the site because all they care about is winning a prize. Can running contests actualy be hurting my site’s numbers?

  • Jeff Wise

    You hit the nail on the head. The visitors coming to your site must find what they’re looking for or they are gone in eight seconds or less. That’s where the long-tail keywords come in handy.

  • Aerial Installations Bracknell

    From my experience, having the most relevant and well written content is a great way to achieve this. When people search, they want to be in the right place and in front of the very best content.

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