Before we reveal ways to decrease your website’s bounce rate, we need to explain what the bounce rate is. It’s such an important statistic to the traffic performance of your site. It’s often overlooked by most newbie bloggers and it needs to be understood and improved.
What Is The Bounce Rate?
Your website’s bounce rate is a metric that indicates the percent of website visitors who visit one of your pages and then leave without clicking on anything else on your site – in other words, a visitor only viewed one of your website pages.
If a website visitor “bounces”, it indicates that they didn’t find what they were looking for or your website didn’t entice them enough to view any further content.
- A high bounce rate means your visitors didn’t find your content relevant to what they were searching for
- A low bounce rate means your visitors are finding your content helpful and are continuing to click on other pages
Your goal as a website owner is to focus on creating high-quality content while maintaining a low bounce rate.
What Is a Good Bounce Rate?
A good bounce rate can vary from industry to industry. Some industries measure conversions and ad spend differently than others so it can tend to vary. To get a general idea, below some industry average bounce rates and what is considered normal.
From the graph above you can see that financial services sites have the lowest bounce rate at 54.1%. People will have all sorts of arguments about what a good bounce rate actually is.
If your site is performing at least below or at the industry average bounce rates, you are in good shape. Below is a general rule of thumb about the bounce rate and what is considered a good bounce rate and what is considered a poor bounce rate.
- Above 70% = poor
- Below 65% = ok
- Below 50-55% = excellent
High bounce rate = BAD
Low bounce rate = GOOD
But again, this is going to vary from industry to industry and people will always have other opinions.
How Is The Bounce Rate Calculated?
Google calculates both the bounce rate of a web page and the bounce rate of the website.
- Bounce rate of a web page = total number of bounces on a page ÷ total number of visitors on the page
- Bounce rate of the website = total number of bounces on ALL pages of the website ÷ total number of visitors across all pages on the website
The bounce rate for your website can be found in Google Analytics if you have it installed on your site.
A bounce rate of 100% indicates that a visitor landed on your page and left that page without clicking on any other pages on your site.
In order to get more page views from a single website visitor you need to engage them more from the start until the end.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the bounce rate and its importance to your site’s performance, let’s take a look at 6 easy ways to decrease your website’s bounce rate.
#1) Set Expectations For Your Site
Obviously the lower the bounce rate of your site the better it will perform. You do however need to set some sort of expectations and goals for the bounce rate of your site.
If you know the industry your website falls in, you need to install Google Analytics on your site so you can begin to track how your website is performing in comparison to industry averages.
Once you begin to see how it’s performing relative to industry averages, you can begin to formulate a plan to improve it.
#2) Focus on attracting targeted visitors
In order to provide your website visitors with valuable content, you have to perform some research prior to putting out your content. You need to not only create high quality content, but you need to chose the right keywords that will attract the right visitors.
Your content needs to be extremely thorough and it needs to induce an emotional response from your readers. Below are some qualities your content needs in order to stand out.
- Easy to navigate
- Provides additional resources
- Invokes curiosity
- Use smart Formatting
- Awesome visuals
- Email subscription list
- Info graphics
These barely scratch the surface. You have to get inside the head of a person who is searching for an answer. The Google Keyword Planner tool can help give you an idea of keywords that people are searching for.
The more specific your content is, the higher the probability that you will reduce your sites bounce rate.
#3) Optimize Page Load Time
If your website and it’s related pages take more than 4 seconds to load, your bounce rate is going to suffer. It’s not always your content that is causing your site’s bounce rate to increase, it can be that your site is just taking a long time to load.
More than 50% of website user expect a page to load up in 2 seconds or less.
You have worked hard to bring visitors to your site, and having them leave because your site loads slow can be annoying. It doesn’t matter how good your content is if a visitor can’t even read it.
So, how can you improve your site speed? Let’s take a look at the following steps.
Step 1) Check your site speed
You have to know how fast your site speed is. A free tool that will show you your website speed is Pingom.
Once you run the test, the website will spit out a long list of performance insights. Below is what they will look like.
TEST #1) Australia
It shows you so many statistics about your website that you didn’t even know existed.
- Your website load time
- Average page size
- How it compares to other sites
- The number of requests that were sent
- Server statistics
You can see that my website speed received a performance grade of 94%, which is excellent. You may be looking at the actual load time and thinking, 6.27 seconds, that seems really high.
While this is true the test was performed from Australia.
That means that a ping was sent from a server in Australia to a server where my website is hosted which happens to be in New Jersey.
That actually isn’t bad considering how far the connection from Australia to New Jersey is.
The test below shows the results from the website being pinged from New York.
TEST #2) New York
You can see the results are much different. I received a performance grade of 95% and load time of 642 ms.
That is LIGHTENING FAST !!!
So why are these results relevant to your site?
You have to know where your target audience will be. If your plan is to focus on bringing visitors to your site from the United States, you have to use a hosting provider that is also located in the United States.
If you are located in another country and planning to target US visitors, make sure to use a hosting provider that hosts your site in the US, otherwise your site can load slower.
Our number #1 recommendation for a great hosting provider is BLUEHOST. They have awesome customer support and can help you with all your website hosting needs.
Check where your site is actually hosted with HostingChecker.
Step 2) Optimize The Size of Your Images
If you are noticing that your website load time is high and you have a good amount of images throughout your site, you need to think about resizing them.
Images are necessary to have on your site, but they tend to hog up a lot of bandwidth which can impact the loading time of the webpage. You can resize the images in HTML, but it won’t be enough because it will change the appearance and not the actual size.
You can use image optimization tools to decrease the size of your images without seeing an impact in their quality. The tools below will help you compress your images and reduce their size.
Step 3) Turn off Unused Plugins
If you use a lot of plugins on your site they can slow down your webpage. Plugins can take up additional resources on your website that you aren’t even using.
Go through you site and see how many active plugins you have and how many you are actually using. Get rid of ones that you aren’t using and check your site speed after.
#4) Avoid Annoying Pop-Up Ads
Even though these are so circa 2000’s, people still tend to slap annoying pop up ads on their website. More than 70% of website visitors reported that they found pop up ads extremely annoying. They are intrusive and ruin the visitor experience.
If your plan is to monetize your site with some sort of ads , the last kind of ads you should be using is pop ups. They can severely damage your sites reputation and bounce rate.
If you want to learn how you can actually monetize your site check out this related post. >>> https://www.financelads.com/how-do-bloggers-actually-make-money/
Pop up ads CAN be used, but they have to be used on specific sites where users really don’t mind them at all. One place where I have personally noticed that pop up ads live and breathe is on movie sharing sites. People that go on movie sharing sites go there because they want to watch movies for free.
They are already well aware that they are going to get hit with annoying pop ups, but they are willing to put up with them because they are going to watch movies for free at the end of the day.
Regardless, you should try to avoid using them.
If you want to monetize your site with ads, you should use either Display ads or Native Ads. They are build into your sites content and most people can’t even tell that they are actually ads. The user experience isn’t affected and sometimes they add a little extra visual appeal to your site.
Below is a list of native ad and display ad providers.
#5) Include Smart Internal Links & Call to Action
Internal links can help you seriously decrease your website’s bounce rate. They are so easy to use and tend to keep your readers on your site much longer.
You have to do it diligently.
It can not only help decrease the bounce rate of your site, but it can help you rank higher for particular keywords.
Be careful with how you use them.
Website visitors don’t mind internal links if they are used in the correct context. If you are recommending them to additional information on your site, this is great. I have seen many websites that throw in irrelevant internal links for the sole purpose of having users click them.
This is a BIG NO NO !
This not only looks awful, but once Google picks up on it, it will have a negative effect on the rank of your site. You need to be linking content that is relevant to the reader about related topics, not just to random pages.
Linking internally to related content shows Google that you are focusing on providing a good experience for the visitor and what pages on your site hold information about similar content.
If you need examples of internal links you can check out Wikipedia. The whole basis of their site revolves around internal links. They are the masters of keeping you on their site.
They do however use internal links very heavily on their site, but it works for them because the amount of information the site has related to similar topics. It’s literally infinite. In that small featured article above they have close to 20 links to related topics.
That is very heavy. I advise you use them them sparingly throughout your site.
Call to Action
Once you have gotten visitors to your site, your goal might be for them do perform a specific action. That can include:
- Buying a product
- Subscribing to a service
- Filling out a survey
- Share your content
- Share their opinion
- Clicking on an ad
If you want your users to complete a certain action on your site, you need to have a clear call to action button. If you have a page on your website that you want your website visitors to perform a specific action on, you need to make it clear, concise and easy for them.
The call to action will most likely take the visitor to another page of your site. This will further help decrease your website’s bounce rate.
#6) Create a Simple Site Structure
Your sites structure is one of the most basic ways to decrease your website’s bounce rate. Having a simple and easy to navigate website can cause visitors to visit multiple pages on your site.
One way to do this is to include a site search bar on your site.
If your readers want to find additional content on your site a search bar will allow them to find it. It is important to include one towards the top of your website and towards the bottom. This way if they got on your site directly they can search AND after they get done reading a post.
This small addition can help decrease your website’s bounce rate.
You can also formulate a content creation strategy that will make your posts and site structure stand out. Below is a link that goes in detail about how you can do that.
When you begin laying out the structure of your site you need to ask yourself some important questions. Imagine you are the visitor.
- Does the visitor know where to go?
- Can they find the information quickly?
- Is it visually appealing?
- Are the posts easy to read?
Search engines use the structure and layout of your site through your xml sitemap to better understand your content. Visitors will return to your site if they had a positive experience and actually gained value from your site.
Break down your content in a way that makes sense to the readers. Make sure to have the following at the basic level of your site to ensure things are easy for your visitors.
- Website Header/Body/Footer
- Site Logo
- About Us/Contact Page
- Clearly Defined Menu/Categories
- Social Links
- Subscription Box
- Post Comment Section
Having these placed carefully on your site will ensure your visitors can navigate your site and interact with the related content.
Now that you have gained learned some ways to decrease your website’s bounce rate, take action and begin to monitor the performance and make small changes everyday.