Do you want to reduce the bounce rate on your website?
High bounce rate can seriously affect your conversion rates. If most of your users are abandoning your website after one page, you probably won’t have the chance to convert them into subscribers or customers.
It can also be a sign of bigger issues that can harm your search ranking. These issues include slow page loading, unappealing page design, or poor mobile optimization.
In this article, we’ll share 12 proven methods to improve bounce rate and increase your conversions.
Here’s a table of contents to help you find your way around:
Table of Contents
- What is Bounce Rate?
- What’s a Good Bounce Rate?
- How to Find Bounce Rate
- How to Reduce the Bounce Rate on Your Website
What is Bounce Rate?
Bounce rate is how many users land on your website and decide to leave without going to a second page. This is called a single-page session. You calculate bounce rate by dividing the number of single-page sessions by the total number of sessions. Bounce rate is expressed as a percentage.
Lower bounce rates are a sign that you provided enough reasons for the user to not only stay on that first page but also click onto a second page. This is the goal!
A higher bounce rate indicates that you weren’t able to convince the user to stay on your website. There are many ways to reduce your bounce rate, such as exit popups. We’ll look at some more examples later.
A visitor can bounce from your site several ways:
- clicking on a link to a different website
- clicking the back button to return to the search results or referring website
- closing the browser window or tab
- typing a new URL into the browser
- timing out the session, usually due to web hosting errors
Now, not all bounces are bad. Some users might read your entire blog post, find exactly what they came for, and then close the browser. And a bounce rate lower than 20% is almost certainly due to a tracking error. It’s not realistic to aim for a bounce rate of 0%, but there is such a thing as a good bounce rate vs bad bounce rate.
Let’s take a look at average bounce rate by industry benchmarks, and determine what’s a good bounce rate.
What’s a Good Bounce Rate?
You may be wondering what is a good bounce rate? Here’s a baseline to start:
- 26-40% is optimal
- 40-70% is average
- 70-90% is poor
- 90%+ is very poor
- 80%+ is very bad
If your bounce rate is lower than 20%, don’t get too excited. This is likely because of an error like duplicate analytics code, incorrect implementation of events tracking, or third-party addons such as live chat plugins.
While the above metrics are good to start, bounce rate varies across industries, the type of content you have, and even the device used. These bounce rate patterns can give us a clue about why visitors bounce and what, if anything, to do about it.
Average Bounce Rate by Industry & Website Type
Take a look at the chart below to see an average bounce rate by industry:
Retail and eCommerce sites have the lowest bounce rates because there are so many pages on a typical shopping site. Most shoppers will visit one page, then see another product that interests them and click there. Or they’ll purchase that item, which will take them to the checkout page. There’s a clear pathway for visitors to follow.
On the other hand, landing pages, dictionaries, portals, and blogs typically have much higher bounce rates. But this doesn’t mean all these websites aren’t converting. It just means that they serve a specific purpose that is usually filled in a single page.
Someone looking for the definition of a word will leave as soon as they’ve found that definition. Portal websites, by definition, link to content on other sites, so visitors likely only spend one session on the portal itself. And landing pages are often specifically designed without navigation or internal links so that visitors don’t get distracted from the one desired conversion event.
Average Bounce Rate by Channel
Next, let’s look at the average bounce rate by channel or traffic source:
As you can see, display and social have the highest bounce rates. That’s because visitors from those channels are likely to just be clicking casually on a banner ad or social media link, and then leaving to get back to their originally intended action.
On the other hand, referral and email tend to have the lowest bounce rates. Visitors coming in through a link from a similar website are more likely to already be interested in your content. Email subscribers are even more invested in your business, since they opted into your email list. As you’re thinking about how to reduce the bounce rate on your site, make sure to look at which channels bring in most of your traffic.
Average Bounce Rate by Device
Finally, another factor that affects bounce rate is device. Unfortunately, you don’t have any control over what devices your visitors are using, but you can still use this data to improve bounce rate.
As you can see, mobile users have a higher bounce rate across all industries. This makes sense, since people browse on their phones while waiting in line, riding the bus, and doing other things that might pull their attention away at any time. If you get a lot of mobile users, your bounce rate may appear higher than a site with mostly desktop users. This is just good to keep in mind as you work to reduce your bounce rate.
So the definition of a good bounce rate is complicated. Perhaps more important than comparing your bounce rate to other websites is monitoring your own bounce rate over time. If you have a content-heavy site like a blog, your bounce rate may always be higher than your neighbor’s eCommerce site. That’s okay! Bounce rate is not the only metric of how well your site is converting, and it’s definitely not the most important one.
How to Find Bounce Rate
As mentioned earlier, bounce rate is the number of single-page sessions divided by the total number of sessions.
With MonsterInsights, you can see your bounce rate and other important analytics directly in the WordPress dashboard.
In Google Analytics, you can easily see the overall bounce rate by clicking on Audience » Overview.
You can also get a more detailed view of bounce rates on individual pages by clicking on Behavior » Site Content » All Pages.
You might notice another metric called exit rate. Bounce rate vs exit rate may sound very similar, but there’s a key difference. Exit rate measures how many visits to a page were the last in that particular session, while bounce rate measures how many visits were the only page in that session.
Please note that bounce rate will not be available in Google Analytics 4. If you’re using GA4, here are some user engagement metrics you can focus on instead.
How to Reduce the Bounce Rate on Your Website
Once you’ve looked at which pages on your site have the highest bounce rate, it’s time to try to reduce the bounce rate.
The key to improving bounce rate is to first identify why visitors are bouncing. Without that understanding, you can try all the strategies in the world without much success.
We’ve seen 3 main reasons that visitors bounce from a website:
- The visitor didn’t find what they were looking for
- The visitor did find what they were looking for, but didn’t know what else to do, so they just left
- The website is hard to use
Let’s look at ways to address each of these reasons.
1. Suggest Other Content
Perhaps the content on a particular page really wasn’t what the visitor was looking for. Rather than just shrug your shoulders and let them go, you can use OptinMonster’s signature Exit-Intent® Technology to help them find what they need before they leave your site.
You can use a related post plugin to suggest other posts that might be more helpful. And because WordPress shortcodes work beautifully in OptinMonster, you could even create an exit intent popup showing related posts.
You can also use exit popups to offer a content upgrade, discount, or free shipping code. OptinMonster’s gamified campaigns are a great way to recapture wandering attention.
2. Show Targeted Content to Engaged Users
Remember, not all bounces are bad. A user may read your article, find exactly what they wanted, and then leave. This is normal and very common for blog posts and resource sections.
But that doesn’t help your bounce rate or conversions. In this case, you want to show these users with the most relevant offer.
For example, if a user lands on a blog post about cooking, then your offer should be a recipe book instead of fashion items.
Using OptinMonster’s page-level targeting, you can show visitors customized offers based on the pages they visit, traffic source, and more. You can even specify that a campaign only displays to visitors who have scrolled a certain distance down the page or spent a specified amount of time on the page.
Showing targeted content will help you reduce your bounce rate, boost engagement, and conversions.
3. Give Users Something Else to Do
Every page on your website should have a clear call to action (CTA).
Some CTAs include purchasing a digital or physical product, opt into your email list, share your article, or fill out a contact form.
OptinMonster can serve all kinds of CTA campaigns to precisely targeted audiences.
For example, you could use WPForms to create a survey that displays right before visitors exit.
4. Display External Media Onsite
Many businesses embed feeds of their own social media or video content as a way to show the latest updates.
But this can unintentionally create too many opportunities for visitors to bounce. They might see an interesting image from your Instagram feed and click on it. If this was the only page on your site they visited, this counts as a bounce even though they’re going to your social media.
You can use Smash Balloon plugins to build beautiful social media feeds right on your site. With Smash Balloon, visitors can click on an image or video to see the caption, description, and comments, all without leaving your site.
5. Optimize Content for Search Intent
Another major cause of bouncing is from search engine result pages (SERPs). When a visitor clicks on a search result, they’re looking for something specific. If they don’t find the answer or solution quickly, they’ll bounce.
MonsterInsights can help you understand what visitors are searching for.
Then you can use a premium SEO plugin like AIOSEO to optimize your content for the most-searched keywords.
6. Improve Your Site Speed
One of the easiest ways to improve bounce rate is to improve your site speed.
Users are in a hurry and decide whether to stay on a site within the first few seconds. If your site doesn’t load quickly, they might assume it’s broken, or simply run out of patience and leave.
You can measure your site speed with tools like Pingdom and Google Page Speed. These tools also give you recommendations for boosting your site speed.
To speed up your site, you should optimize your images, use a Content Delivery Network (CDN), add better caching, and consider switching to a faster hosting provider like Bluehost.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to keep your website speedy is by using a CDN. Find the right one for you on our list of the best CDN providers to speed up your website.
7. Optimize Your Site for Mobile Users
Many users are browsing on mobile devices while on the go. If they see a full desktop site squashed into a tiny screen, they won’t stick around trying to figure out a way to access your site.
Make sure your site is easy to use on a smartphone. Consider creating mobile-only landing pages or using click-to-call and click-to-scroll buttons to make the mobile user experience better. You can read other best practices for mobile landing pages here.
8. Make Your Text Readable
While images and video capture the attention, most of the important information on a website is still communicated with text. Don’t pay so much attention to pretty visuals and fancy design that you ignore basic readability.
For example, this site looks nice but is very difficult to read. The navigation links are low contrast and lightweight. There is even a banner that says the site is best viewed on desktop, and that banner itself is low contrast and hard to read. This all creates a poor user experience, especially for mobile users!
You need to make sure that the text on your website is easily readable on all devices. It shouldn’t be too small or else users will have to squint or zoom in to read it. Use font sizes that are large enough on smaller screens.
Choose fonts that are clear and easy to read. Cursive or handwritten accent fonts are fine when used sparingly. Use contrasting colors and enough line spacing, font weight, padding, and margin for the text to be clearly readable. This example does a good job balancing high contrast body fonts with accent fonts, and also uses a high contrast button call to action.
Another important point to consider is the language and style you choose to use on your website. Use easy-to-understand language in a normal conversational tone.
9. Split Test Headlines and Page Design
It’s possible that your content does match the visitor’s intent, but the headline or call-to-action doesn’t make that clear.
That’s why it’s important to split test the different elements on your site. A/B split testing is when you create 2 versions of the same page with different headlines, copy, imagery, social proof, or CTAs. Then you see which version performs better.
You can also create different landing pages targeting different audiences, regions, or keywords. If you are serving an international audience, then you can detect a user’s location and show them a localized landing page. Showing users content in their own language, currency, and cultural background greatly improves user experience and can help improve bounce rate.
10. Help Visitors Find Their Way
Your page may actually be exactly what your visitor is looking for, but if they have to scroll 80% of the way down the page to find it, chances are they’ll bounce.
Make sure your content answers the question or gets to the point quickly. If your blog post or page has multiple sections, consider adding a table of contents or button that jumps to the most interesting part.
For example, many recipe blogs include a long explanation of the recipe development process along with step by step photos. Some visitors may find that content interesting, but many just want the recipe to cook from. Recipe bloggers often place a Jump to Recipe button on all their posts. This lets the visitor who needs something to cook right now find the most helpful part of the post.
11. Match CTA to Intent
You always want make sure that your CTAs are clear and that they match the intent of the visitor.
User intent can fall into 4 categories:
- Informational: they want a specific answer or general information
- Navigational: they’re looking for a specific website or page
- Commercial: they’re investigating products or brands with future intent to purchase
- Transactional: they’re intending to purchase or complete an action
A user wondering how to clean sneakers is unlikely to appreciate an intrusive popup selling new shoes. Instead, perhaps at the end of your sneaker-cleaning tutorial, you could link to your post reviewing a brand of machine-washable sneakers. On the other hand, someone searching for that same review might be interested in your affiliate coupon for that brand. It all comes back to understanding your visitor’s intention and making sure all your content aligns with that intent.
12. Optimize Call to Action Placement
Most users decide whether or not they like a website in the first couple of seconds. So the content in the very first part of your page is important. You can optimize this area to immediately describe what you are selling and include a prominently visible call to action.
Make your call to action clear and honest. Misleading users will create a bad user experience which is the number one reason for high bounce rate and low conversions.
There you have it, our favorite ways to reduce the bounce rate on your website. When you match your content with the visitor’s intent, you can keep your visitors happy and your bounce rate low.
If you’re looking for other ways to capture more traffic and boost your conversions, check out this article on how to Create a Promotional Strategy for Higher Conversions.
What are you waiting for? Start increasing pageviews with OptinMonster.
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