10 Things You Need to Do to Reduce Your Website’s High Bounce Rate

11 June 2015

When you look in Google Analytics, how high is your bounce rate? Does it vary from page to page, or based on whether your visitors arrive via organic search or PPC ads?

These are stats that you need to be familiar with if you want to boost engagement on your website and increase conversions.

A high bounce rate isn’t always something to panic about. If somebody visits your website to find your phone number, sees it in the sidebar, and calls you, that is a good thing! Yet it would be classed as a bounce because they do not click any internal links on your site and explore any further.

Yet, generally, most website owners want to reduce their bounce rates so that their site visitors look at more than one page of their site and potentially join the conversion funnel.

So, how can you improve the bounce rate figures for your website?

1. Look for patterns.

Do your blog posts have a higher bounce rate than your static website content? Do particular pages lose you a lot of visitors?

Analyse the content, design and call to action and see if they can be improved.

2. Speaking of calls to action…

Always include a call to action if you want your site visitors to take a particular route through your website, or take a specific action.

3. Make external links open in a new window

All of the popular website CMSs offer the option to have links open in a new window. Doing this makes sure thatvisitors do not leave your site when they click on a link.

4. Use more internal links

If you want your site visitors to see more of your website, make it easy with plenty of internal links pointing to the related, useful content you offer.

5. Sort out your site speed

Website visitors are impatient and do not tend to wait more than a few seconds for a webpage to load. Optimise your site so that it loads quickly on both mobile and desktop devices.

6. Make it look good

You need to make a great first impression if you want your visitors to be keen to see more. Focus on great design and see what improves your bounce rate.

7. Use internal navigation that makes sense

Can your website visitors easily find what they are looking for when they look at your header and sidebars? Is there a search box available? Does the organisation of your sub-menus make sense?

8. Only target relevant keywords and topics

If you have an e-commerce site selling plus-size clothing and somebody lands there who was looking for a dress in a size 10, they will bounce back to Google and look elsewhere.

Make sure all the content on your site is targeted to your niche, and pay attention to negative keywords in your PPC ads.

9. Be optimised for mobile

There is no excuse, these days, for having a website that is not mobile friendly. Displaying tiny text and unclickable links is a surefire way to get a mobile user to hit that ‘back’ button and find what they were looking for with one of your competitors.

10. Be careful with pop-ups

Websites that offer up a pop-up ad the moment a visitor lands on the site can find they experience higher-than-normal bounce rates. This is something to test but, if you really want to use pop-ups, try those that show up after your site visitors have demonstrated they are interested.

Image credit: Jeff Kubina