9 Tips to Reduce Your Bounce Rate Today

Monday, March 9th, 2020

Imagine you have a shop, the customer lands into your shop but does not get what he wants.

What is the very next action he will perform? Leave your shop, isn’t it?

In the digital world when a user leaves your website without taking any action, it is termed as a bounce rate.

There can be a variety of reasons for the bounce rate. In technical words, Google defines it as;

“The percentage of single-page visits (i.e., visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page).”

In this article, you are going to find mind-blowing tips for reducing the bounce rate.

I have divided them into different categories for a better understanding.

  • Links related
  • Build internal links
  • Ensure that all links open in new tab
  • Limit the broken links
  • Make 404 pages more interesting and informative
  • Keywords and audience related
  • Pitching the content to relevant audience
  • Using the relevant keywords
  • Related to content
  • Updated content
  • Improve the readability of the content
  • Satisfy the search intent
  • User experience
  • Avoiding distracting advertisements and pop-ups
  • Having a well defined CTA
  • Use Table of contents for better navigation
  • Visitor involvement
  • Try to engage the audience by innovative techniques like polls, videos, quiz, etc
  • Break the monotony and add the connecting words.
  • SEO optimization
  • Mobile responsive site
  • Improve the page load time
  • Use heatmaps to improve key landing pages
  • Display credibility
  • Use Exit-Intent pop-ups.

Depending on the web site, different sites have different bounce rates.

Image source

Here we shall analyze one by one the factors which can help you and me to reduce the bounce rate.

1)   Link related

A)          Build internal links

Internal links not only help in SEO, but they also help in reducing the bounce rate.

It is sometimes not possible to cover a full topic in one single article and you might have developed topic clusters for the relevant topic.

In that case for full satisfaction of your user, you can add internal links to your earlier articles.

This will serve two purposes.

  • It will increase your page views
  • It will prevent the bounce rate as the viewer stays on your website.

Google aims at maximizing user satisfaction. If you too can maximize it, the viewer won’t hop from your site to the other.

Well, for link building techniques we suggest a roundup article by the experts in this field.

B)          Ensure that all links open in new tab

When you add internal links to the article from your website then you definitely want the user to visit those pages.

But it is possible that the user is working with multiple tabs and when he opens a new link, the viewer simply forgets what he was reading earlier and on which site.

This itself defeats the purpose of link building.

Hence all links should open in the new tab. Don’t know how to do it?

Well, here is the link to open pages in different tabs. Hope it helps!

After refreshing his/her knowledge, the viewer can return back to the original article and this can help in reducing the bounce rate.

Well, you can do this by installing plugins such as WP external links plugin on your WordPress site.

C)          Limit the broken links

Broken links often create a bad user experience. It is therefore very imperative to limit them.

Wherever possible conduct the site audit, see for the broken links and fix them.

You can view the broken links by using tools such as Google Search Console or through a web scraper such as Screaming Frog.

D)          Make 404 pages more interesting and informative

Sometimes the broken links are not fixed. There can be a variety of reasons for this. There might be some technical issues with the site or the content might not be ready.

Whatever the case may be, it is essential to guide the user in a proper way.

Google has developed its own page error code ‘404’ for such pages which cannot be found.

You can add a bit of creativity to it, by making it informative, amusing or entertaining for the user.

 

Image source:

It is possible that he may decide to opt to see some other page of your site if he is not frustrated by the 404 pages.

Imagine yourself to be a shop owner who does not have the merchandise demanded by the customer, your job is to guide him in the best possible way so that he does not leave your shop and opts to see some different product in place of the one which he was looking for!

2)  Keywords and audience related

A)          Pitching the content to relevant audience

Once you have developed relevant content the next step is to pitch it to the relevant audience.

Chances of the bounce rate increase if the user is not interested in the content which you are presenting.

The first step would be to identify your target audience and build content relating to that niche.

You can know who your target customers might be by doing surveys, conducting polls, asking for suggestions.

One thing is very clear that a human being needs attention and if you give him importance and attention then it is possible to win him forever.

You can use tools like Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, Google keyword planner and determine keywords with less competition and having much traffic potential.

B)          Using the relevant keywords

Keywords are not only important for SEO, but they are also needed for improving the bounce rate.

It is very much possible that the site ranks in for the keyword but fails to provide the content which the user is looking for.

In that case, even though the page ranks in Google, the bounce rate will be high.

We can try to Target keywords where the user intent is not limited by the keyword itself.

For eg, if you rank on Google for a page ‘Top 5 blenders costing under $100’, then it is very much possible that a user who wants a high-end product might just have a look at your page and bounce.

Present the content in a comprehensive form so that the user feels it useful and keeps on moving from one page to the other.

3) Related to content

A)          Updated content

It is possible that some of the content presented on your site may relate to a particular date.

In that case, it becomes obsolete later on. So it is necessary to revise and restructure such content in light of new happenings.

If the content is not updated the user may leave the page causing a high bounce rate.

B)          Improve the readability of the content

The content to be delivered should be presented in the best possible way.

YouTube videos need to be optimized for speed and voice clarity.

Similarly for Pinterest, the infographics should not be too clumsy and guide the reader perfectly to the web site. Images should be easy to read for the eyes.

In the case of a blog or written content, there should be too many white spaces between paragraphs.

The paragraphs should be small and easy to read and skimmable.

The font should be somewhere between 14 to 16 for easy readability with proper sections and bullet points.

Which text do you prefer to read? The current one or the one in the box?

You can use sites that check your readability score and make changes accordingly.

C)  Satisfy the search intent

Google rewards top rank to the pages which satisfy the search intent. Search intent is necessary for SEO as well as to improve the bounce rate.

Try to avoid polysemous words as they can defeat the purpose for which you created the content.

https://www.best-website-tools.com/image-files/computer-ads-search-intent-300.png

Image source:

For eg, Hummingbird is a bird and also an algorithm of Google. A viewer who wants information about the algorithm will quickly bounce back if the content is about the bird.

Always try to see top ranking pages for a specific key word and the information they give to the viewer.

Depending on that you can draft a proper content as per user expectations.

4) User experience

A)          Avoiding distracting advertisements and pop-ups

Some advertisements can be distracting or even insulting the user. It is quite possible that users may leave the site out of frustration. So better to avoid annoying ads.

Ads are meant for revenue generation but if they distract your users or frustrate him then it can have a very bad effect on your site.

Image source

I am sure you must have noticed even on Google Play people sometimes comment that ads are too annoying when they download some apps or games.

These days it is common to have robots or humans at the back end to answer the user’s query when he/she is online.

But if the user feels annoyed or disturbed by the so called ‘helper’ mind well he will definitely hit back the ‘BACK’ button.

B)    Having a well defined CTA

All the web pages need to have a clear CTA which guides the user to take prompt action.

For instance when we review any hosting service provider at Hostingpill, we add a CTA button like the one in the below image.

In absence of proper CTA buttons the viewer might just not know what to do next and leave the site which can increase the bounce rate.

  1. Use Table of contents for better navigation

Just as we have done! Isn’t it easy for you to jump to a point which you want to refer to when you have a handy table of content ready by your side?

For instance in Hostingpill’s article related to gaming services, we used the following table of contents by which user is able to jump to a particular section of the article.

7 Best Cloud Gaming Services for 2020 (No. 3 is My Favorite)

Image: Hostingpill

Generally long posts are liked by people and also generate backlinks.

Table of contents gives users a better idea of the content and its flow. It is possible for him to skim the content and go to the pages where he wants to and thereby reducing the bounce rate.

5) Visitor involvement

A)    Try to engage the audience by innovative techniques like polls, videos, quiz, etc

As a user don’t you like if you are engaged in some quiz or poll while you are viewing a web page?

The same logic applies when you are developing the content for your web site.

You can even repurpose your content to target new audiences or to increase the audience.

Make it entertaining by including relevant videos, polls, quizzes which will prompt the audience to stay on the pages.

B)          Break the monotony and add the connecting words.

No matter how interesting your blog or content is, at some point people find it dull and boring.

That makes me think:

What can be done to keep them glued to our website?

I tried and got the result.

Wanna know?

Sprinkle your content with some connecting words where ever you feel that there is a chance of the user bouncing up.

Some of the examples of sprinkle words are:

  • Check this out:
  • That made me think:
  • But the question is:

If you have read blogs by Backlinko you must have already noticed it.

6) SEO optimization

A)          Mobile responsive site

We have gone a step further in the digital age and often surf on phones and tablets instead of laptops.

What does it have to do with bounce rate?

Well, if your site is not responsive or is not properly presented on a mobile device then there is a 100% chance that user will leave it.

Source: Neil Patel’s blog

You can use Google’s mobile friendly test tool and check whether your site is mobile responsive.

Well, to make it mobile friendly you can use tools such as JetPack Plugin or WP Touch Plugin.

B)    Improve the page load time

I know many of you might not be even aware of the fact that we barely wait 2 seconds for the web page to load.

Try calculating it for yourself while browsing and you will believe my words.

Sit with a stopwatch and make a conscious effort to watch- in what time do you leave the site if it does not open?

Do you ever give a second chance to the same web site ever?

I guess you said, ‘ may be- sometimes’

Same happens to me too!

But according to Google, it is one the factors responsible for ranking as well as for bounce rate.

So try using tools such as Pingdom Speed Test tool or Hostingpill speed test tool and optimize your site for speed.

7) Use heatmaps to improve key landing pages

We all know that we need to optimize pages for speed, images etc but how do we tress user behaviour?

Particularly in case if you are promoting affiliate products you need to know the user behaviour.

For instance consider this Heat Map generated for Hostingpill. Our main job is to write reviews for hosting companies and promote those hosting plans.

It is necessary for  us to know how a user behaves when he visits our page.

For that we use a tool called ‘Heat Map’.

The dot marked red shows that the user clicked on that link. It also shows various places where he navigated.

You need to know which pages on your site were visited by the user and where he clicked on the whole page.

This really helps us to keep our links at clickable points.

Technology has gone vast!

Yes! Through  ‘Heatmap’ we can know the crucial positions on the website where the user clicks and also the places where the user seldom goes.

This can help us to keep our CTA buttons at those crucial points.

You can use tools such as CrazyEgg or Hotjar to generate Heatmaps for your site.

8) Display credibility

Whenever you want to order something online which is the first site you prefer?

Amazon? Flipkart? Snap Deal?

Why don’t you make purchases from any other sites available?

This is because while making payments you need to enter your card details. You feel more safe with these trusted sites.

What is it that makes these sites more trusted than the others in the same domain?

Source: Neil Patel’s blog

To have a credible site take care of the following points.

  • Try to clear doubts and eliminate user confusion regarding the product.
  • Have authoritative content.
  • Have safety features so that they feel safe to enter the credit card details.

For example see how Guest Crew has included a contact page on its website.

Trust once broken is hard to build. So take utmost care in this respect and value your customers.

9) Use Exit-Intent pop-ups.

Pop-ups should generally be avoided to reduce bounce rate.

But do you know that by fixing an exit pop up you can reduce your bounce rate?

Let me show you how to do it.

For eg, if you know that generally users exit from a particular page then you can request the user to fill a short and brief intent form and give a free e-book or anything like that in return.

This has got 3 benefits according to me.

  • It builds your email subscription list.
  • It helps to collect data about customers interest and know the reason why he is leaving your site. You can use a drop down menu for these reasons.
  • It enhances the image of the website in the customers mind because he feels valued when you particularly ask him the reason for leaving.

Conclusion:

Well, THANKS FOR READING 2700 words at the stretch without leaving my site!

You reduced the bounce rate of my article dear reader.

I am sure you will find at least some points in this article which will help you to reduce your bounce rate too!

My pro tip to you would be always try to maximize user satisfaction. Every step you take should move ahead in that direction.

Even Google has to do it to stay ahead in the race.

Do let me know in the comments section which tips you found the most useful.

I shall be really glad if you could add some more tips to it.

I will try to update the same in this article.

Try implementing the tips and I am sure you will start getting the ‘better’ results soon.

See you soon!

I’m Chris Wagner, Head of Content @ HostingPill. I regularly write about Hosting, Web servers and WordPress. I have more than 9 years Industry experience


4 responses to “9 Tips to Reduce Your Bounce Rate Today”

  1. Dhruvir Zala says:

    Hey friend, thank you so much. It was such a great and useful article for all the bloggers. Keep posting great stuff.

  2. Thomas
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Chris

    Thanks for the tips. I new many of them already, but always good to read them again. When I link to other sites taking users to another site, I always makes sure they open up in a new tab. However when we talks internal links I prefer to open then in the same tab. I think it give a better user experience.

  3. I think this bounce rate issue is a problem for many. You give a lot of useful suggestions to implement. A really helpful post.
    Thank you
    Erika

  4. Hussain Omar
    Twitter:
    says:

    Loved all the tips you are putting here.

    I think the content sites are facing it the most, and applying these steps will contribute in making their bounce rate numbers much better.

    Well done!
    Keep it up!

    Regards
    ~Hussain

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