What comes to mind when you talk about a website having a high bounce rate? OR
Do you want to know what is bounce rate and how to reduce bounce rate of your website?
So…let me tell you!
It is an important ranking factor that plays a role in how well your website will rank on SERPs. So, it makes sense to take a closer look at them.
Before we find out how bounce rates affect Google Rankings, let’s take a look at what is bounce rate.
What is a bounce rate?
A bounce rate is defined as the measurement of the PERCENTAGE of visitors who leave a website (bounce) without continuing to view pages or make use of the links provided on the site.
Bounces happen when visitors only view single pages without looking at others or taking some form of action within the site before a specified time period.
Here is a guide to know more about What is a Good Bounce Rate
How are Bounce Rates Measured?
There is no actual industry standard in terms of how long a visitor must stay on a website without exiting before they are deemed to bounce.
The bounce rate of a site is more determined by the session timeout of the type of analytics software being used (e.g. Google Analytics). There is another well-known free tool from firstsiteguide to measure bounce rate of your site.
There is no industry standard minimum or maximum time by which a visitor must leave in order for a bounce to occur. Rather, this is determined by the session timeout of the analytics tracking software.
80%+ is very bad
70 – 80% is poor
50 – 70% is average
30 – 50% is excellent
20% or below is likely a tracking error
A bounce rate of around 40-60% is considered normal; it’s the design of your website and its content that determines the bounce rate of your website. Factors like page load time, ease of navigation, search engine rankings for target keywords, links, and quality of content amongst many others have an important role to play in determining whether a visitor remains engaged with your site.
What does it look like?
The chart below shows one website’s bounce rate by day. In this scenario, it would be highly concerning that recently the bounce rate has continually been rising.
Why search engines give preference to lower bounce rates sites?
For anyone wishing to successfully promote their website or Blog via the search engines, it is important to understand how to please them.
The search engines (e.g. Google, Bing, Yahoo etc) do not like websites or blogs with high bounce rates.
The simple reason for this is that it is more often than not a clear indication that the search engine user was not happy with or did not find an appropriate solution or response to the search query they were looking for.
As a result of this, they have hit the ‘back button’ on their browser and returned back to search engine to conduct another search…
Retaining a visitor to your website and providing for them the solution they are looking for means that they do not need to return back to the search engine again.
This pleases the search engines as the more people who find what they are looking for, means more happy searchers, the more happy searchers, the happier they are with their search engine service.
The better the experience for the searcher, the more chance of them becoming repeat users of a particular search engine.
By pleasing their users, the search engine is then able to gain a stronger hold over their other search engine competitors by having more repeat, regular users.
By helping the search engines provide a better service to their users by providing more relevant, engaging content and useful, helpful solutions for people searching for particular keywords and phrases, you will be rewarded in turn.
How To Reduce Bounce Rate?
There is no exact strategy, technique or science to reduce the bounce rate instantly. Because it depends on the number of different factors that are responsible for your high bounce rate.
But there are certain things you should do to get low bounce rate and all of them are proven to be very effective techniques to reduce bounce rate.
Put yourself in the shoes of your average internet user. You scour the web for the right blog and you think you’ve finally found it. Next, you click on the page and wait, wait, wait.
To your dismay, it is taking over 15 seconds for the page to load. In your warranted impatience, you click off the page prompting a bounce.
In these fast moving times, internet users have come to expect lightning speed load times. Your WordPress blog is no exception. From the smallest business to the largest conglomerate, if you can not meet these expectations you’re sure to be left behind.
So how can you increase blog speed reducing the frequency of bounces?
You can easily check your site’s speed GTmetrix or Pingdom. Both tools provide you an overview of your site’s load time as well as provide tips for improving the page load times.
Hosting service of your website also plays an important role to speed up your site. So it is necessary to choose a fast and reliable web hosting for your website.
In addition, removing unnecessary widgets that are not utilized can speed up page time and reduce bounce rate.
2. Responsive website design
The layout of your website is one of the most important factors to reduce the bounce rate. You have to always try to provide users with a neat and clean, easy to use interface with the optimal blend of color, layouts, etc. It makes visitors stick to your website for some more time.
Most people use mobile devices to access various sites. Using WordPress responsive themes minimize unnecessary scrolling and resizing of sites during access. After making necessary changes, you can use Mobile-Friendly Test to note down any significant difference.
3. Improve User Experience
The main aim of search engines is to provide users with relevant information. It, however, becomes a problem when users find problems navigating through websites to obtain that information. Continuous poor user experience hurts a site’s ranking.
The visibility of your content works a long way in improving the experience of your users. In order to achieve this, you should use white space, headlines, subheads, and bulleted lists to make your site easy on the eye. Use highlighted keywords and images to break up text-heavy pages. Grab your reader’s attention and make it easy for them to find the information they’re looking for.
4. Writing relevant and quality content
Have you ever asked yourself what drives people to your site? At any given time, someone visits your WordPress site to obtain certain information. Whether your site provides that information or not will be reflected in the bounce rates.
To reduce the bounce rate and to get results, always keep the target audience in mind while writing the content. Don’t overload them or give them very less content. Write only quality, grammatically correct and easy to understand the content. Always break the large article into parts and post them one after other. This will help you to build more related pages.
5. Conduct your SEO properly
Highly optimized SEO content is always an added advantage when it comes to winning this game. It is important for WordPress site owners to embrace essential plugins like Yoast SEO.
This is a plugin that can do a variety of different SEO tasks like suggesting keywords, optimizing images for search engines, and automatically inserting link elements and meta tags.
6. Avoid Pop-Ups
Stop annoying your visitors with pop-up ads. Using pop-up ads is the most dangerous factor. Your readers are coming to your blog to gain perspective and knowledge.
By seeing a pop up add a visitor might close the page or navigate to the add link leaving you with another bounce. So only use relevant ads in your site and restrict the number of adds in a single page to four at maximum.
7. Turn off autoplay messages and videos
Building on the concept of avoiding interruptions, bloggers should think about steering clear of autoplay messages and pop up videos. Even if you think the messages are great content and targeted towards your audience, it can take the control out of the user’s hands and create a pattern of bounces.
In addition, many blog readers listen to music while browsing the internet. Having an autoplay message or video can be extremely annoying. If your reader is listening to music in their headphones and click on your page to read some relevant information, they might be turned off with a loud advertisement that can add distractions.
8. Great Tagline
Another way to create interest and to reduce the bounce rate of your website is by creating a great tagline for your blog. A tagline is a short concise sentence that allows people to know who you are and what you do quickly.
If your message and mission are unclear, it will cause readers to become confused and in turn exit your page. Look for something that is catchy and represents who you are over strictly an SEO advantage. It may help you in the short run, but in the long run, it is better to create a tagline that speaks to your audience, not search engines.
9. Create Great and Catchy Titles
Another way to attract readers and keep their well-earned attention is by creating great titles. Just like a great newspaper headline can attract readers the same goes for your blog.
Providing your blog with great titles is so important in preventing bounce rates. Creating intriguing insightful and desirable titles can keep your visitors navigating pages within your blog and immensely reduce the bounce rate.
10. Related post navigation
When readers visit your site they are far less likely to exit from the first page if an option for viewing relatable content is available. It’s a great resource to reduce the bounce rate as it is again, another option to give readers more choice. The more quality choices and browsing options the readers have, the more likely they are to click on a link and stay on your site.
11. No more 404 pages
It may sometimes happen that your website has some broken links shown in the search engine and a visitor landing on the website gets a 404 error page. You can also make use of the 404 error pages to take your visitors to some other page by providing excerpts of recent/popular/featured articles.
12. Mobile Page
With so many users on the go with tablets, smartphones, and personal data devices, deciding not to optimize your page for mobile devices can increase bounce rates tremendously. The problem lies in the fact that not all pages work well on mobile devices. If your blog is not mobile optimized you can cause readers to leave instantly frustration.
There are some great plugins to get your blog mobile, one that we suggest is WordPress WP Touch and AMP for WP Plugin. Both works to automatically optimize to be viewed on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices.
The best of you…
At the end of it all, one realizes that reducing bounce rates on WordPress sites is all about being the best of what you and your website are. It’s matching quality content with the amazing user experience. We hope that you find this guide informative and useful as a resource moving forward to reduce the bounce rate of your site.