8 Secrets to Reduce Bounce Rate and Improve User Experience

As a blogger or business owner you want to not only attract visitors to your website but you want to keep them there as long as possible, navigating from page to page and post to post consuming your fabulous content.

When you look at Google Analytics are you concerned by a high bounce rate?

Let’s take a look at what a high bounce rate means and what you can do about it.

Hint: You can find your blog’s bounce rate by looking at the Audience Overview page of Google Analytics.

What is Bounce Rate?

Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page). — Google Analytics

What does Bounce Rate say about my website?

A low bounce rate indicates a high level of audience engagement. It means that visitors to your site or blog aren’t just reading the page they land on but that they are also clicking on other posts or pages.

A high bounce rate is caused by different factors, not all of them bad.

  • Someone may land on your blog from Pinterest to just check that the link is valid. They then pin that image to bookmark your post to read later. They may come back and visit other posts at that time but for now, that was a bounce.
  • A visitor has a specific problem, a problem that your post answers. The visitor found the information they need on that one post, and had no need of other posts — that too was a bounce.
  • Sometimes your visitor might just want your contact info — they land on your site, see your phone number and pick up the phone — another bounce.

Blogs typically have a bounce rate of 70% to 98% (Source: Quick Sprout). You really don’t need to spend a lot of time worrying about bounce rate unless your bounce rate is higher than your industry average.

But a high bounce rate might be indicative of website problems, problems that you need to fix. What is your bounce rate telling you about your website?

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Tips to improve user experience and keep visitors on your WordPress site longer

1. Ditch the one-page parallax theme!

If you have a one-page website, Google analytics will show you a crazy high bounce rate. This doesn’t mean that people aren’t reading your content, it means that your audience interaction isn’t being tracked. Parallax one-page websites may be all the rage but they aren’t great for SEO. You can read more about Parallax design and SEO here.

2. Use a mobile-friendly theme

Update to a Responsive WordPress theme.  If your site is too difficult to use on a tablet or phone, visitors will click away. A Responsive theme will respond to the device screen size giving visitors the best possible user experience

3. Update the design of your site

Is your website looking dated? Keep up on the latest trends in web design and look at your website with fresh eyes. If your website looks out of date, visitors won’t trust it as a source for current information, they will quickly move on to another search result.

4. Improve your website page speed

If your website is too slow to load visitors will get frustrated and leave. Optimize the images in your WordPress Media Library and choose a website host that offers faster server speed. You can read more here about Improving your website speed.

5. Add links between your posts

Interlinking between related post and to blog categories or tags in your post content will keep readers engaged on your site longer.  If you’re going to link to old content make sure it isn’t out of date. Update your old blog content and make it evergreen.

Activate the Related Posts feature in Jetpack Plugin. Once it’s enabled (if you have more than 10 posts on your site) the related posts will show up below the current blog content. It will display a thumbnail 350px wide by 200px tall and a link to the post. Or you can follow my tutorial to Customize Jetpack Related Posts.

6. Guide users through your site with great navigation aids

When a site visitor can’t find what they are looking for quickly, they leave. Website navigation needs to be clear, consistent and intuitive. Use call to action buttons to direct site visitors where you want them to go.

Sidebar widgets can be used to display custom menus, recent posts, blog category archive pages or popular posts but don’t let your sidebar become a cluttered distraction.

7. Ensure page content is easy-to-read

Improve the readability of your post content by using structured headlines, bulleted lists, short paragraphs, and larger fonts. Whitespace can really help certain elements of your design stand out. Then test your content with the Readability testing tool.

8. Offer quality content with appropriate meta descriptions

Your bounce rate may be high if your search results titles and descriptions don’t offer site visitors what they expect to find. If your meta titles and descriptions are written to attract clicks but are misleading to a visitor, you’ll have a high bounce rate.

Offer search engine users useful descriptions that accurately describe your web page content and services. And offer quality content that your audience wants to read and share.

The key to reducing bounce rate is to keep site visitors engaged longer by offering a better user experience.

4 thoughts on “8 Secrets to Reduce Bounce Rate and Improve User Experience”

  1. Hi Ruth

    Since last 4 months, I have been noticing that my blog is getting high bounce rate and my visitors are leaving my site so frequently.
    They aren’t engaged with my content. So to solve this issue, I was doing research on it and searching for some best ways which I can implement to reduce bounce of my blog. Your article is really helpful to me and I learned so many points from you.
    Thanks Ruth for sharing such a great piece of content with us. Happy Blogging 😉

  2. Few tips to make your content more readable:

    Use subheadings to throw more light on your topic.
    Use bullet points to explain benefits or points worth noting.
    Use plenty of charts, images, screenshots and quotes from industry experts, where appropriate.
    Bold keywords a few times (don’t overdo this).
    Ask a lot of questions in your content, to give readers an invitation to participate, instead of just read.
    End your content with a subheading entitled “conclusion.” This tells the reader to quickly read the last few words and take action. Make your conclusion actionable.

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