Give Your Site a Shot of Adrenaline by Curing High Bounce Rates

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Have you ever checked your analytics report only to freak out when you see a huge bounce rate?

And then stop for a moment and start wondering how important that bounce rate really is?

And then start freaking out again because you realize it means no one's sticking around on your site?



The bad news is that bounce rates do matter -- in some cases -- and high bounce rates can kill your site. The good news is that you can do quite a bit to improve those rates and give your site a shot of adrenaline in the process. You'll see how in just a moment.

First, though, let's look take a closer look at bounce rates and why (and when) they matter.

Understanding Bounce Rates

Bounce rate is the percentage of people that leave your website without visiting any pages other than the landing page. It does not measure the time spent on your website. So, if your homepage, for example, has a bounce rate of 67%, it means that 67 out of every 100 visitors leave your site without browsing further.

While in some cases, a high bounce rate is considered a bad thing, it's not always true. Wikipedia, for example, probably has some high bounce rates for certain pages because of the way they are laid out. If you want to find out where Donald Trump was born, Wikipedia provides all the information you need in the side bar.



Of course, some people spend time reading the content too, but many leave right after finding the answers they need. In this case, a high bounce rate can be a good thing because visitors are quickly finding what they need. And those visitors will come back regularly because their needs are being met effectively.

A high bounce rate isn't a problem if your site is set up with calls to action that lead visitors off your website, such as CTAs that:

• invite users to call a number

• lead users to make purchases off other sites

• sign up users to your list and lead to another site for confirmation.

On the other hand, if you want people to browse through to stick around, a high bounce rate indicates that something stinks in Denmark. It could mean the page:

• isn't relevant to the user's search query

• isn't user-friendly

• doesn't inspire confidence

• loads too slowly

• has poor quality content

• has an ineffective CTA.

Reducing Your Bounce Rates

Getting people to stick around on your website and read your content is essential if you want to inspire confidence and build a long-term, profitable relationship.
In most cases, it takes at least 7 interactions with your brand before a prospect will convert into a customer.

So, it will take 7 emails or 7 visits to your site or 7 of any other form of interaction or combination of interactions with your brand before a prospect is ready to make a purchase. And to get to that magic number, you need to hook prospects and keep them on your site, which means reducing your bounce rates.

Here are a few things you can do to start reducing those bounce rates:

Improve Formatting and Readability

If visitors are faced with a humongous block of text, they are going to hit the back button faster than you can say "WAIT!" Some of the ways you can improve the formatting and readability of your content include:

• sticking to short paragraphs

• using bullet points

• including charts and graphs where appropriate

• making your headlines and subheads stand out

• using images

• avoid using jargon when simple words will do

• engage users by asking questions.

Get Rid of Those Annoying Popups

In 2013, 70% of users said they considered irrelevant popups annoying. And to a user looking for specific information, a popup demanding they sign up to an email list is irrelevant. Just in case you were thinking otherwise.

Yes, popups work. Especially for growing an email list. However, if you want to reduce bounce rates and be less annoying to your visitors, eliminate them.

At the very least, if you insist on using them, tone down the language and make them as non-irritating as possible. In other words, no shaming people into signing up for your email list and no high-jacking the content with a popup that covers the entire page.

Slide-in CTAs are an effective alternative as they aren't nearly as annoying and are much less obtrusive, and they still get the job done.

Make Sure Your Site Design Inspires Professionalism and Confidence

You want to save money. We all do. But the design of your site is not an area where you should be pinching pennies. If you can't afford a custom design for your site, there are plenty of premium templates available at decent prices that look professional.

If your site looks like it was designed by your 5-year-old niece - bright pink finger painting included - the last thing you will do is inspire confidence in your visitors.

Be Careful with External Links

External links do have benefits, chief of which is the fact that it makes users feel as if you have their best interests at heart. They're also vital when referencing off-site content to support your points.

However, they can also increase bounce rates. To minimize this, avoid using external links too early in your post and when you do include them, make sure they open in a new tab.

If an external site opens in the same window, users will have to press the back button to get back to your site. And if they explore the external site you sent them to, they aren't going to hit the back button 55 times to get back to your site. So, make it easy for them to return to your site by opening external links in new tabs.

Link to Other Relevant Pages on Your Site


Internal linking is one of the few ways you can tell visitors that another page on your site will provide them with more content they might find useful.

For example, this article to link out to another page of content that delves deeper into internal linking. Not only would it offer visitors further relevant reading, but it would also be promoting older content.

The key to successful internal linking is to keep it relevant. If your page's target market is the rich and wealthy and you want them to book a luxury vacation through your site, don't link to a post reviewing hostels. They'll bounce faster than you can blink.

Make It Even Easier for Your Visitors to Find More Related Content

Using most popular/commented boxes along with a related content plugin will make it even easier for your visitors to find more relevant content that could pique their interest. This is similar to internal linking, but it is a little more obvious. The goal is to give visitors more ideas for further reading and to make it easy for them to get to those pages.

A high bounce rate is not always indicative of a problem. If the goal of the page is to send people to another site, then it could mean the page is doing its job well.

However, if your goal is to build a long-term relationship with your visitors and improve the chances of them converting, then you want them to stick around on your site as much as possible. So, you need to make your site more appealing by giving people reasons to stay.

A page's bounce rate is a good metric to determine whether what you're doing is working or not. If it goes up or stays the same, you either haven't identified the problem or what you're doing is making things worse. If it drops, then keep forging ahead because what you're doing is working.
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  • Great Article on reducing bounce rate. Solid information
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  • Profile picture of the author Devilfish168
    Nice info about bounce rate.

    But summary is hard to justify about bounce rate does really kill your site?

    As mention some viewers find the information from your site and just leave

    that mean your site is helpful to viewers just that they already got the answer so left within few sec.


    One thing I curious how about provide external links? aka like link to other helpful site beside interlink?

    I read before is best to balance both of it?
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  • Profile picture of the author Junaid khawaja
    Hi, great in depth post from you as always. Just want to add a few things on your pop-ups​ suggestion. I think for sales pages, pop-ups are not a good option (but the live chat option should be considered). However, for blogs can we really afford not asking for an email address? Especially, after the so much hype around list building and trending phrases like " Money is in the list"?

    I think the best way to show up pop-ups without annoying the reader is to show it when the reader has started knowing you. Usually this happens when the reader has read approx 40-50% of your page. In fact, there is a magic number: 47%.

    Completely eliminating pop-ups can have more cons than pros. And just like you have mentioned to "tweak' up the language a little are one of the good ways to address low bounce rate issue. Nice thoughts! Cheers! Thanks
    Junaid
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  • Profile picture of the author BellaZee
    Marketingplaybook, thanks for reading.

    Devilfish168, glad you liked the info.

    A high bounce rate will kill your site if the goal is to keep them on there. Yes, you’ll have a few pages where you might want high bounce rates but if your overall BR is high, people aren’t generally sticking around and giving you a chance to convert them.

    And it’s not the time that matters. It’s the fact that they didn’t visit other pages. Bounce rate doesn’t measure time spent on a page, just the number of people who entered your site through page x, for example, and then left from page x without seeing the rest of your site. They could have stayed there an hour or a second, your bounce rate will be unaffected.

    Regarding external links, you should definitely include them but don’t put them in the first paragraph of your post, for example. You risk people wandering off to another site before you’ve had a good, solid chance to hook them with your content and they might forget to come back. Definitely include external links, where they add value, later in your post and make sure they open in a new window or new tab, just to make it easier for folks to get back to your site.

    Junaid, glad you liked it. I know pop-ups are effective but they are also annoying as all get-out. That’s why I suggested slide-in CTAs cuz they’re a happy medium. It also depends on the niche and definitely the language. Some of those popups try really hard to shame you into signing up and all that does is annoy the nuts out of people. Those really get on my nerves LOL

    It’s basically a trade-off. You have to decide whether higher bounce rates are worth the extra subscribers you may or may not be getting. You could do a split-test and see if that popup is really getting you more subscribers than a slide-in CTA would and then figure out if the few extra subscribers is worth it in the long run.

    Don’t you think, though, that having a popup show up and interrupt users while they’re reading your content is even more annoying? I smell another split-test on the horizon LOL

    There is a third option, though. And that is offering a customized bonus for each post that people have to sign up for to get. So, say you write a post with 10 strategies for writing great headlines, you could offer a bonus that offers an additional 2 strategies and a swipe file of some effective headlines that people have to sign up for to download. It’s definitely less intrusive and will likely have a better conversion rate than popups.
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    • Profile picture of the author Devilfish168
      Originally Posted by BellaZee View Post

      Marketingplaybook, thanks for reading.

      Devilfish168, glad you liked the info.

      A high bounce rate will kill your site if the goal is to keep them on there. Yes, you'll have a few pages where you might want high bounce rates but if your overall BR is high, people aren't generally sticking around and giving you a chance to convert them.

      And it's not the time that matters. It's the fact that they didn't visit other pages. Bounce rate doesn't measure time spent on a page, just the number of people who entered your site through page x, for example, and then left from page x without seeing the rest of your site. They could have stayed there an hour or a second, your bounce rate will be unaffected.

      Regarding external links, you should definitely include them but don't put them in the first paragraph of your post, for example. You risk people wandering off to another site before you've had a good, solid chance to hook them with your content and they might forget to come back. Definitely include external links, where they add value, later in your post and make sure they open in a new window or new tab, just to make it easier for folks to get back to your site.

      Junaid, glad you liked it. I know pop-ups are effective but they are also annoying as all get-out. That's why I suggested slide-in CTAs cuz they're a happy medium. It also depends on the niche and definitely the language. Some of those popups try really hard to shame you into signing up and all that does is annoy the nuts out of people. Those really get on my nerves LOL

      It's basically a trade-off. You have to decide whether higher bounce rates are worth the extra subscribers you may or may not be getting. You could do a split-test and see if that popup is really getting you more subscribers than a slide-in CTA would and then figure out if the few extra subscribers is worth it in the long run.

      Don't you think, though, that having a popup show up and interrupt users while they're reading your content is even more annoying? I smell another split-test on the horizon LOL

      There is a third option, though. And that is offering a customized bonus for each post that people have to sign up for to get. So, say you write a post with 10 strategies for writing great headlines, you could offer a bonus that offers an additional 2 strategies and a swipe file of some effective headlines that people have to sign up for to download. It's definitely less intrusive and will likely have a better conversion rate than popups.
      hmm i happen to read one site before talk about bounce rate.

      actually the site show a range for different kind of site.

      they claim for those just Lead page , opt in page is nature to get high bounce rate from 70 to 90

      but in fact most website their bounce rate is on the high side. like from 60 to 80

      I even check up those popular website they also does have high bounce rate.

      that why I curious really will kill your site?

      Some folks in SEO section claim google don't care about bounce rate much important is number of organic views and social media influence on your site?
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  • Profile picture of the author eyouby
    very informative article man keep up the good work
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