10 Simple Ways To Reduce the Bounce Rate of Your WordPress Site


A lot of website owners think that getting traffic to their site is the hard part. Although it may seem difficult in the early stages, there’s an even more important metric you’ll want to keep track of. Your bounce rate.

Having a low bounce rate is more valuable than achieving high-traffic numbers. A large and disinterested audience is less valuable than a highly engaged, smaller audience.

Below, we dive into what your bounce rate actually is and why it’s important that it’s as low as possible, and we offer some tips to help you reduce your existing bounce rate.

What Is the Bounce Rate?

Your bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who land on your site and end up leaving after viewing a single page. It’s an important indicator of user experience and can even reflect poorly on your search engine rankings if it’s too high.

Lowering your overall bounce rate means that you have highly engaged users who are much more likely to value your content. High bounce rates are usually reserved for sites that don’t offer their visitors enough tangible value.

Why Is Bounce Rate Important?

When a user lands on your site and immediately hits the back button, it will be very difficult to build a relationship with that person. People who stick around your site and view multiple pages are much more likely to join your list, or even buy something from you.

You can’t build an authoritative site, or a name for yourself in your space, while having high bounce rates. The average bounce rates will differ depending upon your industry, but typical lead generation sites hover around a bounce rate of 30 to 40%.

However, if you currently have high bounce rates, that doesn’t mean the quality of your site or content is low; you could simply have a few design red flags that are throwing off your visitors.


10 Ways to Lower Your Bounce Rate

If your bounce rate is too high, then it’s time to start experimenting with your site to try and bring that percentage down. Below, we offer ten different ways in which you can lower your bounce rate and keep your visitors coming back for more.

1. Study Your Analytics

Your existing analytics data will give you an idea of which pages are the highest performing, and which pages your users are scurrying away from. To fix your problems, you need to have an idea of what’s working and what isn’t.

Only once you have an understanding of what your visitors like and what’s scaring them away, you can begin to optimize your site and decrease your bounce rate accordingly.

2. Improve Website Speed and Performance

If your website takes too long to load, then your visitors won’t stick around. You can’t expect your visitors to wait for longer than two seconds. If website speed or overall performance is an issue, then this is something you should fix right away.

To get a benchmark performance number, run your site through a tool like Pingdom. Then try some of the following:

  • Installing a caching plugin
  • Reducing the file size of your images
  • Upgrading your host beyond shared hosting
  • Using a CDN

3. Make Internal Linking Intuitive

To keep users on your site, it’s helpful to link out to relevant content you’ve created. But beyond interlinking your own posts together, it’s important to also have sidebar links featuring popular and relevant posts.

Also, be sure that your navigation bar is intuitive and easy to use. If you have too many drop-downs or confusing navigation options, your visitors won’t stick around to figure them out.

Finally, it’s important to have all of your external links open up in a new tab. Otherwise, whenever visitors click the link, they’ll be taken off your site, and they might never come back.

4. Focus on High-Quality Content

High-quality content should be the backbone of your website. Focus on creating content that’s informative, useful, easy to read, and that truly helps to solve your readers’ problems.

However, it’s not enough to write lengthy content and call it a day; your content also needs to be optimized so it’s easy for your readers to digest. Employ the following tips to create content that’s easy to read:

  • Use short paragraphs
  • Break your content up with relevant subheadings
  • Choose a font size and style that works on the web
  • Minimize your color selection
  • Use bullets and lists to break down content

Finally, make sure that each page on your site has a strong call to action that tells your visitors the next action to take.

5. Create Enticing But True Headlines

If you have dishonest headlines, then your readers won’t stick around to read your content. Your headlines should make a promise that you deliver in the rest of your content.

You can also build curiosity and intrigue through your content with your subheadings, where you build on your initial promise, and finally reveal the answer towards the end of your post.

6. Improve Website Responsiveness

The number of people who will access your site from smartphones, tablets, and other devices continues to grow. If your site doesn’t function properly on a small screen, then your users won’t engage with your site.

It’s 2017, you need to have a site that performs well and looks good, no matter the screen size.

7. Be Careful With Ad Placement

Your site might make a nice profit from advertising, but it’s important to balance advertising with the experience of your visitors. If your ads are too invasive, then they can end up hindering the reading experience and raising your bounce rate.

If you do use advertising, make sure to test your ad placement so you can optimize ad performance without sacrificing the overall reading experience.

8. Avoid Overlay Popups (If Possible)

Overlay popups tend to convert at a very high rate, but they also sacrifice user experience. Your goal should be to delight your users, not just capture their email addresses at all costs.

Overlay popups that are hard to close, or a plethora of pop-ups and slide-up opt-in boxes, will only decrease the user experience. Test the placement of opt-in forms so you can integrate them into your site as seamlessly as possible.

9. Strong Heuristic Design

The overall design of your site is a crucial element in determining whether or not people will actually stay on your site. If someone lands on your site and they’re greeted with yellow text on top of a black background, they won’t stay and read anything you’ve published. Your site should have a very clean and pleasing design.

For every page of your site, determine a specific course of action you’d like your visitors to take. Then design each page and post to reflect that goal. Don’t be afraid to cut the elements that just add clutter to your site.


10. Fix Any 404 Errors

Finally, you need to fix any 404 errors that you currently have. If you have Google Webmaster Tools set up, you can see which pages on your site are causing 404 errors. Then you can either use redirects, or create a 404 resource page that encourages your visitors to stick around and check out something else.

If you want a site that converts and becomes a true asset for your business, then you need to keep the traffic you get. Reducing your bounce rate will help to plug any conversion holes and put your existing traffic to use.

About The Author

Carl Taylor

Carl Taylor is the Founder & CEO of Automation Agency. For the past 10 years Carl has been building businesses and marketing them online through the use of Sales Funnels, Email Marketing Automation, Landing Pages, and Wordpress Websites. Carl is also a #1 author and highly sought after speaker and consultant whose work has impacted thousands of businesses across various industries worldwide.