What is Bounce Rate? 8 Ways to improve a site conversion

Is your bounce rate too high? Do you want to reduce your bounce rate? A high bounce rate is one of the most common web conversion killers. If the majority of your users are abandoning your website on the first page, then you don’t have a chance to convert them into subscribers or customers.

In general, user experience encompasses all aspects of the end-users interaction with the company, its services, and its products. it’s the overall feeling of a user while they are interacting with your website. Good user experience is when a user finds a website not only easy to use but also pleasing.

Creating a usable website that looks equally great on all platforms and devices is the first step in the direction. But, carefully watch out how your users behave and what influences their decisions.

What is Bounce Rate?

By definition, a bounce rate is a percentage of visitors that leave a webpage without taking any other action to the next page. Such as clicking on a link, filling out a form, or making a purchase.

A visitor can bounce from your site by clicking on a link to a different website, clicking the back button to leave your website, closing the open window/tab, typing a new URL, or due to a session time out (caused by web hosting errors).

What is Bounce Rate?

Now you’re probably thinking that’s just normal user behavior right? Well yes, it is, but there is such a thing as a good bounce rate vs bad bounce rate. A bounce rate is important for three main reasons:

  1. Someone that bounces from your site (obviously) didn’t convert. So when you stop a visitor from bouncing, you can also increase your conversion rate.
  2. Bounce Rate may be used as one of the Site Ranking Factors. In fact, one industry study found that Bounce Rate was closely correlated to first page Google rankings.
  3. A high Bounce Rate lets you know that your site (or specific pages on your site) has issues with content, user experience, page layout, or copywriting.

What is a Good Bounce Rate?

You may be wondering what is a good bounce rate? Well, the general rule of thumb is that: 80%+ is very bad and 70 – 80% is poor. While 50 – 70% is average, 30 – 50% is excellent and 20% or below is likely a tracking error. Particularly, due to duplicate analytics code, incorrect implementation of events tracking, third-party addons such as live chat plugins, etc.

The above metrics are a good start since the bounce rate varies across industries and the type of content you have. If you have a higher than average bounce rate, then it could be caused by one of the many reasons. Such as slow load time, poor navigation, bad design, poor usability, lack of clear Call to Action, etc.

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As an example, videos are highly engaging and grab attention more than text or even images. You can use a fullscreen video as a background, or add it next to your call of action. Videos are powerful tools. Where you can use animations, music, audio, narration, colors, and so many different forms of persuasion tools.

You can create a very effective video presentation with a small budget by hiring a freelancer. All in efforts to retain a good bounce rate.

How do I Reduce the Site Bounce Rate?

Despite all your efforts to reduce your site bounce rate, sometimes a user may still want to leave your website. It’s not your fault, maybe something came up in their personal life, and they just had to leave. Now you have two choices: you can either let them go, or you can convert them into a subscriber.

That’s why, for example, within the OptinMonster signature Exit-Intent® technology, you can track when a user is about to leave your website and show them a targeted message at the precise moment. This is a highly effective technique with a proven success rate.

Unfortunately, most websites just ask users for their email address. It allows them to stay in touch with the user by sending them relevant offers and eventually convert them into paying customers. You can also show a last-minute discount with your exit-intent popup.

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But, remember if a user decides not to avail of the offer, then they can just close the window and never come back again. Identifying and fixing the problems with your landing page can easily fix your high bounce rate problem too.

I will walk you through some of the most common pitfalls of higher bounce rates and how to fix them. Before you start, it’s a good idea to identify your top pages with the highest bounce rate.

You can do this by going to Google Analytics and clicking on Behavior » Site Content » Landing Pages. Knowing the top pages will help you identify the problem areas and fix them. Below are more steps to reduce your site bounce rates;

1. Optimize your Call to Action

Most users decide whether or not they like a website in the first couple of seconds. Often with just a simple glance at the visible area without scrolling.

This area differs from one device to another. And now that you know what your users are looking at, you can optimize this area. It should immediately describe what you are selling and there should be a prominently visible call to action.

Make your call to action clear and honest. Misleading users will create a bad user experience which is the number one reason for high bounce rate and low conversions. If you combine an exit offer with a subscription form, this gives your visitors the chance to stay in touch!

Typography or readability is not just limited to choosing the font size and color. You also need to make sure that the text on your website looks beautiful. There should be enough line spacing, padding, and margins to make the text look clean and beautiful.

2. Improve on your site speed

As I mentioned earlier, users make up their mind about a website in the first couple of seconds. You don’t want to waste this time showing them a blank page loading scripts and downloading content. Using tools like Pingdom and Google Page Speed, you can optimize every landing page on your site.

According to Strangeloop, a one-second delay can cost you 7% of sales, 11% fewer page views, and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction. To speed up your site, you should optimize your images, use a Content Delivery Network, add better caching, and consider switching to a faster hosting provider.

One of the quickest and easiest ways to keep your website speedy is by using a CDN. Find the right one for you on the list of the best CDN providers to speed up your website.

3. Utilize A/B testing and targeted landing pages

It’s possible that your headline or call-to-action is not working. That’s why it’s important to A/B test. Use different content strategies on each page and run A/B split tests to see how each of them performs. You can also create different landing pages, targeting different audiences, regions, keywords, etc.

If you are serving an international audience, then you can detect a user’s location and show them a localized landing page. Showing users content in their own language, currency, and cultural background greatly improves user experience.

Another important point to consider is the language and style you choose to use on your website. Use easy-to-understand language in a normal conversational tone.

4. Make use of high-quality images.

Images are another effective tool that you can use to decrease your bounce rate. So, use high-quality images to captivate your website user’s attention.

The main reason so many websites use high-quality photographs as fullscreen backgrounds is that they have proven to be very effective. Companies like Google that were famous for their plain white background and minimalistic layouts are now using high-quality images on their landing pages too.

Keep in mind, you can purchase professional photographs from various stock photography websites. There are several online websites that offer royalty-free images as well. You can use these high-quality images as fullscreen backgrounds, parallax backgrounds, background slides, or as inline images next to your call to actions.

5. Plan for your website content consistency

While many marketing experts would recommend you experiment with different content strategies, there is also something to be said about a consistent content plan. How can these two be achieved at the same time?

Actually, they can be, and many successful websites have them in place since the 90s. You need to make a content plan that allows you to use different content strategies at the same time. Take a look at BuzzFeed and how its content strategy includes a growing list of social content platforms, mediums, and formats.

From GIFs to slideshows, Snapchat to YouTube. If they think that their users would find something engaging, they use it. You may not be running a business like BuzzFeed, but your goal is exactly the same as Buzzfeed. You want users to stay on your website.

If you need ideas to create content on your website, then check out on the comprehensive list of 73 types of blog posts that are proven to work for some great ideas.

6. It’s important that you target your engaged users

More often, your engaged users can also bounce without taking any action. This is very common for blog posts and resources section. Whereby, the user came to your article, found what they wanted, and they leave (that’s normal).

But that doesn’t help your conversions. In this case, you want to show your users with the most relevant offer. For example, if a user lands on a blog post about cooking, then your offer should be a recipe book instead of fashion items.

Again, using the same OptinMonster tool on page-level targeting, you can show visitors customized offers based on the pages they visit, traffic source, and more. This will help you reduce your bounce rate, boost engagement, and conversions.

7. Make sure that you showcase your brand credibility

In reality, consumers are getting smarter every day. This means that they go through careful examination of an offer before they make up their minds. After the initial assessment of your product, consumers quickly look around to find out how reliable your site is.

On a clear note, it’s not that easy to trust a new business with your money or information. A new user doesn’t know how good your business is and what kind of reputation you have earned. Proudly display the glowing reviews of your product or services from third-party websites like Product Hunt.

By all means, showcase your awards, endorsements, certifications, quality scores, and industry affiliations. Make your website secure and display safety seals. This builds user trust so they’re comfortable handing out their credit card and personal information.

8. Let your customers have a say and make content readable

Of course, you’ll see it on many websites – a tiny little testimonials slider, showing a quote from one customer at a time. While it does the job, you can make it a lot more effective. Convert your testimonials into success stories with actual storytelling elements. Like the audio, video, illustrations to showcase your clients.

People love success stories and they would want to read more. You can also create a testimonials page where all you have is just user testimonials (like this one). By the same token, the majority of content on most websites is in text format. It is unfortunate that this important part of any website’s user experience is often the most neglected one.

However, it is one of the most important and crucial elements that could shape your site’s visual appeal. You need to make sure that the text on your website is easily readable on all devices. It shouldn’t be too small or else users will have to squint or zoom in to read it. Use font sizes that are large enough on smaller screens.

That said, below are more resourceful and related topic links;

  1. Landing Page | A Beginner’s Guide for SEO Webmasters
  2. Site Ranking Factors | 5 Best Criterias & 10 SEO Practices
  3. B2C Marketing | 5 Business Models to Use in Marketing
  4. Call to Action | 5 Benefits & 3 Simple Steps of CTA Creation
  5. Autoptimize | How to Minify your Site Data using a Plugin

Important Note: 


Google Optimize is an online split-testing tool from Google that plugs into your website and enables you to experiment with different ways of delivering your content. While facilitating three types of testing – A/B testingmultivariate testing, and redirect testing. Typically, Google Optimize is used for conversion rate optimization (in short CRO).

As of today, most marketing teams are structured to drive traffic toward websites, which then converts into leads for the sales team to close. Once this process starts to deliver results, marketers then seek to generate even more traffic, and hopefully even more success.

Although it might be an oversimplification, that’s the standard marketing playbook. A few marketing teams focus on getting more from existing traffic. And that’s where conversion rate optimization comes in. Through the use of a basic tool such as Google Optimize.

Here are 9 ways to leverage social proof to grow your business.

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