Bounce Rate Optimization: The Definitive Guide (2019)

Can you stand out tall behind your website and brag that every visitor spends around 10 minutes of his time around your content?

Few people will say YES but majority answers NO.

Question is why?

Everyone one keeps saying its impossible..

but the truth is ‘its 99% possible‘, check out Sarah Morgan’s blog and Lilach Bullock blog and see for yourself.

I could swore you had a great time surfing those website.

So whats the secret?

The deal is;

For you to hit this ’10 mins interaction’, you need to work on lowering your site bounce rate.

Yes i mean it ‘Work-out-your-bounce-rate‘.

In this post, I’m going to explain what a bounce rate is,

show; how you can check your site bounce rate,

and how to counter those creeping high bounce rate

Not only that. I will also share with you my secrets and tips to audit your Online store bounce rate.

definitely after this ‘Definite Guide’, you will know the reason ‘Why’ and ‘Whats’ driving those high figures.

I’ll also tell you some of my secrets for lowering bounce rate.

But first, lets talk ‘what is bounce rate Optimization?’.


What is Bounce Rate Optimization?

When a user visits your website and leaves immediately without spending time or interacting with your contents, that’s a “Bounce“.

Bounce Rate Optimization‘ (BRO) is the practice of optimizing your website to lower the rate at which number of users bounce out of your website without interacting or spending quality time with your blog contents.


What is Bounce Rate?

What does bounce rate mean? Why is bounce rate important?

Google defines bounce rate as “a single page session” but they weren’t clear enough.

Here goes a more simpler and easier definition;

Your bounce rate is the percentage of people that lands on your page but does not communicate, interact or browse further with your page content.

Bounnce rate insight
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Source: Kissmetrics

Bounce Rate is an automated metric that calculates the percentage of visitors/users that bounce off your website immediately.

How about calculating bounce rate?

You can calculate the percentage of numbers of people that exit your page using free tools like Google Analytics.


What is a High Bounce Rate?

A high bounce rate is a calculated percentage of High number of people bouncing out simultaneously from a website.

How high is considered high when it comes to checking your bounce rate on Google Analytics? Why is my bounce rate high?

You aren’t the only one asking.. Trust me!

I recieved a message on facebook, from a user asking “Why are bounce rates high?”

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Here’s the thing;

There are variables that determines what a good bounce rate is and how high bounce rate should be.

Variables like what kind of website you manage?, what you hope to achieve.

If its an ecommerce website, a low percentage of bounce out should be your target.

Study from Brafton showed that an average bounce rate for website should be 58.18% or lower

Another study from Tim showed that an average bounce rate should be 40% or lower.

Can they both be correct? So which bounce rate is better?

An ideal bounce rate of any website should be any figure lower than 45% and when your percentage is over 65% then its high.


What is Exit Rate?

There’s always a certain page on your blog that users usually exit from, dont you think!

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Exit rate pages (EXR) are most times over looked just like bounce rate.

Exit Rate are pages that most users abadon (ends their session) on your website.

With that, its time to know the real factors that causes high BR


How to check a sites bounce rate

Bounce rate is an automated metric, do you remember?

Since its automated, we need tools to check those bounces.

Tools like Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is an important tool for every digital marketers, entrepreneurs even blog owners.

Google Analytics can be used to check a site BA.

What are the things needed to have access to Google Analytics?

Frankly speaking you need not pay a dime to have access. its a free tool for us all provided by Google Workers. So long as you have a Gmail account.

Yep.. Just that!

You can see the bounce rate of your entire website from the dashboard of your Analytics account.

Google Analytics >> Audience >> Overview

GA Bounce rate dashboard
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One good thing about GA; it doesn’t just show you bounce rate of your site, it goes as far as showing you bounce score for each specific pages, posts, url’s of the domain.

Starting right from your site homepage to the blog page to the blog post and every other pages.

It also shows you worst performing pages BA scores, from which device, including seconds in which they optin your site and bounces out.

Its a great tool and i employ you start using immediately.

So what causes high bounce rate?


What causes high bounce rates

“Learn its origin before applying a fix” I remember when we do sing this loud back then in High School.

It isnt just lyrics anymore, its reality

Before you go out hunting for ways you can lower your bounce rate, Wont it be best if you had a brief teeny tinest clue to whats causing that high bounce rate of yours?

dont you think its a good thing knowing whats making your users quit?

Here are possible reasons why your having those high bounce score;


Website Load Times

Minutes that your Web pages takes to loads before opening can have a huge impact on bounce rate.

Fact is users dont have patience for website that takes forever loads, they just quit!

check website load times
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Your website should load nearly instantly. Anything longer than three seconds is far too long as far as users accessibility is concerned.

You can use tools like Gtmetrix to check your site load times.


Poor UX/Bad Website Designs

No user is going to read your contents if your site layout/ designs very bad (unresponsive).

They wont hesitate to click the X (back) button and end their sessions on your website. ironically thats a “high bounce”.

When it comes to site designs, you should keep users comfort in mind.

Talking of comfort, i’m talking designing whole website to be responsive on both desktop and Mobiles, making navigation round your site a whole lot easier, picking a good readable fonts.

You see this stuff ‘Pinch to Zoom’ where as before a user can read up a webpage on your site, they have to pinch the screen on their mobiles phones and then zoom.

Its a bad practice. its a call that you need to work on your designs.

You dont know how to design your site? Its okay

Go online, Talk to a Web designer or you can hire a Freelancer to build you one.

Your site responsiveness matters alot.


Poor Contents

Your contents is what brought them to your website, you should keep that in mind.

If your content sucks, they are definitely going to leave.

Sometimes lots of gramatical errors can be the cause. errors such as wrong spelling, wrong use of punctuation marks, can make a negative bounce impact.

Key Take away: Make sure to write out good quality contents.


Irrelevant Pop ups and Ads

Pop ups is an interesting way to increase conversion in a website but if used poorly can ruin your blog reputation.

Speaking of ads, i love ads because its one way to monetize your website but keeping too much ads most times irritates users.

Sites with too much ads and irrelevant pop ups usually have a high bounce rate.

Pro Tip: Use Pop ups and ads when necessary and not placing on every pages, anywhere.. it distracts the reader


Why is Bounce Rate Optimization Important?

Should I care about my website bounce score? Is bounce rate a ranking factor.. Is it really important?

Yes of course“, The rate at which people bounce in and bounce off your site should be strictly watched and never looked over.

Less i forget Optimizing High bounce rate is of great essence and very important! You should take note.

Heres why;

According to SEMrush, bounce rate is the 4th most important ranking factor that google takes into consideration to ranking sites content on serps.

The more users bounce off your site frequently, the more your brand draws red flag.

bounce rate infographis
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Source: Kissmetrics

There are quite number of reasons why users quits sites, such as not having the complete information of what they needs or Navigating round the sites seems nearly impossible.

Whatever the case may. Heres a one bitter truth

Google or any other search Engine takes all this into considerations when ranking content.

No search engine is ever going to rank any site thats has lesser info or bad ux designs, after all they are all after making users comfortable.


How to get started with Bounce Rate Optimization

Your very first step matters the most.

Your very first step towards optimizing Bounce rate should be ‘setting up goals‘.

Outlining what you hope to achieve is my point here.

Your Goal may be boosting interactions around your page content or aiming at keeping the bounce rate score to a minimum.

Either way its all A/B testing and its really important to keep those records before bringing it out wide.

Then once you’ve gotten a layout of what you hope to achieve, its best you jot down your current position (bench marks), that way youd know if you had an improvement.


Ride down to Google Analytics

You have your datas now (Your current Position + Your targets)

Great.

Its time to know real facts and details why your bounce rate keeps increasing.

What tools can i use to research bonce rate?

We’ve discussed that already.

For the sake of this part of our guide Its Google Analytics.

Google Analytics helps to show your actual pages and posts that has real low scores.

For example

“High Bounce out” in Ultimate Guides Topics, Case studies can be a mess for a Digital Marketing site.

Those kinds of post are curated to provide them with virtual traffic.

Using Google Analytics, you can pin point the exact pages people tends to bounce out the most.

drilling down GA Bounce Rate
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Knowing this exact pages that are faulting, makes your BR optimizations super easy.

Another “WOW” facts about Google Analytics; It also provides data for bounce for people using different mobiles like android, OS, Tablets.


Find Quantitative Data

Youve done your reasearch on Google Analytics!

thats Great but were not over yet.

You need to gather more and lots of real datas and facts.

Tools like Crazy Egg, Optimizely is can be of great assistance now.

These tools shows you how users are interacting with your contents.

Recall that More interactions = Lower bounce rate.

Another way of getting real datas? Pop ups

Remember what we said earlier about irrelevant pop up and how it can affects bounce rate?

Now we are are talking of the good pop ups.

Implementing good pops up can help in this scenerio.

Pop ups such as ‘Exit Intent Pop ups

Exit intent Pops up can help bring in more conversion by providing more give aways to keep your users focused.

I’ll show you how to make use of this kind of pop up later as we go.

Thats it for collecting datas in bulk.

Now how about collecting specific datas?

No worries next subtopic shows you how.


Grab Qualitative Data

Quantitative data is good. Getting straight to point answers better.

Its much easier fighting high bounce if you knew the main reason why they bounce out

If you want to know the real deals why users are really bouncing out your site rapidly, you can get this data using

  • In person Skype Interview
  • Live Chats within your site
  • Using question surveys
  • asking quiz

Definitely there’s over thousands of ways to get real facts from users why they bounce out.

asking quiz
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with that said, asking ‘the right questions‘ is the pure take away here.

For example;

Lets say you run an Ecommerce Website thats having a high bounce out in product pages or cart pages, You’d want to ask your current customers questions like;

  • Whats the one thing that drives you away from completing Purchases
  • Whats the one thing that scares you off from completing sign up forms

Their responses should be recorded and kept for an A/B Testing.


How to run A/B Testing

Picture this;

You had a room painted blue and another painted red,

You ask your friends ‘Which room do they like the most?’

Majority picked ‘red’.

This would mean the red room is more favorable? isnt that right?

Thats what A/B Testings is all about.

When it comes to A/B Testing in bounce rate, you are testing different variables of what you think may be the possible cause and try a fix.

In real life scenerio

You noticed getting a High bounce rate from your landing page.

What do you?

You have to do some brainstorming to find out possible reasons for the bounce out.

things like;

With optins’, is my bounce rate higher? How about ‘without optins‘?

Probably button colors the CAUSE

is my current button colors pleasing to the eyes? How about ‘with a different color‘?

This are all A/B Testing. Simply trying to figure out which works best.


Collect Results and Scale

You’ve done your A/B Testings, Time to put all that up to good use.

Now we know ‘this color isnt a nice fit, this should fits’ through our earlier testings.

Well we arent entirely sure. thats why we need to scale our observations.

How do we do that?

By bringing ‘our findings’ all out in open.

You need to put those out LIVE and watch if they converts.

If the performance seems pretty impresive, you implement fully.

In some cases, results may not be that impressive, you need to go back to testings and make some new observations (i.e try out a new different colors, make those older buttons bigger)

Definitely you must get a solution.


How to Improve High Bounce Rate

Improving bounce rate is our center of discusion for this guide.

Lowering High Bounces is not that difficult as it sounds.

There are some good fixes for you to get you started.

Listed below are ways to improve High Bounce Rate


Improve Website Load Times

How important is site speeds to users?

Study from Brian Dean shows that the average site speed for any site should be 1-3 secs, any thing higher than that becomes a problem.

Why?

One real truth is Users always look out for sites that offers what they need.

If you have great content thats super but if your site takes forever to loads thats a bad call.

The slower the website, the higher the bounce rate. and speed is one of Googles ranking factor.

If its slow.. Your ranking gonna be cranking.

So what do you do?

Try compressing images before uploading to your site using plugins like shortpixel, minify. Also compress JS and CSS codes and ensure servers sides okay.

Whats your current Page Speed Score? Use Pingdom Speed Test to find out.

check website load times
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Head over Pingdom site, and type in your website address.

You should see how many seconds your site took to load.

The bottom line is a slow site gonna knock users off.. Heres a post that explains more about Page speed


Make use of Infographics, Videos and Images

Human loves Visuals.

It helps keeps our brains relaxed.

No ones going to enjoy reading bunch of ‘just’ texts… its gonna bored any reader out.

Except your Famous Brian Dean or Neil Patel.

Lets be truthful here!

Adding lots and lots of images, screenshots, videos helps readers better understand the topic.

For example;

If you hear or read something, chances are you are likely going to remember 10% of it in three days time.

However, if you see a picture, video even screenshot, you are likely going to remember 65% of it in some days time.

Thats why i try to add as many images, videos as possible so you’d understand better of what im talking about.


Write for Readers not Robots

This era of blogging now involves you making use of keywords.

Its been said that you need to research keywords.

Not just any keywords unless you have a high authourity.. but low keywords with high search volume.

All those itsy witsy for easy ranking.

This seo ranking stuff has made lot of bloggers to start optimizing for keywords and not the end readers.

Example Keyword Stuffing BA
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something like that in the screenshot above.

Yes you narrowly succeeded in ranking those keywords. but how about the user thats going to digest those words.

How would the reader understand all those jargons of yours?

If your sentences are not constructed well to be readable, they are definitely going to leave.

I’m not saying you should not research your keywords. Rather do this!

Get your keywords, use them in your sentences but be sure those sentences makes good meaning.

Remember you are composing your content for readers not robots.


Consider Font size

Font! Picking an idea font can be tricky but one thing certain for sure.

Font matters when it comes to Engaging Readers.

Heres an illstration.

example of a bad font for blog post
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and a second illustration

Example of a good font
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What difference did you spot among those images?

Both fonts great! but how about readability?

The second looks much more simpler and easier to read at first glance right?

Your stylish font isnt what brought them to your site, whats important is your content value.

Readability plays a vital role for reducing bounce rate and increasing interaction.

Heres a list of Great Fonts you can try using.

  • Arial
  • Sans-serif
  • Poppins
  • Nunito

Another thing to look out for is font sizes.

Is your font too small to read? It may be what’s making ‘them’ bounce out.

Take a look at this screenshot, any observations?

bad font size
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how about this image

good font size
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If you watch those screenshot carefully, you noticed they both has same informations but in regarding how visible.

The second image is much better than the first. reason that the font size was bold enough for quick reading than the first.

Your font size could be what is driving readers off your sites. So?

Heres what you do;

If your initial font size was 15 px, increasing it to 16px or 17 px should fix that up.

Bottom line is choose a font and a font size thats bold enough and readable.


Interlink your pages

Interlinking pages is one great way of show casing other blog post and articles in an article as reference.

Interlinking also helps boosts your rankings on Google or any search engine.

Here’s an example of an interlink pages on my post on wordpress security guide

example of interlink pages
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So ‘How does interlinking blog post reduces high bounce rate?’

If you were linking out to relevant pages on your site, you are indirectly showing them other contents (More guides, more topics) on your site that are valuable.

Users are likey going to go through your links so they’d get more information on the topic you were writing about

With that you are likely closing up chances of getting a High bounce rate.


Bounce Rate Optimization for Ecommerce Sites

A high bounce rate could be very disastrous even for an ecommerce website.

For example;

If your ecom site bounce rate very high, its gonna be diffifcult to rank your products first page on google search organically.

And if you cant rank your products first page on google, how would you generate sales.

It will be difficult unless you do paid ads. but then again its a 50/50 chance for sales.

Now you see why optimizing your Ecommerce site high bounce is necessary.

Here’s how you can reduce an ecommerce bounce rate.


Ensure Users lands on the right Page

You run ads for your store to get more sales! thats great

But have you sat back to check through if your ads corresponds with each products?

I see many store owners fail at this..

If your ads dont corresponds with each products page, your bounce out score gonna be high.

For example;

You were scrolling down your facebook feed and an ads just popped in

Lets say ads abouts a set of 2 pretty comfortable chairs

The ads looks catchy, the chairs looks nice.

Definitely its expectant that i’m going to click through the ads right?

I then clicked through the ads, hoping to read more about the set of 2 awesome comfortable chairs, check through people feedbacks of the product and then make purchase.

The page loads but instead of the sets of chair, i’m being taking to a page that talks about sports.

What do you think happens next.

Well a thing sure here and thats ill definitely quit that page.

Thats how it is (is that simple) and thats a +1 bounce out from that very user but what of a scenerio where bunch of many users goes through that same process and bounce out too.. hell that site bounce rate going to be very high.

Ensuring that users lands on the each right pages, the take away here.


Make your Money Page Loads fast

‘Money Pages’ what are they?

Money pages are pages were transactions are made.

Pages that asks for private details, such as credit cards, fill in forms.

If those kinds of pages loads really slow, i bet you your customers are going to quit and look for alternatives else where.

Pro Tip: Optimize your Money Pages for speed.


Be smart with Exit Intent Pops up

Pops up can be annoying most times! I agree

Wrong placement of pops up can make locating the ‘Quit’ button a lot faster! I still agree

But it doesnt really mean adding a few pops ups to your site is entirely bad…

what matters most is the type of pops up you tend using.

Have you ever tried out Exit Intent Pop up?

I found out that Exit Intent Pops up works best infact thats what Neil patel uses in gaining more conversions.

Exit Intent pop ups are pops that comes once everytime you think of heading the ‘exit’ button.

How does Exit Intent Pops up helps? Go on ask me

Lets say i run an Online Store and i have various products that are up for sales.

A user lands in one of my products online looking to make purchase.

After reading through he feels discouraged to buy the item..probably chances are prices were very high.

He is definitely going to bounce out right.

Creating Exit intent Pops up with similar products on my sites that offers discount/slashed prices can help keep him engaged.

Ecom Pop up
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Here’s what happens!

He’s definitely not going to quit immediately and he is surely going to check out the discounts.. anyways its a win/win for both parties.

Moment of bringing in Pops up, types of Pops up to be used and places of Pops up are key take aways here.


Ensure using clear language in your Product Reviews

Reviews have been a boon for prospective customers to get a different perspective on the product and see if it really fits their need and expectation.

Since your trying to win them over you should be straight and avoid jargabons like slangs.

Writing a review and mixing it up with local slangs like hey, watcha doing… People are going to think this is just one other silly post item.

Your writing a review for christ sake, why dont you go straight to the point.

Your words are what compells me to buy your products. not some nasty holla greetings.

Adam Preiser of wpcrafter makes a great example of a great reviews.

Adams Preiser Review
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Adams review on Brizy Page builder

Reading through his review gonna hook you up so badly that you’d want to get that product his promoting instantly.

Yep! It pays to be straight foward with reviews


Optimize for Mobile Buyers

If you only optimize your online store for desktop users alone, your wrong!

Fact is your also slashing your products income by half.

Nowadays customers makes purchases through their mobile phones.

If your store website not responsive on mobile, they are surely gonna bounce out. Not only that.. you loose sales too.

Dont know how to code? Get a professional.

They will definitely charge a fee but its totally worth it. after all you will definitely make tripple much what you paid that professional in no time via your store.


Conclusion

I really hope you enjoyed my indepth guide to bounce rate optimization.

Now i’d love to hear you

Which technique are you gonna try out first in lowering your bounce rate?

Are you gonna start with optimizing your site for speed or working on making your site responsive on both desktop and mobile?

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below!

I’d be much happier if you shared this guide on facebook or share a tweet via twitter.

Hi, I'm Henry Obilor, founder of WhyteTips. Whytetps is a knowledge driven hub aim at guiding bloggers to start, grow and scale their blogs to profitable businesses. We provide actionable tips to help you leave a boss free life.

29 thoughts on “Bounce Rate Optimization: The Definitive Guide (2019)”

  1. Very deep post and nicely explained each & every thing about bounce rate & all other factors which are very important for a website. Thanks for sharing such a nice information.

  2. Henry, this guide is awesome buddy. Write for readers, not robots, yes dude, you nailed it. People stick around if you stay on topic and publish content tailored for humans. Make it sound chatty. Inspired post.

    Ryan

  3. Great post Henry! I’ve bookmarked it to go through more thoroughly later on today. I considered myself to have a low bounce rate but now I’m thinking it could do with some work. A very informative post, thank you!

    Anne

  4. Great article, with great easy to use tips to change your bounce-rate.
    And a very good explanation of the definition ‘bounce-rate’.

    Thank you for this information.

  5. Write for Readers, not Robots…I love it! This is a great guide for people to optimize their blogs or websites for increasing time on the site. Personally, I HATE all types of pop ups. I understand their benefits to capture emails and such but sometimes I visit a site that wants me to follow them on 8 different socials and they do it all via pop ups!
    Also, I think infographics is something I am personally going to start working on in the near future as like you said most people on the web love visuals!

  6. Very informative, Henry. Well done. I hate looking at my bounce rate but I’m happy if its under 65%. People are impatient these days so I try to engage with pictures and quality content.

  7. Hey Henry,

    Amazing post buddy. Bounce rate is not directly affect SEO but many SEO studies proved that It does affect SEO indirectly.

    I’ve been focusing to improve the bounce rate of my website and after proper interlinking and improving my website speed I saw good improvements.

    Either way, thanks for providing such valuable content. Really appreciate your work

    Best Regards,
    Tushar Dey

  8. Hi Henry

    This is really fabulous.

    I just added it to my Pocket list of top-notch blogging guides.

    Reducing bounce rate is ultimately about keeping people on your blog so you can build a relationship with them.

    SEO is fine, but building a loyal, satisfied audience is what you really want.

    So first, always is content.

    Because like you say, bad content really sucks.

    It defeats the whole purpose of blogging.

    For myself, I’m really interested in build a “mobile-first” site, rather than mere mobile friendly.

    Like you point out, people really don’t want to “pinch to read.”

    And Google really doesn’t want them too, either, BTW.

    I’d love to hear more about that… maybe another post focused on that would be incredible.

    But this is actually pretty incredible, too.

    Nice job.

    -Donna

  9. Hi Henry,
    Your article is fantastic, and I already shared it on social media. Bounce rate is a problem marketer re struggling to deal with, which is why this post is timely and evergreen. It is worth bookmarking for future references. Also, your tips for reducing the bounce rate are practical. I love the concept of A/B testing. The words sound like a complicated marketing strategy. But when you dive into it, it is straightforward to perform an A/B test. Your article makes it even easier to do. And don’t be surprised, I might link to it.

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