Quick Actionable Steps To Lower Your Website Bounce Rate

9 April 2016

Lower website bounce rate

Bounce rate refers to the amount of users who land on your website and leave without visiting any more pages. A high bounce rate (usually 60% and above) is bad for business.

Why? Well, if users are leaving your website as soon as they arrive, it means you’re losing out on leads and sales. It also sends a signal to the search engines that the content on your website isn’t very compelling and so you tend to drop down the rankings.

A high bounce rate can occur for a number of reasons, they include:

  • Bad website design
  • Lack of quality content
  • Incorrect keyword targeting
  • No SEO optimisation
  • Poor paid traffic campaigns

The good news is that if you’ve never done anything to improve your bounce rate before, by following my 4 tips you’ll be able to achieve a lower website bounce rate instantly.

  1. Add a search bar
  2. Speed up your WordPress website
  3. Create more internal links
  4. Have a mobile responsive website
  5. Summary

1. Add a search bar

One main cause for high bounce is that users are unable to find what they are looking for on your website. Some don’t have the patience to click through various menu options to find what they need and instead leave. To resolve this you should consider adding a search bar to your website.

Place it in a highly visible area (ideally above the fold) and have it visible on every page. I love the plugin WP Ultimate Search, it’s easy to install and great to lower bounce rate.  

2. Speed up your WordPress website

Did you know that 25% of all website traffic will leave your website if a page takes 4 or more seconds to load? When shopping online, a study revealed that 57% of people don’t want to wait longer than 3 seconds before they consider leaving an online store.

Speed is of the essence and a fast load time keeps more people on your website.

You can test the speed of your WordPress website by visiting Pingdom.com. If you haven’t already, I suggest installing the following WordPress plugins to speed up your website and lower your bounce rate:

  • WP Optimize
  • WP Smush.it
  • BJ Lazy Load
  • W3 Total Cache

After installing these plugins run another speed test and compare the difference in load times.

3. Create more internal links

Bounce rate is the total number of people who failed to view another page on your website. To increase the likelihood of users visiting more pages, where it makes sense to, place at least two internal links on every page to content your audience will find of value. (Avoid placing internal links on landing pages or sales pages as you don’t want to distract your audience when you’re trying to get them to take action on something.)

If you run a blog, the WordPress Related Posts plugin is a great tool as it lists other blog posts that users may enjoy reading on your website at the bottom of each blog post.

4. Have a mobile friendly design

In 2016 there are no excuses for not having a responsive website (mobile friendly). If your website’s bounce rate is in the high 80%~, I’d suspect a huge contributing factor is because your website is not responsive for mobile devices.

Over half of all website traffic today is mobile and while businesses to this day say “we don’t care about mobile traffic”, they must.

There are thousands of WordPress themes that all offer mobile friendly interfaces. If you’re unsure whether your website is mobile friendly or not, take Google’s Mobile Friendly Website Test to find out.


A high website bounce rate is a signal to Google that your website lacks value. If your bounce remains high for a prolonged period of time it can damage your SEO efforts.

Not only that, but a high bounce rate will also mean that users are not taking responding to anything on your website. You will be able to learn your website’s bounce rate by visiting Google Analytics, take a look at yours score and use my 4 tips to lower it immediately.

Vicky Etherington

Vicky Etherington has been running her own online marketing agency since 2003, and in 2015 transitioned to working with coaches and therapists to teach them how to create their own client-attracting websites. 

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