How to Reduce Your Bounce Rate in Five Steps

Encouraging people to read your site content is probably one of your goals as a site owner; however, once visitors land on your site, it’s even more important that they stick around long enough to do so.

If you’re noticing a pattern of visitors who view one page on your site and then leave, they likely came to your site and didn’t find what they were looking for, or they had poor experiences. This leads to having a high bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing a single page).

If you’re experiencing a high bounce rate, read on to learn how to keep visitors on your site longer.

How do I determine my bounce rate?

Bounce rate data comes directly from Google Analytics. Connecting Google Analytics to your Jetpack site is straightforward, though you will need a Premium or Professional plan to use it. You can view your bounce rate on the Audience Overview page within your analytics section.

A screenshot from Google Analytics

How to reduce your bounce rate with Jetpack

Jetpack offers several tools that can help to reduce your bounce rate.

1. Enable Related Posts on individual blog posts

When visitors are directed to your site from a Google search or by following a link on social media, your blog posts are probably the first things they see. By enabling Related Posts, you give visitors the chance to read more posts about the same topic, and explore similar posts from your archives. Exposing your visitors to more content also helps you convert them into customers.

Here are a few tips to get the most out of Related Posts:

  • Opt for a grid format to give Related Posts more room, and to make them more noticeable.

  • Enable post thumbnails to display your related content in a more visually appealing way.

  • Customize the section title, encouraging visitors to click through and read your other posts.

You can modify these settings by visiting Jetpack’s settings page as shown below.

Customizing related posts in Jetpack

2. Break up text with images and galleries

Long paragraphs of text can make your blog posts harder to read, and many people prefer to skim content. You can cater to this audience by writing concise paragraphs broken up by subheadings to make posts easily scannable. This can encourage visitors to read your content in its entirety.

To add a bit of variety to your posts, you can also break up your text with images. Images are a creative way to add more depth to your story. So, it pays to go the extra mile and make sure each post includes an image or two.

Another benefit of adding images to your posts is that it makes your site more social media-friendly. Social Media Examiner’s 2016 Industry Report details how 74 percent of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing, as it allows them to drive additional traffic to their websites.

But, what if you want to take this a step further by adding variation to how your images are displayed, or what if you have multiple images that you want to insert into your posts? Use Tiled Galleries to create and display image galleries in three different styles: a rectangular mosaic, a square mosaic, or a circular grid.

One gallery display option in Jetpack

It’s worth mentioning that to save space, captions only appear with the rectangular and square tiled layouts when a visitor hovers over them.

3. Include the option to search

A great way to make sure that visitors can easily locate the information they’re looking for is by including a search box on your site. This allows them to enter the exact terms they’re looking for and find relevant results.

Professional plans add more functionalities to the Search feature. The search widget, which is powered by Elasticsearch, enables you to use a search box, sorting controls, and custom filters. This way, visitors can fine-tune their queries with categories, dates, post types, and more.

4. Make your site responsive

Responsive websites (sites that configure themselves to work across various screen types and sizes) have gone from luxury to necessity. According to research from We Are Social and Hootsuite, more than half of 2017’s worldwide site traffic was generated by way of mobile phones.

Responsive web design can also help you reduce bounce rates, improve conversions and search engine rankings, and provide your visitors with the best possible experiences.

Jetpack can help to make your site responsive in a few ways:

  • Themes: The first step towards ensuring that your website is responsive is to use a responsive theme. With Jetpack, you have access to more than 100 professionally-designed themes, and are given even more options through paid plans. You can filter these by category or functionality to find the perfect theme for your site.

  • Mobile Themes: If you aren’t ready to switch desktop themes, then enabling a mobile-friendly theme will display your content in a clean and uncluttered manner when viewed on smaller screens.

  • Responsive Videos: If you plan on using video as a part of your content offering, make sure to enable Responsive Videos so that mobile users can enjoy them without any technical issues.

Choose from a wide variety of Jetpack themes

5. Proofread your content

It’s crucial that there are no glaring typos or grammatical errors within your pages or blog posts. Aside from making you look unprofessional, a post containing a lot of errors is distracting, which might cause visitors to leave your site.

Save your visitors (and yourself) from the frustration by taking advantage of Jetpack’s proofreading feature. Using After the Deadline technology, Jetpack checks your spelling, grammar, style, and provides options and functionalities like complex phrases and double negatives.

Enable Jetpack's proofreading features to check your spelling

Lower your bounce rate to increase your conversions

Reducing your bounce rate increases the chances of converting visitors into fans, customers, and clients.

Did we miss anything? Share tips for how to reduce your bounce rate in the comments section!

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Comments

  1. Seomakers says:

    I totally agree that to increase the net conversion rate, aside doing promotion and marketing to increase the traffic, the best and very fundamental thing that can be done to retain the traffic for a longer period of time on the page is through following the above mentioned points, especially creating a professional looking content and optimizing the site to be responsive towards the user. I would also like to add that if the loading time of the page is too high, than also the chances of bounce rate increases. Thanks for these tips will certainly recommend it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. tuhamworld says:

    I don’t stay long on sites that are not responsive which is why it is very important to have a responsive theme.

    Great share here

    Like

  3. Cheri Isom says:

    Very common points to reduce bounce rate. Anyway, is there any standard ratio of bounce rat for blog?

    Like

  4. Nathan says:

    Doing something against a high bounce rate can be important to increase your conversion rate. But also for improving your ranking in Google or other search engines. The longer people stay on your website, the better search engines thinks your website is.

    Like

  5. I follow related posts, attractive but related images/video to reduce the bounce rate. The another important matter is the post/article must clear to understand.

    Whatever, I will also follow your tips. Thanks.

    Like

  6. Bassic Sax says:

    I do all those things, yet my bounce rate is still fairly high. Why? Because people come to my site looking for info on a specific thing, and once they’ve read it, they move on.

    I agree with everything in this article, but it’s worth noting that depending on the what kind of site you have–and what your audience is looking for–all the encouragements listed here (and more), are not necessarily going to reduce a site’s bounce rate. Sometimes it’s just the way it is, and that’s OK too.

    If we as owners focus on good, original content, then the audience will come. Sometimes we just have to focus on that, and the rest will take of itself.

    Like

  7. BDO says:

    Agree with all points… will add one more…
    6. Internal linking.
    I would really like to see an auto-linking feature on Jetpack, as internal linking is really important and there are many blogs/websites need help with it.

    Like

  8. Good tips but …

    > Long paragraphs of text can make your blog posts harder to read, and many people prefer to skim content.

    I don’t want skim readers. I don’t want short attention span readers. I want people willing to read what has been written and ruminate on it. People with short attention span defificit disorder can go skim the headlines at CNN.

    Let’s stop writing shitty content for those people.

    Like

  9. Decreasing bounce rate is sometimes good, so I’m not arguing against the advice above. But a high bounce rate isn’t always bad. Not all sites are monetized for eyeball numbers or meant to be “sticky” — some are to-the-point landing pages. It SHOULD be higher on many sites, especially as we ignore the fold and have most useful information on the front page. If a visitor gets what they need on the first screen, such as a completable call-to-action, that’s golden. On such sites, getting lost in page views without action makes a low bounce rate a negative metric.

    Like

  10. James says:

    Nice steps to reducing bounce rate but do you think your no. 2 step applies to all forms of blogger’s?

    “2. Break up text with images and galleries”.

    Well, I so much enjoyed your article.

    Like

  11. I would also include optimizing page load speed in the list. Reducing image sizes, minimizing css and js loaded on the page. Speed of loading content is key – if the visitor needs to wait too long they bail easily.

    Like

  12. My host has never told me that you can buy plans to better suit blog articles dang man that’s cold.

    Like

  13. Biggsy says:

    For some pages it’s ok if you have a high bounce rate? If it’s a standalone blog post which doesn’t link to anything else that’s relevant on your website and/or answers everything the visitor was looking for in the one place then it could well have a high bounce rate, but they’ve left satisfied. If the time on page is high then fine.

    Like

  14. This says that I can enable Google Analytics with either the Premium or the Professional Plan. I have the Premium, but the settings say I need to Upgrade for Google Analytics. SEO is not relevant to my site (a literary Zine). Plugins could be useful, but at this point my site works very well without them. So, at this time, Google Analytics is the only thing I would want from the Professional Plan. It seems a steep price just to get that access.

    Like

    • mando d says:

      It’s free and you can set it up. I just did it. This video shows you how:

      To put it in the header, you can use the “Insert headers and footers” plugin. That was way easier for people who don’t use code, like myself. Then go to Google Analytics and check out your stuff. Note: it took me a day to get results.

      Like

  15. I am sorry but I was expecting something new and groundbreaking, I already knew about these and implemented them and nothing has changed…

    Like

  16. Sukanta Rakshit says:

    Bounce Rate is crucial to look for of a website. When you are getting traffic but users are not taking any actions like: Visiting another page, signup for newsletter, adding some item in cart etc. then bounce rate goes high!

    To reduce the bounce rate, every page of your website must be a sort of landing page with well engaging content that will be loved by your users.

    Like

  17. Tod Raines says:

    um, one big problem with activating ‘related posts’ – it also adds related products in the bottom of the description area for your products on WooCommerce. This is a problem as there is already a ‘related products’ area and so having the two is very confusing.. This needs to be fixed.

    Like

  18. This is a very nice article given the effects of bounce rates on websites today. The solutions given here are quite great and good enough to reduce any websites bounce rate. High bounce rates could be the bane of ones website.

    Like

  19. Victoria says:

    What is the safe percentage you should have as a bounce rate? Or is there a safe maximum?

    Like

    • Adam says:

      Victoria,

      Each site’s bounce rate will be different, and what it “should” be is highly dependent on what type of site you run.

      If your site is largely content-driven, for example, you’d expect the bounce rate to be lower, since the goal there would be to have people read lots of your content. If, on the other hand, your site is a simple landing page with an email signup form, your bounce rate might be really high (which is fine), since there’s only one page to actually look at!

      This page explains more:

      https://www.gorocketfuel.com/the-rocket-blog/whats-the-average-bounce-rate-in-google-analytics/

      Thanks!

      Like

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