Data & Performance

How to improve your bounce rate in 4 actionable steps

Written by Pim van Helten on 14, Apth 2021

Your website is one of the most important touchpoints of your customer experience. It goes without saying that it needs to perform well to attract, engage, and convert customers.

Your bounce rate is a key performance metric that can tell you how your website is performing. At the same time, it’s also one of the most misunderstood metrics in marketing. Don’t worry though, I’m here to debunk the myths. To begin, let’s start with the basics. 

What is bounce rate?

A bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who visit your website and leave without interacting with it further. It’s simply the amount of visitors who “bounce” off your site after viewing only one page.

Google Analytics measures the bounce rate of your individual web pages, and across your entire website. The main figure on your dashboard is your site-wide bounce rate. It’s the average number of bounces across all your web pages divided by the total number of site visits. The bounce rate for your individual web pages is the number of bounces divided by the number of visits on a specific page. 

Site-wide bounce rate

Bounce rates are contextual

There aren’t any hard boundaries for what’s considered a “good bounce rate” and what’s considered a “bad bounce rate” — it depends on the context. 

An average bounce rate can range from 45% to 65%. As a rule of thumb, a bounce rate that’s 40% or lower is good, while anything above 55% signals a need for improvement. But this isn’t always the case. 

For example, a high bounce rate on your contact page isn’t necessarily bad. Let’s say a visitor lands on your contact page. They find your company’s contact number and leave the page, because they now have the information they were looking for. Even if that visit leads to a conversion, it would still be considered a bounce.

A high bounce rate on your homepage, on the other hand, is cause for concern. Your home page is the main gateway to your website. It acts as a jump-off point to the rest of your website’s content. If visitors are bouncing off it, your page clearly needs work.

In short, your bounce rate shouldn’t be taken at face-value. You need to understand why visitors are leaving your page. Start asking yourself questions like: 

  • What is the purpose of your page?
  • How do web pages with similar content compare?
  • Will a lower bounce rate lead to more conversions and revenue?

How to improve your bounce rate

Once you apply context to your bounce rate, you’ll have a better idea of what needs improving. You can use the following four tips to lower your bounce rate: 

1. Have clear calls-to-action (CTA) on all your web pages

Your CTAs prompt visitors to engage with your website. Make sure your CTAs are clear, attractive, and easy to find on your web pages.

2. Start internal linking

Adding internal links to your page is a great way to keep visitors engaged and guide them through your site. This also helps with your SEO strategy, as it allows search engines to find, index, and navigate your site. 

If your page has external links, make sure that they open in a new tab or window, so visitors don’t leave your website when they click them. 

3. Use relevant keywords and meta-descriptions

Search engines use meta descriptions to show previews of your page. That way, potential visitors know what to expect when they click the link and land on your page. 

If your meta-descriptions don’t match the content on your page, chances are visitors will leave. So make sure to add compelling and concise descriptions with relevant keywords. 

4. Don't look at your bounce rate only

Bounce rates can be misleading. Analyze your bounce rate in combination with other website metrics, like the amount of time spent on your page, page load time, or scrolling speed. 

While these tips will help decrease your bounce rate, it’s important to remember that not all bounce rates need to be reduced. Your website’s ultimate goal is to engage your visitors and help you reach your business objectives. Don’t lose track of that!

Pim van Helten

Pim van Helten


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