A Guide to Reduce Your Bounce Rate and Raise Interaction on Your Website

by Sherice Jacob

Last updated on July 25th, 2018

Got a high bounce rate?

Have you tried everything you can think of to make it lower, but without success?

Don’t worry — there’s good news.

Here are seven little-known ways to reduce your bounce rate and encourage longer visits (with more interaction) on your site …

1. Freshen-Up Your Content

If your old posts from 2005 are still showing in the search engines, visitors may click, take one look at the date, and then bolt.

They may never even bother to check the newer content you’ve created.  If your older posts are still getting traffic, why not freshen them up and make them more current?

Changes in technology and trends make nearly any post “refreshable,” so take a stroll down archive lane and see what you can do to modernize it.

A few ideas:

  • Update statistics
  • Find new examples
  • Add a case study
  • Incorporate new insights

2. Simplify that Wall of Text

No matter what the topic, seeing a huge, scrolling wall of text will scare any visitor off.

Their brain will kick into “its not worth the trouble to read all this” mode and they’ll move on to something that looks easier to read.

Consider “chunking” your text into meaningful, mentally digestible “bites” (one idea per paragraph is best).

Once you’ve done that, consider adding in graphics that make everything even easier to understand.

Charts, diagrams, graphs, illustrations are all great choices. They do the work of a thousand words, and could mean the difference between scaring off visitors and getting them to stick around.

charts are easier to read

3. Know Your Numbers

Do you know your industry’s average bounce rate?

Trying to reduce your bounce rate without a goal in mind, is like shooting at a target while blindfolded.

You’ll get there a lot quicker by knowing what you’re aiming for.

Also, knowing your industry’s average bounce rate can help keep you sane. That’s because you won’t be trying to lower a number that’s perfectly normal for your industry, a number that will stay there no matter what you try to do.

These industry standards are from an infographic on KISSmetrics:

bounce rates by industry

One more thing to note: Sometimes a high bounce rate is a good thing. But you’ll only know this if you know your industry’s numbers.

For example, affiliate sites and sites that make money through advertisers want to have a high bounce rate. That’s because a visitor leaving your site to an advertiser’s page means more money for you.

Either way, don’t look at bounce rate as an indicator of your success or failure.

As you get more traffic from various sources, some of those are going to be high quality, and some are going to be low quality.  Some of your posts are going to be the perfect match for your audience, and others will find the information too technical, or too basic for their needs.

So if you’re already at your average bounce rate, focus on the conversions you’re getting from different channels.

Improved conversions is what matters at the end of the day, anyways. Plus, it’ll help counteract the effects of a stubborn bounce rate that refuses to go down.

4. Tweak Your Pay-Per-Click Ads

If your ads aren’t relevant to your landing page, you may have a big bounce rate problem on your hands.

This is especially true if your ads have exact match targeting, where the user searches for “blue widgets” and your PPC ad matches the term accordingly.

The fix? On your landing page, make sure you acknowledge the search term the visitor used to find your site. Like this one does:

acknowledge keyword users searched

It’s easy to do: If they searched for “blue widgets” and clicked your ppc ad with “blue widgets” in the title. you could say something like:

Welcome Google User! We noticed you searched for ‘blue widgets’ – here’s what we have in stock:”

By doing this, you’ll have a better chance of presenting your site as relevant to their search.

Even if you don’t have “blue widgets” in stock, you can present other choices that may be of interest to your reader.  This will keep them on your page longer, and may lead to better conversions.

(It can also help to “declutter” your website by getting your ad-to-content ratio right.)

5. Shake Up Your Keyword Strategy

Times change, people change and keywords change.

Every six months, do an audit on your site’s keywords to determine which ones are losing popularity, and which keywords are currently leading people to your site.

You’ll also want to study your analytics, check your keywords in Google Trends, and measure changes over time.

Keeping your keywords current will help keep your ads and landing pages relevant. As a result, your bounce rate is likely to decrease.

6. Help Your Homepage

If your homepage bounce rate is unusually high, it could be because you’re featuring your latest blog posts there.

What typically happens is visitors will land on your home page, read your newest content, and then leave.

So what can you do to make them stick around?

This may be the perfect time to use the aforementioned “freshening up” strategy to point them to “old-made-new-again” content at the bottom of each post.

This will get them exploring other content that may be a little “hidden” on your site.

(Here are some strategies for effective home pages.)

7. Turn Off the Autoplay


I get it – you’ve just created the most amazing video ever and you’re sure conversions will go through the roof.

Even if that’s the case, let the user decide when to play it instead of springing it on them the moment they hit your home page.

Nothing’s worse than being blasted with background music or a voice when you’re not expecting it – especially if you’re at work or you have multiple tabs open and can’t figure out which one the sound is coming from!

Above all, possibly the most important thing you can do to lower bounce rates is to focus on consistently creating good, relevant content that appeals to your readers’ needs and questions.

Survey them from time to time by asking “What would you like to see more of?” and “What could you stand to see less of?” to determine which types of posts make the best impression.

Have you successfully lowered your bounce rate below the industry average?  How’d you do it?  Share your ideas and comments below!



Get updates on new articles, webinars and other opportunities:

Sherice Jacob

Sherice Jacob helps website owners improve conversion rates with custom design, copywriting and website reviews.  Get your free conversion checklist and web copy tune-up by visiting iElectrify.com.


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  1. T I Antor says:
    October 19, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Hey, Sherice,
    Great stuff!!
    Very well written and great strategy you have shared. All these steps are handy for decreasing website bounce rate. I want to add some more steps those are also useful for reducing bounce rate. Avoid Annoying pop-up pages, not to use overuse of ad, internal linking, external linking, post excerpt. Thank you for posting this useful post.

  2. Mitesh Soni says:
    July 6, 2016 at 7:30 am

    I totally agreed with all your points, Very helpful article..

  3. Chetan Gupta says:
    October 10, 2015 at 3:43 am

    Hi Sherice

    It’s really a fact, Nowadays many bloggers are getting high bounce rates on their blog which is really a head ache for them.
    Due to high bounce rate, they aren’t able to generate sales. I am also one of them.

    Since last 4 months, I have been noticing that my blog is getting high bounce rate and my visitors are leaving my site so frequently.
    They aren’t engaged with my content.

    So to solve this issue, I was doing research on it and searching for some best ways which I can implement to reduce bounce of my blog.
    While doing research, I have learn’t below points which can help to reduce bounce rate of the blog.

    1. Fresh & Helpful Content

    During the research, I was noticing few blog content and I found a big difference in them.
    I have seen two blogs and one of them writing content just to sell their product and to drive traffic. The writer of that blog just writing articles based on keywords and their articles aren’t enough informative.

    On that blog, I only seen content which aren’t helpful to me.
    On the other side, the second blog is filled with awesome content.

    Articles on the second blog is completely eye catchy and even after reading their titles, I wasn’t able to resist myself from reading those articles. I read almost 4-5 articles there and they all are hub of helpful information.

    Difference which I noticed in between these two blogs is, 1st blog is only writing for sales and traffic But 2nd blog is writing just to help their readers.

    2nd blog was focusing on creating high quality content which can solve issue, which can create results.

    The writer of 2nd blog was giving brilliant solutions and writing in-depth articles.
    He was focusing on readership and building relationship with their readers.

    This was the big difference in these 2 blogs. & I learnt that content should be of such kind which can create results and solve issues. 😀

    2. Updating Old Articles

    2nd thing which I learnt is, Updating old articles.
    I have learnt If we will not update old articles with fresh information then there would be high chances, the reader will surely leave our blog because they might not be getting what they really want.

    So updating articles with fresh information would be a technique to hold them and engage them on our blog. Right? 😀

    3. Content Readability

    I myself never read those articles which have so long and thick paragraphs. I have seen some websites which writes so long and thick paragraphs which scare readers to read them.
    I also scare when I see such long paragraphs and I don’t read them.
    I always love to read short and clean paragraphs.

    So we should must improve our content readability so that readers can find it interesting and helpful. 😀

    There are also some other points like improving blog design etc etc But I can’t mention all of them in a single comment. 😀

    Your article is really helpful to me and I learned so many points from you.
    Thanks Sherice for sharing such a great piece of content with us.
    Happy Blogging 😉

  4. Manoj says:
    July 22, 2015 at 12:12 am

    I installed plugin to reduce bounce rate. Is this okay with google ? please help me on this.

  5. July 8, 2014 at 5:14 am

    its useful post to know website bounce rate. thyanks alot.

    • Neil Patel says:
      July 8, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      John, glad you found it helpful 🙂

  6. March 24, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    It’s a useful post Sherice, thanks!
    i also have problem with high bounce rate (over 70%)
    and i’ll your suggestions to my blog 🙂

  7. Raj Kumar says:
    March 21, 2014 at 12:41 am

    Great post Sherice Jacob thanks for sharing

  8. March 19, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Great post on bounce rate Sherice. I linked to it from my latest post here http://enstinemuki.com/bounce-rate/

    • March 19, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      Good article, Enstine. Thanks for sharing.

  9. plugin guy says:
    January 15, 2014 at 12:33 am

    Thnx a lot man..!!

  10. Anupam says:
    January 12, 2014 at 10:47 pm


    good points. adding to your point#1 – freshness of content – i would stress on using customer testimonials (stories, case-studies, photos, logos, etc). It makes it very interesting to see real people and their stories. see this for some of the best usage of customers on their home page. customertestimonials.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/1-best-examples-of-customer-testimonials-on-the-home-page/

  11. Jagan says:
    January 10, 2014 at 4:01 am

    8. Use tools like visitorengage to auto popup custom notifications based on visitor’s behavior on the website. Similar to hellobar used at the top of this site but with behavioral targeting to increase conversions. 🙂

  12. January 3, 2014 at 7:04 am

    I have an E-Commerce website. Can these ways also reduce my e-commerce site’s bounce rate?

  13. December 29, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Hi Sherice, thanks for the great post! My problem is StumbleUpon because it increases my bounce rate. I have less than 50 unique visitors per day so StumbleUpon has high bounce impact.

  14. November 11, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    I have totally different % depending on my presta shop numbers or google analitics….weird…

  15. November 9, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    my blog in alexa have bounce rate 38%, but in google analityc 49%, who is most valid?

  16. Marketingu says:
    October 31, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I also have a little problem with bounce rate ratio. It exceeds 70% but I heard that it is ok, especially when almost all traffic is from organic search.

  17. October 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    You’ve got some good tips on here that should be tested, Sherice!

    However, I think it’s important to clarify that reducing bounce rate shouldn’t be the ultimate goal. In many cases, reducing your bounce rate can hurt sales (see this article to learn why: Don’t Try To Lower Your Bounce Rate)

    The goal of your website optimization should be to maximized conversion rate and revenue per visitor rather than focusing on the bounce rate.

    By the way, at WiderFunnel we’re big fans of CrazyEgg and use it often to form test hypotheses.

    • October 26, 2013 at 5:39 pm

      Great point, Chris! We appreciate your input. (Thanks for the plug! We admire your work too.)

    • October 26, 2013 at 6:51 pm

      Chris – I agree 100%! But following these tips should also help conversions in addition to lowering the bounce rate — the best of both worlds 🙂

  18. Andy says:
    October 5, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Thanks for the helpful tips and links! I am looking into Kissmetrics and a few others right now. I appreciate the suggestions.

  19. September 5, 2013 at 6:34 am

    i agreed with your all point, very informative blogs thanks.

  20. September 4, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    My bounce rate is around 80%.

  21. September 4, 2013 at 5:55 am

    @Sherice : Sorry, have a few doubts. Please excuse if its silly.

    1) You have mentioned about refreshing the contents. I am running a recipe blog. Do I need to re edit my old posts or create a new post and link to old one?

    2) I found this plugin http://wordpress.org/plugins/reduce-bounce-rate/ and I started using it today onward. Is there any issues in using this plugin? Is it against Google policies? Any advice?

    • September 4, 2013 at 11:39 am

      Hi Cheena, I don’t think the tip about refreshing content applies to you. If a recipe tastes good, no one cares how old it is. I had never heard of your plugin but it looks okay to me. Be sure to check back in and let us know if it works for you.

    • September 4, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      HI Cheena,

      “Evergreen” content sites (think lyrics and recipes) tend to not need fresh content, but rather more of what’s in demand. So if people are looking for paleo recipe snacks, including those in your recipe blog often will help improve the rate at which the search engines (and visitors) return to your site because they know it’s relevant to what they want.

      As for the plugin, I’m not familiar with it, but I’m keen to try it out myself and see what happens. I think “every ten seconds” in timing to let Google know someone is still there is a long interval between “pings” but I can’t see where it would penalize you. Let me know how it works out for you! 🙂

  22. September 3, 2013 at 5:10 am

    This Is Awesome post .

    Thank you

  23. September 3, 2013 at 5:08 am

    Its relly great information to reduce bounce rate.

  24. September 3, 2013 at 5:06 am

    I think this is right way to reduse bounce rate but i am confuse in last point.
    Thank you

  25. Sameer says:
    August 16, 2013 at 1:50 am

    Those are some new points about reducing bounce rate on sites. However, can you please tell me what should be optimal bounce rate of a lyrics website?

  26. girish says:
    August 15, 2013 at 5:08 am

    Fresh-up your content: Agree with this. content is a main thing to interact with your visitor. If you want to interact with your visitor then update your site with informative and attractive content.

  27. August 13, 2013 at 11:24 am

    I don’t agree about with the auto play thing. Virtual Staff Finder and Office Autopilot both use it and have tested it and they are making millions.

    • August 13, 2013 at 12:46 pm

      Hey, if they tested it and it works well for them – go for it! But I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve landed on a site with a serious intention to browse and possibly buy, and some loud-mouthed announcer blares right into my ears. To make matters worse, I have no idea which tab it’s coming from of the 20+ I regularly have open.

      • September 4, 2013 at 10:35 am

        Okay. Can you present some examples of how you have individually tested these tips of yours on your own website? Showing first how each one improved the bounce rate on their own, followed by how these various tips worked together. Just looking to find a little bit more validity and credibility in the content I take advise from than “I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve landed on a site with a serious intention to browse and possibly buy, and some loud-mouthed announcer blares right into my ears.”


        • September 4, 2013 at 11:47 am

          Matthew, every point Sherice makes is current usability best-practice. As for auto-play, studies have shown that people tend to click off if you have audio set on auto-play. Not only that, ‘W3C’ recommends turning off auto-play. They “discourage the practice of automatically starting sounds (especially if they last more than 3 seconds), and encourage that the sound be started by an action initiated by the user after they reach the page.” Hope that helps.

          • September 4, 2013 at 12:21 pm

            There is an issue with that. If this is based 100% off of best practice, why does this post even exist? I feel like maybe I am missing something. There are two other posts on this blog alone about the same topic and nobody is doing an awesome job of proving why these best practices are the best practices. Is there data somewhere to back up the auto-play thing?

          • September 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm

            Nowhere in my article did I say that these are set-in-stone, 100% best practices that work for everyone, all the time. The thing about best practices is that what works for one industry may cause conversions to tank for another. I’ve worked with enough clients to be able to share my experiences in this article in the hopes that people with a poor bounce rate can apply any or all of these suggestions to improve it.

            If you’re looking for someone to hand you “guaranteed best practices” that work every single time, you’ll be searching a LONG time because such a thing doesn’t exist.

        • September 4, 2013 at 12:17 pm

          My own client’s results are confidential and private, but here is some more information on this very hot-button topic:

          Autoplay or Not? That’s the Video Question:

          A rant from ReelSEO on the subject

          Bottom line: It may help or hinder conversion rates, but people seem to universally dislike it. Remember, conversions aren’t solely about numbers, they’re about optimizing the user experience too.

          • Marc says:
            October 12, 2013 at 1:15 am

            Hi Sherice,

            I agree with your point of view regarding to autoplay.
            Anyway, do you know a good source to analyze/compare bounce rates typical for industry.

            BR Marc

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