11 methods to reduce Bounce Rate in Google Analytics

Following are 11 methods to lower the bounce rate of your website/landing pages:

#1 Adjust the bounce rate of your website

#2 Reduce the bounce rate of the web pages in the profit index

#3 Stop targeting keywords/marketing channels which are sending low-value traffic

#4 Create landing pages which satisfy visitor’s query

#5 Create landing pages which prominently display your call to action

#6 Make your call to action relevant to your landing page

#7 Develop contents which can be consumed in a short span of time

#8 Use Virtual Pageviews or Event Tracking for Ajax/Flash-based content

#9 Create landing pages which are visually appealing and load fast

#10 Develop a need to explore your website further

#11 Run page level surveys

Method #1. Adjust the bounce rate of your website

The most powerful way to reduce bounce rate is to adjust it by calculating the time spent on a page.

This way, you can get a true bounce rate.

There are many situations in which you can get conversions through bounced visits. For example, it is pretty common in case of blogs, news and publishing sites for the visitors to come and leave from the landing page without browsing any further.

These visitors generally come to the website to read the latest news/article and then leave the website from the landing page as there is no need to browse any further. But since the visits are single page visits, Google Analytics will show a 100% bounce rate.

When a visitor converts on your website then his visit should not be counted as a bounce even if that visit is a single page visit. This is because our primary reason for running a website is to get conversions and not to optimize bounce rates.

That is why you need to adjust your bounce rate.

Once the adjustment has been made, you will see a drastic reduction in your site’s bounce rate esp. if you run a blog, news or publishing website.

You can learn more about adjusting your bounce rate from the articles below:

  1. Adjusting Bounce Rate in Google Analytics
  2. Adjusting Bounce Rate via Google Tag Manager

Method #2. Reduce the bounce rate of the web pages in the profit index

Profit index is a database of all the profitable pages on your website.

Profit index contains all those web pages which are most frequently viewed prior to conversions or transactions. If these web pages have got a high bounce rate then it is going to significantly impact the conversion volume and conversion rate of your website.

You need to reduce the bounce rate of the pages in the profit index in order to improve conversions.

Without profit index, you will remain busy optimizing the bounce rate of a large volume of random webpages which may or may not impact your business bottom-line.

But when you are using profit index, you are guaranteed that your bounce rate optimization is going to impact the business bottom-line.

If you are not sure how to create profit index in Google Analytics then check out this article: Google Analytics For Content Marketing – Advanced Content Analysis

Once you have created profit index and go to profit index report in Google Analytics and sort the table in decreasing order of Page Value:

Now click on the ‘compare to site average’ button at the top right of your Profit Index report:

 

Select ‘Bounce Rate’ from the drop-down menu:

Your report should now look like the one below:

From the screenshot above we can conclude that there is one web page in the top 10 pages whose bounce is way higher than the website average. You now need to find the reason for such a high bounce rate.

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Method #3. Stop targeting keywords/marketing channels which are sending low-value traffic

If your website is getting the traffic which has nothing to do with the products/services you sell then the website visitors are going to bounce the moment they arrive on your website.

Determine the traffic sources which are sending poor quality traffic and then either stop the campaign or target the right keywords/ landing pages.

Method #4. Create landing pages which satisfy visitor’s query

If you are getting the right traffic but your landing page does not satisfy the visitor’s query then the website visitors are going to bounce the moment they arrive on your website.

For example, a visitor is looking for information on ‘courses on business management in London’ and if your landing page gives general information about business management courses then the visitor is likely to bounce.

Method #5. Create landing pages which prominently display your call to action

If your landing pages lack a ‘Call to Action’ (CTA) or do not prominently display a CTA, then you will have a hard time keeping visitors on your website.

Headings, sub-headings, and directional clues (to guide visitors to your CTA) are excellent ways of prominently displaying your CTA.

For example, this blog post is about reducing bounce rate and this is prominently displayed through h2 heading.

Method #6. Make your call to action relevant to your landing page

Your call to action (CTA) can cause users to come to your website but then bounce.

For example, if your banner ad on a website reads ‘Download your free SEO book now’ but then on a click takes a visitor to the home page of the site instead of the landing page which offers free download then expect a high number of bounces.

This call to action can be in the form of a button, banner, video or link. In the case of organic search, the call to action can be in the form of title tag and meta description tag of the landing page. In the case of paid search (like Google Ads) the call to action can be in the form of title and description of your ad copy.

You need to fulfill the promise you made to your website visitors in your search engine listing/ad copy or expect a high bounce rate.

So make sure that your CTA is relevant to your landing page.

Method #7. Develop contents which can be consumed in a short span of time

If your landing page perfectly satisfies the visitor’s query but the content on the landing page is hard to consume in a short span of time then expect a high bounce rate.

Even if some visitors are still interested in your content, they are still most likely to bounce as they may bookmark your page and choose to return later in a different visit to consume the rest of the contents. So aim to develop contents that can be consumed in a short span of time.

Method #8. Use Virtual Pageviews or Event Tracking for Ajax/Flash-based content

In the case of Ajax/Flash-based contents/website, a lot of user interaction (like clicking on an image/link; loading of a page/flash video/pop up, etc) takes place on a single web page. So in the majority of cases, users do not need to browse another page(s) on your website. Consequently, the bounce rate is very high.

In the case of a purely Flash-based website, the bounce rate will be 100% all the time provided the user interactions are not tracked with virtual pageviews or event tracking. So you need to track user interactions through virtual pageviews or event tracking.

Method #9. Create landing pages which are visually appealing and load fast

According to recent research, a visitor decides in 8 seconds or less whether to stay or leave your website.

Following are some of the main reason people leave your website from the landing page without browsing any further:

# Poor webpage design (use of poor contrast: like a black background, yellow text)

# Poor navigation

# Not using a responsive layout. So landing pages become hard to read on devices with different screen resolutions.

# Cluttering of ads or too many ads above the fold.

# Too much text

# Poor formatting (not using bold, italics, underline, etc)

# Little to no spacing between lines and paragraphs.

# Lack of headings and sub-headings. Your very first headline must highlight the benefit of reading any further.

# Landing pages that take forever to download. If this is the case then expect 100% bounce rate all the time.

# Audio/video contents that auto-play as soon as the page loads. This is very annoying for visitors. Avoid it at all costs.

Use a tool like ‘optimizely‘ to test different versions of your headings and landing pages.

Method #10. Develop a need to explore your website further

Every visitor who comes to your website has some purpose (like looking for particular information, making a purchase, etc). When this purpose is solved or unsolved, he leaves the website unless you give him some other purpose to browse your website further.

For example, a person looking for information on your company may leave your website from the landing page if the landing page fully satisfies his query about your company.

So if visiting the ‘About us’ page is one of your goals then you can get a 100% conversion rate but with a 100% bounce rate. This is one of the reasons why even top landing pages have a high bounce rate.

Whether or not your landing page satisfies the visitor’s intent, you must always provide a few more options to continue browsing. 

For example, “If you like this article you may like these articles too” or “similar products” or “related posts” etc.

Similarly, provide options to continue browsing ‘post-sales’ like by placing links to browse further on the ‘thank you’ page or the ‘Order confirmation page’. 

Method #11. Run page level surveys

If everything else fails and you can’t figure out what is wrong with your landing pages then you need to run page level surveys.

You can also add a thumbs up and thumb down button at the bottom of the landing pages (which don’t require a login to be used) to get instant feedback from visitors regarding their reason for bounces.

If your landing page has got a lot of thumbs down, then there is a problem with the content quality. Use a customer feedback tool like Qualaroo to get instant feedback through page level surveys.

Other articles related to Google Analytics Bounce Rate

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