How to Reduce Bounce Rate on Your WordPress Site

in Tutorials on March 25, 2019

How to satisfy your visitors and make them stay on your site? How do you encourage them not to go somewhere else after a few seconds, and to do the action you want?

Reducing your bounce rate on WordPress is not easy, is it? Yet, this is an indicator to take seriously.

It’s not easy, but do you think that you can act on this point significantly by working on 4 areas in particular.

In this article, I will introduce you to these, and give you 17 tips that you can put in place immediately and easily at home.

I – What is the rebound rate?

1 – Definition

I do not know you, but when I’m told about a rebound, I immediately think of basketball. This is probably due to my addiction to the sport.

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According to Wikipedia , “the bounce rate is a marketing indicator that measures the percentage of people who have entered a web page and left the site without consulting other pages. So they only saw one page of the site. “

For example, it is estimated that a visitor bounced back when they went to the home page and left when they closed their browser window, or typed in a new URL.

Several factors can characterize a high bounce rate, including:

  • A slow loading time of your pages . Your visitors are tired of being able to pick up their mail while it’s milling, and go elsewhere.
  • The design and ergonomics of your site leave something to be desired . As a result, your visitors can not easily find the information they came for, and say goodbye.
  • The content you are serving them is of poor quality and does not meet their research intentions . So, they prefer to see if the soup is better among your competitors, for example.

At first glance, you must surely say that a high bounce rate is not the best, and that it is better to try to reduce this rate to the maximum.

Not wrong, but in fact, everything is not so simple.

I propose to see why just below.

2 – My bounce rate on WordPress is high: ask doctor?

On the left, you read that an acceptable bounce rate should not exceed 60%. On the right, you discover that on average it is 50%.

You are a little lost, that worries you, and want to know what is the norm. Well, are you really on the ropes?

As explained in this article , this rate may vary depending on your sector of activity (B2B or B2C), your type of activity, your type of pages, and also demographic criteria (age, gender, country, etc.) .

In fact, it is impossible to set an ideal bounce rate. And I even better to confuse you: do you think that a high bounce rate is not necessarily negative!

3 – How to check bounce rate on Google Analytics?

To know your bounce rate, go to Google Analytics, a free tool that analyzes the audience of a website.

In the left column, click Audience> Overview .

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The bounce rate shown on the screenshot above is the average recorded on all your pages based on the total number of visits you have received in a given time period (here I chose to do it from November 1st to 30th, for example).

If you want to analyze more finely, for example by discovering the bounce rate per page, you can go to Behavior> Site Content> All Pages .

4 – Reduce bounce rate, why is it important?

We have seen that a high bounce rate was not always necessarily a bad signal.

Nevertheless, most of the time, it remains important to optimize it for two good reasons that I will detail you right away.

a – To not penalize your SEO too much

Through its artificial intelligence algorithm that bears the sweet name of Rank Brain, Google is able to provide the most relevant results to users based on their search intent.

He is also able to understand user satisfaction. Basically, the more a user appreciates a page, the more likely that Google improves its positioning on its search engine (obviously, it also takes many other factors into account, but it becomes more and more important ).

You can see where I am coming from: if your bounce rate is high, Google may consider the content you are offering inappropriate or of poor quality.

And it will highlight results more in line with user expectations.

And yes: today, Google is becoming more and more human. Its goal is primarily to satisfy its users, and it is not worse .

b- To optimize your conversions

This point remains correlated to the first one: if you do not have traffic on your site, it will be difficult for you to carry out conversions.

As you can imagine, to make a visitor perform a specific action, he will not have to leave your site immediately after landing on it.

Nevertheless, we come back to the sometimes contradictory aspect of the bounce rate: you can very well have a high bounce rate, while converting significantly.

Take this example: you have created a landing page that offers downloadable PDF content to your visitors.

If they leave your site immediately after viewing it, but give you their email address to download the PDF, you have won!

Now that you have a global vision of the bounce rate and its operation, I propose to see what you can do to reduce it.

In the next few lines, we will focus on 4 aspects:

  • Ergonomics and user experience .
  • The content .
  • SEO .
  • The performance .

II – 4 key sectors to reduce your bounce rate on WordPress

1 – Work on ergonomics and user experience

The user experience, which you may also know as UX (user experience), refers to the quality of a user’s experience on a website or web application.

It must be optimal if you want to reduce your bounce rate.

For this, the UX Design of your site must meet several criteria that we will address just below.

a – Responsive design

A website is said to be responsive when it fits on desktop, tablet, and smartphone as well.

Sample Responsive Professional WordPress Website

An example of a responsive website

To quickly find out if your site is responsive, you can use this tool .

In general, most WordPress themes are, although you will probably add a few pinches of CSS to make a rendering that meets your expectations.

Owning a responsive site is essential for the user experience, but also for your SEO.

Since March 2018, Google has implemented what is called mobile-first indexing.

This means that Google uses primarily the mobile version of your site to index and position your pages in the results of its search engine.

b – Compatibility with web browsers

Most people use it, but not all. For example, there are still more than 3% of irreducibles who use Internet Explorer.

The trouble with the latter is that your layouts will not always display the same way as on Chrome, Safari or Firefox (and vice versa).

And a layout with a dubious display, it can run away, and indirectly increase your bounce rate.

You then have 2 solutions:

  • either try to solve the problem.
  • Either ask your client (if this is the case) to no longer use Internet Explorer (this one is a little extreme anyway).

More seriously, you can easily find out which browser your visitors use with Google Analytics.

It’s happening in Audience> Technology> Browser and OS .

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c – Navigation and research

Your visitors should be able to easily find what they are looking for in order to take the desired actions.

First, the navigation must be clear, simple and intuitive. It starts with a well designed menu and not overloaded .

The ideal is that it follows the behavior of the user throughout his visit being always visible: it is called a sticky menu .

By default, WordPress has one. But if you have already practiced it, you must have noticed that it did not always display the most relevant results.

And that’s not going to work out as you add content …

To alleviate this problem, you can use the much more complete Extension .

Screenshot of the plugin Relevanssi on the official directory

d – The design

Obviously, so that your users do not want to leave your site at the first click, it will also have to give a capital appearance to the design.

Start by keeping a color consistency of your site, and do not put everywhere.

Then think about using a font suitable for reading on mobile and tablet. This is the case for most sans-serif (sans serif) fonts. You can find hundreds free on Google Fonts .

Finally, do not neglect the size of the font. What is your first reflex when you read content that is way too small?

Of course, you can zoom in, but I bet most of the time you will leave the page in question.

Do not give this chance to your visitors. A standard font size must be at least 14 px .

Afterwards, it’s up to you to see what looks good. On most themes, you can directly change this size from the WordPress customizer.

e – Beware of ads and other popup windows

To finish this first part relating to the user experience, I would like to discuss with you the case of advertisements and popup windows (to know how to create an effective popup, ).

Misused, they can be a real booster to visitors, and increase your bounce rate .

So be careful. Of course, nothing prevents you from monetizing your site, but be sure to do it sparingly, without being too intrusive.

For example, avoid this kind of thing:

A wild pop up appears on the site you are visiting!

Remember: the satisfaction of your users must be your priority.

However, that does not mean that you have to do anything by bombing your visitors with forms.

To find out if you have an interest in keeping them, take a look at your conversion rate.

If you see that they convert little and that despite this, your bounce rate remains high, perhaps it is more prudent to review your strategy.

For  example, if you use OptinMonster (aff), it is possible to trigger the display of a form from the moment a visitor leaves a page (so-called exit-intent technology ). This can be a good compromise.

After reviewing the user experience, I suggest you discuss another key area to reduce your bounce rate: providing relevant content to your visitors.

2 – Propose relevant and enjoyable content

To retain your visitors, there is one thing that should not be compromised is the production of quality content.

Of course, this content must first be adapted to your target. For example, if you have a specialized cat breeding site, avoid writing about dog training.

So stock up on our furry friends.

Then, good content is often characterized by the following:

  • It deals with a subject in depth .
  • It answers the questions your visitors ask themselves .
  • It contains keywords , but in a natural way (the stuffing of keywords, it has gone out of fashion for a long time).
  • It helps your visitors by providing them with useful information .
  • It involves his readership . Ask your visitors questions, ask them to comment, share, or perform specific actions.

Remember: Google is becoming more human, so do not just treat it like a robot!

Even more specifically, you will be able to act on several points to reduce your bounce rate on WordPress. Here they are.

a – Improve readability

There, we will talk about your texts. History to make them digest for your visitors, and pleasant to browse.

I do not know you, but me, there is something that I do not like when I read on the web: pâtés.

These large blocks of text that ultimately make reading very difficult. And induce indirectly to click on the cross of the window or tab.

An example of a website with too much content

To avoid this, you can and should:

  • Create short and airy paragraphs . There is not really an established rule, but if you find yourself confused when you reread, press the Enter key a little 
  • Do not skimp on subtitles when possible . This improves readability.
  • Use bulleted lists when you can (you see, I do not mind). We gain clarity, right?
  • Think about integrating images and videos to enhance interaction. In general, it is estimated that it is good to insert an illustration every 250/300 words.
  • Finally, a little bold and italic do not hurt either . This will serve you to highlight certain passages and bring them out.

With these little tips, you will have more chances to keep your visitors on your site.

Like that, you send a great message to Google that will say, “Wow, this content looks great, I’ll put it back in the search results.”

b – And level length, size, it counts?

A little, my captain. With 300 words, do you really think you can tackle a topic in depth, and answer all the questions a visitor to your site asks?

Personally, I doubt it very much. Or, you are very talented, and I congratulate you.

But then, the longer it is, the better?

c – Force open external links in a new tab

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You may have noticed this already, but many long articles often tend to redirect to external resources through links.

This often allows you to source, support, and can have positive effects on your SEO, especially if the links are made to authority sites.

The concern with creating external links is that you send your visitors to another page, without the certainty that they will return home.

And hop, you follow: the impact on your bounce rate can be significant.

To fight against this, there is a little tip that Alex uses on the blog: force the opening of external links in a new tab.

To achieve this, it’s very simple: when you add a link when editing an article, check the box “Open in a new tab” as in the screenshot below.

That’s all stupid but take this article for example, you want to read it until the end, right? What would you feel if the resources mentioned were opened in the same tab?

Go tell it. That would annoy you, would not it?

d – Check spelling and grammar

To finish with the content part, I propose to address spelling and grammar (not your grandmother, eh).

In principle, the denser your content is, the more likely you are to leave behind mistakes.

I do not know where your level of tolerance is at this level, but know that for most people, it will be close to zero (zero shell, so).

A text full of fotes, it does not encourage further reading and, in turn, may increase your bounce rate .

So O.-K., we are in the era of SMS and social networks, and everyone writes in text mode, based on LOL and MDR. Well keep this for your friends and smartphones.

3 – Your SEO

After evoking the content, I suggest you continue with the following logic: SEO. Indeed, one does not go without the other.

a – SEO keywords and tags

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We have already mentioned a lot of tricks to interest a reader and allow him to stay warm on your page.

But there is one we have not talked about yet: let’s go right away. Of course, I want to talk about the choice of keywords.

I will not detail how to choose them, it could be the subject of a full article. The idea is to explain that you should use keywords that match your content.

c – Delete dead links

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To be certain of providing an optimal user experience, remember to check from time to time that your links are working.

If your content is riddled with dead links (which no longer work), your visitors are likely to desert your site.

To control all this, you can use the Broken Link Checker extension . It tells you what links do not work, and allows you to repair them.

Screenshot of the Broken Link Checker extension

Attention anyway with her: she is very greedy resources so when you do not use it, remember to disable it.

Otherwise, there is also a small module for the nice Chrome browser called Check This Links .

It scans the links of your choice and tells you which ones are faulty. It’s great to have a quick overview, cons it will then think of repairing them.

d – Create a 404 error page

Here, speaking of broken links, there may be something that comes to your mind. Do you see what I want to talk about?

Of a 404 error, of course. The latter designates a page that does not exist or more.Google does not like it. Your visitors either. Be aware that you can easily identify and fix them with the Redirection plugin .

Finally, I advise you to create a custom 404 error page. Much to put all the assets on your side not to scare your visitors when they fall on it.

4 – Optimize the performance of your pages

After talking user experience, content and SEO, I propose to address a final crucial part if you want to reduce your bounce rate on WordPress: speed and performance.

a – How do I know if a site is loading too slowly?

By nature, a surfer is impatient: he wants it to go fast and find answers to his questions almost immediately. Otherwise, he will not have any qualms about going elsewhere.

According to this source , do you think that:

  • 47% of consumers expect a page to load in less than 2 seconds .
  • A slow idle time of one second would result in a 7% reduction in conversions .

After the observation, place to action. How can I tell if your site is loading quickly and correct any problems?

Well you can for example use one of the following 3 tools:

c – Compress your images

Did you know: images represent more than 50% of the loading time of a page.

So to tell you that if they are not optimized, your page may rowing and your visitors desert.

For information, as a rule, a web page should not exceed 2MB.

The solution to compress your images? The Imagify extension . The latter will optimize your images in one click, without losing quality.

d – Opt for a powerful theme

If you find that your site is slow, the images may not always be to blame.

Having a well-coded and optimized theme for performance is also a necessary prerequisite.

In 2019, the theme market is essentially dominated by multi-option templates, with which one can do absolutely anything, and also anything.

Beware of this: of course, they will let you talk about your creativity, but some of them load many resources sometimes useless that will hurt the loading speed of your pages .

And remember: if your site loads slowly, your bounce rate may increase.

Among the themes considered fast, I could quote you:

If you do not know how to code, nothing prevents you from using them with a page builder like Elementor or Beaver Builder .

Finally, talking about themes, it seems essential to me to slip a word on the plugins. Do not overload your site with extensions and consider disabling and removing those that you no longer use.

III – Conclusion

Here you are at the end of this article explaining how to reduce your bounce rate on WordPress .

You have seen how important this performance indicator is, although it should not be fixed.

If you publish good content tailored to your target, pay attention to the user experience, and seek to optimize your performance, you should have everything good.

Now, it’s your turn to play. What do you think of the bounce rate? What actions have you put in place to reduce it, if necessary?

Categories: Tutorials WordPress