14 Tips to Reduce Bounce Rates for Your WordPress Site

Have you ever dialed the wrong number, and hung up the moment an unfamiliar voice answered the phone? If you do the same when you visit a webpage that isn’t what you need, that’s a ‘bounce’. A bounce occurs when someone immediately exits a webpage upon opening it, and takes no further action.

Google and other search engines track the number of bounces your web pages receive. This metric is your bounce rate.

If your bounce rate is too high, your website could be penalized with lower search rankings.

What’s so Bad About a Bounce?

First, it’s important to understand that all web pages receive some bounces. That’s understandable is people sometimes simply surf into the wrong page. However, if a page repeatedly receives bounces there’s something going wrong. because search engines want to route people to quality pages that meet their needs, too many bounces can lead to a penalty.

Bounce Rates

A high bounce rate tells Google that people are visiting your webpage, it almost immediately deciding they don’t like what they see. This could be a sign of a poorly designed or written web page. It can also mean something a little bit more insidious is afoot.

One example of something malicious causing increased bounce rates would be a web page designed using black hat SEO techniques. in that case, a page might rank high on search engine results, but when visitors click they realize they’ve been routed to a spoofed or spam page.

Reducing Bounce Rates

Take a look at these 14 tips you can use to reduce your bounce rates. Do this to improve SEO, engagement rates, traffic, and conversions.

1. Reconsider Using Pop-Ups

Pop-ups have some value. Unfortunately, if you are fighting an issue with bounce rates, they may need to go. At the very least, you should reconsider how you’re using pop-ups on your WordPress site.

One of the key reasons that popups drive users away from your site is bad timing. When a pop-up is displayed almost immediately as the page finishes loading, you send one message to your audience. ‘This page wants something from you before you’ve gotten any value from it’. Change pop-ups so they appear after the page has been loaded for some time.

If pop-ups are still an issue, it’s time to consider whether or not incongruous pop-ups are the cause. This occurs when the pop-up you display is a bad fit for that particular page. For example, imagine reading a very sincere web page that a company put out in response to a tragic event in the local community. Now, imagine that same page with a flashy pop-up about an upcoming BOGO sale.

Here are some other reasons that pop-ups can increase bounce rates:

  • Too Loud
  • No Clear Way to Exit
  • Ask For Too Much Info
  • Multiple Pop-Ups on One Page
2. Use White Space For Readability

White Space For Readability

Adding white space to a web page or blog post is fairly simple. In spite of this, you’ll still come across web pages that contain unbroken blocks of text. That’s a pretty overwhelming things for the eyes and brain when someone first visits a page. Lack of white space also screams poor and dated design. Both are attributes associated with low-quality websites. That’s a sure way to increase bounce rates.

Fortunately, the solution is simple. Structure your pages to add more white space. Using scrolling for navigation, or move irrelevant information to other pages and save space. You can also check out clean or minimal WordPress themes to help implement better design on your WP.

3. Add Internal And External Links

All it takes is one simple action on the part of the user to avoid a bounce. Something as simple as clicking a link is enough. Include internal links to other pages on your website, and visitors will be more likely to take that action. Internal linking has many other benefits as well:

  • Add whitespace by moving content to other pages.
  • Ensure that only the most relevant information is on each page, further streamlining your site.
  • Internal linking improves SEO and can boost website traffic.

When visitors click an external link, that action also eliminates any chance of a bounce being counted against your page. Further, like internal linking, external links allow you to maintain clean, streamlined pages. If you link to high authority sites, you’ll also improve trust and credibility.

4. Write Edit And Proofread Carefully

Credibility and authority play a major part in bounce rates. When a visitor comes to a WordPress site, and sees spelling and grammatical errors, that diminishes that credibility. If the content on the site is poorly written, that diminishes credibility. It certainly reduces your authority.

Now, imagine being someone looking for information about something important. Imagine looking for something to buy. You land on a web page with atrocious spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Chances are you aren’t going to trust that content. You certainly aren’t going to be motivated to give up your credit card number to make a purchase.

If you have a significant number of pages to optimize, the process can be labor intensive. To help with this, you can employ the services for professional editing and content writing services like Supreme Dissertations and Wow Grade.

5. Think Mobile First

Mobile First

Recently, Google adopted mobile-first indexing. That’s certainly an endorsement of the mobile first strategy. Another benefit of prioritizing mobile design is that it can reduce your bounce rate.

While the numbers vary from site to site, it’s safe for you to assume that a significant number of your visitors are on mobile devices. As you design your WordPress site, keep that in mind. Choose a design that prioritizes the mobile, user experience. Fortunately, you will find several themes and plugins that are designed with mobile users in mind.

6. Use Structure And Tagging

If you structure your content in a thoughtful way, you will attract more relevant traffic to your site. This means that the people visiting your site will be more likely to be interested in the content on your web pages. This is because good site structure helps Google and other search engines crawl and index your website.

In addition to this, good site structure increases readability. It helps visitors scan the page to find what they need quickly.

To structure your web pages, use headings and subheadings by adding the proper tags (H2, H3, H4, H5). Add one H1 tag to the title at the top of the page. If possible, use relevant keywords in those headings and subheadings.

You can further enhance your structure by using short paragraphs, bullet points, and numbered lists. This technique, combined with using whitespace will give you highly readable, SEO friendly pages.

7. Increase Page Load Speed

Page Load Speed

The time it takes to load a page can significantly impact bounce rate. In fact, a page with a 2 second load time has an average bounce rate of 9.6%. A page that loads in 7 seconds has a bounce rate of 32%. If your pages aren’t loading quickly enough, users will back away and find a website that works better for them.

A tool like Google PageSpeed Insights will give you plenty of helpful information about the performance of your web pages. The tool works for WordPress pages as well as pages designed for other platforms. All you have to do is enter the URL for the page in question to get plenty of helpful insights.

8. Use menus to improve navigation

Sometimes, users bounce because they reach a page, and don’t know what to do next. You can fix that by providing them with menus to help them navigate your site. When visitors click on your menus, and use them to surf around your site, you reduce your bounce rate.

There are WP themes and templates that have built-in navigation menus. You can also check out a few tutorials to learn how to incorporate site navigation into your WordPress pages.

9. Choose a Font For Readability

This is a simple, small change that you can make to your site, that can make a difference. Many website designers will choose fonts that are quite attractive, but not very readable. Fonts that are stylized or hand drawn look great. Unfortunately, they are hard on the eyes when visitors try to read your content.

One option you have is to use the more artistic fonts for headings and subheadings. Then, choose a simpler font for your page content.

10. Create a Helpful 404 Page

A 404 Page is the error page visitors see when the page they were trying to visit doesn’t exist. Ideally that’s never the case. Unfortunately, this error happens from time to time.

When it does happen, you have two options. Your site can load the standard ‘404 Page Not Found Error’. In that case, the user has no real choice but to bounce. You can also create a custom 404 page. If you choose that option, you can add some helpful information and links to redirect visitors to a different page on your site.

11. Open Links in New Tabs

As mentioned earlier, linking to other sites adds authority to your own website. In addition to this, giving other sites backlinks can help you build connections with other influential bloggers and thought leaders. This can lead to better SEO and traffic. Unfortunately, if someone clicks a link on your site quickly after arriving, that can count as a bounce.

One way to fix this is to design your WordPress site so that links open in a new window or tab. If you do this, users can see the information you link, but won’t navigate away from your site.

12. Be Selective About Advertising


The wrong kind of advertising can be a real turn-off to visitors landing on your site. Gaudy banners, ads that overtake the page and obscure content, and advertisements for sketchy products will cause good visitors to bounce.

It’s understandable that you might use ads on your site to generate more revenue. If you do, be selective about the ads you allow to display on your site. Choose a reputable affiliate marketing provider, or use Google PPC. There are also WordPress plugins that allow you to sell advertising directly.

13. Use High Quality Images

Images will keep users on your site longer. They’ll also entice people to read your content. When this happens, visitors are more likely to click the links in your content or navigate to other pages on your website.

As you might imagine, better images will lead to better results. Original images that are relevant to your page content are going to be most valuable. These images should be optimized and compressed. Finally, use appropriate image tags and alt text.

14. Add Internal Search

Internal Search

If site visitors don’t find what they want on one page, they might bounce. You can stop this by giving them another option. By implementing an internal search feature, you give your visitors the chance to search your site for the content they need.

One of the best options you have is to embed Google search into your WordPress site. This feature is easy to use, and will be familiar to your visitors.

Final Thoughts

If your bounce rate is too high, your WordPress site could be penalized by Google and other search engines. This is also an indication that there could be issues with your site’s design. Fortunately, you can apply the 14 tips listed above to reduce your bounce rate, improve engagement, and increase conversions.

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