17 + SEO Experts share how to improve Bounce rate

17+ SEO Experts share how to improve Bounce rate

Almost every website is struggling with the Bounce rate. It doesn’t matter how great your content is, there will be a part of the audience that will bounce off of your site.

To solve this problem entirely, I contacted some of the greatest SEO experts and asked them a simple question:

“What are your top 3 tips on decreasing bounce rate”

Let me tell you, the insights I received from these 17+ SEO experts were nothing short
of amazing. I’ve listed all of them below:

Table of Contents

Responses:

1. “Bounce rate is the lost opportunity rate”

Bruce Clay

Bruce Clay is considered the father of SEO. You can visit him at Bruce Clay Inc.

“Anything bouncing cannot convert so IMO the bounce rate is the lost opportunity rate. The conversion rate of that does not bounce is what matters the most. BTW, the signal may be that the topic has a lot of ambiguity and bounce rate is not specific to your site but is rather impacted by the searcher looking for something else.”

2. “It is vitally important to manage and live up to user expectations”

Fili Wiese

Fili is a technical SEO consultant, ex-Google engineer, frequent conference speaker and was a senior technical lead in the Google Search Quality team. At SearchBrothers he offers SEO consulting services with SEO audits, SEO training and successfully recovers websites from Google penalties. 

“When discussing bounce rate as an SEO factor, which it is, we must focus on the actually relevant value. That is the bounce rate recorded by search engines when users navigate from a SERP page to a ranking landing page and return shortly thereafter. Doing so indicates that their expectation was not met, hence the bounce. Search engines generally do not disclose the actual bounce rates. However it remains critically important when managing user expectations. So here are the tips for fellow SEOs: In order to decrease the bounce rate and improve organic rankings it is vitally important to manage and live up to user expectations. That means providing and clearly communicating a unique selling proposition, including in the snippet representation. It also means to ensure an uber fast, compelling landing page experience for both search engine bots and users alike. For anyone interested in optimizing their website, I recommend the following article penned specifically with managing user expectations in mind: https://searchengineland.com/unique-selling-proposition-key-element-seo-success-289690

3. “Give the user an obvious next step on your website after they have finished with the content on the page”

Jason Barnard

Jason Barnard is also known as “The Brand SERP Guy”. You can find him at The Brand SERP Guy and Kalicube.

“Ensure that the page contains useful information that either solves a specific problem, answers a specific question, entertains or helps the user get to their next step.
Make sure that the user sees a short, clear statement that describes the solution the page provides (on BOTH desktop and mobile).
Give the user an obvious next step on your website after they have finished with the content on the page. Perhaps more details on the topic, or suggest related articles, or an upsell.
The user sees some content above the fold as quickly as possible, so make this fast – under 2 seconds on a 3G mobile connection is your aim.”

4. “Bounce rate is not an entirely meaningful metric to understand visit satisfaction of the user.”

Koray Tuğberk GÜBÜR is the founder and owner of Holistic SEO & Digital. You can visit his website Holistic SEO Digital

“Bounce rate is not an entirely meaningful metric to understand visit satisfaction of the user. But, by increasing engagement, and conversions and decreasing the bounce rate, a brand performs its purpose. To achieve this, simply, cover the canonical search intent at the critical section of the web page, do not create engagement traps, and do not stall the user with wasted bytes, or pixels.”

5. “Provide a good user experience for your site visitors.”

Zach Chahalis

Zach Chahalis is the Director of SEO at iPullRank. You can find his website iPullRank and Zachary Chahalis.

  1. Ensure that the site’s bounce rate is being properly measured. 
    1. In the current form of Google Analytics (Universal Analytics/GA3), a bounce is a session that triggered a single request to the analytics server without taking another action. Adobe Analytics is similar as their bounce rate metric is a ratio of visits with only one request compared to the number of visits on the page
    2. It can be very easy to want to track some events in Google Analytics that could inadvertently negate bounce rate on a site (such as an animation or scroll tracking) if not properly implemented. This is where leveraging non-interaction events (an event tracker that is not taken into account when measuring bounce rates or session duration measurement) can be beneficial as it allows Google Analytics to measure an event without impacting key optimization metrics. 
    3. If the bounce rate on a page is in the single digits, it is possible that there are events firing on the page that are negating a bounce.
  1. Provide the fastest site load time possible for your website especially on a mobile device
    1. The longer it takes for your site to load on a mobile device, the more likely it is for a user to leave because they feel like the site is either a poor experience or possibly down/broken.
    2. A previous study by Pingdom measured that a site load time of 3 seconds resulted in a bounce rate of 11% compared to a 6% bounce rate at the 2 second mark. Bounce rate continues to climb with slower sites. A 5 second load time increase the bounce rate to 38% on average while a 7 second bounce jumps to 53% on average.
  1. Provide a good user experience for your site visitors. 
    1. If someone has clicked to your site from search, they are looking for content about the specific keyword/phrase that they searched. 
    2. Ensure that the site architecture and page structure is properly organized to give the user the content that they are looking for without having to hunt for it. If content is hidden on a page within a collapsable element or extremely far down the page, it can result in the user possibly leaving before they get there. 
    3. A clear internal linking structure can also encourage users to view other pages on the site or continue to read content. 
    4. Finally, a clear call to action (CTA) throughout the page can result in users taking action on the page rather than leaving.”

6. “Bounce rate is not necessarily a bad signal for some brands”

Nitin Manchanda

Nitin Manchanda is Founder & Chief SEO Consultant at Botpresso. He is also Ex – Trivago, Omio, Flipkart. You can see his website Botpresso.

“Bounce rate is not necessarily a bad signal for some brands. For example, if you’re searching for “berlin weather forecast for this weekend” – you’ll land somewhere, consume the information and bounce off without clicking in most of the cases. I would consider this success, as a user wanted to get some information which they got in seconds.”

7. “The number one reason people bounce Is because they clicked over to the website and it doesn’t align with why they wanted to come over to the site in the first place.”

Brendan Hufford is the Founder of Growth Sprints. They help SaaS companies increase revenue from Google through short, focused marketing sprints.

“Without a doubt the number one way to reduce bounce rate is to match the intent of how a person got to the website in the first place. So add copy needs to align with page copy. Blog contact needs to match the search content somebody had one coming in through Google. The headline and featured image need to align with why somebody might click a link on social. The number one reason people bounce Is because they clicked over to the website and it doesn’t align with why they wanted to come over to the site in the first place.

Also, an alternative point of view, I think we should focus less on reducing bounce rate and more on increasing conversions. Trying to get people to take an action or do some thing on a page in an effort to reduce the bounce rate isn’t always the right thing for the site visitor. Sometimes they just wanted information, came to the website, got it and left. And that’s totally OK”

8. “Bounce rate is a very misunderstood metric.”

Josh Silverbauer

Joshua Silverbauer is a Partner & Head of Analytics at I’m From the Future. Take a look at his website: Josh Silverbauer

“Bounce rate is a very misunderstood metric. First, we need to understand that Bounce Rate is calculated by a two hit session. Often, a landing page with all actions on the same page could actually show a very high bounce rate because out of the box two page hits will never occur, or the opposite, if the configuration is done wrong and GA is double firing it will show a very low bounce rate because GA is firing twice (thus 2 hits are always occurring).

GA4 solved this issue with engagement rate which is a much more “accurate view” of bounces.

With all of this said, if you are trying to minimize people exiting the website without interactivity, there a few methods that can help.

An intuitive funnel – oftentimes, if you don’t present a next step clearly, users will get lost and not understand where to go next. Outlining a clear funnel for the user can help push them to your desired action
Clear messaging – engage your users with powerful messaging and clear value propositions. This will encourage users to try to find out more.
Reviews & testimonials – social proof is a great way to build trust with your users encouraging them to continue searching on your website

These are ways that will increase activity on your site and lead to greater engagement. Ultimately though, conversions and key events are better metrics than bounce rate to measure if your site is performing optimally.”

9. “Maybe you can’t improve (decrease) the bounce rate”

Martín Garay is a Google Analytics Expert and Senior Digital Analytics Consultant. He is also the CEO & Founder of CookingMetrics.

“Maybe you can’t improve (decrease) the bounce rate. due to the business model and the type of content.and it is correct, within normal and expected to have a high bounce. perhaps the problem is not a high bounce. The problem is, we don’t measure in the best way”

10. “Bounce rate is per se a useless metric”

Marco Giordano

Marco Giordano is a Search Engine Optimization Specialist/Web Analyst at Sika. He is also a Big Python/R advocate.

“Bounce rate is per se a useless metric. It’s quite dangerous and misleading to use it as a sitewide metric. Some may say that it can be useful if segmented but I still think that in most cases you don’t need it either. Focus on the user journey and try assigning a role to every page. What is the supposed action that a user should take on that specific page?”

11. “Improve site search results.”

Kaushal Thakkar

Kaushal Thakkar is the Founder & MD – of Infidigit, Growth Hacker, Organic Marketing Evangelist & Speaker.

“1. Improve Page speed – Most users exit a website because of the slow page load.

2. Improve the user experience – Navigation, design layout, easily readable content, etc.

3. Improve site search results “

12. “You need to directly touch on that visitor’s pain points.”

Jason Wilson is Growth Director at Infintech Designs.

#1: Deliver on the promise. If your headline is “Top 10 ways to decrease anxiety”, you need to directly touch on that visitor’s pain points (Being anxious) and provide them solutions to make them calm. 

#2: Increase engagement by structuring your content to engage, educate, and guide them to the next steps. This includes: 

  • Table of Contents
  • Clear, concise headlines.
  • Good introductions that entice the reader to keep going.
  • Small paragraphs (1-2 sentences max).
  • Video, images, and/or infographics. 
  • Calls to action.

#3: Internal links to related content throughout the page in the following formats:

  • Contextual links to other related pages helps map the journey to other content. 
  • Link to related posts in blocks within the content. 
  • Popular posts section.
  • CTAs (mentioned in #2).

And if I HAD to do a #4… Micro-conversions: Having the reader take an action such as signing up for a newsletter, downloading a guide, etc. You can take them to a conversion page to reduce bounce. Otherwise, you are retaining a potential user whom you can email offers and resources on a drip feed.”

13. “Remove spammy ad units/pop-ups from above the fold”

Andrew Shotland

Andrew Shotland is the Founder & CEO of LocalSEOGuide.com. He is also SEO Consultant for Multi-Location Brands, Local Marketplaces & B2B SaaS.

  • “Add related content links above the fold and make sure they don’t look like an ad
  • Remove spammy ad units/pop-ups from above the fold
  • Block Google from crawling your site so you lose rankings and traffic. Bounce rate will go wayyyy down.”

14. “Don’t give away the answer in the first paragraph, make the user have to read a bit more”

Ashley Russel

Ashley Russel is the Founder of Article Fiesta.

“Tip 1 – add engagement events to better show the true bounce rate, ie set an event when a user scrolls past the fold or remains on page > 1 minute

Tip 2 – don’t give away the answer in the first paragraph, make the user have to read a bit more

Tip 3 – make sure your content is engaging and that your page loads fast, if it takes 3 seconds to load your page and it looks boring, you bet the person is clicking back

Bonus tip – make sure to include links to your other related content that keeps them engaged and interesting – think how often you’ve gone down the youtube related videos rabbit hole, you want your users to do this, but on your site”

15. “Bounce rate should be well measured before doing anything else”

Baptiste Wallerich is the CEO of uRoot agency SEO.

“Making sure the most useful information is above the fold
IMHO bounce rate should be well measured before doing anything else because the data can be biased quite easily. And SEO should understand the difference between dwell time and bounce rate”

16. “Understand the expectation from the user from the keyword they are searching and give them what they are looking for”

Jennifer M.

Jennifer Mathews is an SEO, Author, and Speaker. She has 20+ years of experience in SEO and 15+ years of experience in Enterprise SEO. Check out her website: SEO Goddess

“I primarily focus on traffic from search engines, so my trick to improving bounce rate from search traffic is to understand the expectation from the user from the keyword they are searching and give them what they are looking for. Basically optimizing for user intent by keyword search. For example, if a user is searching with “What is DevOps?”, they truly have no idea what DevOps is and therefore expect the page that’s ranking to explain what it is in addition to what other words around DevOps mean (i.e. DevSecOps, AppSec, CI/CD, etc). This page in GitHub is a good example: https://resources.github.com/devops/. If the user is looking for “DevOps methodologies” then they most likely know what DevOps is and are looking for more information around some methodologies used in a DevOps workflow. This page is a good example: https://resources.github.com/devops/methodology/

17. “It is generally misunderstood and misused as a KPI”

Alan K'necht

Alan K’necht is the Founder and President of K’nechtology Inc. He is also a public speaker, award-winning author, and a corporate trainer (SEO, social media marketing & web/digital analytics)

“Bounce Rate. despite everyone’s focus on it is generally misunderstood and misused as a KPI.

Before you try to decrease the rate, you need to know how it is calculated and if it is applicable to your site.

1. Most analytic tools treat a single page visit as a bounce, regardless if a user spends 1 second or 2 minutes on it. I personally wouldn’t consider if someone spent 2 minutes on my page interacting with it (scrolling, watching a video, etc.) a bounce.

2. The best way to reduce bounce rate, is to track user interactions with the page so that you truly can determine what a bounce is, and then you can figure out why they didn’t interact with the landing page.

3. To decrease a true bounce rate, you need to break down bounces by channels (not much you can do if they come from organic search), but for paid or promoted traffic, you need to focus your efforts (ads, keywords, where you post on social media, time of day of those posts, etc.) to where and when you get the lowest bounce rate and eliminate the worse performing times.

Keep in mind, that some traffic sources may also generate a higher than average conversion rate for those who don’t bounce. It’s best to not pay too much attention to bounce rates, but focus on things like the conversion rate or engagement rate depending on the primary purpose of the site.”

18. “bounce rate isn’t always something that you should be looking to decrease”

Victoria SEO

Victoria SEO is building a niche site from scratch and helping people to grow their niche sites. You can find her at: seoptimi.se

“I would say that bounce rate isn’t always something that you should be looking to decrease, especially since it is measured very differently depending on the tool you are using. For instance, pages with affiliate links may boast a rather ‘high’ bounce rate with Google Analytics, but this could very well be indicative of a high click-through rate to those affiliate links rather than true ‘bounces’ (e.g. back to the SERPs).

With that said, my top 3 tips for decreasing bounce rate are: (1) get straight to the point in above-the-fold content – don’t make your visitors feel like they’ve landed on the wrong page, (2) offer relevant call-to-action links and buttons early and throughout the content, (3) create content with such a high standard of quality that visitors are compelled to explore the rest of your site.”

19. “Ensure that your content is full of value and meaty.”

Lilach Bullock

Lilach Bullock helps B2B entrepreneurs and businesses exponentially grow their business and impact without overwhelming. She is also Speaker, Author, Tech influencer, Podcast host, and guest. You can find her at lilachbullock

“Make sure your content is relevant to the title. Most bounce away frustrated when clicking on an article to find out it’s got nothing to do with what they thought and simply click-bait.
Ensure that your content is full of value and meaty. Fluff content that doesn’t provide value, educate or entertain doesn’t perform as well, and bounce rates are higher.
Consider using an exit intent pop-up for when people want to leave your website so that you can get their email addresses or keep them on the site for longer, looking at something else.”

20. “don’t freak out!”

debbie-chew-headshot

Debbie Chew is an SEO Manager at Dialpad with over 8 years of experience in digital marketing. She specializes in content and link building and is passionate about sharing her learnings with other marketers.

“When you notice that a page has a high bounce rate, don’t freak out! First, look at what queries the page is currently ranking for. Then, ask yourself if the page’s content matches the search intent for those keywords. Compare your page experience with others that are ranking to see whether or not there is a major discrepancy. I’d also check the page experience on mobile and desktop, just in case there are any bugs. It’s really important that you don’t only look at high bounce rate as your main metric and then make changes to your site. You don’t want to make significant changes that may affect the experience of users coming in from relevant queries. This is why it’s important to look at what queries your page is getting impressions and clicks for. Let’s say Google recently gave your page more search visibility and it started ranking for keywords that aren’t so relevant. In this case, you probably don’t need to do anything. Google will eventually realize that those keywords may not be relevant to your content and your page eventually won’t show up for those queries. Although this means less clicks to your site, the traffic you get is more relevant and your bounce rate should return back to normal.”

Molly Youngblood

Molly Youngblood is Technical SEO, Google Product Expert, Google Partner & Ambassador, Grow With Google Partner, Local SEO, Digital Marketing, and Google Trusted Verifier. She is also the technical director of SEO at iQuanti.

“My top three tips on decreasing bounce rate has to do with the content that’s on the page. As a guideline I try to include text content, picture content, video content, and relevant links to authoritative websites like YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. I also recommend including a Google business profile link and Google reviews linked to a website so it makes it easy for users to follow a business on Google Maps and leave them a review. I find that AI to text video generation is a very helpful tool to be able to take information about a company, a product, a service, a practice that someone should follow and learn information about it. Think of it this way would you rather watch a 15-second video about a subject or would you rather read four-five paragraphs about it?”

22. “you need to learn who your audience is and present them with content that actually adds value to them”

Vanhishikha Bhargava

Vanhishikha Bhargava builds content marketing strategies for B2B SaaS companies.

– If you really want to reduce your bounce rate, you need to learn who your audience is and present them with content that actually adds value to them- gone are the days when a discount code could hold their interest; it’s what they get to achieve using your product/ service that keeps them on your page

– Create content journeys; don’t think that your first piece will hook their interest. Make sure you interconnect relevant and related pieces to let visitors browse through what hooks their interest the most.

– Simplify readability and navigation. More often than not, a blog is simply treated as a page where content gets ‘dumped’ and that eventually leads to high bounce rates. I’d recommend you pay as much attention to your content pages as you do on your feature pages.

23. “Websites scatter too many choices on a single page making it difficult to make a choice at all.”

Marianne Sweeny

Marianne Sweeny is an information architect that specializes in SEO, content strategy, and user experience. You can find her work at Daedalus Information Systems

The areas I look to as factors that reduce bounce rate are:   

Navigation: Do the labels and organization of topics mirror how your customers look for your products/services. I very often see a disconnect here on sites that show a large drop off from landing pages without taking action.  

Too many CTAs: The book Content Trap by Bharat Anand segments CTAs into micro- (small steps leading up to the main conversion) and macro-conversions (the one that results in revenue of some kind). All too often, websites scatter too many choices on a single page making it difficult to make a choice at all.  

Suboptimal page layout: For long-form content, all too often what many customers may want is hidden well below the fold. Without page-level navigation, most customers will not know what exists lower on the page. OR, the page is a dead end with no contextually related “next steps: component to draw the visitor into the conversion journey.

Final thoughts

Wow! What an amazing collection of useful advice.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

What are your top 3 tips on decreasing bounce rate“?

Let me know by leaving a comment on our server!

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