10 Tips for Reducing the Bounce Rate on Your WordPress Site

Share this article

A ‘Bounce Rate‘ is simply the percentage of users who visit your site and then navigate away after viewing just a single page. You can make use of Google Analytics to determine the bounce rate of your site and therefore the percentage of users that are actually clicking away from your site after viewing only one page. Bounce rate is an important consideration, not only in terms of user engagement and experience, but also SEO. If you’re interested in the bounce rate from an SEO perspective, then it’s worth also having a read of The Top WordPress SEO Plugins Reviewed. Bounce rate is a serious issue for many sites, but there are effective methods which can be employed to reduce it. Below, I’ll show you how to reduce bounce rate on your WordPress site with methods that really work.

Key Takeaways

  1. Understanding Bounce Rate: Bounce rate is a crucial metric indicating the percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing just one page, highlighting the importance of engaging content and user experience for SEO and user retention.
  2. Strategies for Improvement: Implementing practical steps such as increasing site speed, providing quality content, improving mobile responsiveness, and optimizing site design can significantly reduce bounce rates, enhancing both user satisfaction and site performance.
  3. Engagement and Navigation: Encouraging longer site visits through clear navigation, internal linking, and displaying related posts can keep users engaged, further contributing to a lower bounce rate and increased interaction with your content.

Reducing Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate

1. Increase Site Speed

Internet users are becoming less tolerant of slow loading sites all of the time. A report by Sean Work shows that 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load, a one second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions, and that if an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a one second page delay could potentially cost it $2.5 million in lost sales every year. If you are the only provider of a specific service or type of content, and you don’t particularly care about the user-experience you’re providing, then you might consider ignoring your site loading speed. Otherwise, speed up your site as much as you can and don’t expect users to sit around waiting for your site to complete loading (they actually won’t) if sluggish. See my article on 12 Ways to Speed up Your WordPress Website for more information.

2. Provide Quality Content

Provision of quality content is no doubt the most crucial factor when it comes to the success of a site. Providing poor content will not only increase the bounce rate on your site, but will also make you lose the trust and confidence in your users. When users visit a site and can’t get what they want, they leave and search for other places to get it, and they tend not to return.

3. Long Articles Should be Split Into Parts

People tend to be time-poor and want concise, informative articles without unnecessary padding and irrelevant information. Give them what they want, in a form that can be quickly and easily understood and they will stay around and take more interest in your content.

4. You Don’t Have to Use Pop Ups

Pop-ups may increase subscription rates and conversions but they also run a high risk of annoying people. I myself immediately close a pop-up and navigate away from a site if I come across one. There are plenty of alternative ways of presenting call to actions, perhaps a short announcement or subscription widget. You can also conduct A/B split testing to see what works best for your site.

5. Improve Site’s Mobile Responsiveness

With a rapidly growing number of visitors accessing the web via smartphones and tablets, you should really prepare your WordPress site to work just perfectly on small screen sizes. This shouldn’t be a problem, as you can easily handle this by choosing themes that are responsive. If you can’t afford a paid responsive theme, trust me, you’ll find hundreds of free themes that are responsive. Check out this recent post by Tahir Taous which covers 10 of the Most Popular Free WordPress Themes. You don’t really want to send visitors away with your own links right? So when making reference to resources outside your site, you should ensure they really see the resources “outside” your site. One method that is commonly used is to set the target attribute in links to _blank, this will ensure users are redirected to a new tab when they click on the links, instead of opening the link in the same page with your site. This method is often the subject of hot debate, but it’s something a lot of people do. <a href="https://link_here" target="_blank"> Some text here </a>

7. Site Design and User Experience

Let’s imagine we open a site with the goal of reading a post or checking out their services and as we land on the site we’re welcomed with a completely yellow background, red text, and a header high enough to house your photo album. If you’re like me, then you won’t think twice before navigating away from the site. Site design is a very crucial element that should be well taken care of. Even if your content is not perfect, trust me, if your site is clean and pleasing, you might encourage users to stick around and check out other pages on your website.
This is no doubt a good way to keep users on your site. Rather than linking to external resources all the time, referring to the ones you have on your site is good. When users finish reading a post on your site, what do they do next? Stick around or go back to where they came from? Even though great content encourages users to read more, you have to make it as simple as possible, especially when they are interested in staying. A plugin like YARRP will help achieve this goal without any stress.

9. Handle Ads Wisely

I understand you have to generate some revenue from your site, but if you don’t do this wisely, you might be losing in two ways: reduction in revenue and reduction in the amount of users and their time onsite. You don’t really want to make visitors wonder what is an ad and what is the real content. Retain just a very few ads on your homepage, or better still if possible have none. On your post pages, arrange the ads the best way you can, text ads would be perfect.

10. Provide Clear Navigation

Assuming you build your business website using WordPress, creating clear and understandable navigation in the header area is ideal. If you can’t provide a clear path through your site for users, they’ll leave and go somewhere else. For example, when users are only interested in seeing your portfolio to decide if you’d be great to work with, implementing a bad navigation system will have them searching for other alternatives in no time. Make sure your navigation is clear and easy to access, understandable and not confusing.


Keep this in mind, bounce rate reduction doesn’t happen overnight. It is a consistent gradual process, and effective application of the strategies explained above can effectively reduce it on your site. Perhaps you have an additional tip for reducing bounce rates? Please share using the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions on Reducing Bounce Rate on Your WordPress Site

What is a good bounce rate for a WordPress site?

A good bounce rate varies depending on the type of website and its content. However, generally, a bounce rate between 26% to 40% is considered excellent, 41% to 55% is roughly average, while 56% to 70% is higher than average. Anything over 70% is disappointing for everything outside of blogs, news, events, etc.

How can I improve the loading speed of my WordPress site to reduce bounce rate?

Improving the loading speed of your WordPress site can significantly reduce the bounce rate. You can achieve this by optimizing your images, using a Content Delivery Network (CDN), enabling browser caching, and minimizing HTTP requests. Also, consider using a high-quality hosting service and reducing the use of plugins that slow down your site.

How does a responsive design help in reducing the bounce rate?

A responsive design ensures that your website looks and functions well on all devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. This is crucial as a significant number of users access websites from their mobile devices. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, users are likely to leave, increasing your bounce rate.

How can I use content formatting to reduce bounce rate?

Content formatting plays a crucial role in reducing bounce rate. Break your content into smaller, digestible sections using headers, subheaders, bullet points, and images. This makes it easier for users to scan through and find the information they need, thus keeping them engaged and reducing the likelihood of them bouncing off.

How does improving website navigation reduce bounce rate?

Improving website navigation makes it easier for users to find what they’re looking for on your site. This includes having a clear, easy-to-use menu, a search function, and logical page hierarchy. The easier it is for users to navigate your site, the longer they’re likely to stay, reducing your bounce rate.

How can I use internal linking to reduce bounce rate?

Internal linking refers to linking your pages together, which encourages users to explore more content on your site. This not only improves the user experience but also increases the time spent on your site, thus reducing the bounce rate.

How does updating old content help in reducing bounce rate?

Updating old content keeps it relevant and valuable to users. If users find outdated or irrelevant information on your site, they’re likely to leave, increasing your bounce rate. Regularly updating your content ensures it remains useful and engaging to users, reducing the likelihood of them bouncing off.

How can I use call-to-action (CTA) buttons to reduce bounce rate?

Call-to-action buttons guide users on what to do next, whether it’s to read more, sign up, buy now, etc. By strategically placing CTAs on your site, you can encourage users to take the desired action, thus increasing engagement and reducing bounce rate.

How does providing high-quality content reduce bounce rate?

High-quality content is engaging, valuable, and meets the needs of your users. If your content is high-quality, users are more likely to stay on your site longer, explore more pages, and less likely to bounce off.

How can I use analytics to reduce bounce rate?

Analytics provide valuable insights into user behavior on your site. By analyzing this data, you can identify problem areas, such as pages with high bounce rates, and make necessary improvements. Regularly monitoring and acting on your analytics can help you reduce your bounce rate over time.

Software developer and marketing consultant. Loves experimenting with product development and design.

bouncebounce rateChrisBSEOuser engagementWordPress
Share this article
Read Next
Get the freshest news and resources for developers, designers and digital creators in your inbox each week
Loading form