How to reduce bounce rate in WordPress?

August 9, 2020

What is a bounce rate?

The bounce rate of your WordPress website refers to the percentage of visitors that come to your website and leave without visiting any other additional pages.

Coupled with other metrics such as a page’s average session duration (which is the average length of a session), a high bounce rate can be a good indicator of user satisfaction.

Example, this blog post seems to be answering people’s questions quite well since over 80% of users who visited the landing page from search results left the website after spending more than 1 minute on the page.

average session duration

Whether a high bounce rate is an indicator of user satisfaction or not really depends on the page you’re looking at, the industry you are involved in and the type of content you are showing users. It is up to you to use your judgement to assess whether a high bounce rate on a specific landing page is a good thing.

In this article we will make the assumption that improving the bounce rate of a landing page (such as a product page) is something to work towards since it may retain users longer and help them take an action on the site. We will then detail a few methods that will help WordPress website owners reduce bounce rate.

How to find bounce rate data?

There are a lot of different ways to identify bounce rates for a page. The approach chosen here is to use Google Analytics.

Step 1 –  Sign into your Google Analytics account 

Step 2 – Select the  “Behavior” tab, then “Site Content” and then “Landing Pages”.

bounce rate

From this screen you either read the average site’s bounce rate or look at individual bounce rates at a landing page level. The latter provides better insights – since high / low bounce rates tell different stories depending on the type of page you are looking at.

How to improve a page bounce rate?

Write high quality content

Users could be leaving your page because something is missing.

Content is king.  Make the content on your product pages more detailed and informative, create more opportunities for your users to spend more time on the page and to learn more about the product they are looking at. 

For example, user-generated reviews, FAQs, better product descriptions can contribute to retaining users on-site, removing the need for them to leave the website and find the information they are looking for elsewhere.

Improve page load times

Users could be leaving your page because it takes too long to load.

With attention spans lower than ever, your visitors expect the website to load in 3 seconds or less before they lose patience and go to your competitors.

To test the loading time of your website use tools such as Pingdom and GTmetrix which provide suggestions on how to improve the performance and speed of your site.

Some of the things you can do to improve page load time include minimizing JavaScript and CSS, moving to better hosting, implementing caching, and optimizing images. Details below:

Minimizing JavaScript and CSS 

The best way to minimize CSS and JavaScript is through using plugins. Some of the best plugins include Autoptimize and Fast Velocity Minify, which can defer CSS and JavaScript to make your site load faster.

Caching 

Caching is a good way to reduce page load times for users by storing web objects, files, and images on the users device memory. This reduces the page load size and time needed to download these items on the user’s subsequent visits.

Optimizing Images

Unoptimized images may consume a lot of bandwidth making your pages load very slowly. Fortunately, images can be easily optimized using plugins such as WP Smush, which you only need to install and activate to reduce the size of your images.

Read this detailed article by DesignRush to learn more about How To Optimize Your Website For Speed, SEO & Online Conversions.

Enhance user experience

Users could be leaving your page because it’s not user-friendly.

Is your content readable enough?

Use a lot of white space to break up text in addition to using small paragraphs. You also need to be using large enough fonts that would be easy to read even on mobile devices. Bullet points usually encourage people to read as the content looks less intimidating and better organized.

Is your website easy to navigate?

Have an easy to find navigation bar with the most important categories on your website. You should also have links to the most popular content on a sidebar, where users can easily get to them. An obvious site search bar on the navigation menu will also make the site easy to navigate and reduce bounce rates.

Is your website mobile-friendly? 

With more than half of web users searching on mobile, you need to have a mobile responsive website. If your website is not entirely mobile-friendly, use responsive WordPress plugins and themes to minimize issues with resizing and scrolling. Read more on how to make your WordPress friendlier for mobile users.

Is related content easy to discover?

If you believe that there are other important pages on the website that may help the user, link internally to them in the content of your page. Create opportunities for your users to keep browsing about the topic. Adding call to action buttons is also a great way to encourage users to keep interacting with the page.

Add elements inspiring trust

Showing credibility means that your website has to inspire trust and belief in your users. It is important as it not only reduces your bounce rates but also boosts your conversion rates.

There are several ways to increase the trust factors on your landing pages.

Add industry logos

If you are part of industry associations, hold certifications, have won awards and the like, add these pieces of information on your website.

Have a great design 

People still judge books by their cover and thus your design is very important. A good design will project professionalism and trustworthiness as compared to a poor or unattractive design.

Also featured in

If you have been featured on any notable websites such as The New York Times, TechCrunch or other site relevant to your business, include a prominent link on your landing pages showing these attributions.

Make it easy to contact you

Include your phone number, address, and email addresses on your sidebar or navigation menus so that users can be confident they are dealing with a legitimate organization that is readily contactable.

Add a team page

This is the best way to show your users you are operating a real business run by real people that they can contact if required. 

SSL certificate

If you haven’t already got an SSL certificate, get one. We wrote a piece about why SSL is required and how to install it on WordPress.

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