How to Reduce Your Bounce Rate the Easy Way

By Samuel Frost
How to Reduce Your Bounce Rate the Easy Way


If you use Google Analytics then you will probably have noticed a metric called "bounce rate". Plainly speaking, this is a measure of the percentage of people who left your site from the same page they entered it, without having visited any other pages (you can check out the official Google definition here). 

A high bounce rate tends to indicate that your landing pages aren't very relevant to visitors. This reflects poorly on your website, and also has a negative impact on your search engine rankings. On the other hand, websites with low bounce rates are more likely to rank well in Google (and other search engines)

So how do you reduce your website's bounce rate?

In this blog post I'm going to show you a few very simple things you can do in order to reduce the bounce rate on your website. Keep these in mind when you create new pages or posts, and you'll notice a big decrease in your bounce rate (which is good, because it means visitors are going to stick around for longer)

Add Internal Links To The Top Of Your Pages

One of the easiest ways to reduce your bounce rate (with almost zero effort) is to introduce internal links to the top of your pages. By now you probably know the effectiveness of internal linking for high search engine rankings. However, you can take this one step further by adding anchor text optimized links to other pages on your site, but adding them well above the page fold.

Here is an example from one of my sites:

reduce bounce rate

From the red arrow above you can clearly see an internal link to another one of my pages. If a visitor clicks on that link shortly after landing on the above page then my bounce rate will decrease.

This is so easy to do - I highly recommend that you start adding internal links near the top of every one of your pages and posts.

Avoid Excessive Ads

One thing that really puts visitors off your site quickly is when they are greeted with excessive numbers of ads. I'm not talking simple text-link CTAs that you might use for Clickbank or Amazon products here. Instead, I'm talking about intrusive Adsense displays, gaudy banner ads, and other "in your face" forms of advertisement.

Although these may have all been very effective in early days of the Internet, most visitors now suffer from what Internet marketers like to term "banner blindness". This is basically a situation where people avoid clicking on banners or other intrusive ads.

Worse still, if you use lots of these types of ads then many visitors will simply hit your page and leave without ever exploring your content. To be honest, you can't blame them! Nobody wants to be bombarded with spammy-looking content that is clearly designed to elicit a click.

Protip - if you're going to use banners then err on the side of using too few, as opposed to using too many. Make sure any visual ads you display are tasteful and don't interfere with getting people to read your content.

Build Pages That Load Quickly

Clicking on a search result in Google, only to hit the back button after you find yourself waiting for what seems like an eternity for the page to load, is a common online experience. If your visitors are leaving your landing pages because they don't load quickly enough then you are in big trouble, as you will have a big bounce rate.

Make sure that your pages load as quickly as possible (remembering that not all visitors will have fast Internet connections, or a great deal of patience)

Here are some tips to decrease both your page load times and bounce rate:

  • Analyze your page load times with Pingdoom Tools (it's free, and you get a cool performance grade out of 100)
  • Use "save for web" options for your images to reduce their size and load times
  • Don't use HTML to resize images - make sure that you upload in the correct size to begin with
  • If you use Wordpress then try a caching plugin like WP Super Cache - this can dramatically reduce your page load times
  • Avoid using tacky animated gif images

Decreasing page load times is also extremely important because many visitors will simply refuse to use your site if pages take too long to load. According to some research, most web users expect that a page will load in 2 seconds or less and will almost certainly leave if the page takes longer than 3 seconds to load (check the details here)


In today's blog post you have learned three of the easiest ways to reduce the bounce rate of your website. By doing so you will improve traffic flow through your site, and hopefully increase your search engine rankings as well. Small tweaks like those you learned today can make a large difference to your website.

To recap, make sure that you place internal links prominently above the page fold, avoid excessive ads on your pages, and decrease your site loading time.

I'd love to hear your tips and tricks for reducing page bounce rates (or your thoughts on this blog post). Just leave a comment below and get the discussion started!

Hi Sam,
This is another fantastic one you've done. I'm so happy to read it. As a newbie, I will quickly take the pain to do what I've learnt to see the result.


Samuel Frost 12 years ago
Hi Michael,

Thanks for the kind comments. Hopefully you really get to work and get your bounce rate down.
Grady Pruitt 12 years ago
I think I might need to work more on inserting internal linking to my other pages in my content. Of the things you have listed here, I think that's the thing I need to do a better job of.

Something else that can have a profound effect is your theme design. I remember a few years ago, my brother, James, told me he had a high bounce rate that he couldn't figure out why. I took a look at his page and realized right away that he was using a shade of red for a background color that was most likely scaring people away. Certain colors (particularly the brighter shades of red, green, yellow, and blue) can be glaring in large spaces. I suggested he use a darker, more subtle shade. He saw immediate improvements.

I've also recently seen some improvement in my bounce rate just by improving my header logo.

These things are easy to overlook, but can have a profound impact.
Samuel Frost 12 years ago
Hi Grady,

Inserting internal links definitely does help a lot (especially if they are above the page fold)

This is because visitors can quickly click away to a different page - therefore reducing your bounce rate.

All the best.
David Britton 12 years ago
hi, i have just tried wp super cache and found that it made my site 2 seconds slower. I tested this a few times. whats the crack there?
Clife Hiwat 12 years ago
I Had the same problem , I installed Super cache pluging and I test it with the pingdom tool and it become slower
Samuel Frost 12 years ago
That's very strange - SuperCache shouldn't do that at all.

Try this guide to WP Super Cache and see if it fixes your problem:
David Britton 12 years ago
I know putting the internal link will improve on the bounce rate but wont it be taking people away from your affiliate link?

Also I have changed the theme of my site to the new affilorama theme and my bounce rate has gone from 80-90% to around 50% which I think is quite an achievement.

Samuel Frost 12 years ago
Hi daveyace,

That is a MASSIVE improvement!

As a rule, any bounce rate around 50% is "good", so you've gone from a huge (bad) bounce rate to a good one.
Jim Coe 12 years ago
For me the best idea in your valuable post is the above the fold text links to relevant articles elsewhere on your site. I need to do more of that. Wouldn't want do it on my landing pages though - don't want visitors wandering off.

As a visual marketing expert, I'd also suggest adding 2-4 very relevant images to your page, if you haven't any.

Those and other visual optimization can make your pages more engaging for longer viewing and also improve visitor's understanding of your offer and perhaps boost trust and authority to improve sales.

And the image alt tags give you a few more places for keywords to improve your on-page SEO.
Mark Ling 12 years ago
Another way of reducing bounce rates is to adding a video to your page (so long as it is relevant!) This can be one of your own videos (preferred option), or a random video that is relevant that you've embedded from youtube. It can be a recorded slideshow video, it doesn't have to be live motion video.
Samuel Frost 12 years ago
True - adding video helps. However, you've got to be careful that people don't just watch your video and click away!

Also, if your video is TOO long (ie more than 30 minutes) and someone stays on-page to watch it then you will register another bounce.

According to Wikipedia:

"A commonly used session timeout value is 30 minutes[2]. In this case, if a visitor views a page, doesn't look at another page, and leaves his or her browser idle for longer than 30 minutes, they will register as a bounce. If the visitor continues to navigate after this delay, a new session will occur."
Randy Bonachita 12 years ago
Hey Mark thanks for emailing this. Even if it is late as you said on the email the value being offered for free is very valuable.
Randy Bonachita 12 years ago
Sam I have a question, first sorry for not asking on the first comment.

On Pingdom tools what Perf. grade do you consider to be okay?
aden h bufton 12 years ago
Very interesting. The sort of stuff I would never have realised as a newbie. Many thanks
Yassin Madwin 12 years ago
Based on my experience updating more and more exclusive content reduce dramatically bounce rate i had a bounce rate of 29 and 11 min . can you imagine that !! but when i started to update less frequent bounce rate raises to 45 . and Oh having a blue site reduce bounce rate too
Alexander Gasser 12 years ago
Great Infos so i will start to boost my loadingtimes.
Justin Sawyer 12 years ago
Does anyone else get the feeling that bounce rate may become more of a ranking factor in the near future?

What with all the recent changes n'all.

Nice tips, thanks Sam.
Nica Mandigma 12 years ago
Good tip on using internal linking to reduce bounce rates.

There is something that I'd like to get your opinion on. Some sites do not have search boxes and I suppose that is to "force" people to keep going from page to page finding the info they want. What do you think of this?
Kenneth Adair 12 years ago
with the internal linking - should I open the page in a new window or just go straight there?

Seems like the new window might not change bounce rate.
Gordon 12 years ago
I have started to change my pages by putting the page links in the contents instead of sidebar.
The bounce rate is high for my site, I will have to see if this makes a difference.
Chadrack 12 years ago
Really good tips. I love the one about adding internal links new the top of the page. Thanks for sharing.
peter mcgrath 12 years ago
hi Sam
thanks for a really informative I must say with all the different types of software around which builds blogs/website etc its real easy to forget the basics.I mean inserting links between pages at the top of each page .,having fast loading pages I have often click off apage because it loade slowly
many thanks
peter mcgrath
Rhoda Ross 12 years ago
Great comments, I will certainly use these tips and some of the ones in the comments, all useful. thanks Rhoda
Jes Munguia 12 years ago
Great post. Extremely helpful and much appreciated!
Glynne 12 years ago
Would youy recommend I put the internal links on all pages on my site or just the blog?
Samuel Frost 12 years ago
Hi Glynne,

Put internal links on every single page of your site. This is very important for good on-page SEO.
David 12 years ago
These are good ideas. I'll put them into practice.
Rubel Mohammed 12 years ago
I have a question about this techniques: Is there any problem if a post contain too many internal links ( 10 or 13 links) in terms of Seo?

For instance, Wikipedia is made of internal links! However, this one is an authority site.

Will an article get high ranking if it has 10 or 13 internal links and at the same time valuable content?

In a nutshell, I would like to know whether there is any penalization for too many internal links.

Samuel Frost 12 years ago

I don't think you will be penalized for using lots of internal links, provided these internal links actually point to useful pages on your site.
Astro Gremlin 12 years ago
Sam, these are all excellent tips to reduce bounce rate. When my bounce rate gets really bad, I know its loading speed. Here's a great free plugin that really improved my bounce rate - LinkedWithin. I put a photo on every post and LinkedWithin lets me display a gallery of photos linked internally to their articles. People do like to click on those photos!
Ann Tyson 12 years ago
Like Dave says above...
Before this thread I thought 'Bounce Rate" was how quickly people left your site - not where they left from.
So now I'm confused. Don't you want your visitors to leave your page by clicking your affiliate link? I thought our aim was to make it as easy as possible for the visitor to get to the product page we're promoting.

Maybe I need to watch more Affilorama videos!
Ken 12 years ago
Sam, thanks for sharing especially the Pingdom tool
Eenadu 12 years ago
Yes! you are right. I see many of my site pages have very high bounce rate, because i have not placed any link in the content of the page.

I will definitely follow your instructions to reduce bounce rate.

Thanks for your valuable tips & i hope to see more simple tips to get better rankings in SE's.

Best Regards
sue ann 12 years ago
By the way, what is the appropriate bounce rate %? I will also adjust the position of the internal links in my website. Thanks for the information.
Steve Faber 12 years ago

One other reason for the high bounce rate, and one you can determine by your average time on page stats for the pagfwe in question, is that the page gave them exactly what they came for. They had no need to go anywhere else to find al the info they were looking for.

The average visitor stays on a page for less than 10 seconds. If a page has a high bounce rate, but a very hign average time, such as longer than 2 minutes, your visitors are most likely finding the information they needed.

That being said, it also means that you are not capturing their info, or otherwise converting them into buyers or subscribers. In that respect, your page ma be giving your visitors what they want, but it's not doing the job you need it to.
yash 12 years ago
Very nice tips..Decreasing page load time definitely helps in retaining visitors.And I have personally experienced it.One of my site was having high load time but after decreasing the pageload time.My bounce rate decreased by 15%.
Julie Wilson 12 years ago
Wow, thanks very much Sam. I decreased my page load time and added an internal link near the top of each of my pages and posts after reading your article on the 5th July. My bounce rate went from 76% to 59% overnight and has stayed around the same since.
12 years ago
Some great information here, particularly the load speed. I've found the Wordpress Cache plugin to be brilliant.
dennis 12 years ago
Great tips and many insightful comments. Can you explain comment from "badboyself2 " stating that a blue site is also effective in reducing bounce rates. Is that as simple as it sounds or am I missing some technical angle?
Gavin McAuliffe 11 years ago
I think it is just that blue is a comfortable colour and people aren't put off by it whereas they might be put off by glarey colours and leave quickly without bothering to read anything.
Dale Lorence 12 years ago
I am having problems with bounce rates. It's good to see this post. I learned from your tips.
Gregory Despain 12 years ago
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Amado 12 years ago
Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the images on this blog loading?
I'm trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it's the blog.
Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.
Sunil Visvambaram 12 years ago
I actually do meet almost all the requirements to reduce the bounce rate except not creating internal links which I would start doing as soon as possible.
As you can see, I don't have much ads on my site and there is a lot of information on the acne topic.
Nevertheless, this is a good post about reducing the bounce rate. Thank you Sam!

Andrew A. Sailer 12 years ago
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Matt Langford 12 years ago
I think you have made some very good points. I guess this is one of the most important aspects when it comes to designing a website. As designs have become simpler they tend to loose the "user experience" which pays a large part in the increase of bounce rate.
Krishna 11 years ago
Nice article you have provided, one of the other factor/s I have noted is long and short type of articles, sometimes long articles becomes major cause of high bounce rates!
Aditya Saini 11 years ago
I have to reduce Page Load time to decrease Bounce Rate and some other optimizations are also required.
Lisa 11 years ago
Noob here thanks for the easy and informative help! I will be adding internal links.
Andy A 11 years ago
Hey Sam, I appreciate the post. I am not familiar with caching too much, but the slow aspect may be an issue with my site and the bounce rate. My Alexa says that my site takes around 4-5 seconds to load, but I am not sure if this is accurate or not. According to Pingdom, my site is really slow. Good to know... Appreciate the share.