What Is Bounce Rate and How To Lower It? [The Complete Guide]

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What Is Bounce Rate and How To Lower It? [The Complete Guide]


Bounce Rate is the percentage of visitors who visit a website and then leave after only visit one page. Bounce Rate ranges between 0% to 100%. The exact formula to calculate bounce rate is:

Rb = Tv/Te

whereas Rb is bounce rate, Tv is the number of visitors who only visited one page and then leave during the particular date range, and Te is total entries to page.

We say a person bounces away when he performs any of the following actions while visiting a webpage:

– Close the tab or Window

– Type in a new url

– Click the back button

– Click an external link on the page and open it within the same tab

Normally, one session will last for about 30 minutes, so that if a person stay on the page for more than 30 minutes, he will be counted for more than one session.


A lot of people are confused between bounce rate and exit rate. In a way, both rates are used to calculate a visitor existing the site. However the distinction between those two is that Bounce Rate is for one page or one visit only, whereas Exit Rate is for the whole site. For example, John landed on a website page through Google search; after he read through that particular page and found that was not what he was looking for, he clicked the back button to continue his search. Now, that can be counted toward both Bounce Rate and Exit Rate.

On the other hand, if John were on the page and there were few interesting articles on the website that caught his eyes, and he went ahead and checked them out. After awhile, he decided to leave the site. In this situation, John’s action can only be counted toward Exit Rate because John visited more than one page before he decided to leave.

three types of bounce rate

Direct Traffic Bounce Rate

Direct traffic is basically when a visitor type in a url in the search bar directly.  Very often, the visitor is just looking for something on the site, such as phone number, contact information, etc. Usually this the least you should be concerned with. Unless majority of your traffics comes from direct traffic and the direct traffic bounce rate is very high, over 60% or so, then you need to be really concerned.

If that happens, you need to check several things and ask the following questions:

1. When did it actually begin to spike?

2. Any changes during that period that might caused the spike? such as adding javascript codes, adding plugins, etc.

3. Fully scan your site, make sure all codes are update to date, there is no malware or loopholes on your site.

4. Check the server log, make sure there is no unusual events occurring.

Referring Site Bounce Rate

This traffic is usually from the related sites. This type of bounce rate is low, because it usually happens when people are interested in the topic, so they want to learn more. On the other hand, if you are experiencing high referring site bounce rate, you need to check your back-linking sites, make sure they are closely related and your content is relevant to their audience; you should request removal of context back-links from the sites that is not related to yours. In average, referring site bounce rate is around 20 percent or less.

Search-Traffic Bounce Rate

There are two type of search traffic: paid search traffic and organic search traffic. If you are experiencing high bounce rate of paid search traffic, then you will need to re-evaluate your Adwords campaigns, and find out which keywords and what events that trigger the high bounce rates. On the other hand, if you are experiencing high bounce rate of organic search traffic, then you will need re-evaluate the landing page; you need to make sure they are easy to read and interesting, so that people are stay on your site longer. Normally, search traffic bounce rate is around 30 percent or less.

how to lower bounce rate

This can be your main concern if you have a very high bounce rate. There are actually many ways that can lower your website’s bounce rate. Following are top 10 things that you might want to consider in order to lower the bounce rate.

1. Website Speed

This one is no-brainer; you want your site to load as faster it could. No one wants to stay on a site that takes more than 10 seconds to load.

Related:  Does W3C Validation Affect SEO

2. Responsive

Everyday, more people are switching to smartphone. If you want to gain a piece of mobile traffics, you better make sure your site is responsive. Again, using mobile,  no one wants to stay long on a website that is not responsive; it is simply too hard to read and navigate.

3.  Annoy Pop-Ups

How annoy it can be if you visit a site that is full of pop-ups. Unless you have super valuable information, not many people would stay on your site for longer than 5 seconds. So do us all a favor, remove those annoy pop-ups.

4.  Make it Readable

Hey, not very one got a PhD, so make it as simple as possible. Basically, just get right to the point. Instead of a long paragraph, turn it into several paragraphs. Instead of writing a paragraph about all list of things, turn them into a list.

5.  Website Color

Again, the contrast colors between your website background and your content should be high and colors should be comfortable to the eyes. So that visitors are able to continue reading.

6. Open External Links in New Tabs or Windows

You should always open external links in new tab or windows, so that visitors will still on your site. It is actually very easy to do, you simply add the target=”_blank” to the href.

7.  Create a Helpful 404 Page

It is very common that sometimes webmasters might need to change or delete certain pages or permalinks because of certain reasons. When that happens, and if a visitor tries to access the page, it will return 404 not found page. A lot of people neglect the fact that if 404 page is not being optimized, people would just leave once they are landing on not found page. Instead of that, we can implement search engine on the 404 page, so people can actually search for related articles on the site. Another way to deal with a not found page is to redirect the not found page to a related page, so that visitors can still get what they are looking for.

8.  Split Up Long Posts

This is actually a really good technique to reduce your bounce rate if your article is very interesting and contain valuable information. Let’s be honest, no one wants to read a very long article. So if you have a long interesting article, turn it into several topics or  articles.

9. Related Articles 

Implementing related articles widget after each post is a great way of reducing bounce rate, because visitors might keep reading on your site.

10. Ads and Banners

Too many ads and banners on the page can create a lot of distraction and bad impression to visitors. Therefore, if you have a lot of ads and banners, try to minimize to as few as possible.

Those are just my personal suggestion on how to you can reduce your website’s bounce rate, if you have better ways, please let us know by leaving a comment below.

How to Block High Bounce Rate Referring Sites

If you know a referring site that causes more than 90% of bounce rate on your site, then it is best to block it. It is actually quite easy to do it.


Regarding to the question, most people would agree that high bounce rate is bad. Some SEO Gurus even claim that bounce rate is one of the important ranking factors. The claim is probably true, because normally when you have high bounce rate, it means visitors did not obtain what what they were looking. However, it might also mean that visitors only looked for some specific data or content, and once they got those, they might have no interest in other stuffs and left.  In this case, high bounce rate is not necessary a  bad thing.

Most people, even some SEO Gurus, believe a low bounce rate tends to be a good sign of people engaged on your website. However, that is not always the case. What if it is visitors were not able to find on that page and wanted to dig deeper to the site, and they just kept searching on your site in hoping to get what they were looking for. In this case, it can actually be bad thing, because of bad user experience.

In conclusion, by only looking at a bounce rate number is hard to tell whether it is good or bad. You need to dig deeper that find out why your bounce rate is so low or so high.

2018-06-14T15:27:57+00:00By |Categories: Featured, SEO|Tags: , , , , |

About the Author:

Founder of Siteber: a full-stack web developer with more than 8 years working experience in WordPress, SEO, and internet marketing.


  1. khaled syfullah November 21, 2014 at 8:11 am - Reply

    actually i was not known to bounce rate at all…thanks for the post …it made my concept clear

  2. Jiten January 26, 2015 at 10:13 am - Reply

    Very helpful post .Thanks !!

  3. Bijutoha February 5, 2015 at 11:19 am - Reply

    But my question is If I want to reduce bounce rate on Forum then what should I do?

    • Feng Liu February 6, 2015 at 1:02 am - Reply

      provide engaging or useful content, and use internal linking

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