Marketing Questions - fix high bounce rate

How can I fix high bounce rate?

I have been asked this question many times over the years, and it’s not as simple as you might think. The question should read “WHY do I have a high bounce rate?” Only when we understand “why” can we address “how”.

So, lets start with the basics.

What is bounce rate?

Bounce rate is the percentage of people that arrive on your website and leave without taking any action or reading any further pages.

Google defines it here like this:

A bounce is a single-page session on your site. In Analytics, a bounce is calculated specifically as a session that triggers only a single request to the Analytics server, such as when a user opens a single page on your site and then exits without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server during that session.

Bounce rate is single-page sessions divided by all sessions, or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the Analytics server.

What is a normal bounce rate?

That’s a trick question. There is only “normal” for your website – and ideally you work towards reducing it.

What are the causes of high bounce rate?

There are many possible reasons you may have a high bounce rate – and one of those is simply that the user did not need to take any other action than read the information on the page in front of them. If they were searching for a definition or a translation, and you provided it, it is quite logical that they took no further action and left. However, most websites exist to generate pageviews, leads and sales, so we want people to engage with our website.

You forgot your ABC…

The building blocks to SEO, paid search and any other form of inbound marketing is to start with understanding who you are trying to target and how. If your website sells snow and you have focussed your campaign on attracting Eskimos to your site, they may come, but they won’t stay to buy.

A more real-life example? If you are selling supply chain management software to large organisations, you can easily attract large amounts of consumer traffic (and university students) to your site through supply chain definitions and mentions of known transporters, but none of those consumers will contact you for a demo of your software.

How to fix it:

Go back to the beginning. Create user stories of success and using those personas think about how they might find your business, and what tools and what language they would use. Back up those findings with keyword research. Good quality data will ensure your success.

Pro tip: Check out the competition and don’t be afraid to look at how they are trying to attract the same audience, you might get some great ideas (and probably a list of things to avoid at all costs too!).

You misled the visitor

You may have done this unintentionally, but your PPC ads, meta data or call to action in your email may have led them to believe that they were going to get something that you weren’t offering. If you PPC ad says “Buy Online Today and save 25%” and they arrive to find the item at full price, they’ll hit the back button. Equally if your meta title says “Everything you need to know about the North Pole” and your page has two lines of content, it’s “game over”.

How to fix it:

Align your message with the landing page. Or your landing page with the message. Make a clear connection between them.

You forgot to invite them to do anything else

I see this a lot. A company sells a service. They tell the visitor what that service is, and maybe even why they should use it.


How to fix it:

Tell your visitors what you’d like them to do next – that might be further reading, contact or buy, but make sure they have a path to follow. They won’t all follow the path – but at least you’ve given them a chance.

You made the next action too hard

Sometimes I see websites that have gone a bit overboard on the above technique. There are 30 “read more” links, 10 buttons, 2 different forms, and a pop up that you just can’t get rid of. That’s enough to make even the most determined of buyers hit the back button.

How to fix it:

Keep the analogy of a path in mind. There are always options depending where you want to go, but ultimately, you’re being drawn forwards – towards a destination. Go back the user stories we created in step 1 and encourage the user to take the next step with simple choices.

Bounce rate is influenced by too many factors to cover everything here, but these are certainly the most common. If you are experiencing issues please feel free to contact us for a free, no-obligation chat.

ecommerce and conversion

Three PROVEN conversion tactics that are easy to apply

Tip One: Make the Hard Bit Easy

So, you invested in getting your traffic to your site, you’ve engaged them, and now even persuaded them to click “buy” or open up that sign up form… But almost everyone hesitates here. And most will decide they are not ready/will do it later/don’t have enough time/don’t have the right information to hand/don’t understand what they need to do.

Checkouts and forms are the final step in a long process, but they made it to the top of my list because their proportional importance is just so high. Even if you’ve done everything right throughout the user journey – the smallest block at this point could cost you the lead/sale.

The answer is of course to make it easy for them.

B2B Lead Gen and Sign Up Forms

For forms collect the most important information first. And only collect what you need to make the sales call. Yes, your Sales Manager probably does want to be pre-armed with information like the company’s size and revenue, who they are currently using to supply this service and what breakfast cereal the Head of Procurement likes, but you don’t *need* that information to make the call. Keep it short, simple and to the point. Use multi page forms if you really want supplementary information – but capture name, company, email and phone number in step one.

B2C Forms

All the same principles as above. Keep it short, simple and collect the minimum. Remember not everyone is really web savvy so keeping field names simple and things like restrictive formatting in phone number fields to a minimum will help make the process seamless.

Ecommerce & Checkouts

A real bug bear of mine is clients with shiny new sites, great digital marketing and then a sad and neglected checkout that looks a lot like an afterthought. This is where you turn your investment into all those activities into return! Research what your competitors are doing, make a note of sites that you use that are easy to buy from, ask your friends, family, staff, long standing customers and of course your CRO agency what they like – and go all out to make this the BEST page on your site. Whatever you go with, think back to the reasons that people don’t buy, and address them.

Tip Two: Intuitive Upsells and Cross Sells

As converting an existing customer is so much easier than acquiring a new one, think about what else you can sell them – and make it super-easy for them to accept your suggestion.


If they are buying a monthly subscription, off a marginal discount for 3 months, 6 months or a year.

Digital Collateral

If they are buying access to a resource library, then split it into Silver, Gold and Platinum resources, and add a premium for access. If they are buying a download offer them more RELEVANT downloads, with one click add to basket. Or access to the whole lot.


Look at Amazon. They were the pioneers in this area. “Customers also viewed…”, “Frequently bought together…”. Think logically about what else your customer is likely to need or want if they buy product X. Do they need accessories? Extended guarantee? Support? Might they need more of the same product for later use? Is there a premium version of that product?

Tip Three: Incite Action from Hesitant Customers

Even with their shopping basket bulging at the seams, and that super sleek checkout page in front of them, there are still a few excuses not to buy. And they are usually emotional. So, we recommend a few tactics to incite an emotional desire to act now, that is hopefully stronger then the emotions preventing the sale.

Time Limitations

“This price will only be available for 1 hour”. “Use this coupon before noon tomorrow to get xyz” discount”. “Free Delivery Until Saturday”. These messages can push the “I’ll do it later” group into seizing the moment.

Product Limitation

“Only 2 left in stock”. “Limited Edition”. “Last chance to buy at this introductory price”. “Exclusive to this site” All of these will create doubt that they will be able to find the product somewhere else or at this price. 


“What will happen if I buy this that will change my life/business for the better” is a great question to answer throughout the buying process. But even more powerful is “What will I lose if I don’t buy it?”. This can be the product/price as discussed above – but can be more emotional. They might lose access to a tool or resources, they might not be able to complete their project with satisfactory precision, or maybe they’ll lose customers/money. The answer is unique to your customers and products.

If you need help with your conversion rate optimisation find out more about our CRO offering here. You’ll find out a bit about our CRO methodology and how and why it works. If you’re ready to get going and start getting more from your existing traffic, then jump straight to our conversion packages.

If you’d like a no obligation chat about your project needs, then get in touch here.