Your bounce rate is like most of Google Analytics’ metrics. It doesn’t come ready ‘out of the box’. Most of the time it’s plain old broken. That’s not the fault of Google; it’s mainly down to those pesky bots distorting your data.

Here’s the thing: bounce rate is one of the metrics that most people know and understand. To clarify, bounce rates look at the percentage of website visitors who land on a page and then leave the website without visiting any other pages.

Bounce rates may not make a difference to your bottom line. For that, you need to look at your conversions and their relationship to your website goals. However, it’s often top of the list when it comes to reporting on website performance.

That’s why it makes sense to fix it. Here are four ways to reduce your bounce rates – fast!

Track scrolling

Imagine you’ve slaved over a 2,000-word blog. It’s packed with content you know will grab your reader by the lapels and fling them on a rollercoaster of emotions. Then you create a Facebook ad that links to the blog.

Visitor 1 arrives on the blog page. They spend 15 minutes of their life being enthralled and enthused. And then they leave.

Visitor 2 lands on the same page. However, they take one look and decide the content isn’t their cup of tea. Two seconds later they leave your website.

In Google Analytics, these two visits are both classed the same. Even though Visitor 1 spent their time fully immersed in your work, while Visitor 2 said ‘thanks but no thanks.’

What’s more, after landing on your blog, Google has no way of knowing how long a visitor spends on that page. Unless a visitor clicks somewhere else on the blog page, Google can’t record the length of time between arriving and then clicking. Both Visitor 1 and Visitor 2 will show up as having spent 0 seconds on the page.

Metrics like that can lead to you losing faith in your ability as a blogger. Others may think ‘creating blogs is a waste of time’.

That’s why you need to set up scroll tracking to reduce your bounce rates. Do it via Google Tag Manager (the simplest way). Track when visitors scroll 25%, 50%, 75%, 90%, and 100% down the page. Once scrolling past 25% happens, that counts as an action (Google Analytics calls it an ‘event’). This is recorded as an action and means there’s no bounce. Here’s how to set up Scroll Tracking in Google Tag Manager.

Triggering Google Analytics via Google Tag Manager reduces the amount of code in your website header. You can update ‘tags’ within Google Tag Manager rather than adding more commands into your Google Analytics account, which can result in more complex JavaScript to add into your website, affecting performance.

Bounce rate may not make a difference to your bottom line

Get filtering and segmenting

Imagine you’re running an ecommerce store that only ships within the EU. Your website has an IP detector that flashes up a message telling non-EU visitors, “Sorry, we only ship within the EU”. Naturally, most of your non-EU visitors will bounce, which will push up your bounce rate. So filter them out from your traffic.

Once you’ve set this up, you can start going granular with your remaining data. Try segmenting based on new vs returning users, mobile vs desktop users, even days and times of the week. Soon you’ll build up more in-depth customer personas and can adapt your website to match user behaviour.

What’s more, if you’re tracking conversions, filtering out non-relevant target audiences has the bonus of lifting your conversion rate.

Segmenting by region will help to improve your audience personalisation and targeting, and could result in other benefits to your website too.

Bosh the bots

Have you filtered out bots? Like wasps at a picnic, or people blocking your view at a concert by recording with their phone, you can’t escape them. Bots come in and show up in your data as:

  • New user (bots are automated computer programs, so will always show as new)
  • Average time on page = 0 seconds (of course, they’re not real people)
  • Bounce rate = 100% (the most important, and damaging metric)
  • The more bots you have, the more 100% bounce rate visits will show up in your data

While filtering out bots is an endless task akin to playing Whack-A-Mole, here’s how to minimise the damage and help reduce your bounce rates.

Bounce rate is all about context

Give your visitors things to do

If this seems simple, that’s because it is. Your visitors will have all manner of motivations for being on your page. They may want to read, or they may want to explore.

So help them on their way with a few tried-and-tested methods:

  • Add hyperlinks to your other pages within your content (tells your reader, ‘There is lots to see here’)
  • Include links and buttons to related pages (‘If you like this blog then here’s another you may like’)
  • Invite visitors to sign up to your newsletter (gives them a reason to return)
  • Have a search bar visible (encourage visitors to search for something similar rather than giving up)
  • Add a chatbot or live chat (improve customer experience and get instant feedback from your visitors)
  • Add videos or interactive elements (try a quick poll that complements your page content)

One sure-fire way of empowering your users with more things to do is to look at improving your content strategy. We recently looked at five ways to maximise content marketing output. Check it out now!

Sometimes high bounce rates are good

Bounce rates are all about context. If your page offers your visitors everything they need, expect a high bounce rate. For example, contact pages are usually short and to the point. A high bounce rate on a contact page isn’t a bad thing, because people can complete their journey quickly.

That’s why you should always ignore a website’s average bounce rate – make sure to analyse on a page-by-page basis instead to reduce your bounce rates.

Get in Touch


Improving your bounce rate is only one part of the story. To truly connect with your target audience, you need to think beyond digital and reconnect with your users on a human level. That’s where we can help.

Get in touch with our friendly team to talk about our digital to human marketing campaigns!