What I’m Doing To Reduce My Bounce Rate

One of my 2017 site goals is to retain readers. While this is a broad goal, I anticipated that retained readership would also help me decrease my bounce rate which has been in the high 80s since probably my site launch. Well, I’m happy to announce that I’m starting to see significant decreases in my bounce rate.

What I’m Doing To Reduce My Bounce Rate | A Relaxed Gal

(This post includes affiliate links. Should you click an affiliate link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

What is a Bounce Rate?

A bounce rate is a metric that measures the percentage of people who leave your site or landing page right after only viewing one page. Ultimately the bounce rate metric can help you determine whether site visitors are finding your content interesting and relevant to them.

You can find several sites and experts sharing what a good bounce rate is, but the optimal bounce rate can and does vary depending on the purpose of the site. For example
  • If you have a single-page site you’ll have a high bounce rate because there’s only one page for visitors to view
  • The type of site can impact the bounce rate. Informative sites like blogs, news, and event sites tend to have high bounce rates

In addition to the purpose of the site, bounce rates are impacted by the quality of the content, there isn’t a clear call to action, and whether the audience finds the content useful.

How to Track Your Bounce Rate

I use Google Analytics to track my site metrics including my bounce rate. There I can see that my average bounce rate for the previous year was about 85% which I felt was high. Even though Hubspot says a good bounce rate benchmark for a blog is 70-90%. I would much rather be closer to 70%.

For 2017 I set a bounce rate goal to be between 75-78% which I’ve read is good for a blog type of site. At the end of March, my bounce rate was about 77% which is a 9.65% decrease from this time last year. This is a pretty good improvement especially when most of the decrease happened in about two months' time and not over the entire year. I hope to continue seeing my bounce rate improve for the rest of the year.

How I've Decreased My Bounce Rate

To get this 9.65% decrease in bounce rate took some work. Work that I could have avoided if I’d thought about and worked on implementing SEO tactics on my site from the very beginning.

Here are the 4 updates I made to my site that helped to reduce my bounce rate.

1. A user-friendly site design

Site design seems to be one of the biggest factors for high bounce rates. Poor site design can turn off visitors quicker than anything. Once I changed my site design I started seeing a decrease in my bounce rate as well as my page loads and increased time that visitors were spending with my content.

My site design has more white space, better use of my brand color palette, an easy-to-use menu, and easy-to-find social media buttons.

2. Providing relevant and interesting content

Content is the other big factor for a high bounce rate. Your site pages may load quickly and you have an awesome site design, but if your content is relevant, useful, helpful, or interesting (you get the picture) no one will read it or want to read it.

This was an issue I had with much of my older content. It was largely the result of not being focused on the purpose of my site, not planning out my content, and rushing through my content creation. Now that I’ve identified and worked through those issues I’m producing better content.

3. Add keywords

I’m now making sure that I add keywords and long-tail keywords to my new articles and have even gone through and added them to old posts.

4. Including links in my content

A great way to keep visitors on your site is to make them aware of other content options on your site that are related to the content they are in the process of consuming. You can easily do this by
  • Adding links within your articles to other related articles on your site
  • Using a related post plugin at the end of your posts

Not only are these changes helping to decrease my bounce rate, but they are helping me reach several of my other site and business goals this year.

How to reduce your blog's bounce rate | arelaxedgal.com 

How I'm Doing with My 2017 Goals

1. Fully optimize arelaxedgal.com for SEO by the end of Q1

Completed in February a whole month early. You can read more about this in How I'm Growing My Social Media Followers & Engagement.

Unlike February, March saw a 30%, yes a 30% uptick in organic traffic. I’m hoping this is an indication that my SEO optimization efforts are working.

2. Retain readers on my site

It seems like I’ve started doing something right as I saw an increase in returning visitors and my pages per session increased month-over-month by 2.20%. My bounce rate decreased by 1.20% keeping it under 80% for the second month in a row.

3. Grow my social followers and increase engagement

Despite “turning off” my Instagram and YouTube channels I was able to increase my total number of followers by 225. Pinterest, as usual, led the pack with 194 more followers than the previous month.

I saw increased engagement from Twitter with more clicks and retweets. Facebook saw an increase in both page clicks and page engagement. I also saw more average daily clicks on Pinterest.

4. Grow my email subscriber list to at least 1,000 by 12/31

Without promoting any new content upgrades or freebies, I was able to add a few more subscribers to my email list in March. This brings me to a total of 68.

5. Do a least one paid post a quarter

I will not be getting an A for this goal at the end of the year. I went through all of Q1 without securing one paid post.

6. Create an image library of at least 24 images by year-end

In March I was able to add five more images to my library which means I’ve added 10 images to my image library this year!

Take a look at your current bounce rate. If it’s not a number you’re happy with put together a plan for how you’re going to decrease it.


  1. I think bounce rates for most blogs will always be high, but the biggest thing you can do imo is to add links to other pages on your site. We've gone pretty hard in that direction and it does make a difference as far as how long people spend on the site.

    1. I agree that bounce rates for blogs will be high. For my blog I feel that over 80% is too high a bounce rate, but I don't expect it to be lower than the mid-seventies.

      Thanks for sharing.