How to Keep Visitors From Bouncing

Posted on September 29, 2015 | Updated on June 13, 2023

As a savvy digital marketer, you’re already familiar with the so-called bounce rate metric. It’s like a golf score – the lower the number the better. That’s because “bouncing” is a measurement of the percentage of visitors to your website who leave after only viewing one page.

You want your website to be sticky. That is, you want people to hang around for a while. That gives you more ad impressions and market exposure.

Here are a few ways to keep your visitors from bouncing.

1. Avoid Slideshows Unless Absolutely Necessary

There are times when a slideshow might be warranted – “Here are the Best 100 Pictures From Our Trip to Malaysia”. However, they should be avoided as much as possible.

Why? Because they force people to click just to read additional content. You might have experienced this annoying design scheme yourself when doing some research online. You’ll come across an article that you think is in a list format, but when you click on it, you find that it’s in a slideshow format and you’re required to click a link to read each point. That’s user-hostile and it could chase people away from your site and back to the Google search results for another option.

Present as much as you can on one page. That’s not only being a polite citizen, it’s also good marketing.

2. Keep Your Ads to a Minimum

If you’ve got some great content, you might want to monetize it as much as possible by splashing ads all over the place, hoping that your visitors will find one or more to click. Your portfolio of digital ads may also include one or more pop-up displays that hang around even after the visitor has moved on to another site.

That strategy might get you some clicks, but it won’t do a whole lot to build loyalty. If people are annoyed with frequent pop-ups, ads that auto-play video and flashy banners, then you’re just irritating your visitors.

3. Ensure That the Related Articles Section Is Very Visible

If visitors are reading content on your site about a particular subject, they might very well be interested in reading related content. Provide tempting links to that related content on the same page.

If you’re using WordPress, pick up a plugin that allows you to post related content inline. That way, visitors will see your related posts as they’re reading an article. Instead of bouncing, they’ll stick around and read another post.

Also, be sure to categorize and tag your posts appropriately so that your plugin will display posts that are relevant.

4. Ensure That the Content Is Legible

It’s not uncommon to come across a website that uses small fonts with tightly compacted paragraphs. Even some of the premium themes that you can purchase online offer up default styling with tiny font sizes. That will cause some users who have poor eyesight to bounce.

If you find that your website needs to be easier on the eyes, you might have to put your CSS hat on and perform some style updates. Specifically, you’re looking to increase the font-size property and the line-height property.

The font-size property is the size of the actual lettering. You’re probably already familiar with that from your experience with word processors.

The line-height property is not as well-known. That’s the size of the horizontal line where the text is placed. The bigger the line height, the more distance there is between lines within one paragraph. Typically, you want to make this as big as possible without the space looking like a paragraph break. That makes the content more readable.

5. Offer Easy Navigation

Your visitors shouldn’t struggle to find out how to move around your website. All of your navigation elements should be plainly visible.

Consider using a sticky menu. That’s a menu that stays at the top even when visitors scroll down through your content. It will keep your navigation so easy to find that people won’t even have to scroll to look for it.

You’ve worked hard to build a great website. Now, strive to keep visitors from bouncing off your site once you’ve brought them there by implementing some bounce-resistant design features.

About The Author

Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her exploring the outdoors with her husband and dog in their RV, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or curled up with a good book with her cats Gem and Cali.

You can find more of Eleanor's work at


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