The 4 stages of reducing page bounce

A page's bounce rate is regarded as an extremely effective, yet simple to qualify metric. Depending on your website type, typically the higher the bounce rate the less effective the digital customer experience.

Knowing your bounce rate can also help determine the quality of your traffic. 

High bounce rate coupled with large volumes of single source traffic could indicate poor referrals.

But, knowing that your website's experience is not effectively optimized is only half the answer. What we really need to know is why the bounce is occurring in order to take the right corrective actions.

Follow this 4 stage escalation process to help you analyze and reduce webpage bounce:

1. Are you getting the right traffic? (hard vs. medium vs. soft bounce)

The first step in the escalation process is to figure out if your visitors are intentional or unintentional.  If you have Clicktale, the Bounce Rate report will help you identify this via the following 3 types of bounce:

The ClickTale Bounce Rate report
The Clicktale Bounce Rate report

'Hard bounce' are those visitors with no interest in your page. They usually view only a single page of your website and spend less than 4 seconds engaging. They usually leave your page without even looking at it and in all likelihood, shouldn't have landed on your page in the first place!

'Medium bounce' are those visitors who have a little bit of interest in your web page. They probably viewed a single page and had an engagement time of between 4-10 seconds. They may have the potential to come back at a later time with the right messaging or follow-up is in place.

'Soft bounce' refers to visitors with plenty of interest in your web page. They usually have an engagement time of over 10 seconds. But these visitors still left. Probably because they couldn't find what they were looking for. Or they were nervous about making a commitment to 'buy' or provide their details to the online form.

2. Does your page load fast enough?

Before we even look at optimizing the content on the page, make sure the page is technically sound. Does it load fast enough? Are there too many errors? If you have Clicktale, take a look at the Page Console feature which provides exactly this data for every page of your site.

page console

3. Does your content meet visitor expectations?

Soft and medium bouncers are interested in what content your website has to offer.

But they're leaving because there's something missing from your page. Firstly, re-check your PPC ad campaigns or Organic Search content. Maybe it doesn't quite promise what your website content actually delivers. 

Next, if you have Clicktale, take a look at the heatmaps for the page to see if visitors are being distracted by an element you didn't intend - this can be anything from an unnecessary link to an interactive visual that you never assumed would hurt your conversion. 

The good news is that these can usually be easily moved or removed altogether, leading to a dramatic about-turn in engagement and conversion.

The North Face moved a single banner that was distracting visitors and improved click rate by 21%
The North Face moved a single banner that was distracting visitors and improved click rate by 21%

4. Do your calls to action perform? 

Once you've completed all of the above, check your calls to action. Do they stand out enough on the page? Or are they blending in with additional page elements? Sometimes the most important calls to action fall below the fold line, so most visitors are not even aware they exist.

Banner blindness – Too many ads and calls to action can stress your visitors. Whether it's the placement, color, messaging or size, visitors may not be engaging or utilizing your calls-to-action to progress further along the conversion process.

Once you've analyzed your heatmaps, drill down further into the individual Session Playback recordings which enable you to follow the movement of individual customers as they scroll and engage across a page. This will help to understand why customers may not be engaging with specific elements and calls to action.


Bounced visitors don't have to be lost customers. If you can identify the type of bounce, you can better determine the amount of real money being left on the table.  A timely response can then save your company millions in revenue - especially if the fix is something that can be achieved relatively quickly and economically - as is often the case!

Talk to us to explore how customer experience analytics can improve your business