How Can Web Design Affect A Website’s Bounce Rate?


One thing a blogger or an owner of a website needs to take into consideration of is its bounce rate. This is very important for it tells you on how many visitors are “bouncing” away on your site. A bounce rate determines the success or failure of a website.

Wikipedia defines bounce rate as:

A term used in web site traffic analysis. It essentially represents the percentage of initial visitors to a site who “bounce” away to a different site, rather than continue on to other pages within the same site.

Mr bounce rate

Image by: ddablogimages

With this definition, we may say that the lower the bounce rate of your website is, the better. For this means that visitors are exploring more through your website’s content.


Reasons on Having High Bounce Rate

These are the common reasons why a website may have a high bounce rate:

1. Loading and Error Issues

Viewers are impatient when it comes in loading a website. If it takes too long to load, users tend to just close the window or find another site related on what they are looking for.

Fully loaded

Image by: Doomgiver…

Few Reasons That Can Slow The Loading Performance of your Website:

  • Too much Flash effects.
  • Huge sizes of images.
  • Videos that automatically buffers.
  • More requests submitted on the server.

Have you experienced where you went to a site and all you see is a code instead of the content that was supposed to be shown on the screen? Of course you will feel bad about it, so you just close it and find another website.

Website error

Image by: pneff

2. Poor Web Content

Another element viewers are looking for on a website is a good content. Good and enticing content gives your viewers a drive to read more and explore your site from one page to another.

Lorem ipsum content

Here are some characteristics a web content must have:

  • Well-Informed

Viewers are good at recognizing if a website offers a well-informed content, for they are trying to find the most relevant and quality content related on what they are looking for. Put all the relevant information that is needed by all kinds of viewers. Also, always start from the most significant information. Your text is one way of promoting your site, so your better put relevant information on your content.

  • Well-Written

Grammar is very important to consider in writing an effective web content. When viewers see that your content is in good grammar, it gives them an impression that you are knowledgeable. A content that is well-written tend to bring viewers back again and again on the site. Also, it must be constructed well to give a professional look on your content.

  • Brief and Precise

Your viewers are impatient to read a lot, and they are always excited to have the information they want and go on. Make sure your content is brief, maybe at least 300 words and 600 at most. Also, you should balance your content to have a brief yet well-informed content.

It should also be precise. Your site’s content must give a clear explanation on what you want to convey.

  • Interesting and Entertaining

Even contents must be interesting to the eyes of your viewers and must give an entertainment. In this way, your viewers will have that excitement to read and explore on what your website offers. This also lessen the boredom they would feel even they are purely reading a text.

  • Original and Unique

Originality and uniqueness matter in everything.

Originality makes your content, as well as, your website to stand out from the rest of other related websites as yours. You can get ideas from others but never copy the same content.

Also, viewers does not want to read a content that is the similar with the most. They always want something new. Always try to put a twist on what idea you have in mind to make it unique.

  • Relevant and Attractive Headings

Headings are very important, because these are the first phrase your viewers will read. It should be relevant, where it directly describes your topic and if possible sums up everything you write. It should be attractive and drives curiosity on your viewers. You may read our article about writing effective headings here.

3. Poor Web Design

There are a lot of ways where you can decrease the amount of your bounce rate. But before anything else, start from the thing where you have all the control on what to choose from. Start decreasing your bounce rate by designing your website properly.

The design of a website is a great factor where you can decrease your website’s bounce rate. I have here the different components of a website and some tips on each to help you in getting a lower amount of bounce rate:

Domain Name


Image by: piestobis

A domain name is a combination of letters, symbols or numbers that labels an entity on the Internet. It should be specific, unique and captivating. Remember that your domain name must reflect on what you are advertising for.

  • It should be brief. One or two words with five to eight letters could be enough for your domain. Viewers does not want to type a long URL, this annoy them so much.
  • It should be easy to remember. Your domain name is your trademark that reminds your viewers that this name has this kind of website.
  • It should not be complicated. Do not make it too complicated to pronounce and understand, so your viewers will easily remember your address.

Web Interface

A website with a boring design makes viewers look like this:


Image by: Chelsea

I know you don’t want your viewers to feel bored when viewing your site. Each viewers are expecting an attractive web design to make them feel excited to explore.

Usability is also one factor viewers are expecting on a website. A site with a user-friendly interface and navigation is a thumbs up on your viewers. This gives them comfort in browsing your website.

Creativity should also include on your component when we are talking about web interface. A beautiful background can attract viewers to explore your website, just make sure that your background is related to what you are promoting for. Also, never use more than one background on each page. This gives a thought to your users that when a background changes, they are stepping on another website.


Image by: Donna *deestea*

Colors are also one way of bringing your viewers to go on your web page onto the other. Capture their attention by using attractive colors that is relevant on what you promote. Never use bright colors, this can irritate their eyes. Also, choose a color combination that could reflect your business or personality.


The first things your viewers may notice on your site is the header. Today, many websites have artistic or creative headers. In this way, you catch your viewers’ enjoyment and able to explore your website. So if your website does not have a nice header, they just tend to leave your website.

Take a look at these websites that have attractive headers:

Daniel J. Quinn

Daniel quinn

That INDIE Dude





Navigation is very important on your website and for your viewers, this is their way on browsing the rest of your pages. So, if your navigation is not well-designed your viewers will just “bounce” away on other site.

A navigation should be:

  • Noticeable. As what I have mentioned awhile ago, navigation is your viewers’ way to explore your website. Making them easily noticed gives your viewers the urge and curiosity to “bounce” on one page to another. The color of your buttons must contrast your background’s color, so it can be easily noticed.
  • Easy to understand. Navigation must be easy to understand by your viewers. The moment they see it, instantly they should know on how the navigation works.
  • Attractive. One component of a website that could capture viewers’ attention is with your navigation. Make your buttons attractive by putting a hover and a release effect. Putting sound effects may attract too.

Here are some examples of websites with well-designed navigation:

The English Riviera Comedy Film Festival

The web design itself is creatively designed. With the navigations, they are put into contrast colors to make them noticeable.

The english reviera

Hug My Mac

This is a good concept where links are separated by using different images and circles. In this way, viewers already have an idea on what to expect when they click a button. A well-designed navigation indeed.


Time For Cake

I find the navigations so unique to put it as a list and the font used are very attractive.

Best colorado web


Typography plays a big role in conveying a message on your site. You can use typography when you want to focus on something. Here are some tips when it comes to choosing your fonts:

  • Readable

If your viewers find it hard for them to read your text, they would just close the window or find another website. Make sure you fonts are in a size where it can be read properly. Most designers use 12px for the body text and H2 for the header.

  • Appropriate

Be appropriate. For instance, if you are creating a website for a company it would be better if you

  • Creative

Did you know that you can be creative evener  with the fonts you are using? Yes you can. For instance, if you want to emphasize something you can put your fonts in bold letters. If you want to put more life on your site, use lively font colors. Just make sure it still look readable and professional.

Here are some websites with a good typography:


The fonts are creatively done. I like how the designer use typography to make the website look attractive.



The fonts are very readable and clean. Make sure you put your font colors in contrast to the color of your background.


Hull Digital Live 09

Even there are several fonts used on this site, I still find it very clean and well-designed.

Hull digital live


Putting media is a great way in attracting viewers. When they got attracted, they tend to explore more of your site.

  • Audio


Image by: Northwest Folklife

Music is relaxing, but not appropriate for a website. It is not good to put a music on a website. First, it adds to the loading. Second, it can annoy your viewers. There is an appropriate place for music, but it is not for a website.

If you want, you may use sound effects but do not put too much. It will make the website look unprofessional.

  • Images

Image icon

Image by: ArtsySF ©

Images are great way in attracting viewers. Research says that viewers are more into viewing images than reading.

    • Put images but be sure they are related on your content.
    • Do not put images that is too large in size.
    • Pure texts can be boring, as well as pure images. Combining the two can make your website look good.

If you are promoting a product, you can post a picture of that product. This is a good way of informing your viewers on what your product looks like.

  • Videos


Image by: Rhor

It is okay to put videos, just make sure that they are related. Also, do not put it in an automatically played setting. This makes the website load slowly.

Balancing media and text is equal to a perfect web content.

Here are also some of the components you must have and must not have on a website to reduce your bounce rate’s amount.


Image by: Snæþór Halldórsson

These are the things viewers might consider as distraction when viewing a website:

  • Automatic Pop Ups
  • Scrolling Texts
  • External Toolbars
  • Automatic Downloads

Never put these on your website. I tell you, your viewers might get annoyed or distracted and just leave your site.

External Links

External link

Image by: Courtney Bolton

External links are hyperlinks on your website’s page where will lead you to another website.

As the definition says, it leads on another website. This is not your purpose, your purpose is your viewers to stay on your website as long as possible. So, avoid putting too much external links on your site to avoid high bounce rate.


Interaction between you and your viewers is a good way on letting them be back again on your site. For bloggers, interactions can be a great way to give a good amount of bounce rate on your blog.

Here are some ways to create an interaction on your site:

  • Feedbacks

Feedbacks are good ways to know on what your viewers or clients think of what you advertise. In this way, you will know what they like and they don’t. This also gives an impression that what they say are important to you.


Image by: Jorie O’Brien

There are a lot of tools you may purchase on the web in collecting feedback on your site. Here are some of them:

Concept Feedback

Concept feedback

Five Second Test


Please Critique Me






  • Comments

Comments build communication and relationship between you and your readers. The more interactive your site is, the faster it will become popular.


Image by: premasagar

I have here some comment system you can use on your website or blogs.


In our blog, we are using Disqus. Disqus is a platform that can help you build an active community within your website.



  • Realtime comment system
  • Social integration
  • The Community Box
  • Connected communities

Intense Debate

A comment system for WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and other blogging and CMS platforms.

Some features it has:

  • Commenter Profiles
  • Reply-by-Email
  • Comment Threading


Click here to see more of what it can offer.

About Echo

Publishers can quickly embed Echo on any site and turn their static pages into a real-time stream of Diggs, tweets, Facebook updates, comments and more.


  • Increase Traffic
  • Increase Engagement
  • Increase Time Spent


Web design plays a big part in gathering a good bounce rate. All you have to do is to attract while advertising your own or your business. Attract while advertising. Advertise and inform.

Your Thoughts

What about you? Do you have anything to share regarding this? Feel free to share it on the Comment section.



  1. Mike Behnken

    Very nice post, lots of good stuff, I especially liked the header section. I am doing an experiment to see how much the header influences the bounce rate.

  2. I completely agree, your websites bounce rate is really important and gives you many things to potentially address. Content is always important, but I would say the layout and design are the two things that will initially keep people on your website. Then you gotta have the content to keep people there. I still like animations on websites too – but Jquery is a better way to go now with some simple animations. Flash tends to cause too many problems, and won’t display on some p.cs, and certainly not on the Ipad.
    Great article – thank you!

  3. Anonymous

    Thanks Phillipe. I appreciate the support. I believe the key is to under the context, as well as using analytics more as a framework of possibilities and possible suggestions than some sort of concrete black/white evaluation.

    I’m certainly in favor of using analytics to *help* make decisions. What I don’t think is wise is making decision without truly understanding some of the finer points of what the number might in fact being saying.

  4. Philippe Alves

    As ChiefAlchemist said, a high bounce rate may be good, too. As well as for a low one. Guess what : I am in favor of the middle line, but it still goes a little with ChiefAlchemist’s idea. A rate close to 50% tells me that people indeed find what they want quickly and go off with it (and to prove that, I will look at the success of individuals pages that give important information), but still spend more time on some pages meant to interact, giving something to listen to or to read.

  5. John

    My opinion, and many may disagree, you should never use flash on your website for anything other than media. Animations are out, too much maintenance, too many rendering variables, just not worth it. Great article by the way, bounce rate is a much underrated subject in User-Experience metrics.

    I really like the Hull Digital Live 09 web design by the way!

  6. Rob Mills

    Large images drive me nuts! I use broadband and occasionally have to watch as an image slowly loads. That tells me the designer was too lazy to reduce the size of the image to that which is needed for web pages.

  7. Anonymous

    Hi Charina – I enjoyed your overview but there are a couple things I feel compelled to mention.

    => “A bounce rate determines the success or failure of a website. With this definition, we may say that the lower the bounce rate of your website is, the better. For this means that visitors are exploring more through your website’s content.” This isn’t entirely true. If your site’s purpose is to satisfy someone’s want/need then that is what you should be trying to do. If landing on a page addresses the visitors’ needs and they leave then it’s quite possible a high bounce rate is good.

    Also, a low bounce rate could mean that your page content is not as effective as it should be. For example, if most people would look for your phone number and instead of just putting that in the header and/or footer you put it on another page then that one click to Contact is going to reduce your bounce rate (in a bad way). However, after further evaluating a site’s analytics and the Contact page is heavily visited then it might be time to move some of that info elsewhere and eliminate that click (but in turn raise the bounce rate.)

    => It would have been nice to order the topics above more logical. For example, after page load time comes design. And even typography is going confront a visitor before they can evaluate content.

    => To the Poor Web Content section, I’d like to add “The page they landed on answers the question the visitor is asking.” This isn’t about you, it’s about them. if you do, then a bounce rate can in fact be a good thing.

    => “Make sure your content is brief, maybe at least 300 words and 600 at most.” Again, not entirely true. If you are targeting those looking for sound bites then yes, this is the way to go. However, there are some topics and some audiences who want and expect quality and thoroughness, so brief might in fact be too brief. Again, focus on reader expectation relevant to the topic first. Short can be good but short can also mean a whole lot of nothing accomplished.

    => “…H2 for the header.” At the risk of coming off as picky, H2 is not a style/font size. Headline tags are intended to be used for helping search engines index content. Yes, you can style a headline tag but in theory it’s really not supposed to be used that way. Even so, how it’s mentioned above is incorrect.

    Again, I did enjoy your overview. I just wanted to point out a couple things that I believe might help some others.