Bounce is 87 how do I decrease it?

Last Update: July 07, 2015

I have always struggled with bounce rate and mine has now risen to 87%! Would love to hear some suggestions for decreasing it.

I started going through my posts a couple of months ago adding in internal links and improving the opening paragraph as much as possible and this starting bringing it down - to around 66% at one point. But now it's gone up sharply again.

I have found one of the big reasons for this. There has been a big increase in my referral traffic and this seems to be mostly from what, as far as I can tell, are spam sites (see analytics report below). These make up a reasonable sized chunk (about 25%) of my traffic for last month and the bounce rates on this spam traffic is close to 100% - and they don't spend long on the site so my average session duration has taken a dive too.

Now to my questions:

1. Is there a way that I can block certain websites from accessing my website (or at the very least have them not included in my analytics stats).

2. Even taking that traffic out my bounce rate is still around 72%. Can anyone think of anything else that I could do to reduce this (and increase average session duration).

I know that bounce rate isn't everything and that some bounces are even sought after (i.e. someone clicking on affiliate link) but I feel like mine is too high and there is something I can do to improve the website to keep people on the site for longer and visiting more pages.

Your help is much appreciated.

Nate

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SowAndReap Premium
I've learned that these bots don't actually go to your site, but to your analytics. These spam referrals and pesky.

Like Steve said, they will grow like weeds and can be quite annoying. You can't really block them from your site because they are not going to your site. You can block them from your analytics. I wish Google would fix this because it's seem I have to do this all the time.

Hope this helped!
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nathanpall99 Premium
Hey - definitely helps. Thanks for the input. I agree this is very annoying.

After reading that apache1 training I checked my country origins and realized I have had a sudden influx of traffic from Russia and most of the spam traffic is from Russia. In fact 638 out of my 649 Russian visitors are from that spam traffic. So I have decided - for now anyway - to filter out Russia from my Analytics stats.

Thanks for the help. Much appreciated.
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SowAndReap Premium
Yep, I get those too. I check them daily now and just get rid of them. Sometimes GA will actually get rid of it completely in your referral section. I hope Google does something about this. Many site owners are quite upset about these bots.
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steveo5770 Premium
As your site becomes more popular, you are going to be hit by more and more referral bots that artificially keep your bounce rate high. Fortunately, Google doesn't pay attention to bounce rate so it doesn't effect your rankings.

You can easily set up filters to block the bots from showing up in your analytics, but there will always be more.
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nathanpall99 Premium
Hey Steve. Thanks for the response. I suspected that more will come. Will try for a while to keep on top of filtering out the worst offenders - definitely annoying to have to dive deeper into the stats to get the real stats!

Just noticed now too that one of the worst ones stopped half way through the month, then another one (with a similar web address) started up as that one stopped - so I suspect even as you filter them out they hit you from new addresses - spammy mofos! :-)

At least it means my site is becoming more popular!
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steveo5770 Premium
Yup. I have had a dozen or so with the name "buttons" somewhere in the url and that's just 1 of them!
I like to watch behavior flow to see what real visitors are actually doing.
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Kathy331 Premium
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nathanpall99 Premium
Thanks Kathy! Very helpful - have filtered out a couple of the worst offending sites now. Hopefully this gives me a clearer picture.
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Kathy331 Premium
Great, glad it helped. :)
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Loes Premium
You can add some read more internal links on your page, so people are clicking them. And be sure your outbound links are opening in a new window.
Hope this will help:)
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nathanpall99 Premium
Thanks Loes. I do try to do this but I will definitely be continuing to add more internal links to older posts that I wasn't so good at this on.

Thanks for your help!
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EKautz Premium
Hey Nate it would be wise to know what the bounce rate is derived from. Have you dug deeper to check that out.

Maybe visitors are leaving the page to go to another of your pages, or to another link you have there for them, or hopefully to make a purchase.

ROCK ON!
E
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