If your landing page has a bounce rate of 50% and you spend £10,000 on AdWords every month, it means £5,000 of your budget is wasted.


Creating an effective landing page is an art. With an endless number of variations and combinations available, the million dollar question is how do you know which one to use without trying all the possibilities.

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of traffic that leaves your website without visiting any other pages or without ‘engaging’ with it. A high bounce rate means one of the two things:

  1. Your landing page is attracting the wrong traffic
  2. Your landing page is attracting just the right traffic so they don’t need to go elsewhere on the website.

More often than not it’s the former, which means either your landing page is attracting the wrong traffic or your website content is not engaging enough for the visitors. Most landing page optimisation therefore includes:

  1. Analysing your bounce rate
  2. Analysing your content

Bounce rate

  1. Google Analytics. The most important statistic to look at is the bounce rate. Generally speaking, bounce under 30% is considered good and anything under 50% is acceptable. If your bounce rate exceeds 50% then you should be worried about it. In paid search what that effectively means is that 50% of your advertising costs is being wasted and you should be worried about it.
  1. Drill deeper and see if there exists a difference in the bounce rate between your organic traffic and paid search traffic. If the paid search bounce rate exceeds the organic traffic bounce rate then you should be looking into your targeting options including keyword selection, match type, geo targeting, etc. If it’s the other way round then your paid search campaign is doing really well.
  1. Go through the search term report for a particular period and identify keywords that are driving junk traffic to your website. It’s important that these keywords are dealt with appropriately.
  1. Integrate Google Analytics with AdWords and download keyword reports with bounce rate. Set a threshold and divide the data in groups of two or three and see if a difference exists in those sets of keywords. Qualitative analysis is hard work but pays off.


  1. For content you should first be looking at the engagement matrices on your website. These matrices include pages visited and visit duration. A good ratio of these matrices together with high bounce rate suggests that relevant visitors do engage with the website pushing the stats and that the website is getting a lot of junk traffic.
  1. If all of these matrices appear poor, then chances are you need to work on your content.
  1. Look at the ‘in page analytics’ under ‘behaviour’ to understand and analyse your content. It will help you understand popular and lesser popular content. You should try moving popular content on to your homepage/landing page to reduce bounce rate.

If your SEO is driving a lot of junk traffic to your website it’s time you had a word with your SEO specialist. Here are two quick tips to help you identify the real problem.

  1. Explore search query report from Webmaster tools to see if you really want to rank for these search queries.
  2. Visit ‘content keywords’ in Google Index to see a report of what keywords Google associates with your website.

Reducing bounce rate, improving landing pages and increasing website engagement are all closely knit together. It is often difficult to manipulate one metric without affecting another, but I hope these tips will help you improve your ROI and reduce waste.

Rick Tobin | Managing Director | Circus PPC Agency

Rick Tobin
Managing Director

Over 20 years dedicated PPC experience working with some of the world's biggest brands.

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