If you are noticing the conversion rate of your website take a hit, you should check its bounce rate first.
The bounce rate is the percentage of the visitors leaving your website after viewing only one page.
A high bounce rate is not always a bad thing. For one-page websites, the bounce rate will often be high, but if you see below par performance in other areas, then it should be a concern for you.
In this article, we will take a look at 10 reasons behind a high bounce rate.
1. Your Website Is Too Slow to Load
Do you know that your visitors will navigate away from your website if the site takes more than 4 seconds to load? Instant gratification and reducing attention spans are the leading culprits for this. One more reason why you should prioritize page load speed is that Google counts the site speed as a metric when deciding search rankings.
If you make the homepage of your website too bulky with heavy images, rich media and scripts, your website is going to suffer.
2. Annoying Pop-Ups
A well-timed pop-up can do wonders for your website. It can increase the newsletter subscribers or straightaway increase your conversion rate. But do it poorly, pop-ups can adversely impact the performance of your website. If you launch pop-ups as soon as a user lands on your website, it might turn them away from your site right away. Although pop-ups are touted as a top growth hack, people, in general, find them annoying. If you really want to use pop-ups, it is recommended to use exit intent pop-ups or trigger them after a user scrolls downs to a webpage. Test variations of a pop-up to see its impact on the bounce rate of your website.
3. Your Website Has a Terrible User Experience
The look and feel of your website matters. If it doesn’t make a good first impression, then it is doomed to have a high bounce rate. Some of the key characteristics of a terrible UX are, poor navigation and search features, cluttered content and a shabby website interface.
To deliver an excellent user experience, make sure it looks good across all devices, i.e., make it responsive. Place navigation menu, search bar and call-to-action buttons at the right places. In short, the users should be able to find the required features intuitively.
4. Your Website Has Broken Links
If you notice that your bounce rate is ridiculously high or the exit rate for certain pages is way too high, then you may have broken links on that page, or it might be returning 404 error. Broken links are inevitable, but you need to keep an eye on them regularly and fix them as soon as you find them.
Also, find Crawl Errors in Google Search Consoles to identify pages with 404 error. By fixing this issue, you can certainly bring down the bounce rate.
5. You Might Be Getting Wrong Backlinks
Sometimes, it’s not your fault. You might be doing everything right, but the bounce rate is still relatively high. If you find this happening, check out the bounce rate from the referral traffic in Google Analytics.
Sometimes, a referral website might be backlinking to the wrong page. So, when a user lands on your site, they might leave it due to expectation mismatch. Or sometimes, some shabby sites might be linking to your website. In such cases, you can disavow such backlinks in Google Search Console. This won’t necessarily reduce the bounce rate, but at least, it won’t harm you in other ranking factors.
6. Your Website Contains Lousy Content
Poorly written content, spelling errors and grammatical errors are a big no when it comes to website content. If you are not sure about your online copies, review them using tools such as Grammarly and make necessary corrections.
Another reason why your bounce rate might be high is that your content is not optimized for online reading. Make sure that your sentences are concise and straightforward. Keep your content scannable with the help of subheads. There is no need to put a wall of text that might put your readers to sleep.
Copywriting is very important when it comes to persuading people. So, consider outsourcing content efforts or hire new resources if you are currently struggling with it.
7. Clickbait-y Titles and Meta Descriptions
The title and meta description give a glimpse of the content on the page. Too often, in the pursuit of attracting more users, marketers write titles and meta descriptions that are not consistent with the content. When users land on the page, they can see the incoherence and choose to leave your website altogether. Realize that although such tactics gain traction in the short run, in the long term, they are detrimental to your brand and search engine rankings.
Therefore, if you come across any pages with extremely high exit rate with low time spent on page, make sure to review the title and meta descriptions of such pages.
8. Users Found What They Were Looking for
If your website is optimized correctly, contains well-written content and still if it has a significant bounce rate, then, after all, it might not be a problem. When your visitors are getting all the information right after landing on a page, it is apparent that they will leave your website.
If you run a single-page website or all pages are self-sufficient, then it is going to have a decent bounce rate. In such cases, take a look at the average time spent on your website. If it goes well over a minute or so, you don’t have to worry about it.
9. You Are Attracting the Wrong Audience to Your Website
You just ran a display ad campaign for your latest product, and although you received a good amount of traffic, the campaign saw low conversions and a high bounce rate. If this happens, it is wise to check the referral sources in Google Analytics as the issue might not be with your website or content, but the audience you are driving to your website. Driving irrelevant audience to your site creates expectation mismatch and makes them leave your website is a jiffy.
10. Your Visitors Don’t Know What to Do Next
If you are reading an article on the website of a famous publication, you’d be prompted with recommended readings at the end of the article. That is a call-to-action for that website. Similarly, for e-commerce sites, Buy Now is a CTA. If your notice users are leaving very often from your website, add a visible CTA so that the users are sure with the next action step.
Along with these reasons, opening external links in the same tab or showing intrusive ads right away when a user lands on your page cause a high bounce rate. Hope this article has helped you understand the reasons why your website might have a high bounce rate. The road ahead is to be patient and go through your Google Analytics to discern the reasons behind it by combining the bounce rate with other metrics we discussed above.
If you have any questions, feel free to let us know in the comments below!