The bounce rate you see on Google refers to the percentage of visitors to your site who bounce straight back out. There will always be some visitors to a site who do not hang around for long. Indeed, the average bounce rate is approximately 40-55%. And certain types of websites may experience higher rates. However, if you see bounce rates of 70% or higher, there may be an issue with your content or website.
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- Top 10 Reasons Why You Have a High Bounce Rate on Your Website
Top 10 Reasons Why You Have a High Bounce Rate on Your Website
If people are not staying long on your website, they are not going to buy anything. And to compound the problem, high bounce rates will damage your Google rankings. So, it would be best to investigate the causes of high bounce rates as soon as you can. But where do you start looking? Here are ten of the most common causes of high bounce rates.
Slow Loading Pages
Users want to access the information they are searching for fast. So, if pages take more than a few seconds to load, it will cause high bounce rates. You can check how fast your website pages are loading by visiting the Google Page Insights tool. Possible reasons for slow page-load times include large, unoptimized images, lack of caching, and too many ads.
There are many more factors that can affect load time. So, if your pages are taking ages to load, you might need to undertake a thorough investigation to find the cause.
If visitors find that your content is not what they expected, they will, of course, bounce straight back out again. So, check your page titles and meta descriptions to ensure that there is no potential for misunderstandings.
Words can sometimes have unintended meanings. An article entitled “How to Combat Stress” might be a general article about managing stress at work. However, the word “combat” also has military connotations.
Bad User Experience
There are many user experience (UX) factors that could contribute to high bounce rates. These factors include poor general design, lack of search functions, and too many popups and ads. Low-quality content with spelling and grammar mistakes will also put people off staying on your site.
You can get inspirations looking at some of the best website designs on webdesign-inspiration.com (a famous web design gallery that showcases work from the best digital agencies and UX designers). Think about how your website pages look to a first-time visitor. Do your pages look appealing and exciting? Would you want to explore your site further?
Asking for Too Much Too Soon
People are suspicious about websites they visit for the first time because of the proliferation of scam sites. You must gain people’s trust before you can expect them to part with their money or personal information. So, don’t ask for credit card details or email addresses the moment someone enters your site.Give people time to explore your website before you hit them with any sales offers or invitations to subscribe.
Pages Not Optimized for Mobile Devices
The need for mobile optimization is not exactly breaking news. However, there are still a significant number of websites that do not look good on mobile devices. A considerable number of visitors to any website will be using a mobile device. So, check how mobile-friendly your pages are. You can test the load speed of your website pages with the Google Mobile-Friendly test tool. You might also want to load it up yourself on a mobile device to see how easy your pages are to use and navigate.
Misleading Link from Another Site
It may not be anything you have done that is causing an increase in bounce rates. Misleading anchor text on another site may be directing the wrong kind of visitors to your site. A deceptive link may be accidental, or it may be someone attempting to compromise your site. Either way, your only option is to reach out to the website owner and ask them to remove the link or modify the anchor text.
Difficult to Skim Content
Users want to know they have landed on the right page fast. So, if your content cannot be skim-read, people will probably not spend much time on the page. It is best to confirm the topic of your web pages in the first paragraph, and break up the text so that users can quickly scan down a page to find the information they need. Introducing the topic in the first paragraph and using subheadings is also beneficial for search engine optimization (SEO).
No Internal Links or Next Steps
It is best to encourage visitors to take the next step or visit other pages on your site. Then, people will follow those links and stay on your website for longer. Add links to related pages on your site, for example. Use clear calls to action so users where to go next to buy or subscribe. And display related content or products at the bottom of each page.
If a user feels that a site is not to be trusted, they will back out of the page fast. So, be careful that your content does not give the wrong impression. Avoid using phrases associated with scams, like “Life-changing!” and “Guaranteed Success!”, and don’t clutter your pages with too many pushy calls to action. You need to sell your products, of course, and you need to make your calls to action clear and enticing. However, if you go overboard with promises and hard-sell messages, people will think it’s a scam.
Pages Prone to Naturally High Bounce Rates
High bounce rates for a page do not always indicate a problem. You might expect, or want, people to leave an affiliate page quickly, for example, by clicking on an affiliate link. Your frequently asked questions (FAQ) page might be so well laid out that people quickly find the information they need. A website promoting a single product would have a high bounce rate because there is nothing else to see on the site.
High bounce rates are not always a problem, and what constitutes high will depend on the type of website. However, if you experience bounce rates of more than 70%, you might want to consider some of the above points.
Improving your site’s speed and addressing navigation and content quality issues will also enhance the overall user experience.