Why You Have High Bounce Rates—and How to Fix It

If you have a website that you use to engage with your customers and members of your target market, you understand the importance of having them come to this website regularly. These days, businesses use their websites to engage with people and show themselves as thought leaders in their fields.

At the same time, a website also offers an opportunity to showcase what you have and improve your chances of making sales.

But, not everyone has the opportunity to get the benefits of owning a website. Sometimes, you find that most visitors eventually leave your site even before you get the chance to engage and convert them. This is what happens when you have a high bounce rate.

In this post, we’ll look into just about everything that has to do with bounce rates – what are they? What contributes to a high bounce rate? What are the effects of a high bounce rate, and how can you reduce it?

What is a website’s bounce rate?

To get a proper glimpse of website bounce rates, consider your business. You have a physical store and many people just keep passing by it every day. Some of them check out the store from the outside, and they might even ask some questions about what you sell. Maybe even some of them will visit the store and take a look around.

But, at the end of the day, most people just come in and don’t buy anything.

Now, consider your website. You have awesome content for your blog post and website, but most people just come in and leave at the end of the day. That’s essentially the bounce rate.

The bounce rate is an indicator that shows the percentage of people who log on to a page on your website and leave without checking other pages or completing any action. It shows how many leads are compelled to check out your website, but who leave without interacting with or buying anything from you.

Mastering bounce rates and how to handle them will be very important in your digital marketing strategy.

Data from RocketFuel shows that most websites have bounce rates between 26% and 70%. Based on that data, bounce rates have been classified into the following:

  • 25% and lower: Not so good
  • 26% to 40%: Excellent
  • 41% to 55%: Average
  • 56% to 70%: Acceptable, although higher than normal
  • 71% and higher: Bad

Why high bounce rates are bad

For most marketers, having a high bounce rate isn’t such a terrible thing. Perhaps it just means that many people who come to your website don’t have much of a reason to stay. But, you’d be wrong. A high bounce rate isn’t much of a good thing.

The first problem with having a high bounce rate is that it could suggest searching engines that your website’s content isn’t so great. If people come to your page and end up leaving without doing anything, it might seem that there’s nothing happening there. So, your website won’t rank so high on Google for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.

Google has claimed that it doesn’t use bounce rates when ranking web pages. But, the metric could still affect ranking results nonetheless.

Then, there is also the implication of a high bounce rate on your site itself. When you have a high bounce rate, it means that your readers aren’t finding what they need on your site. Most web visitors have short attention spans So, if they can’t find what they want on your site, they won’t stay there. 

A high bounce rate means that your website isn’t serving its intended purpose. As you’d expect, this is never great.

What are the possible reasons for high bounce rates?

Now that we understand what a website’s bounce rate is, let’s look at some of the most popular reasons why websites tend to have really high bounce rates.

Your website is slow

One of the major reasons why websites tend to have a high bounce rate is that they don’t load quickly enough. Google ranks site speed as a major factor when determining site metrics. So, if you want to get more people to come to your site, you need to ensure that it loads fast. 

A slow site is never good for the user experience. People want to click and have your web pages load as quickly as possible, so they can get the information they need and can complete any actions they need to. If your page takes more than a few seconds to load, most visitors will lose their patience and leave.

Wrong or misleading title tags and meta description

When you publish posts or update your site, it’s important to have a meta description and title tag that correlate with the content. Otherwise, visitors might click on your website’s links while thinking that your content is about something, only to find that it’s not. No one will give it a moment’s thought before they leave the page.

It’s possible that this is an honest mistake you’ve been making. In fact, there are times when Google automatically assigns a meta description and title tag to your pages. Perhaps the algorithm made a mistake and gave you the wrong description.

Thankfully, fixing it isn’t so difficult. You can review your page’s content or adjust the meta description and title tag to properly reflect what the content is about.

Error messages or blank pages 

If you find that your bounce rate is incredibly high, it could be because visitors see error messages whenever they come to your site. Perhaps the site isn’t loading as it should or your visitors are seeing those “404” prompts.

Bad referral links

Sometimes, the reason for your high bounce rate isn’t just you. It’s possible that you’re doing everything you possibly can to keep the bounce rates as low as possible, but you’re not getting much help from your referrals.

One of the best ways to improve your SEO ranking is to get referrals from other sites. So, these sites link to yours and send traffic over. The problem, however, is that some sites might send unqualified leads to you.

They could put links to your website in misleading parts of their content, so these visitors come to your site and find that they don’t actually need your content. Like that, your bounce rates are on the rise. Other times, these sites could simply be engaging in poor copywriting. Whatever it is, several referral sites aren’t exactly doing you any favors.

Low-quality content

Some visitors might also be bouncing because your content isn’t so good. This is why it is important to invest in good content from the beginning. Ensure that your content has value and is easy to comprehend. This way, people will be willing to read more and will spend more time on your website or blog. Over time, you can engage better with them and finally convert them to take specific actions.

How to fix high bounce rates

If you’re tired of a high bounce rate on your website, you’ll be happy to know that there are several fixes. Given that there are so many things that could cause an increase in bounce rates, you want to make sure that you take a proper look at your site and find out what is wrong.

But, some of the general tips you could take when it comes to fixing a high bounce rate include:

Improve your content

The first step will be for you to fix issues related to your content. So, get to work.

Primarily, you want to work on your content’s design and readability. Cut out large chunks of text and break your content up with bullet points. If you can add pictures and other graphics, do that as well.

You also want to make sure to use the right content formatting. Make everything uniform and ensure that anyone who comes to your site has a good time reading what’s on it.

Avoid pop-ups

Pop-ups are never a good part of any website’s real estate. As much as you can, avoid them. 70% of web visitors say they find pop-ups to be annoying. They also disrupt your website’s user experience, so try your best not to have any on your site.

Keep your blog fresh

Experts recommend that you always refresh your log from time to time. Get fresh content on the blog, so people know to expect something new when they come.

You can also have a proper schedule for content. Post daily, weekly, or bi-weekly, but make sure your content is consistent and relevant.

Target high-traffic keywords

When you’re running an SEO strategy, make sure to always target high-traffic keywords. These are the keywords that will rank the highest, and you’ll find them useful in getting the right leads to your website.

Work on your meta descriptions

Your meta descriptions and title tags also need to be effective in drawing visitors. Edit them to reflect the content on your web pages, so people know what to expect before they come in.

The meta description and title tag will especially help in directing traffic from search. So, don’t overlook it.

Speed up the load time

You also need to ensure that your web pages load as quickly as possible. Users expect your page to load in three seconds or less. Anything more, and they’ll move to a competitor’s site. This is why you need to examine your page and remove anything that will increase the load time.

Conclusion

A high bounce rate is never a good thing for your website. You want to ensure that your site is optimized enough to attract people and keep them on. But, due to some factors, bounce rates can increase and you could be losing leads.

With the tips we’ve shared, you should be able to optimize your site and get those bounce rates as low as possible.

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