7 reasons for high bounce rate on your website
In digital marketing, website performance is measured using various factors and metrics. Bounce rate is one of the commonly used metrics to quickly assess how well a web page is performing. There are several reasons that contribute to a high bounce rate, many of which can be easily fixed.
What is Bounce Rate?
Every time a visitor reaches your website, the first thing they see is one of the web pages. If the visitor immediately leaves by navigating away, they are considered to have "bounced". Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who bounce out of all your website visitors.
A bounce can occur when visitors do not engage with your website. This can happen in a few ways:
- Pressing the "back" button on their browser to return to search results or a referring website.
- Navigating directly away by entering a new URL into their web browser.
- Staying on the website but being inactive until their user session expires (usually around 30 minutes for Google Analytics).
Essentially, bounce rate indicates the number of people who leave your website immediately after visiting for various reasons.
Why is Bounce Rate High?
Have you looked at your website metrics and wondered, "Why is my bounce rate high?" Let's explore common causes that contribute to a high bounce rate. Be sure to thoroughly investigate as there may be multiple reasons.
One major cause that almost guarantees a high bounce rate is having a broken landing page. This could result in a blank page, an error message, or a page missing the content your visitors are searching for. Even if only one page is broken, it creates a poor first impression and suggests that the website may be outdated.
Poorly Optimized Meta Titles & Descriptions
When users browse search engine results, your website's meta title and description provide information about the page's content. These are also the first point of contact with potential visitors. To keep visitors on your website, ensure that your meta titles and descriptions succinctly summarize the page and help users find the desired content.
Apart from misleading meta titles and descriptions, visitors may bounce if they find the content on the first page they visit to be of low quality. Defining "low-quality content" is subjective, but consider factors such as sufficient coverage of the main topic, informative content, credibility backed by sources, and a focused page without excessive additional topics, ads, or sales-oriented calls to action. Identifying and improving low-quality content areas on high-bounce-rate web pages can retain visitors and encourage them to explore more of your website.
Slow Page Loading Time
Page loading speed is a major factor that can cause visitors to bounce. With the majority of users accessing websites through mobile devices and desktop computers, fast access to information is expected. If a web page takes more than a few seconds to load, visitors may leave before the page finishes loading. Utilize online tools like GTMetrix to identify and fix issues that contribute to long loading times, such as large or unoptimized images, resource-heavy scripts, inefficient caching, unused CSS, and render-blocking resources. Improving slow-loading web pages benefits both search engine rankings and general user experience.
Lack of Mobile Optimization
Given that most website visitors now use mobile devices, optimizing web pages for mobile is essential. Websites that are not updated or designed with mobile optimization in mind can have various issues leading to high bounce rates. Even responsive websites can encounter problems like overlapping elements, content pushed below the fold, and slower loading times due to resource-heavy content. Use Google Search Console to identify any mobile optimization issues on your website and check the mobile indexing report for notable issues.
Poor User Experience (UX)
Poor user experience can instantly drive visitors away from your website. Elements like excessive advertisements, intrusive pop-ups, or confusing and difficult-to-read web pages can cause frustration. While certain elements like calls to action are recommended, overusing them can make the website obnoxious and off-putting to users.
News or Blog Posts
Sometimes, high bounce rates on certain types of content like news articles or blog posts are not necessarily bad. These types of content can fulfill visitors' needs, even if the content quality, structure, and user experience are good. To enhance these pages, you can add flow by providing options for visitors to seamlessly navigate to other useful sections of your website, such as product or service pages. Implement internal links, compelling calls to action, and related post links to guide visitors to explore additional relevant content and pages on your website.
By understanding the reasons behind high bounce rates, you can address each point accordingly. In the next articles, we will share ways to reduce bounce rate. Stay tuned to CI for more comprehensive marketing insights!