9 Reasons for a High Bounce Rate of your Website

Do you have a high bounce rate on your website? Here are 9 things that could be responsible for it. So you can reduce your bounce rate as soon as possible.

Reasons for a high bounce rate on your website

What is a bounce rate?

As a reminder, Google refers to a “bounce” as “a one-page session on your website.” The bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors who leave your site (or return to search results or the referring site) after viewing only one page on a site. This can even happen when a user remains idle on a page for more than 30 minutes.

Why is a high bounce rate bad?

High bounce rate depends on what your business goals are and what type of website you have. Low bounce rates – or bounce rates that are too low – can also be problems. Most websites will have bounce rates between 26% and 70%, according to a RocketFuel study.

The bounce rate for your website is shown on the Behavior tab on Google Analytics. You can find your bounce rate for individual channels and pages in the Behavior column in Google Analytics. Below we list 9 common reasons why websites can have a high bounce rate and how to fix them.

1. Website Loads Too Slowly

Google is refocusing on website speed, especially as part of the Core Web Vitals initiative. A slow loading website can be a big problem for bounce rate. Site speed is part of Google’s ranking algorithm.

Google wants to promote content that provides a positive experience for users, and they recognize that a slow page provides a poor experience. Users want to get information quickly and easily. If your site takes longer than a few seconds to load, potential visitors may get fed up and bounce.

For most SEO and marketing professionals, improving website speed is a lifelong task, as optimization is not easy. Check your website speed (overall and for individual subpages) with tools like:

  • PageSpeed Insights from Google
  • GTmetrix
  • Pingdom

They will provide you with specific recommendations for your site, such as compressing your images, reducing third-party scripts, and using browser caching.

2. Self-Explanatory Content

Sometimes there are websites that simply have good content, which quickly and easily gives visitors the information they are looking for. This in itself is a very good thing, because the visitors are satisfied. However, if they leave your site right after getting the information, it’s bad for the bounce rate.

If visitors spend less than a minute on the site, you should give the reader more incentives. For example, refer to related blog posts. This has the effect that visitors stay longer on your website and probably look at different subpages.

3. Misleading Title and Meta Description

Ask yourself: Is the content of your website well and precisely summarized by the title and meta description? If it isn’t, visitors may enter your site thinking the content is about one thing, only to find that it isn’t, and then return to where they came from – Google Search.

Whether it’s an unintentional website error or you’ve tried to manipulate the system by optimizing for keywords, it’s fortunately easy enough to fix. Either review your site’s content and adjust the title and meta description, or rewrite the content to answer users’ search queries in the future.

You can also check what kind of meta description Google has generated for your page for common searches – Google can change your meta description, and if it’s degraded, you can take steps to fix it. For this, we have published another blog post on meta description errors.

4. Empty Pages or Technical Error of the Website

If your bounce rate is exceptionally high and you see that people are spending less than a few seconds on the page, it may be that the visitors were directed to a faulty page.

Look at the page using your audience’s most popular browser and device configurations (e.g. Safari on desktop and mobile, Chrome on mobile, etc.) to replicate their experience. You can also look in Google’s Search Console under Coverage to discover the problem from Google’s perspective.

Correct the problem yourself or talk to someone who can – a problem like this can cause Google to remove your page from search results in a hurry.

You could have a perfect website to achieve a normal or low bounce rate from organic search results, and still cause a high bounce rate from your referral traffic due to external links.

The referring site could be sending you unqualified visitors, or the provided text and context for the link could be misleading. Sometimes this is the result of sloppy ad copy.

Contact the author of the article and then the editor or webmaster if the author cannot update the article after it is published. Disavowing the link will not reduce your bounce rate, but it will tell Google not to consider that site’s link when determining the quality and relevance of your site.

6. Affiliate Landing Page or Single Page Website

If you are an affiliate, the whole point of your website may be to intentionally send people away from your website to the merchant’s website. In these cases, you’re doing a good job if the site has a higher bounce rate.

A similar scenario would be if you have a single-page website, such as a landing page for your eBook or a simple portfolio site. It is common for such sites to have a very high bounce rate because they have nowhere else to go. Remember that Google can usually tell if a site is doing a good job and fulfilling the user’s intent, even if the user’s request is answered super fast.

7. Low Quality or Under-Optimized Content

Visitors may bounce from your site simply because your content is poor. Take a long, hard look at your site and have honest colleagues or friends review it.

One possibility is that your content is great, but you just haven’t optimized it for online consumption – or for the audience you want to target.

  • Are you using short and simple sentences?
  • Is it easy to scan with lots of header tags?
  • Does your content answer visitors’ questions?
  • Did you include images to break up the text and make it easy on the eyes?

Improve your online copywriting skills to extend the time people spend reading your content. The other possibility is that your content is poorly written overall or just isn’t something that interests your target audience. Consider hiring a freelance copywriter or content strategist who can help you turn your ideas into meaningful content.

8. Your Website is not Mobile Friendly

While we know it’s important to have a mobile-friendly website, this practice isn’t always followed in the real world. Google’s index is switching to a mobile-only website next year. Websites that aren’t optimized for mobile don’t look good on mobile devices – and they don’t load quickly. That’s a huge reason for a high bounce rate. Even if your site has been implemented with responsive design principles, it’s still possible that the live page won’t read as mobile-friendly to the user.

When a page is squeezed into a mobile format, it sometimes results in some of the key information falling by the wayside. Instead of seeing a headline that matches what they saw in search, mobile users now only see your site’s navigation menu. Assuming the page doesn’t offer what visitors are looking for, they’ll return to Google.

If you see a page with a high bounce rate and no glaring problems immediately apparent on the site, test it on mobile. You can use Google’s free Examine tool to investigate the mobile-friendliness of websites. You just have to right-click on the website in the Google Chrome browser and then go to Investigate. Then you can select different devices.

9. Content Depth

Google can give users quick answers using snippets and knowledge forums; you can provide users with deep, interesting and interconnected content that goes a step beyond. Make sure your content compels users to keep clicking. Provide interesting, relevant internal links and give your visitors a reason to stay. And for the crowd that wants a quick answer, give them a summary at the beginning of the article

Source: Search Engine Journal

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