Why Does My Website Have a High Bounce Rate?
This information is all extremely useful for improving your site’s overall performance, but even the best analytics tools have their limitations – namely, that they can’t tell you why your site performs the way it does.
They can help you see that certain pages (or your site as a whole) aren’t producing the results you want, but they can’t tell you why that is, or what you can do to fix the issue. This can be extremely frustrating, especially if you’re not used to troubleshooting online content.
As a result, one of the most common questions we hear from new clients is simply, “Why is my bounce rate so high?”
That’s why on this page, we’ll go over what bounce rate is, and a few of the most common issues that can cause a site’s to be high.
What is a bounce rate?
According to Google, a site’s bounce rate is the percentage of single-page sessions, or sessions in which a visitor left your site from the entrance page without interacting with that page.
Essentially, every visitor that arrives at your site (via a search engine, link from another site, social media platform, or other source), but does not visit any pages beyond the one they originally landed on is considered a “bounce.”
This means that if your site has a low bounce rate, many of your visitors go to additional pages after arriving at your site. This indicates that they’re interested in learning more about your company, and that your site is accomplishing its goal of earning more customers or clients.
A high bounce rate, on the other hand, indicates that most of your visitors do not venture beyond their original landing page. They aren’t spending much time learning about your products and services, and they may not ultimately convert.
What is a normal bounce rate?
Before you worry too much about your site’s bounce rate, it’s important to gain a frame of reference for what a good bounce rate actually is.
Ideally, every single person who visited your site would stay long enough to read all of your content and learn all about your business. But realistically, this isn’t the case for any website in the world.
And when you think about how quickly users navigate search results and skim for information, it makes sense that average bounce rates are pretty high – and depending on the industry, rates of 60-70% are actually considered good.
However, if your average bounce rate is above 80%, you may have an issue to address.
Why does your website have a high bounce rate?
There are many factors that contribute to a site’s overall bounce rate, but these four reasons are some of the most common to blame for issues.
1. The content doesn’t provide what users are looking for
Most of your visitors come to your site with the goal of finding specific information. They use search engines like Google to find pages relevant to what they’re looking for, and rely on each page’s title and meta description to determine which is the best option.
If a user clicks through your site, but doesn’t find what they want, they’ll return to the results and choose a different page.
So if you determine that a specific page on your site has an extremely high bounce rate, you’ll want to look at the page’s title and meta description (the only information shown in search results) and determine if it’s an accurate reflection of what that page offers.
If not, adjusting these elements is an easy way to not only lower its bounce rate, but also have the chance to rank for and attract visitors from keywords that are more relevant to the page’s content.
2. The content provides all the information a user needs
As the complete opposite of the last issue, some pages provide everything a user is looking for.
For example, let’s say a user wants to know the exact date of a historical event, like the signing of the US Constitution. They search “date US Constitution was signed,” click on the first result, and learn that the answer is September 17, 1787.
Then, because they have the exact information they needed, they leave the site, marginally increasing its bounce rate – even though the content had everything they wanted.
If any of your pages provide simple answers to questions, high bounce rates are nothing to worry about. You may consider adding links to additional information or calls to action to increase the number of visitors who stay on your site, but you don’t need to worry that the page isn’t achieving its goal.
3. Slow load times
Today’s Internet users expect the sites they visit to be fast. If they click on a result, and it takes more than a few seconds to load, they’ll often leave it to find a faster website.
If your site has slow load times, it can be a huge contributor to a high bounce rate.
This issue is more time-consuming to fix than updating your titles and meta descriptions, but can ultimately have a huge impact on your site wide performance.
4. Poor user experience
Beyond load times, there are many other elements that contribute to the overall user experience. If all of your pages provide quality content, have links to other relevant pages, and load quickly, a poor user experience may be to blame.
If your site’s navigation is confusing, it isn’t optimized for mobile devices, or simply isn’t easy to use, this is likely the cause. Work with a designer to identify possible issues, and you can improve both your bounce rate and your site’s overall results.
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Want to improve your company’s website?
Building and maintaining a successful website is challenging, and there are many issues (including bounce rate) that can prevent yours from helping you achieve your goals.
At WebFX, we have years of experience creating and optimizing effective websites for our clients, and we’d love to do the same for you.
Contact us today to speak with a strategist and learn more about how our team can improve your website and help you reach new customers.