6 reasons your website has a high bounce rate
Last modified: 2018/11/16 | Approximate reading time 6 mins
A bounce rate may sound like a term that would be relevant for the sports fans in your life, but in fact, a bounce rate directly affects your online content and in turn, your businesses. If you have a website and are looking to increase online visibility and gain clients, then you should know all about the bounce rate and how it's affecting you.
Essentially, having a high bounce rate on your website means that many of your visitors are leaving your site after spending a very short amount of time dropping by. Your goal as a business owner or entrepreneur who's exploring the world of content marketing should be looking to convert those visitors into clients and subscribers. But how do you accomplish this task? Well, let’s look at the reasons why your website might have a high bounce rate and as a result, how you can improve the conversion rate of your website!
Here are the top 6 reasons why your website has a high bounce rate
1- Your website's loading time is too slow
If pages on your website take their time to load, chances are your visitors aren’t going to wait around to see what your contents all about. No matter how useful or informative the content, the average person will wait roughly 2 seconds or less for a webpage to load. That statistic may seem shocking, but it’s the reality. If you haven’t put serious time and energy into making your website run and load smoothly, then you'll have much better odds that clients and prospective customers are going to notice.
Not only will visitors take notice that your website takes time to load, it is less likely that they will recommend your business or services to friends and family as a result. Another note is that Google has begun ranking pages dependant on how quickly they load. For all of the aforementioned reasons, it’s paramount that you consider how to improve your load time, especially if it's quite slow. Review your page loading speed with tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom. Consider other methods to make your site run faster, such as compressing images as well as video.
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2- Broken or bad backlinks
It is possible that you could be in tip-top shape when it comes to achieving a high or normal bounce rate. However, a referring site could be sending unqualified visitors or the anchor text for the link itself could be misleading. Further, if you haven’t fixed old, outdated or broken links because you've forgotten about them, visitors trying to find their way to your site will come across a 404 message.
If people navigate to your site from a referring site, or by way of a broken link, it's unlikely that they'll try and revisit. If your bounce rate is higher, but you’ve run tests and noticed that visitors are spending less than a few seconds on your page, it’s likely due to a broken link or a link that isn’t loading properly. Check all links from your visitors' most popular browser and device configurations, as this will allow you to discover any possible broken links.
3- Content that isn’t pulling its weight
You may have a few pages on your website that just aren’t cutting it. Due to their unpopularity, outdated information or lack of relevance, these pages may be contributing to the overall bounce rate of your site. This is something you can easily investigate and fix with a little bit of tender love and care.
If you haven’t yet used Google Analytics, this is the perfect time to explore the wonders of this tool. You can sort your landing pages based on their bounce rate and then weed out the ones which aren't working for you. Consider removing or updating the content that isn’t quite living up to its potential. Undated and relevant content can work wonders to greatly improve your bounce rate, even if it takes some energy and dedication.
4- Misleading title and/or meta description
Have you ever considered how relevant your title and meta description are to the user experience? The point of both of these pieces of your site is to accurately describe and summarize the content. You may have overlooked these aspects before, but they can greatly contribute to and affect the bounce rate.
If visitors enter your site thinking that your content is one thing and turns out to be another, chances are they’ll bounce back from where they came. In some cases, this may be an innocent mistake, as many business owners aren’t aware of how important it is for the title, meta description and content to be completely in line. Think about reviewing the content on your site and updating the titles and descriptions accordingly. If you’re looking for a piece of advice about writing engaging meta descriptions, check out our article on the subject.
5- Under-optimized or poor quality content
If you’ve checked all of the bounce rate possibilities we’ve already mentioned, and you haven't yet figured it out, then the reason potentially comes down to the quality of your content. Take a long hard look at your website and be extra judgemental about the content as well as the quality. Have colleagues and friends judge as well, asking for their utmost honesty.
Further, take notes from some of your top competitor sites and consider ways that you could improve your content marketing, copywriting, images, videos and so on. Although this task may be difficult, being truthful with yourself about your business abilities and how they are translated into your web space is important. If your current content creation team isn’t doing the job, consider outsourcing or hiring freelancers to help ease the load.
Let’s be honest, no one like pop-ups. If your website has been designed in a way that’s bombarding your visitors with pop-ups, email subscribe buttons, customer surveys and other CTA-heavy features, you will likely find your bounce rate affected. Adding these features may seem intuitive in the early stages of development but it may not work in favour of your audience. If you’re having trouble deciding which features would be best for your site, consider working with a web or UX designer.
For more tips about improving your bounce rate, check out: 11 efficient ways to reduce your bounce rate.
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