Why Does Your Site Have A High Bounce Rate?
Are you in panic mode after seeing a high bounce rate in your website analytics? Don’t be! A high bounce rate isn’t necessarily bad for your website. Yes, you heard that right. But haven’t we been telling you that a high bounce rate is bad for your website? That is right too. If we have managed to confuse you enough, sit back and keep reading this article for more enlightenment on page bounce rates.
Much of the confusion is because it’s not a yes or no question. Does your website have a high bounce rate? It’s not that important. Why does your website have a high bounce rate? It is very important to find the answers to this. Let us explain; but before that –
What is Bounce Rate?
According to Google, bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that bounce off your website after visiting a single page on your website. “Bounce” refers to a single-page session. Bounce rate is independent of the ‘dwell time’ – even if a user scrolls through a page for 20 minutes, they will contribute to the bounce rate (BR) if they do not interact further with the content or follow a link to another page on your website.
Did the air clear up a bit? Whether a high bounce rate is good or bad depends on your business goals and the website type. If the intent was purely to provide information, a high BR isn’t bad. But if the intent was conversions, then you have a problem. Because whether intended or not, a high bounce rate means low conversion – the user is not interacting further with your site, at least not on this visit. The desired bounce rate for a website is in the 26%-40% range. Anything lower than that might mean something is broken, and the visitor is following a link out of the page. While bounce rates between 41%-70% are average or slightly above average, 70% and higher means the website is not doing well.
Why does your site have a high bounce rate?
Sometimes a high bounce rate is good. For example, if you are an affiliate, you want visitors to follow out to the merchant site quickly.
Here we address reasons for a high bounce rate that are a cause for concern.
1. Misleading titles, meta descriptions and ads
2. Long loading time
Site speed is one of the most important ranking factors. Like all search engines, Google wants its users to have a positive experience with each recommendation they offer them. One crucial constituent of user experience is the time the webpage takes to load. No one wants to wait 5 minutes to read a 3-minute article. If the loading time for your page is more than a few seconds, most visitors will go back to search results for a better alternative. So, slow loading could be a reason why your website has a high bounce rate.
3. Unoptimised or Low-Quality Content
Quality of content matters. While it can be hard to accept, the reason why visitors are bouncing from your site could be because the content you post is not useful. The content on your page should match the quality of the page snippet in the SERPs. If you fail to meet the expectations of a user who clicks on your link, they will leave in the blink of an eye.
4. Technical issues
Do the analytics show people spend less than a few seconds on your page? The chances are that your page is experiencing some technical errors. Exceptionally high bounce rates coupled with low dwell times are often a product of blank pages, 404 errors or loading issues. Try to view the page from the customer’s perspective. You could attempt using the most popular browser among the audience and see if the page is functioning as it should. You can also try loading the page using your audience’s device configurations or check in the Search Console to understand Google’s perspective on the page.
5. Page isn’t mobile-friendly
- Page loads very slowly
- Text is too small or too big
- Content that doesn’t fit the screen in normal or modified view
- Content is too compact
6. UX is bad
Meta description: A meta description is an HTML tag displayed on the search engine result pages that summarises the contents of your page.
404: A “404” or “404 not found” error means that the page or website you were trying to access couldn’t be located on the server.
UX: User experience (UX) describes the interactions a user has with a product or service.
Dwell time: It is the duration between when a user lands on a page from search results and leaves the page, or in simple terms, it is the time a user spends on a page.