Finally, Simple Ways to Address High Bounce Rates

When we audit a website to see what is working and what is not, we observe many metrics that are important for SEO and organic search performance. Bounce rate is one of these important metrics. 

If your website has a high bounce rate, then the discussion below will help you to take the necessary steps to fix any crawling errors, increase good user experience, and ultimately increase the performance of your website in terms of page speed, website usability, and other valuable issues.

What is Bounce Rate?

Any single page view or single page session on a website is considered as a bounce. When a session triggers only one request to any web analytics server, then the session is calculated as a bounce. For example when a person visits any landing page of a website and then exits without visiting any other page, then the session doesn’t trigger any other request to the analytics server. 

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors who leave a website after landing on any page and don’t view any other page. It’s a single interaction visit to a website.

Research Study for Bounce Rate

According to a RocketFuel study, most websites will see bounce rates fall somewhere between 26% and 70%.

As a rule of thumb, a bounce rate in the range of 26 to 40 percent is excellent. 41 to 55 percent is roughly average. 56 to 70 percent is higher than average, but may not be cause for alarm depending on the website. Anything over 70 percent is disappointing for everything outside of blogs, news, events, etc. and requires immediate attention.

Where can I find my Bounce Rate?

We can see the overall bounce rate of a website in the Audience Overview tab of Google Analytics. The overall bounce of the website below is 32.53%, which falls in the excellent category.

We can see the bounce rate of individual traffic channels in the behavior column of the Acquisition section under the ‘All Traffic’ tab (Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels) of Google Analytics.

We can also see the bounce rate of individual landing page of a website in the Behavior section under Site Content tab (Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages) of Google Analytics.

The Reasons of High Bounce Rate & How to Address Them

There are several reasons for which a website can have a high bounce rate. Below we discuss the top 5 reasons for high bounce rate and with this in mind, you will be in a strong position to address them and improve your bounce rate.

1. Poor User Experience and Website Usability

Visitors decide to stay on a website or not within a few seconds after they land on a webpage. If the website doesn’t look compelling to the visitors and the website is not easy to use, then they will leave without visiting any other page. If the page layout of a website is not organized, the color combination is not looking good and the navigation is not well optimized, then the website suffers for poor user experience and usability issues.

Consult with a web design firm or UX designer to avoid the common design mistakes and make your website look attractive and easy to use to the visitors.

2. Slow Webpage or High Page Load Time

If a web page takes more than a few seconds to load, then the visitors may leave the website immediately. Site speed is also an important part of Google ranking algorithm. Google tries to promote content to its users with a positive experience. But if a web page takes more time to load, then it creates a negative user experience to the visitors and they’ll bounce back from the website.

Analyze the page speed of your website using free online tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix. The tools will give recommendations based on the page speed issues of your website such as compressing images, leveraging browser caching, and reducing third-party scripts.

3. Page Copy Mismatch with Title Tag and/or Meta Description

If a web page takes more than a few seconds to load, then the visitors may If the page content doesn’t match with the page title or Meta description, then the visitors may leave the website immediately and search for a new one which matches with their topic. Writing a compelling page title and Meta description may increase the click-through rate (CTR) from organic search engines. But these two important SEO elements should comply with the page copy to fulfill the needs of website visitors, the answers or products or services they’re looking for.

4. Technical Error Page or Blank Page

If the bounce rate is exceptionally high and the website visitors are spending less than a few seconds on any page of a website, the problem is likely the page is blank, returning a 404 error or not found error, the page is not loading properly or facing any other server side issues. There is also a chance that the site’s javascript is malfunctioning or a plugin went down or the embedded form is not loading properly.

If a website is registered with Google Search Console, then we can see the SEO crawling errors under Coverage section of Google Search Console as per Google webmaster guidelines. There are also some very handy SEO platforms such as BrightEdge, Moz, SEMRush etc. where we’ll see the crawling errors of our websites. There are also some free tools by which we can audit our websites to see the crawling errors.

5. People Get Their Answer

Some webpages may have self-sufficient content. In that case, people find everything they’re looking for and leave the website without visiting any other page. This is very good that we’ve created awesome content for our website visitors. The webpage might be a landing page which we’re promoting with less content and it only requires the visitors to complete a short leads form. In this case, we’ll see a high bounce rate for this webpage also.

To be sure the webpage is working properly to serve the visitor’s intention, we should also look at other user engagement metrics such as Time Spent on Page and Average Session Duration metrics in Google Analytics.

If your website has a high bounce rate, then audit the website to find out the reasons for the high bounce rate and take necessary steps to increase the performance. Here in Blueliner, we have some marketing on demand web design and SEO audit packages to fulfill your website and marketing needs.

If you’re looking for an Digital Marketing agency, get in touch with Blueliner here to see how we can help take you from “okay” to “awesome” in the Digital Marketing realm.

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