9 Reasons Your Website Can Have a High Bounce Rate
“Why do my bounce rates seem so high?”
You’ll see this inquiry on Twitter, Reddit, and in your preferred Facebook group for digital marketing. You may have even questioned it to yourself. Heck, it might even be the query that led you to this post. There is no “optimal” bounce rate, no matter what brought you here. However, a high one isn’t exactly what you desire.
Continue reading as we look into the possible causes of your high bounce rate and offer solutions.
Bounce Rate: What Is It?
Consider that a “bounce” is defined by Google as “a single-page session on your site.”
The percentage of visitors who leave your website (or “bounce” back to the search results page or the referring website) after only visiting one page on your website is known to as your bounce rate. Even when a user is inactive on a page for longer than 30 minutes, this is a possibility.
What precisely is a high bounce rate, and why is it undesirable?
Well, “high bounce rate” is a relative word that depends on the goals of your business and the nature of your website.
The nine typical reasons for a high bounce rate are listed below, followed by solutions.
- A Slowly Loading Page
Particularly as part of the Core Web Vitals initiative, Google has redoubled its efforts to improve site speed. The bounce rate can be significantly affected by a page that loads slowly. A factor in Google’s ranking formula is site speed. It has always been. Google aims to promote material that gives consumers a good experience, and they are aware that a slow site might do just that.
For most SEO and marketing professionals, optimizing site speed is a lifelong endeavor.
The good news is that you should experience a gradual increase in speed with each incremental repair.
Using tools like these, analyze the overall and per-page speeds of your pages:
Google Search Console PageSpeed reports
Google PageSpeed Insights
- Content That Is Self-Sufficient
Oftentimes, your content is so effective that readers may swiftly find what they need and move on. This has the potential to be great. Maybe you succeeded in the content marketer’s goal and created amazing material that totally consumed them for a short period of time.
Or perhaps you have a landing page that merely asks visitors to fill out a brief lead form. You should check the Time Spent on Page and Average Session Duration data in Google Analytics to see if bounce rate is unimportant. A/B testing and user experience testing can also be used to evaluate whether the high bounce rate is a problem.
Spending two minutes or more on the page indicates to Google that the user found your page to be absolutely significant to their search query.
Such user intent is crucial if you want to rank for that particular search query.
Consider persuading the reader to read some of your related blog posts after filling out the form if the user is spending less than a minute on the page (which may be the case with a well optimized landing page with a quick-hit CTA form).
*In this case, GA4’s engagement rate might be a more useful metric than UA’s bounce rate. This kind of session would not be considered a bounce under GA4 and would instead count as “engaged”.
- A Few Pages’ Disproportionate Contribution
Using the preceding section’s example as an example, it’s possible that some of your site’s pages are contributing disproportionately to the overall bounce rate of your website. Google is skilled at distinguishing between these.
Your longer-form content pages should have a lower bounce rate if your single CTA landing pages reasonably satisfy user intent and cause users to bounce soon after performing an action. To be sure that this is the case, or to determine whether any of these pages with a greater bounce rate shouldn’t be driving users away in droves, you need to look further.
Get Google Analytics open. Sort the landing pages by bounce rate under Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages.
Think about including a smart filter to eliminate pages that might bias the results.
For instance, obsessing about the single Twitter share that generated five visits and had all of your social UTM parameters appended to the URL’s end isn’t always beneficial.
Determining the least threshold of volume that is relevant for the page is my general rule of thumb.
- False meta description or title tag
Do your page’s title tag and meta description accurately reflect the content therein?
If not, visitors may arrive on your website thinking it is about one thing only to learn it isn’t, prompting them to leave and go back to where they came from. Fortunately, whether it was an error or you intentionally tried to game the system by optimizing for clickbait keywords, this is a simple issue to fix. Either review the information on your page and make the necessary changes to the title tag and meta description. Alternately, modify the article to respond to the search terms you wish to draw visitors from.
If Google tweaks your meta description and makes it worse, you can take action to fix it. You can also see what kind of meta description Google has automatically generated for your page for popular searches.
- A technical error or blank page
If visitors are leaving the page after only a few seconds and your bounce rate is unusually high, your page is either blank, producing a 404, or otherwise not running properly.
To emulate your audience’s experience, look at the page using the most common browser and device settings (such as Safari on desktop, Chrome on mobile, etc.).
You can also look in Search Console under Coverage to find out more about the issue from Google’s perspective.
If you are capable of doing so, try to resolve the issue on your own or seek help from someone who is; otherwise, Google can swiftly remove your page from the search results.
- The website lacks mobile friendliness.
Although SEOs are aware of the importance of having a mobile-friendly website, the concept isn’t always put into effect in the real world. Even though Google first announced its shift to mobile-first indexing in 2017, many websites are still not what would be termed mobile-friendly today. On mobile devices, websites that have not been optimised for mobile display poorly and take a while to load. That will guarantee a high bounce rate.
Even though responsive design concepts were used to create your website, it’s still possible that the live page doesn’t appear to be user-friendly on mobile devices. Some of the meaningful info may occasionally move below the fold when a page is condensed for mobile consumption.
- Unreliable Links from Other Websites
Even if you are doing everything correctly on your end to obtain a normal or low bounce rate from organic search results, your referral traffic may still have a high bounce rate. You could be receiving unqualified visitors from the referring website, or the anchor text and link context might be false. This can occasionally happen as a result of poor copywriting.
The author or publisher either placed the link to your website in the wrong place in the material or didn’t intend for it to be there at all.
First, get in contact with the article’s author. You can escalate the problem to the site’s editor or webmaster if they don’t reply or are unable to amend the article after it has been published.
Ask them politely to alter the context or delete the connection to your website, if appropriate.
- A single-page website or affiliate landing page
When you’re affiliated, the entire purpose of your page can be to purposefully direct visitors to the merchant’s website instead of your own. If the page has a greater bounce rate in these situations, you’re doing your job well. If you had a single-page website, such as a landing page for your ebook or a basic portfolio site, the situation would be identical.
Since there is nowhere else to go, it is typical for sites like these to have a relatively high bounce rate. Even if a user’s query is answered very fast, keep in mind that Google can typically identify when a website is doing a good job satisfying user intent (sites like WhatIsMyScreenResolution.com come to mind).
You can modify your bounce rate if you’re interested in making it more suited for the objectives of your website.
You can edit your analytics settings for Single Page Apps (or SPAs) to see various sections of a page as a different page, altering the bounce rate to better reflect the user experience.
- Poorly written or poorly optimized content
Your website’s visitors may be exiting quickly due of the poor quality of your content.
Check your page very carefully, then have your most critical and honest friend or co-worker look it through. (Ideally, this person fits into your target audience or has experience with content marketing or copywriting.) Your article can be fantastic, but you haven’t optimized it for online reading or the audience you’re aiming for.
Do you use simple sentences when writing?
Is it scannable despite having numerous header tags?
Does it provide clear answers to queries?
Have you included pictures to the content to help break it up and make it easier to read?
Writing for the website is different from writing for print media. To enhance the amount of time individuals spend reading your material, sharpen your online copywriting skills. The other option is that your writing is generally subpar or that your audience doesn’t care about your content.
Keep in mind that bounce rates are only one metric. The world does not end just because there is a high bounce rate. High bounce rates are normal on some functional, well-designed websites, and that’s fine.
The effectiveness of your site can be gauged by its bounce rates, but it’s important to keep them in balance.
You should now have a clear understanding of what’s generating your high bounce rate after reading this post. Confused about where to begin?
Make your website quick, user-friendly, and informative since good users are drawn to good websites.