You spend hours working on your website, improving your content, and working hard to make the site usable. You take the time to read online guides and ensure you’re doing everything as it should be.
Nevertheless, it’s still there in your analytics data: your bounce rate. And it’s high.
That’s a problem.
What Is A Bounce Rate?
Simply, a bounce rate is the number of visitors who come to your site and don’t explore other pages. Let’s say for example that a visitor follows a link from Facebook through to your site. Once there, then don’t click to see any of your other content or follow a call-to-action; instead, they leave your site once they have looked at the initial page they landed on.
Is A High Bounce Rate A Bad Thing?
Not always. It very much depends on what you’re using your site for. If the page they land on – for example – has a call to action on it, which they then follow, it doesn’t much matter that they’re not sticking around to browse the rest of your site.
For online stores or promotional sites which depend on viewers seeing as many pages as possible for revenue, then it is a problem. Stores want their customers to click around and see other items, potentially even making a purchase. If that’s not happening, then a high bounce rate is problematic in the extreme.
So Why Do People Leave – When You Want Them To Stay?
Answering the above is not a simple task, because it can depend on a number of factors. Below are a few of the most common reasons your bounce rate is uncomfortably high – why not have a browse and see if there’s an area of your strategy that you need to tweak?
Your Site… Isn’t Appealing To The Right People
If someone follows a Google search result for your site and immediately sees that you’re not what they’re looking for, then you can be sure they’ll be out of there in seconds. This is always going to happen occasionally, but if the problem becomes chronic, it might be worth asking yourself why.
It could be that your SEO strategy is bringing the wrong eyes to your site, meaning your bounce rate goes through the roof. Take some time to play with different factors, using the best SEO tools for your website to bring the right people to your site. This can make a big difference, especially if you operate in a large niche.
Your Site… Isn’t Loading Quickly Enough
We don’t wait for things nowadays; if a page isn’t loading, then most users will get out of there and go to somewhere that loads instantly. There’s so many options online that there’s relatively little need to be patient anymore. Check how quickly your site loads from both mobile 4G and a broadband connection. If it’s not almost instantaneous, then this is something you need to improve.
Your Site… Isn’t Promoting Your Additional Pages
A simple toolbar linking to categories isn’t enough to ensure that visitors are tempted to browse around your site. Try and insert internal backlinks throughout your content, linking to other relevant pages and encouraging users to click them.
You should also be using a plugin or other tool that allows users to see “more posts like this”. There are a variety of ways to do this, so try different tools until you find something that works. It’s also beneficial to highlight in the sidebar your most popular posts from the past, which visitors may find eye catching and decide to click to see.
Your Site… Has Intrusive Advertising
We know; website advertising is in the midst of something of a crisis. This has made ad networks bring forth more and more invasive adverts, because users have grown accustomed to ignoring basic banner ads. So if you rely on advertising to generate revenue, you have to put up with these ads.
Users, however, hate them, to the point they will “nope” out of a site the moment they see them. An ever-growing number of internet users are now using ad-blocking software; is it really worth annoying the remaining ones that aren’t by sticking with intrusive ads?
Understanding your bounce rate is an important part of your website’s success. Hopefully, by fixing any of the potential problems noted above, you’ll be able to bring it down and keep potential customers’ eyes right where you want them.