All website owners know how difficult it is to drive traffic to their website. Once a website is live, then the hard work begins. Your website’s goal is not to only attract visitors, but to also get them to stay long enough so that your bounce rate remains low. Having a website is similar to having a brick and mortar shop. You want customers to come in and browse. You want to make them feel comfortable so that they can check out what you have to offer, speak to you and purchase something before they leave. In order for this to happen, it’s important to understand how ‘Bounce Rate’ works. On this post, I will explain the meaning of Bounce Rate and a list of 10 reasons why your visitors are bouncing from your website.
What Is Bounce Rate?
Bounce rate refers to the percentage of people who leave your website after viewing one page or post. For example; a person found your website on Google. They then look around your site and then closes the page or hits the back button to go back on the search results. This person has ‘bounced’ from your site.
Why Should I Be Concerned About Bounce Rates?
Your bounce rate is one of the many factors that Google judges when it comes to ranking your website. This can make a big difference when it comes to assessing your website compared to your competitors. For instance, if your website has similar products to your competitor, but their website has a lower bounce rate. Google may rank your competitors’ website higher than yours.
What Is A Reasonable Bounce Rate?
According to experts, a bounce rate below 60% is a good place to start, but this depends on what kind of website you have. For example, the current data according to CXL puts the average bounce rate for real estate website at 44.5%.
Less than 20%
If your website has less than 20% bounce rate then congratulations! Your website is engaging enough for visitors to stay. However, if you find that you have 0% bounce rate, you might want to check whether you have installed Google Analytics correctly as a very low bounce rate can also indicate that there is a problem with your Google Analytics tracking code.
Bounce rates that are between 20-40% indicate that you are doing something right and this is the score that you want to be aiming for. This type of score shows your website is engaging and has plenty of internal linking and on-site marketing to keep your visitors interested. Your website is satisfying the needs of your users and building a very engaged audience.
A score that is between 40-55% is an average score for most industries. Your site shows that you have done some optimisation but could do better. Your site has good information, but not enough incentives for people to want to stick around.
Any website that has a bounce rate ranging from 55-75% needs some work. Perhaps your website doesn’t have good content, or you only have single pages to satisfy your visitors. If your bounce rate is within this range you have some work to do.
Websites that have 75-100% bounce rates could indicate that your site might be broken, you have poor content and your website doesn’t give any value to your users. If a visitor lands on your site and then leaves immediately without looking at any other pages this could potentially lead to lower search rankings. However, if your website is reasonably done and you still have a high bounce rate, this could mean that you have not installed Google Analytics correctly. It’s time to get your site fixed! In addition, bounce rates will vary differently depending on what device your visitor is using. For example, mobile users usually visit one page before moving on to another. This can make a difference in around 10-20% higher bounce rate compared if they were browsing on a desktop. You can reduce this by satisfying mobile users and making sure that your website is mobile-friendly.
How Do I Reduce Bounce Rates?
Now we know what bounce rate is, now let’s see what we can do to reduce them. Below is a screenshot of the bounce rate on my blog. The results show that my bounce rate is 35.14%. This bounce rate score can only be achieved by improving your websites user experience and fixing specific issues that I have listed below:
10 Reasons Why Visitors Are ‘Bouncing’ From Your Website
To reduce a websites bounce rate, firstly we need to understand why people are not staying on your website. There could be several factors why people are not sticking around. These might be that:
1. Your website is loading too slow
2. Poor Navigation
Overwhelming or badly laid out navigation can be confusing to users especially if they can’t figure out how to get to a page they are looking for. Keep your navigation clear and with the logical correct hierarchy. If users cannot navigate your website easily, they will leave.
3. It’s Not Suitable For Mobile Devices
With more than 50% of web searches happening on mobile devices it’s important that your website is mobile-friendly. Having a mobile-friendly site means that your content will render correctly on mobile devices making it easier for visitors to navigate around and find content that they need. Also, did you know that Google prefers mobile-friendly sites on search results? This happens, for example, when two pages offer good content with similar quality, but one of them is optimised for the needs of mobile users. Google algorithm ensures that the optimised page for mobile devices is treated ‘favourable’ – ranking it higher.
4. Unprofessional Website Design
It’s a no brainer that badly designed websites do not retain visitors for too long. In fact, visitors only takes a few seconds to judge whether your website is worth taking a look at or not. Contrasting colours, flashing images, cheap stock photos, are just some of the factors can affect your bounce rate. Ensure that you hire the right web designer to create a professional website for your business. If done right it’s an investment that will pay off in the long run.
5. Intrusive Pop-Ups and Adverts
If you have pop-ups on your website, for example, a subscription form. Ensure that they are shown at the right time so that they do not affect a users’ experience as soon as they land on your website. Not only that pop-ups and adverts can be annoying, but they also slow down browsers. These few seconds of inconvenience can really annoy visitors so much that they will leave your website.
6. Broken Links and Unsecured Website Warnings
I have written about the importance of How SSL Affects Your Google Search Rankings and how it can also build trust to your website. Making sure that SSL installed avoids browsers from giving a visitor an unsecured warning. Once SSL is installed your website will show a green padlock next to your web address, this tells them that your site is secure. 404 pages or broken links can also affect the bounce rate of a website. If your visitor is taken to an empty page then it’s more than likely that they will navigate away never to return again.
7. Your Website Looks Untrustworthy
Badly designed websites can look ‘scammy’ and will discourage visitors from staying around. Ensure that you have an about page. Write enough content so that it showcases your services and products. Check your spelling and grammar, being careless about this can affect your trustworthiness as a company. Proudly showcase testimonials, accreditations and trust seals, these things add credibility to your website. Make sure you include them!
8. You Do Not Have Enough Content
OK so you have fixed your page speed, your navigation is easy and you have gotten rid of annoying pop-ups – so why are your visitors still bouncing off your website? This can be because you have low-quality content. Your visitors might want more information from you and you are not providing them with what they need.
9. You Are Asking For Too Much Information
Asking too much information can put a user off and not many people are willing to give too much detail on-line. Keep your web forms simple, only asking important questions, for example, name, email, subject and message.
10. Not Having Clear Steps Of What To Do Next
Ensure to strategically place ‘Call To Action’ links and buttons to lead your visitors where you want them to go. As a business, your goal is to get a visitor to make a purchase, use your service or get in touch. If your website does not have clear steps of where to go next, your visitors will leave.
As well as engaging content, consider showing related products or articles at the end of your blog post or pages. For example, if you are blogging about marketing strategies, include related posts for more follow-up articles. Not only you are keeping your visitor engaged and staying on your site for longer, but you are also building their confidence and boosting your website’s credibility. When it comes to reducing your bounce rates, it’s important to engage your users and keep user experience in mind. Is your website suffering from a high exit rate and would like some help? Get in touch with me for a FREE website audit.