The bounce rate is the number of visitors that leave your site having only viewed one page. A high bounce rate can be considered anywhere between 60% and 70% or higher, depending on the type of website you have, the content you serve, and the industry that you operate in.
If you have a high bounce rate for your industry, or your bounce rate has increased, there are dozens of potential reasons, but below are three of the most common, and how you can address them.
1 – Slow pages
Site speed is a critical factor in website design, and also in SEO, and it is essential to user experience. If a page takes seconds to load, your visitors are likely to close your page and move to the next result or find another relevant website.
GTMetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights are effective tools to analyse page load times, and they also highlight improvements that can be made to help reduce load time. These improvements might include compressing images or removing third-party scripts from your site. With every improvement you make, you should see at least a small improvement in load time. Remember that SEOs check page speed regularly, and this is especially important if you make frequent changes to your website and its content.
2 – Misleading titles and descriptions
If you rely on search engine traffic, meta data such as titles and descriptions are important. These are used to populate the search engine result pages, and if your titles and descriptions are inaccurate or misleading, visitors will arrive on your page and they will be served irrelevant information. The most common path for these visitors is to click the back button and to head for the next seemingly relevant search result.
The fix for this problem is simple enough. Check the titles and descriptions of those pages that have a high bounce rate. Does the title accurately reflect the content? Does the description provide more relevant information? If not, make them more accurate.
3 – Negative user experience
Some website visitors will put up with ugly sites, and some will even put up with images that don’t load properly. However, one factor that will put a lot of visitors off is a negative user experience. For example, if they are bombarded with pop-ups, or if the content above the fold is nothing but ads, they will leave your site as soon as they arrive.
It is contradictory to have too many ads, even for your own eCommerce products, in too high a position, because visitors will leave rather than click your links and make you money. Try to avoid pop up ads where possible, and always test new ad blocks to determine the placement that gives you the best combination of user experience and ad earnings. If you’re experiencing a high bounce rate on a page that has a potentially negative user experience, make changes and test results. You can always revert back to the original page if you don’t see any positive improvement.