Why Does Your Website Have Such a High Bounce Rate?

On the 08 November 2018

Are you worried that the bounce rate for your site is too high? As a general rule, a bounce rate above 40% suggests that there’s room for improvement, while a bounce rate above 70% means that there’s a serious problem. If only a small percentage of visitors to your site decides to stick around, you’re missing out on tons of valuable custom. Read on to find out what causes a high bounce rate and how you can fix it.

1. Your Site Is Too Slow to Load

Think about the last time you searched for information online. If you clicked on the first result and the page took longer than a few seconds to load, did you stick around? No — and your customers won’t, either. Research shows that even a one-second delay in page load time can cause a 7% decline in sales.
Your website might be loading slowly because of problems with your host, too many plugins, large images that aren’t optimized, or more traffic than you can handle. It’s worth contacting your host to help you diagnose the issue since there are so many potential causes.

2. Your Page Titles Are Misleading

Is there anything more frustrating than clicking on a link and expecting to find what’s described in the title, then getting something completely different? This is a common reason for high bounce rate but luckily it’s easy to rectify. If you’ve been tempted to title a page with something clickbait-y in the hope of nabbing customers, you’re making a big mistake. The best way to drive interested, engaged customers to your site is to create page titles that are accurate and descriptive. Remember to include keywords that are relevant to your site’s content, but avoid keyword stuffing in your titles and your page content.

3. Your Site Is Hard to Navigate

When your bounce rate is high, the problem might not be with your landing pages — it could be an issue with navigation. When looking at bounce rate, the aim is to get customers to stay on your site beyond the initial landing page. If there aren’t any clear links to your other pages, this will be tricky. Every site should have a navigation bar that’s easy-to-locate and organized in an intuitive way. Most people will look for navigation bars at the top of your site and expect links like, ‘Home’, ‘Products’, ‘FAQ’, and ‘Contact Us’. Now isn’t the time to try and be unique or quirky — make your navigation as conventional as possible and customers will be more likely to use it.

4. Your Content Isn’t Optimized

Is your content optimized for easy online viewing? Or does it read like someone’s final college essay? Online, 79% of users scan text for the information they need, picking out individual words and phrases. This means that content with lots of white space, subheadings, bullet points, and pictures works best. Huge blocks of text will lead customers to click away from your site instantly. Research shows that users spend 80% of their time looking at content above the fold, so the way your content looks without users having to scroll is really important. Make it clear, simple, and impactful — and you’ll have a chance of actually holding onto your visitors.

A high bounce rate is a clear sign that you’re doing something wrong. Luckily, the solution may be relatively simple — look at improving your site load time, making page titles clear and descriptive, improving navigation, and optimizing your content so that it’s easy to scan. It’s smart to look at bounce rate before you buy website traffic. The better your site is, the more value you’ll get from the traffic you purchase.