High bounce rates mean fewer conversions, fewer sales and may even lead to drops in rankings in Google. So, what are the main causes for people bouncing off your page en-mass? We take a look at the most common below.
In terms of engaging your online visitors, time is certainly not an ally. Kissmetrics has data showing that nearly half of all consumers have the expectation of websites loading in under 2 seconds. Four in 10 will ditch any website that needs more than 3 seconds to load. If you are suffering particularly high bounce rates, then your website speed needs to be tested. Plug your URL into the PageSpeed tool that Google has. Give it a try now. You can come back to read the rest of this.
PageSpeed Insights might be able to suggest possible fixes if you have a website loading slowly on mobile, desktop, or both. If you have a page that is rather image-heavy, you might want to compress the images for smaller file sizes that load faster.
Broken links can impact the bounce rate. If a visitor is clicking on broken pages they’re going to be out of there as fast as possible – after all there is nothing for them to read or consume on the page in question besides a 404. Our advice would be to use a tool such as Dr. Link Check to find broken links and fix them to lower the bounce rate.
Visitors Are Wary Of Disruptive Advertising
Can you remember the last time you loaded a website that immediately hammered you with flashing banners, pop-up ads, and auto-play videos already at full sound volume? You likely didn’t spend a lot of time on that page, if any. You’re not alone. If your own website has such disruptive elements, it’s going to turn off your own site visitors just as much as you were. Avoid ad formats like those, and instead, emphasize content your audience is likely to find useful. If you feel like you do want to use a pop-up, whether it’s to get people to download your eBook or subscribe to your newsletter, think about only having it show up after the user has done something interactive with the page or scrolled down past a particular amount of your content.
Your Design Isn’t Attractive
They say not to judge a book by its cover, but visitors can and will judge your website by its cover. If you have outdated or just outlandish fonts, colors, and design elements, then your website isn’t going to seem professional.
What’s worse than a website that looks out of date? One that’s not easy to navigate around. When visitors can’t get around easily, they won’t stay long. This holds as true on desktops as it does on mobile. Get together with your website designer to clean up search and navigation functions until they are more mobile-friendly and generally intuitive.
There are many things that can make it difficult to read online content:
- Small fonts
- Strange font choices
- Font colors which blend into the larger background
- Large text blocks without paragraph breaks or images
All these issues are bad enough on desktops, but they’re even worse on smaller mobile screens. If visitors have to work just to read the page, they aren’t going to do it. Keep content simple to read, and even skim, if you’d like to keep visitors that come to your website in the first place.
Something that is poorly written can happen in several different ways. It might be bland and boring. It could have typos and grammar errors. It might just fail to provide whatever the reader is hoping to find. In any of these cases, you hurt the reputation of your website and run the risk of visitors running to other websites. Invest what it takes to come up with high-caliber content which provides things your visitors don’t find at any other source. Proofread carefully before publishing anything, and use Grammarly or something similar to help you.
Your Website Just Doesn’t Meet The Expectations Of Visitors
If you have a visitor that comes to your landing page but discovers it doesn’t match what they expect, they’re going to bounce. Think about someone looking for advice on keeping a green lawn throughout the winter. They see a search result titled “Learn How You Can Maintain A Green Lawn All Year Long”. Then, the website that loads just winds up being an aggressive ad for someone’s lawn fertilizer. This content doesn’t have what they wanted to see, which means they back out and keep looking.
Don’t mislead visitors. Descriptions and meta titles need to align with the actual content of your page. You’ll get more interested visitors as your bounce rate declines.
Visitors Don’t Know What Is Going To Happen
If you would like your visitors to go to another page on your website, then you need a clear CTA to accomplish this. Quite a few times, you only need a button directing visitors to do this, such as Start Your Free Trial or Download My guide.
A hidden or unclear CTA at the bottom can confuse visitors about their next steps. Don’t ever confuse them with more than one CTA on the very same page. Any CTA has to be obvious so that visitors can easily move on to the next step.
Unclear Value Proposition
You might aspire to have a website that goes over all the cool features of something, but features don’t get visitors motivated. They want to know what’s in it for them. You need to make your own value proposition clear, especially if you have something similar to what someone else offers, and even more so if you charge more. Visitors need to clearly understand why they ought to choose you over the competitor.
You Want Too Much, Too Early
This happens a lot in sectors with traditionally long buyer’s journeys, such as luxury goods or B2B software. If what you offer is expensive, then don’t ask visitors to fill out a form for a quote too soon, much less buy something. Free trials and eBooks are better ways to keep early visitors engaged without overwhelming them.
They Found What They Were Looking For
Some websites have high bounce rates, just because visitors got all they were looking for. This happens a lot with blog posts. In the case of this kind of content, it’s better to be mindful of things like Average Session Duration or Time On Page metrics. These metrics can give you an indication of which visitors leave fast or stay to consume more of your content.