Last Updated on July 2, 2020 by John Zakaria
Because Google uses bounce rate as one of their algorithms when it comes to ranking websites.
Bounce Rate Definition:
And ‘high’ in this case is a relative term because virtually all websites have some percentage of bounce rate.
Well, according to RocketFuel Study, most websites average a bounce rate of between 26-70%.
=> Here is the data they gathered on bounce rates;
- 25% or lower- something is not right with your website
- 26-40%- this is termed excellent
- 41-55% – this is termed average
- 56-70%- this is considered higher than usual, but this can still be healthy for some websites
- 70% or higher- this is unhealthy for your SEO and ranking
Several reasons can make your website have a high bounce rate, and we will discuss them briefly in this section.
10 Reasons Your Site May Have a High Bounce Rate:
It is a renowned fact that site speed is part of the Google ranking algorithm, which is why you need to focus on this.
Google aims to improve user experience every day, and they know that a slow site frustrates users.
If your pages take several seconds to load, visitors will most likely lose their patience and bounce back.
Improving your site’s speed is a sure way of not only boosting your site’s ranking but also reducing your bounce rate.
You can review your page speed by using Google PageSpeed Insights, GTMetrix, and Pingdom.
These tools will offer recommendations of improving the site’s speed, such as reducing 3rd party scripts, compressing images, and leveraging browser caching.
 Having Great Content:
In some cases, a user will be satisfied with the content you have provided them. This can be a great thing, and it is the dream of every marketer.
At other times, it is because you have a landing page that only has a specific call to action button.
To determine if the bounce rate is not something to worry about, look into the time spent on the page and compare it to the average session duration, Google Analytics has provided on that page.
If you find out that most users are spending a couple of minutes on the page, then you can rest assured that the bounce rate is not something that will affect your ranking.
However, if you find most users spending less than a minute on a page, this may be because of a lack of properly optimized page or also lack of related blog posts.
 Disproportional Bounce Rate:
To expand on the point above, we can say that sometimes there can be a few pages on your site that are contributing to a higher average bounce rate.
Google is savvy enough to understand this.
Therefore, if a few CTA landing pages are reasonably satisfying user intent and causing them to bounce quickly after they are done taking action, but your other pages have a lower bounce rate, then you are safe.
However, you will need to confirm this is the case. You can check this using Google Analytics.
 Meta Descriptions Or Title Tag That Doesn’t Match Your Content:
Your page’s title tag and Meta description should match the content on that particular page.
Otherwise, visitors coming to your site will bounce back because what they thought was on the page is not there.
Whether this was intentional to increase site traffic or was an innocent mistake, Google hates this.
You can easily fix this by adjusting the title tag or rewriting the Meta description to match the content of the page.
 Technical Error or Blank Page:
If your bounce rate is higher than 70% and people are spending less than a few seconds on a page on your site, it is likely that the page is returning 404 error, is blank, or not loading as it should.
View the page with an exceptionally high bounce rate from your audience’s most popular browser to know their experience.
You can also look for crawl errors via the Search Console to know what the issue is from Google’s perspective.
Correct this error as soon as possible to avoid being dropped from search engine results by Google.
 Poor-Quality Backlink From Another Website:
You can experience a high bounce rate from your referral traffic because the referring site is sending an unqualified visitors to your site.
The context or anchor text for the link can also be misleading.
This can be because of a mistake from the publisher or writer of the article linking to your page whereby the wrong part of the article was linked to your page.
You can reach out to the publisher and request them to edit the link.
If they fail to do so, reach out to the webmaster and plead your case. Politely request them to remove the link from your website or update the context.
At other times, the referring website may be using blackhat SEO tactics to sabotage your website out of fun or malice.
For instance, you may have got a backlink from a “Get rich quick article” page to a page you are talking about “how to take care of hamsters.”
You can politely ask them to remove the link, and if they fail to act, update the disavow file in your Search Console.
This may not reduce the bounce rate, but at least it will tell Google to reconsider the weight of the backlink and its relevance to your site.
 Affiliate Landing Pages:
When you are doing affiliate marketing, the main aim of your landing pages is to send people from your website to the merchant’s site. In this case, a high bounce rate means you are doing a great job.
Also, if you have a single-page website for your eBook, you may experience a high bounce rate since your users do not have anywhere else to go.
Google is savvy enough to understand that you have satisfied the user’s intent fully, and thus the bounce rate you are getting should not scare you.
 Low-Quality Content That Is Not Well-Optimized:
If your content is flat and boring, you will be getting a high bounce rate. In this case, you will need to work on improving the quality of your content.
Make sure that you write simple sentences and subdivide your content into different subheads.
Also, include images to break down lengthy articles to make it more attractive to your eyes.
Also, you can have a freelance writer create content for you if you are finding it hard to create interesting content.
 Bad UX:
Are you overwhelming your visitors with ads or email-subscription popups?
This might be another reason for the high bounce rate.
Keep in mind that the best way to sell products online is to do it subtly, especially if you are doing affiliate marketing.
Also, if your site is hard to navigate or your menu items are not easily clickable on a mobile device, your bounce rate can increase. Work on improving your website design and minimizing distractors to reduce bounce rate.
 Poor Google Analytics Setup:
If you have not added tracking codes to your webpages and implemented Google Analytics as dictated, it can be another reason you are getting a high bounce rate. Try to fix it.
Now that we have talked about the main reasons you are getting high bounce rates let’s discuss how you can reduce that.
Here are 13 Proven Ways to Reduce Your Bounce Rate On Your Site and Boost Conversion:
Lack of readability can easily drive visitors out of your website. As a matter of fact, user experience begins with readable and legible content. Avoid large chunks of texts that is not well-formatted.
Break your posts into subheadings- and bold them to make them more visible. Also, make use of bullets to make your content easier to read.
In addition, use plenty of screenshots, images, and quotes where necessary. Also, bold keywords a few times and always have a conclusion to notify a user that you have concluded the article.
You can check for your article readability here.
*2* Ditch Popups:
Virtually everyone finds irrelevant popups annoying, and this is something that will always remain constant.
Pop-ups of any kind are annoying and are the main reason for high bounce rate.
They not only disrupt your reading but also make some visitors leave the site immediately.
Some marketers even go to the extent of using aggressive or threatening language, which can lead to bad user experience.
Although genuine popups can help you improve your conversion, especially when you are trying to build your email list, you need to limit or avoid them altogether. If you have to use them, make them as un-annoying as possible.
*3* Have Compelling Call-to-Action:
After formatting your article the right way by using headlines and bullets, you want your visitors to take action after reading your content. To achieve this, you need to have compelling call-to-actions that are strategically located.
You need to optimize your CTA buttons- even a small change such as changing the color or text can make a huge difference in your conversion.
You can offer free trials if you are promoting something or have something attractive such as discounts.
As your visitor takes action, this will add the time they spend on your page, which will help lower your bounce rate and increase conversion rate.
*4* Use Storytelling Technique Whenever You Can:
Everyone likes stories, and storytelling can make you stand out and bring your brand to life.
When people are sampling the pages to spend time on, they scan through contents to see the one with the most interesting way of presenting the content they are looking for. Storytelling is one of the elements that can make you win over your clients.
Therefore, whenever you get a chance to narrate a story that relates to your content, do it.
This will not only help you create a loyal audience but also increase conversion. Win over your customers by telling stories.
If you are not good at this, hire a freelance writer to do this for you. Make sure that you give realistic stories and don’t lie as this will make you lose your credibility.
*5* Have Fresh, Updated Content:
Keep your content fresh and up-to-date to increase your ROI and remember to have the right content.
The right content is the one that offers actionable tips for your visitors, which they can implement and solve their problems.
Before Google forced websites to be mobile responsive, mobile bounce rates were at an all-time high. However, after a few years, many sites are now optimized for mobile devices.
If you are new to the online world, you can use WordPress themes to make your website mobile responsive to reduce mobile bounce rates and boost your conversion.
Back to our point, add fresh content to gain trust from your visitors and get return visitors.
At first, you need to focus more on making your visitor stay on your site for longer rather than converting them.
*6* Target High-Value Keywords:
Keywords can either make or break your online campaigns. If you want to boost your search performance, you will need to target high-value keywords.
A good keyword has a good traffic stream, better conversion value, personal value, and brand value.
All keywords are not equal- some bring valuable traffic while others have no value. Therefore, you have to target the right keywords that allow you to write lengthier guides that keep your visitor on your page for longer.
These keywords may not lead to conversions, but at least they will increase traffic and reduce bounce rate.
Information keywords are best for when you want to increase traffic to your site and reduce bounce rate.
Commercial keywords will have better conversion but a higher bounce rate.
A good way is to have content around both informational keywords and commercial keywords to help balance your bounce rate at a healthy level.
*7* Attract the Right Visitor:
Higher bounce rate is sometimes as a result of your visitors finding your content irrelevant to them.
Therefore, you need to start attracting the right audience.
You may write the best content that solves a certain problem but still remain irrelevant to the people you are promoting it to.
Also, your audience dictates the type of content to write. For instance, if you are in entertainment, finance, or health niches, short informative articles will perform better.
Understand what your audience prefers and offer them exactly that. This is all down to research.
*8* Create Attractive Meta Descriptions:
Many companies do not bother writing optimized Meta descriptions, and as a result, they end up having lower click-through rates.
In most cases, it is because they didn’t know a Meta description is important.
Ensure that you write attractive Meta descriptions that entice a visitor to click through your page.
Your Meta description shouldn’t exceed 155 characters and should have your primary keyword, if possible.
Also, use call-to-action to make your visitor want to click through your page.
*9* Create Different Landing Pages For Your High-Value Keywords:
Landing pages create a great user experience, and therefore, by creating multiple landing pages, you will increase not only your click-through rate but also your conversion.
In most cases, when visitors exit your website from its homepage, this sends a bad signal to Google.
However, if they exit from a landing page after spending some time there, it shows that you met their expectations.
Therefore, write multiple landing pages for high-value keywords you find to not only increase your leads but also reduce the bounce rate. As your visitor is taking action, they will be spending more time on your site.
*10* Make Your Pages Load Faster:
Online audiences are very impatient and will often bounce back when they notice a page is taking too long to load.
If your pages are taking more than 3 seconds to load, you are likely to experience a high bounce rate.
Therefore, improve your page load time to improve your user experience. There are different tools you can use to check your pages load time, such as the Pingdom Speed test tool.
You can improve it by doing minor changes such as removing plugins that are not necessary, optimizing images, or even getting a better hosting service.
*11* Set External Links to Open In a New Window:
When your external links are opening on the same tab, you are creating a back button fatigue.
This means that every time a user clicks a link directing them to an external page, they have to use the back button to come back to your site, and this acts as a distraction.
If a page has several external links, this can increase the exit rate or bounce rate.
Therefore, make your external link open in new windows.
*12* Optimize Your Site For Mobile Devices:
If your website is not responsive to mobile devices, it is high time to make it mobile responsive to minimize the bounce rate from your visitors using mobile devices.
Keep in mind that most of the web visitors at the moment use mobile to surf the internet, and therefore optimizing your website for mobile traffic will help to improve their experience on your site and thus spend more time.
Remember that Google uses mobile-responsiveness as part of its ranking algorithm, and thus this will also help to boost your ranking.
*13* Be Credible:
People are likely to spend more time on your site when you gain their trust, and you can do this by being credible.
Give people genuine, relevant content and reassure them that their personal information is safe and instill confidence that whatever you are offering is of value to them.
Also, avoid hard-selling, always aim to offer value to them first before you sell them anything.
This will make you look credible.
If you are reading this, congratulations!
You have reached the end of our guide. I do hope that you have learned what causes high bounce rates and how you can lower the rate.
You may not eliminate the problem in a day, which is why you should set achievable targets such as working on each element once at a time.
With time, you will notice improvements and ultimately boost your ranking on search results.