Case study category:

Reasons that Explain Cause of High Bounce Rate


On many occasions visitors or searchers tend to land on a website and leave. He or she just happens to vaguely browse through content and leaves, without any trace of activity. This percentage of visitors that leave a website without clicks or conversions is called bounce rate. Well this situation definitely has the potential to tense up marketers, giving them a reason to worry.

As we all know bounce rate is nothing but, the percentage of visitors that happen to leave a website. And before the actual worry begins, one need to consider that “high” is a relative term. Audience view tab in Google Analytics maintain and display overall bounce rate of a website.

Reasons are many, as to why websites encounter high bounce rate. Let’s scan common reasons and also arrive to solutions that can help fix these issues.

1. Slow-page load times
Longer than 4 seconds is slow in the digital world. When websites take longer than 3 to 4 seconds to load, visitors bidding adieu to the site is more. Google also has speed as a prescribed ranking indicator. Hence, SEO should take load time seriously. Google encourages positive experience, and slow load pages deliver a poor experience to visitors.

Reasons to slow load page are-
• Use of an inexpensive hosting found.
• Oversized images on the site that takes ages to load
• Use of multiple images that distract visitors
• Inappropriate font
• Addition of unnecessary sliders & JavaScript effects, which have a download protocol to make it work

These factors together lead to a page that takes more than expected to load.

Rule of thumb is, the audience is expected to leave a site if it takes more than 4 seconds to load. In real world about 2 seconds or even less is ideal.

Solutions for faster performance are –
Overall & Individual Page speed should be reviewed.
Use tools like, Google Page Speed Insights, Pingdom, and GTMetrix

Note: These tools share recommendations specific to a site. Recommendations like compressing images, reduction of third party scripts & leveraging browser caching, when implemented can boost the speed of the website.
Remember, site speed is an ongoing process. Each incremental fix should boost the speed.

2. Content
As we all know, content is king. In cases where users tend to find everything they were in search off on your site, bingo! That’s the point when a marketer’s dream of 10X content is achieved. But possibly, if you have a landing page that only demands the user to fill up a short lead form. Well these are opposite cases. In order to learn if bounce rate is a matter of worry or no, Time Spent on Page & Average Session Duration metrics in Google Analytics can speak a lot. In case user spends a couple of minutes or may be more on a page, this definitely sends positive signals to Google that these visitors have found the page to be interesting and highly relevant to their search query.

3. Unequal contribution by few pages
When few pages on the site contribute disproportionally, the impact is seen on the overall bounce rate of the site. Google smartly recognizes the difference here. So when single CTA landing pages, more or less satisfy user intent, but get them off the site immediately after the action is complete. But longer-form content pages tend to have a lower bounce rate, as time spent by visitors more.
To save visitors from instantly leaving pages in large numbers, open up Google Analytics ->Go to Behavior->Site Content->Landing Page- and sort by bounce rate. Considering advanced filter to get rid of pages that may skew results is a wise move.

4. Confusing/ Ambiguous Title Tag and/or Meta Description
It is important to confirm if the content on page is in accurate sync with title tag & Meta description. When visitors land on the website and do not find what they really were looking for, increases the bounce rate. This clearly indicates ambiguity in the sync. Visitors land on the site having a perception in mind and find something that is not relevant; this is time when they bounce back.
In such scenarios reviewing your content & adjusting the title and Meta description is advised, or vice versa content can be re-written according to the title tag and Meta description, to be on the same page. This ambiguity could be a mistake or something done on purpose, it can still be fixed.

5. Technical Error/ 404
When bounce rate appears exceptionally high and you witness people spending less than a few seconds, the possibility is that your page is blank, and returning a 404 error. Another possibility could be that the page is not loading in an appropriate manner.
To look out for a solution, navigate your website page, from the most popular browser & device configuration your audience is likely to use. Option number two is to check the Search Console under Crawl>Crawl Errors, to determine issues from Google’s point of view. Fix these issues yourself or get an expert to fix it. This issues needs to be solved at the earliest as Google tends to drop such pages from search results quickly.

6. Bad back link from another website.
On events where you are doing everything perfectly fine, there is a possibility that organic search results still end up delivering normal or low bounce rate parallel to a high bounce rate from referral traffic. This means that the referring site might be sending across unqualified visitors.
Sometimes this also could be a result of sloppy writing, or some blackhat SEO tactics. In this case you can approach the right person ask them to remove the link, if they do not agree to do so, update your disavow file in Search Console. Disavowing the link will not directly reduce the bounce rate, but it will inform Google not to consider that site’s backlink while taking into account quality and relevance of your website.

7. Single-Page Website
When you are playing role of an affiliate and consciously redirecting people away from your website to the merchant’s website. In this scenario you are doing a perfect job, if you have a high bounce rate.
On comparison grounds if you own a single page website, it is common to have high bounce rates, as there is nowhere else to go.
In case you are interested, you can go ahead and adjust the bounce rate, so that it matches the website goals.

8. Quality of content optimization
Talking straight, visitors are likely to leave the website, if content is bad. To fix this up, it is important to take a deep look at your page and take opinion from an honest friend or colleague with background in content to review it. Flawless content from professional content writers can be alchemy in the process of web optimization.

9. Poor UX
Is your site bombarding and pestering visitors with ads, unnecessary pop-up surveys or email subscribing buttons? We are sure these stunts must be irresistible to your marketing team, but using too many of them can disinterest visitors.
You also need to check if the site navigation is confusing. It could also be possible that your blog has missed on a search box, or the menu items do not show up on Smartphone.

Being in online marketers shoes, we for sure know our websites in & out. So it is important to avoid common design mistakes that are bound to hamper user experience.

These are a few reasons that can transform the performance of your website without much hassle.

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