bounce rate

What your bounce rate is telling you

What is your bounce rate telling you? Bounce rate is the rate at which web visitors leave your website after viewing only the page through which they accessed your website. This simply means, if a web user searches for “blue shoes “, and clicks on one of the sites ranking on page one of Google for that search term. After a few seconds of landing on the page,  he leave without staying for long or visiting other pages on the site, it’s regarded as a high bounce rate.

Google usually sees websites like this as not satisfying the web user’s search intent which results to moving such websites down the SERPS. This is why it is important to check your site’s bounce rate. This will tell you whether visitors to your website are jumping out immediately they land on your page or stay back to check other pages on your site.

What’s your bounce rate telling you?

Slow to load

If your site bounce rate is high, it may be an indication that something is probably wrong. Slow loading sites may lead to high bounce rate. Your visitors may not have the patience to wait for it to load before jumping back to the search engine for what they are looking for. According to several web sources, a 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions, to put that into perspective, an e-commerce making $100,000 per day, could potentially lose$2.5 million in lost sales every year due to a 1 second page delay.

Google considers page speed as one of the ranking factors of a website. Google believes that site speed has much to do with user experience. If the site is fast it will certainly give a delightful experience to the visitors when other things are okay.

Below are some tools to check your website loading time:

Google pagespeed insight

GTMetrix

These sites also offer recommendations on what to do to reduce your site loading time for your visitors’ best experience.

Self Sufficient Page

If you provide amazing content on your page in a way that the page is providing everything customers actually needs, such a website may have high bounce rate. “ One-page websites  are typical examples of websites that fall into this category of recording high bounce rate. Everything the readers want is on the single page. In cases like this, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. Nevertheless, you may offer to your visitors other related blogs  or link to other pages that you think may give awesome reading delight and make them stay longer on your website.

Before you start rejoicing that your website is doing well check the time spent on the page.

If the average time spent on the page is a couple of minutes, this may give a positive signal of a healthy website. However, if visitors on your site only spend few seconds, it may be a danger signal that something is wrong.

Disproportionate Contribution by few Pages

Check your Google analytics dashboard to make sure you know the factors contributing to the overall bounce rate of your website. If the high bounce rate is probably caused by a lead form page, that is, visitor completes the page and immediately bounce out. But, if other pages on your website maintains very low bounce rate, there’s nothing to worry about.

Wrong Title Tag or Meta Description

This is one major factor that contributes to high bounce rate on most websites. Title tags and meta descriptions are seen on the search pages. The meta description provides a short excerpt on the search engine report pages. If this is wrong, it will lead readers wrongly to the page. It will subsequently lead to readers leaving unsatisfied immediately they land on the page.

One easy way to fix this is by ensuring that your meta descriptions are optimized for the right keywords.

bounce rate

Page Technical Error or Blank Page

This may be another reason why bounce rate is high. If your site is not properly linked on another website, visitors coming to your page will see 404 page (error not found), this will make the visitors bounce back to where they are coming from , leading to a high bounce rate. When you record excessive high bounce rate, check the common devices users are using and the browsers. Then replicate the same scenario on similar device and browser to see what technical issues users are facing.

You can also check with the search console to detect what issue these users are facing from Google’s perspective.

Bad Link from a Referral Website

Sometimes this may be a result of an error in the backlink such as typos or the writer didn’t intend to link to your site in the first instance. However, hackers or some disgruntled element may use it to sabotage your effect by sending you wrong link that may cause Google to penalize you.

Swiftly reach out to the author to remove the link or alternatively the webmaster or the editor if the author does not have such power. Politely demand that they remove the link to your website. If all your efforts fail, you can disavow the link in your Google Search Console. But this will still impact on your bounce rate.

Single-Page or Affiliate Website

For most squeeze pages and affiliate website, the aim is to send customer away to the merchant website as soon as possible or collect the visitors email address to send a promotion offer later. Sites like this will usually have a high bounce rate. In this case, there is nothing to worry about. It is perfectly normal for websites like this as long as you’re getting optins to your email list and also getting affiliate commissions.

Low Quality Content

The quality of your website content may be so low that readers don’t see any good thing coming out of the website. They have to just bounce back to the search engines to pick a better option from search engine report page.

Nevertheless, sometimes the website content may be great. But it is not easily readable. It may not be well organized to provide excellent reading experience for the visitors. Check if you make use of images or properly have your article broken into subheads. If your write-up is just not entertaining enough. It may lead to high bounce rate.

Inappropriate UX

Check if you are bombarding the users with popups, ad covering some parts of the text etc. This may make visitors to your website leave angrily and unsatisfied. You may not be able to do away with all the ads and popups for marketing purposes, but too much of it may be somewhat annoying to the readers.

Is your page mobile friendly?

Google gives much preference to mobile friendly websites. This aside, there are growing number of internet users browsing on their smartphones. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, it becomes difficult for mobile users to access your website conveniently. This is a nice precursor for excessively high bounce rate.

When everything seems alright and your bounce rate is still high, try and check out its mobile friendliness with Google’s mobile test app, this could be the only saving grace of your website.

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