7 Reasons Why You Have a High Bounce Rate
Having a website is one ingredient for success, but it won't give you the results you want unless it's properly optimized to maximize traffic and conversions. Bounce rate is one element to look at if you want to grow your customer base and find the key to engaging your audience and increasing sales.
What Is Bounce Rate?
Bounce rate is the rate at which visitors to your website leave the site without exploring beyond the first page they saw. If they don't engage with your content in any way, this could indicate that you're doing something wrong to keep visitors from sticking around. If your bounce rate falls somewhere between 25 to 55 percent, your website is performing well when it comes to industry standards, but there's always room for improvement.
If you're not sure what's causing a high bounce rate, there are several factors that can contribute to an increase.
1. A Poorly Maintained Backend
Much like how a well-maintained workplace contributes to a productive environment, your website's backend will impact user experience. While visitors won't see the backend, it will affect how they interact with your site and how well you can operate it. With consistently functioning IT that's clean and optimized for performance, you can more effectively reduce your bounce rate.
One of the most important steps to take to keep your backend working the way it should is to utilize Google Analytics and connect it with your website. This will give you a clear understanding of how your website is performing, with accurate, regularly updated data that enables you to measure and compare various metrics.
2. Poorly Written Meta Descriptions
While the meta description may not directly affect search engine optimization, it's still invaluable when it comes to getting users to engage with your website in the first place.
The meta description is what people will see just below your page titles in Google search rankings. It is limited to around 160 characters that describe the contents of the corresponding page. You can modify your meta descriptions using your website's backend to edit the HTML.
Make sure each meta description accurately describes page contents while encouraging visitors to click through to your site. Content could include a brief description of the company, products, or services discussed on the page. Include a brief call to action such as "request a quote here" or "sign up and receive a discount today!" Subsequently, you'll have a better chance of attracting more people who are interested in what specifically appears on the page, decreasing bounce rate in the process.
3. Slow Loading Speeds
Another element that might be contributing to a high bounce rate is a slow loading time when people visit a webpage. People don't have the patience to wait for more than a couple of seconds for a page to load, particularly given today's universally high-speed internet connections.
Ideally, your website's load times should be four seconds at a maximum and optimally under two if you want to keep visitors' attention. Faster loading times will also show that you care about the visitor's experience.
4. A Lack of Landing Pages
A strong homepage is one thing, but having landing pages designed for each product and service and each step of the buying process is even more important. While a homepage contains details about a company and incites deeper exploration of a website, you'll want to make sure you have landing pages that serve as one-stop shops extending from your homepage.
A powerful landing page will be able to condense a lot of information into more easily consumed bite-sized content. A CTA is encouraging your visitors to perform a specific call to action.
Most landing pages will be accessed via traffic-generating channels such as social media posts, emails, and ads. Often you have a small timeframe in which to grab and hold their attention with these pages.
The better your landing pages are, the more you'll be able to inform and engage visitors and get them to perform the desired action.
5. Poor Website Design
Content is often key, of course, but the way it's presented is just as important. If your website has an unappealing or cheap-looking design, or if it's simply difficult to navigate, people will deem a business either incompetent or illegitimate.
Make sure your website isn't a pain to look at and explore, and you'll be able to prevent people from turning away so quickly. A well-organized and structured site will complement your content to serve as an appealing hub for your business.
6. Poorly Written Content
Bad design is a death knell for a website in many cases, but bad content is another potential nail in the coffin. When writing and publishing content, make sure it's written and constructed as intended by proofreading and double- or even triple-checking for grammatical mistakes or awkward phrasing.
Some pages may contain a large amount of content, but it's crucial to ensure it's organized in a way that's painless to read or skim. Avoid filler and stick with content that has a point, and you won't bore or confuse your readers.
7. No Mobile Optimization
Smartphones are in just about everyone's pockets today, and mobile browsers are what people frequently use to find products and services they're looking for in this increasingly mobile environment.
As of March 2018, Google has considered mobile versions of websites to be the standard for crawling. This means that if you don't have a mobile-optimized website, your site will suffer as it's ignored and falls behind. As a result, you'll see an increase in bounce rate if your website isn't mobile accessible.
Taking all of these steps can help ensure your website doesn't experience a bounce rate that might otherwise hinder your business. You'll experience more success if you can hold visitors' attention and persuade them to learn more about what you have to offer.
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