When people land on a page on your website, they can do two things. They can use that page as a starting point for their exploration of your website. Or, they can simply leave your website. If you take the number of people who leave your website after visiting a single page and divide it by the total number of people who visited the page, you get the bounce rate.
Bounce rates are an important metric when it comes to determining the performance of a website. There are industry averages that tell you the sweet spot of your bounce rates. Anything above that is a sign that your website isn’t well-optimized.
How to Figure the Cause of High Bounce Rates
The problem with high bounce rates is that they can be caused by any number of things. Some of them are hidden and can require complicated analysis if you want to discover them. Zunesis, a Denver-based IT service provider, offers several different analysis services that could be used to determine the reasons behind high bounce rates.
Others, however, are painfully obvious. And while you might need help fixing them, finding them shouldn’t be too difficult. As long as you know where to look, that is.
1. Slow Loading Speed
How long do you think people will wait while your website loads? If your answer is anything other than “a couple of seconds,” you’re wrong. If there’s one thing the Internet fosters in us, it’s the desire to have access to what we need, when we need it. Welcome to the era of instant gratification.
Disregarding slow loading speeds is one of the rookie errors many people make. People will not wait while your webpage takes its time loading. They will leave, and that will increase the page’s bounce rate. There are a couple of things that cause slow loading speeds, such as bad hosting or large elements that take ages to load. You will need to figure out what it is, and how to fix it.
2. Mobile Unfriendliness
Speaking of a slow loading speed, it can especially affect your bounce rates when people use mobile devices to visit your website. It takes 22 seconds to load the average mobile landing page. A half of your visitors will leave if the page takes more than three seconds to load.
But there’s something else that will make mobile visitors to your website bounce. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, mobile visitors might have a harder time viewing or navigating it. At least some of the visitors will abandon your website for another one they can actually use on a smartphone. One of the ways you can fix the issue is by implementing responsive design.
3. Too Many Annoyances
There are certain elements websites use to increase conversion rates or make some money. Important elements, such as calls-to-action, pop-ups, and ads. A well-placed call-to-action can make all the difference in your conversion rates. A well-timed pop-up can make people stay on your website. A discreet ad will attract just the right amount of attention.
If you overuse these elements, however, you will turn them into annoyances. More calls-to-action don’t translate always into better conversion rates. Ill-timed pop-ups, or a pop-up too many, will have the opposite effect of the desired. And too many ads will send a very bad message about your website. If you make these decisions about the design of your website, you shouldn’t be surprised when your bounce-rate skyrockets.
4. Your Content Is Bad
The quality of your content carries a lot of weight in the digital world. Google’s really paying attention to it. So are your website’s visitors. And theirs are the opinions you should respect.
You can mess up your content in more ways than one. It can be totally inappropriate for what the page is about. It can be riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes. It can be presented as a wall of text no one will want to tackle. Or, and this happens often, it can be completely useless. Any one of the these will signal to the visitors that the website they’re on — your website — is a low-quality website. And they’ll turn around and look for quality because people want quality.
5. Difficult Navigation
Let’s say you’ve done everything right. You created a website which loads in two seconds. You created the perfect content for it. Every single thing is crafted well and put in the perfect place. But still, people land on your website, stick around for a while, and then just leave. And you’re left asking yourself a simple question: why?
Well, have you given them clear instructions where they should go next? Have you made it easy for them to move around your website? Navigation is the most important element of website usability. If the navigation isn’t good, even the people whose attention you grab won’t know what to do, where to go, or how to get there. So why not help them, and make it easy to find what they came for.