First of all, let's quickly explain what a bounce is. According to Google, a bounce is a single-page session on your website. In other words, a bounce happens every time a visitor exits your website without viewing any other page.If the success of your site depends on users viewing multiple pages, then a high bounce rate is not what you want to see... An example would be if your home page is the "gateway" to the rest of your website (e.g., product pages, checkout process) and a high percentage of users are viewing only your home page.
However, a high bounce rate isn't necessarily a bad thing. Think about it for a moment; if you have a single-page site (e.g., a blog), or offer other types of content for which single-page sessions are expected, then a high bounce rate is perfectly normal.
Think about that: what if a reader found what they were looking for and then just left your website, or completed any other conversion that you wanted them to in a single-page session? In other words, bounce rate by itself doesn’t give you the full picture. You always have to measure the bounce rate in combination with other metrics, such as exit rate, time on page, and scroll tracking in order to get a better grasp of the situation.
In this article, we are going to focus on the most common reasons why your valuable visitors are bouncing away from your website.
Reason #1: (S)loading
We know you love amazing images. We love them too! Here’s the hard truth though:
High resolution, big-size images are causing your website to load slower. And yes, you guessed it right! No-one (okay, almost no-one) is going to wait for your website to load. Funny (scary) fact: 53% of mobile website visitors will leave if a webpage doesn’t load within 3 seconds.
Reason #2: Boring intro
Honestly, do not even bother creating high quality content, if you can't grasp the attention of your visitors right from the beginning.
There’s too much content available online to anyone with Internet access. If you want users to actually read your content, you better make sure you have their full attention from the first sentence.
Common mistakes here are boring introductions, or introductions that fail to summarise effectively the page's content.
Reason #3: Difficult to read
What is a typical example of a website that you really do not want to see?
- Big pieces of text
- No paragraphs
- No white space
Seriously, this is a no-go! Especially nowadays, with most online users being on mobile, scrolling through a page with long paragraphs and no headings is no fun. You don't believe me? Look yourself at a mirror the next time you are trying to read an article with the three elements we mentioned above. This is (pretty much) how you look:
However, there is a solution: There are some tricks you can (must!) take advantage of in order to encourage the reader actually read your article:
- Break down your article in smaller parts by using clear and on-the-point headlines. Headlines also help the reader see the content of your article and read only parts of it - the ones who actually interest them. Use H1 at the top of each page, use H2 to separate your main content, and use H3 for any minor points.
- Whitespace (or negative space) is the portion a page that is left blank, or the empty space in a page. In web design terms, it’s the space between graphics, columns, images, text, margins and other elements. A good way to deliver an enjoyable experience on the web is to understand more about whitespace and how you can use it to create a nice, simple and elegant design. Whitespace is really important to web design because you can use it to improve readability and website performance. Absence of adequate white space can be very discouraging for users, causing them to bounce away from your website.
An example of great usage of whitespace that we are all familiar with is Google. Their homepage is filled with whitespace so users can focus on what is important: search.
Reason #4: Not satisfying search intent
Search intent has to do with the reason users conduct a specific search and what they were trying to achieve with it. When people use keywords like “buy”, “sale”, “discount”, or “review” they are much closer to purchasing something compared to when they perform “how to” queries, which are more informational.
This means, that they will probably just hit the “back” button on their browser and go to the next result to find an answer. If one thing’s for sure, users will not go through the trouble of navigating within your website further to MAYBE manage to find what they were looking for.
Hitting the “back” button seems to be the easiest and most common solution to unsatisfied search intent. So, make sure your page shows up in Google for the right keywords. Traffic (on your website) is good, but traffic from the wrong keywords is useless. This is exactly where SEO comes into play. Here you can read more on SEO and how it can help you grow your business.
Reason #5: Lots of ads & annoying pop ups
If you are trying to send the visitors away from your website, then yes, be my guest, pop ups is the way to go! Otherwise, (over)using them could seriously harm the user experience, especially on mobile where big pop ups make navigating within the page almost impossible. If you using affiliate marketing, then you do need to place some ads on your website, but overdoing it will most likely harm than benefit you.
👉 I would love to hear your thoughts about other reasons that increase the bounce rate and ways to keep it low!
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