Having a good bounce rate is a contributing factor to help increase conversion rates on your website. Our blog post will look at the top causes of a bad bounce rate to provide tips and guidance on how to reduce bounce rate for websites across any industry.
There can be various factors leading to a high bounce rate. This includes slow page load time, irrelevant content for the search query, poor user experience and website design.
Bounce rate is an important factor to review the success of your website. Then relevant changes can be made to create a positive user experience and higher conversions from website visitors.
First in our blog post we will look at what bounce rate means and what is considered a high bounce rate and a good bounce rate for your website.
Creative director at 1PCS. Addicted to design, SEO, pizza and helping companies big and small succeed online.
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What Is A Bounce Rate?
When referring to bounce rate, Google provide a definition which confirms a ‘bounce’ is ‘a single page session on your site’. This means when site visitors land on your website whether that be from organic traffic, paid traffic or referral traffic, if they only stay on that same page and then leave the site this means they bounced from your site.
This includes for clarity if they take no action on your site for example completing a form, making a purchase or viewing another web page. Your bounce rate measures can be viewed in Google Analytics.
It is worth noting whilst called ‘bounce rate’ in Universal Analytics, since the launch of Google Analytics 4 this is now called ‘engagement rate’. A difference to note is if a site visitor remains on the same page e.g. landing page for 10 seconds or more and then leaves, this no longer deemed as a bounce in GA4.
This is because not all bounces are bad, they may have found the answer to their query with single page sessions without needing to visit multiple pages. Also you may have heard of ‘exit rate’ when reviewing your Google Analytics. This differs from bounce rate, as exit rate refers to specifically when they exit the website.
For example they may from their search result read an article and go onto look at a related article, and then closed the browser. So this is important to bear in mind when looking at web analytics for exit rate and bounce rates.
When referring to bounce rate our tips will help your website rather than your tennis game.
Good Bounce Rate
We have covered what a bounce rate is, however it is useful to also understand what a bad bounce rate and what a good bounce rate is. Unfortunately it isn’t a black and white answer as this can differ greatly between industries. It also depending on the device your web traffic is coming from as it will vary for desktop users, mobile devices and tablets.
There have been some studies which help to identify a guided benchmark to follow when reviewing your own bounce rates. A study found that the optimal range for bounce rates is considered to be between 26% and 40%.
However the study also found the average bounce rate to be between 41% to 55%. This shows there are so many businesses which have room for improvement when it comes to their bounce rate. Reviewing visitors bounce rates can in turn have an added benefit with your SEO.
Whilst Google do not specifically identify bounce rates as a ranking factor which impacts Google rankings. Many causes and reasons for a high bounce rate typically cross over with focus points for SEO. Such as making a site mobile friendly, including relevant content and internal links whilst ensuring good site speed.
Below we will look at some common causes to help provide tips and advice on improving your bounce rate.
Solve Visitors Query
Ensuring the right visitors arrive on your home page and other pages will directly help to reduce your bounce rate to other sites. It is important to ensure the content will satisfy the search intent.
For example, if visitors are directed to one page from social media platforms, or organic visitors from search results and paid adverts you want them to arrive on the right content.
When working on your content marketing strategy it is important not just to use relevant keywords, but also to make sure the title tag and meta description is in line with the content for each page. If it differs then one or the other will need changing, such as a content upgrade or changing the meta description.
An important thing to double check and review is the speed of your site. Site speed can impact bounce rate. The reason being is typically visitors are wanting a site to load quickly.
Therefore if a visitor comes through to your site and they feel it is taking too long to load, they will most likely bounce from your web page back to the search results. They will then find another website to meet their search query, which could be your competitor.
Some things to consider to help with site speed. Whilst videos are positive to use for user engagement, they are can be slow to load, particularly on mobile devices with needing more data to load.
Therefore, there needs to be the right balance between including them and impacting bounce rate. The solution might be less videos or shortened videos to reduce bounce rate.
Similarly ensuring images are compressed and optimised are important to help the speed of your website. Improving the load time of your site can reduce bouncing visitors, however it also benefits your SEO efforts when it comes to search rankings on Google and search engines.
Ensuring your website is running at the fastest site speed will likely help reduce your bounce rate.
Get The Design Right
Whilst efforts may have been made to ensure high quality content is included to answer the search query when a user opens your website, these efforts can be lost with a poor user experience. Part of what impacts this is if the website has a bad design.
If a web page is streams of bulky text using a small font with no imagery and white space, this will be difficult to read and can impact your bounce rate. A visitor may lose interest and not persist with finding the solution to their query and bounce from your site.
To reduce your bounce rate it helps to have a clean design. As part of a clean design includes allowing for white space and including relevant imagery. Also it will help to use sub headings and have short and easy to read sentences and paragraphs. These tips should help to increase user engagement on your website.
A study found the average bounce rate on mobile devices to be one of the highest at 51% compared to 43% for desktop. This is likely due to websites not being responsive for all devices. It is important to test your website on your mobile to see how it functions to ensure it is mobile friendly.
For example have a site search around the website onto multiple pages and try to use the site with the same user intent expected for a visitor. By navigating yourself on your website from mobile you will be able to identify if visually the design doesn’t look good on mobile.
It is worth also seeing how quickly the site is loading on mobile. As noted above if it slow to load this will likely impact the bounce rate. The aim is to have user friendly content which is easy for visitors to interact with. For example, images should not need to be zoomed into.
Recommend testing your website across all devices including mobile to double check user experience.
Another cause of a high bounce rate is a poor user experience due to bad navigation on a website. For example on a particular session a visitor may go to a page but it doesn’t quite solve their query, however they can’t easily find where to go from there to find their answer.
So they could become frustrated and either assume it isn’t available on the website or give up and the only page they interact with was that first page.
This then increases the bounce rate, whereas the aim is for them to take action and find the answer they were after without difficulty. Some ways of ensuring good navigation is having clear and easy to use menu items, for example it should be simple to find and use the menu, including from mobile devices too.
It can be helpful for example within a blog at the end to include internal links to similar articles which could help your visitor, in turn increasing their click through rate if relevant articles are referenced. Along with using a clear contents section for articles, this will help visitors to navigate to the right section for them.
How can we help?
We hope you found our blog post useful to learn more about bounce rates and ways to reduce your bounce rate. Above are just a few elements which impact bounce rate, there are other factors which also can cause this. It is important to note bounce rate is just one factor to consider when reviewing the performance of your website.
At 1PCS Creative we have the right experience to design, improve and manage websites for businesses across various industries. If you would like to discuss how we can help, please feel free to get in touch.