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6 Causes of a High Bounce Rate

One of the more frustrating and costly things for most websites is a high bounce rate.

Bounce rate is a measurement based on the number of visitors that land on pages of your website and leave without moving on to other pages before leaving.

Although bounce rate isn‘t a direct indicator of success or failure, it is a good way of seeing if your pages are compelling enough in the eyes of your visitors. Something worth noting, though, is that bounce rate differs largely from industry to industry.


1. Slow Page Loads

If your page takes too long to load, visitors won‘t stick around – they will leave.

Ensure that your pages are coded well and image sizes are kept as small as possible – utilise compression techniques for coding and images where possible. Not only is page speed a factor for humans, but it is also thought that Google take this into consideration when choosing how to rank your pages in their search results.

2. Poor Navigation

How long would you stay on a website if you couldn‘t find what you were looking for without first getting two migraines? Not long, right? It‘s very frustrating.

Make sure you utilise a user-friendly navigational architecture which makes it as easy as possible for visitors (and search engines) to discover your best pages. Doing this will make it easier for visitors to move from one page to another – exactly what you want.

3. Distractions

Don‘t take the visitors attention away from the content too early or they may lose focus of what brought them there in the first place.

Things such as pop-ups, auto-playing video and audio, intrusive ads and other annoying page elements are a sure way of scaring away visitors and also throwing away any opportunity of them viewing more pages of your site.

4. Lack of Responsive Design

As the number of mobile devices and tablets browsing the internet continues to increase, it is now more important than ever to ensure that your site is compatible with all of these devices, and a responsive design is now the perfect way to do this.

It‘s not just about looking good, either – it‘s about working good, too.

Visitors using these devices will not stay on your website if it‘s hard for them to use. They will simply move on to one of your competitors – do not let that happen!

5. Readability

This is one of my personal pet hates. Landing on a page about a topic that interests me only to find that the content I‘m actually dying to read makes my eyes ache.

Please make sure your content is easy to read and a joy to read. Don‘t make my eyes strain, don‘t make me put my face on the screen. Make it as easy as possible and split paragraphs up with great images which can sometimes replace 1,000 words.

6. Continue the Value

If a visitor lands on a page of your site after searching Google for ‘Kings of England’ then wouldn‘t it be a good idea to have related posts that add more value on this topic? Such as ‘Kings of England Who Were Killed’ or something similar.

Related posts are a great idea because it will hopefully provide added value to the visit in order for their journey on your site to continue.

Bounce Rate Exceptions

As with everything, there are exceptions to these common practices.

Affiliate sites or sites capturing information from visitors are actually happier with a higher bounce rate, unlike ecommerce stores and content sites such as YouTube and Facebook who are actively trying to keep visitors at their web properties for as long as they can in order to generate as much revenue as possible from more pageviews.

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