Guest Post by Mariah Magazine
As a website owner, you work hard to get people to your site, so the last thing you want is having your visitors leaving your website too quickly….aka bouncing away.
Your website’s goal is to not only attract new visitors but actually, entice them to stay once they’re there. You want people to browse around, check out what you have to offer, and engage with you or sign up for your email list!
In order to make that happen, it’s important to know what makes website visitors bounce and run for the hills in the first place.
Wait, what is bounce rate?
In normal language, bounce rate is the percentage of your visitors who leave your website after viewing only a single page/post.
Quick Example: If someone finds your blog post in a Google search, clicks on it, skims it, then clicks the “back” button to go back to the search results…..they just bounced from your website.
How do I know what my bounce rate it?
Your bounce rate percentage can be found on Google Analytics! If you don’t have that setup on your website yet, here’s a great step-by-step tutorial.
Why is bounce rate important?
Your bounce rate percentage is one of the (many) things that Google judges your website on when determining your SEO ranking. So for instance, if you and your competitor both have amazing pieces of content about Design Inspiration, but their website has a lower bounce rate than yours, they might show up before you in search results.
What’s a normal bounce rate to have on a website?
0% – 25%: Don’t get too excited, this likely isn’t accurate. Something is probably broken or set up incorrectly.
26-40%: The holy grail of bounce rate range…aka your people love you.
41-55%: Average for most websites in most industries.
56-75%: Higher than normal, but could make sense depending on the type of website you have and who your target audience is.
76% – 100%: Not good, like….at all OR something could be broken!
5 reasons people are bouncing from your website
Now that we covered the ground work, let’s dive into the 5 reasons people could be bouncing from your website.
1 | It takes forever to load
Did you know that 25% of visitors will leave a page in less than 4 seconds if it doesn’t load? That’s 1 out in every 4 people leaving your website without even knowing who you are, what you do, and what kind of awesome content you have.
And, you know what the other 75% of people that DO stick around and wait for your website to load will do? They’ll be hesitant to click on anything else of yours because they know how long it took the first page to load.
You can’t expect your visitors to browse your website and get to know you and your content if you’re making them wait a decade and a half to read it….ya know?
How can you find out how fast (or slow) your website loads?
Run it through this free website speed checker tool from GT Metrix.
Related post: 5 Things To Think About Before Doing A Website Redesign
2 | Your Pop-Up game is TOO strong
Pop-ups are great when you’re a website owner.
You can grab your visitor’s attention as soon as they land on your website and let them know about an awesome offer you have, and have them put in their email address to snag it.
But as a website VISITOR, let’s be honest, pop-ups are annoying.
Especially when the pop happens as SOON as you get on that website.
“Sign up for my ebook”
Like, wait, what? I don’t even know what your website is about, let alone your ebook?
The biggest problem with pop-ups is that they happen too quickly before your visitors even get a chance to scope around your website and see what your content is all about.
So when you hit them with a pop-up right away, they’ll do 1 of 3 things: Leave your website because they’re annoyed you popped up too quickly, leave your website because the closing “x” on the pop-up isn’t obvious, or they’ll find that closing “x” and hit it without even reading what the pop-up says. Either way, it’s a triple lose, lose….lose situation.
If you’re going to have a pop up on your website, ya gotta do it the right way.
Sidenote: Having intrusive pop-ups could also hurt your SEO score! (source)
Pop Up Example: notemaker.com.au
Notice on this pop-up example that the “X” in the corner blends in and doesn’t stand out enough. This could create frustration for website visitors that aren’t interested in the offer.On this guest post @mariah_magazine shares the 5 reasons people could be bouncing from your websiteClick To Tweet
3 | Your Navigation is Confusing
Nothing is more frustrating when you’re on a website totally liking what you’re reading and you go to click on another page, but you don’t even know where to click, or what to do, or where to look, or how to breathe because you’re so confused.
I’ve seen a bunch of amazing websites, with great content but awful navigation. If your visitors can’t navigate clearly and effectively around your website, they’re leaving.
I know how enticing it can be sometimes to design your website with clever or complex elements, but your navigation menu should not be one of them.
Clear > Clever, always.
Confusing Navigation Example: soppo.pl
This website at first glance might look clever and branded, but it’s insanely overwhelming. The website visitor has no idea where to click next. The hamburger menu icon in the right-hand corner also isn’t prominent enough for easy navigation.
4 | Your Design is Straining Eyeballs
Clear > clever includes your font choices, sizes, and colors too.
You could have the most enticing blog post, but if someone lands on that page to read it and has to squint their eyes because you’ve used a size 10px font for your text, they’re leaving.
The same goes with font family & color choices.
When you’re designing your brand + website, make sure you’re choosing fonts and colors that pair well with each other, and are actually legible. Cute script fonts are beautiful but if their beauty is overpowering the readability, toss it.
Your branding and website design could make a huge impact on conversions and visitor retention aka if your design and fonts are straining my eyeballs while I’m trying to read your post, I’m bouncing.
Example: Mr De Haviland font from Google Fonts
This handwriting script like this might look awesome in some cases, but on the web is not one of them. The font makes the text hard to read.
Related post: 6 Elements Of A Really Amazing Website
5 | You’re Not Showcasing Enough
Okay so let’s say that your website speed is the bomb dot com, you don’t have any pop ups, your navigation menu is clear and concise, and your branding elements are gorgeous integrated on your website. What could POSSIBLY be the problem for STILL having a high bounce rate?
If you have all of your other ducks in a row, it could be that you’re not showcasing your related content enough.
When people come to your website to read something, and they want more, give them more.
Consider showcasing related posts at the bottom of each blog article, or throughout the content itself (in an organized fashion). Get in the habit of linking to your other blog posts when you’re writing a new one that’s related to those subjects.
So if someone comes to my website and is reading a blog post about SEO mistakes, I could link to another article of mine where I talk about On-Page SEO best practices, or how to figure out your keywords.
So not only am I keeping that website visitor on my website longer and building authority and trust with them, I’m ALSO giving them relevant information that they’re interested in.
It’s a win, win.
(and linking your pages and posts together are good for SEO, so….triple win).
Showcasing More Content Example: Bluchic.com
Bluchic does an AWESOME job at showcasing their own content. At the end of every post they show their website visitors related content to continue reading and throughout each post, they’re always linking to other ones to give their readers more information. Combine these two techniques like they do, and your bounce rate should definitely improve!
Related post: 4 Web Design Mistakes You’re Probably Making (and How to Fix Them)
All in all, when it comes to bounce rate and your website in general, always keep your visitors and their user experience in mind!
What’s the bounce rate of your website? Do you have a game plan on how you can reduce it?
Mariah Magazine is a web designer and developer that specializes in creating websites that not only look pretty, but function strategically. She combines beauty and communication to help her clients get noticed and grow their business’ online. Not sure if your website is set up for success? Take the quiz and find out! If you’re looking for free website tips and tricks follow her on Instagram for #websitewednesday.
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