What Your High Bounce Rate May Be Telling You
With dozens of unique metrics to analyze, online brands can easily feel overwhelmed when pouring over the data. An absolute deluge of information is available that can provide some insights into what each metric signifies and whether realistic goals are being met, but different businesses may find different metrics being more relevant than others.
For virtually every online brand, bounce rates are always critical and important metrics that can provide many different pieces of information. While some people aren’t even aware of what bounce rates indicate, most have at least a basic understanding. Today, we’ll talk about bounce rates and what they may be telling you about your brand’s performance.
Lack of Relevant Content
For those suffering from a high bounce rate, the first – and most obvious – lesson absorbed should be that something is wrong. Why else would a large percentage of people click on your links in search results or elsewhere, only to abandon your website upon arrival? A high bounce rate indicates that you’re pinging servers with content that is not relevant to the audience that is seeing it.
This could be indicative of any one of several different problems. However, most commonly, issues with relevance stem from the context of the link itself being different from what the page actually offers. If you are in any way misleading (whether intentionally or not) visitors, then a high bounce rate is to be expected.
Too Many Distractions
Another common reason for elevated bounce rates is losing your audience’s attention span. This can be caused by many reasons, but is often facilitated by distracting elements; huge ads, promotions or other irrelevant content extending below the fold; or more intriguing content that leads them to another page of your website instantly.
While that last example may not be inherently bad for your site’s fortunes overall, it can still nevertheless negatively impact the original page’s performance in search. Always be sure to drive the focus directly to your content on each page, or else your audience will easily become distracted or irritated with what they find.
Too Much Fluff
Last but not least, bounce rates are often increased when content – even great content with tons of relevant info – is long-winded and doesn’t get to the point. This can be due to the content being poorly-formatted, not having enough breaks in between paragraphs (images are great for this) or the lack of a summary that explains what people will learn or gain from reading the content in full.
Pinging servers with essays that are not optimized for those without huge attention spans can cause them to immediately become overwhelmed, resulting in them hitting the back button and looking for a more succinct option elsewhere.
Your bounce rates are always manageable – assuming you understand what is causing them. If one or more pages are suffering from high bounce rates, then consider the advice given here and see if any changes are appropriate. There of course can also be technical issues that may be causing the problem, but more often than not, a simple optimization of content and layout can fix any underlying issues.