A high bounce rate brings tears to our eyes. It tells us that we’re doing something wrong. We may not be able to appeal to everyone but since it’s such a high number there’s obviously something we could do better.
When you reduce the bounce rate you’re effectively retaining those visitors. The longer you can keep them on the site the higher the chance you have at leading them down the conversion funnel.
Bounce rate also happens to play a small portion of search ranking. Why would a search engine like Google want a site that 80%+ people leave within the first 30 seconds to be the #1 position?
Let’s get to the deeper meaning behind why people are leaving.
1. A lack of continuity
This happens when a search listing details the content but once someone lands on the page it’s not what they expected. Sometimes this is the result of failing to match the title and description to the content or it might be that the content is now irrelevant to the times.
To fix this simply make the effort to always be as descriptive as possible in your titles and descriptions. Do your SEO but just make sure you’re creating this continuity between what they’re seeing in the search engines and what they’re going to find on the page.
2. The content is outdated
Say you are looking up something like “The Top 10 Best Affiliate Marketing Strategies”. But what if you land on that page and everything was related to strategies from five years ago? Maybe one or two may be relevant today but the rest is completely off base. This can happen if you’re not updating those pillar/evergreen posts. They’re getting the wrong content so they have no reason to stick around.
To fix this make an effort (and content schedule) where you go back to make necessary updates to what you’d consider your pillar/evergreen content. Update those pages to reflect current information so you’re not losing people because it’s outdated and no longer relevant.
3. They can’t trust your website
We’ve all landed on websites where our first reaction was “I hope I didn’t make a mistake”.
This comes about when there is a lack of trust elements. Without them a person thinks they may have landed on a site that could potentially harm their computer. It comes across as being a shell and a fake.
To fix this you should utilize reviews from community members and have that part of the design. You should display trust badges that lets visitors know their information is secure. Include logos of brands you’ve worked with which they may know.
4. The site is ugly and clunky
There are thousands of wonderful templates on the Web. There are thousands of great designers and developers that can build your website. But for some reason a few of us seem to create the ugliest, clunkiest sites imaginable whether it’s because we gave it a shot at coding it ourselves or that we tried to work off a free template and just kept tacking stuff on.
To fix this you just need to choose a website theme that’s been created by the professionals or hand it off to a professional. Place your trust in their understanding of best practices. Once you have the basics up and running try to keep it clean and streamlined. Don’t keep adding stuff that doesn’t need to be there. Also, make sure the navigation is as easy-to-use as you can possibly make it.
5. You’re pushing too hard
There’s nothing as infuriating as falling for the bait-and-switch especially when it comes to important information. People don’t want to search for solutions only to be brought to a page that plays with their emotions and then begins hammering them with offer after offer. They get irked so they leave.
To fix this you simply need to scale back your marketing efforts. Be smooth. Make it natural. Integrate your marketing and promotion as part of a completed piece of content or save it for a sales page. Give them what they’re looking for so they’re happy but also present options. Don’t just bait them in and then bombard them with a hard sale.
6. There are too many advertisements
Every day we’re surrounded and bombarded by advertisements and so it gets to a point where we’ve had enough. People that just want to get to the site, get some good content, maybe dig around, and be on their way don’t want to be interrupted by popup ads or have to carefully navigate around the site hoping they don’t accidentally click an ad and get sent elsewhere.
To fix this either just remove the advertising all-together (if it’s not doing well anyway) or go easy on it. It may actually work better in the long run. You could maybe sell one ad space for triple what you would for having two. Less is more, really. Keep this in mind – don’t interrupt a visitors ability to dig into the site and potentially become part of the community for a few pennies from their ad click.
7. There’s no reason to stick (community)
What happens after someone finishes an article/post? Many will just go ahead and leave but a lot want to stick around and further discuss the topics with others that found it interesting – which is why blogs have comments and why we send people to our social pages. Without some form of platform for expression you give people no real reason to stick around.
To fix this make sure your comments stay open (if you can manage them properly). Keep an active social media profile(s) to continue discussions. Consider using forums for long-form commenting and community interaction or even live chat.
8. They just aren’t interested
The last one is one that’s completely out of your control. Maybe someone misclicked a link and wound up on your website? Maybe they thought they were going to find something else? Maybe they suddenly became busy and had to leave?
There’s really no fix to this. We all do it so we can all attest that it simply happens. In this regards just ignore that percentage contributing to the bounce rate. Don’t get obsessed. Focus on the bigger picture by taking care of the other nine on this list.