If you want your website to be successful, one of the things you need to make sure is that your visitors stay on it for as long as possible. And when your visitors leave immediately after they come on your site, you need to change things.
Let’s put it simply. A visitor comes on your website and then immediately leaves it without visiting any further pages. That’s what we call a bounce. And bounce rate is the percentage of those visitors that immediately hit the back button when they land on your website. When calculating the bounce rate it doesn’t matter whether people stay for only a few seconds of for half an hour before they leave. If they don’t go to another page on your website, it’s a bounce.
A high bounce rate indicates that your visitors do not find your website useful or you simply do not give them the opportunity to stay. There are plenty of reasons why people leave a site immediately that we will cover in this article. But first let’s see what are some good bounce rates for different types of websites.
– Retail sites: 20-40% bounce rate
– Simple landing pages: 70-90%
– Portals: 10-30%
– Service sites: 10-30%
– Content websites: 40-60%
– Lead generation: 30-50%
It’s logical to assume that different types of websites have different bounce rates. For example content websites, such as blogs, usually have a higher bounce rate because they get more traffic from search engines often for irrelevant terms. Simple landing pages have even higher bounce rate simply because of the fact that they have only one call-to-action and no further options for visitors.
Why are your visitors leaving your website immediately?
If your bounce rate is well above the benchmarks, you need to change things a little. But to solve to the problem you need to know why it occurs in the first place. Here are some of the most common reasons:
Your content is unrelated to what visitors have expected
People do not necessarily like surprises and when they find something they do not expect on your site, they will most probably hit the back button immediately. Let’s say you create a Facebook ad promoting your website and it says “The best clothes in town” but when people visit it they find out that your site is all about T-shirts. And although t-shirts are clothes, most of your visitors are probably searching for something else and they will leave your site if they don’t find it.
Your design is ugly
Another reason why people may leave your site is that your design isn’t visually appealing. Web design mistakes could not only distract your visitors, but also make them spend a lot less time on your website and leave it very fast. If you think that your design isn’t good enough and this is what makes your visitors bounce, you can think of a redesign. Of course, a modern looking design isn’t enough to keep your visitors on your site but it’s a pretty good start.
You are not targeting the right audience
Maybe the problem is not your content, but the kind of visitors you attract. One key aspect of online advertising and search engine marketing is that you don’t simply need traffic, but you need targeted traffic. Simply bringing people to your website won’t be beneficial for you as most of them will probably leave it immediately.
Let’s give another example. You are selling strollers but advertising mainly in communities full of single people. You obviously need to change your strategy and find where your potential customers are.
You are not giving any options to your visitors
Maybe the reason why your visitors leave your website is not because they don’t like your website or don’t find it useful, but simply because you are not giving them any other option. For example, if your website consists of only one page it’s pretty normal that you bounce rate will be high as the only option for your visitor is to hit the back button. Make sure that there is always a clear next step for people so that they don’t leave your site immediately. If you have enough content, you can also split it into several pages.
You are not using call-to-actions on your landing pages
If you are new to website building, maybe you are wondering what exactly a landing page is and how it’s different from regular websites. One of the simplest and in the same time best explanations we’ve seen is from Unbounce. According to them in the marketing world a landing page is “a standalone web page distinct from your main website that has been designed for a single focused objective”. The purpose of a landing page is to limit the available options for your visitors and make them perform a desired action usually through a call-to-action (CTA) button.
And guess what happens if you don’t use a CTA button or make it invisible for your visitors? Your bounce rate increases dramatically.
Your content is poorly written
The quality of your content is one of the most important factors that determine whether users will stay on your website or not. But it’s not only important whether what you’ve written is valuable, but also whether it’s well written. Things like spelling mistakes and poor grammar will make you look very unprofessional and will probably make a lot of people leave your site.
There are several ways to deal with that problem. You can hire someone to proofread your text or you can simply use one of the many proofreading and spelling tools available. Here are some of my favourite:
Your website isn’t mobile-friendly
A lot of the internet traffic nowadays is coming from mobile devices. According to Statista, more than 30% of the overall internet traffic is generated through smartphones. This means that it’s very important that you think of those users as well. And the best way to do it is by creating a mobile version of your website.
Assume that a smartphone user goes to your desktop site. He will most probably have to zoom in to read your text and have trouble clicking on any links or navigating through your page. And he or she will most probably leave your website in only a few seconds. By creating a mobile-friendly website, you make sure that it is easy for your visitors to find what they are looking for on your website.
You are not making it clear what your website is all about
A good first impression is very important. Visitors will decide in the first 4 to 8 seconds whether they will stay on your website or leave it. So you have up to 8 seconds to show people what your website is all about.
When people land on your site, they won’t start immediately reading your long texts. They will look for something short that could tell them more about you. One strong leading message where you tell what you do, how you do it and what makes you unique is the key to success.
You have too many distractions on your pages
We’ve said it thousands of times – there is nothing more annoying on a website than auto-playing songs and videos. Personally, in most of the times I will immediately leave a site if there is something on autoplay unless it’s something really important for me.
So, unless your website is something really important for a lot of people (and very few sites can say that they are), don’t make the mistake to use outplaying songs or videos.
Your website is very slow
Speed is very important. If it takes more than 4 or 5 seconds for your page to load, you are in a serious trouble. Most people will give up after the 4th second. Ideally, your website should load in less than 2 seconds.
You can test it pretty easy using Pingdom Website Speed Test or Webpagetest.
You are opening external links in the same window.
Remember one simple rule about putting links on your pages:
- Internal links should be opened in the same window
- External links (i.e links to other websites rather than your own) should be opened in a new window
If a visitor clicks on a link to an external website and it opens in a new tab, this will result in a bounce. You can easily avoid increasing your bounce rate this way by just following the two rules about links above.