15 Oct How To Diagnose and Fix Bad Website Bounce Rates
A bounce rate refers to a certain percentage of visitors that leave your website (or “bounce” back to the search results or referring website) after viewing only one page on your site, or after being there for a very short period of time. It might be normal to have a high bounce rate, whereas, other times it’s indicative a problem you’ll want to fix as soon as possible. Let’s review how bounce rates relate to SEO, web design, and marketing strategy.
What’s A Normal Bounce Rate?
Understand a “high” is a relative term and doesn’t apply across industries. According to a RocketFuel study, most websites will see bounce rates between 26% to 70%.
Based on the data they gathered, they provided a bounce rate grading system of sorts:
- 25% or lower: Something is probably broken
- 26-40%: Excellent
- 41-55%: Average
- 56-70%: Higher than normal, but could make sense depending on the website
- 70% or higher: Bad and/or something is probably broken
You can find the bounce rate for your website in Google Analytics in the Overview Tab.
Reasons for Bounce Rates:
1. Indicates a problem with your page such as slow loading. This might indicate you have an improperly optimized image and forcing users to download it before they can view the page. Not nice. We’ve seen a high bounce rate issue arise when a client uploads their images and forget to optimize for the web. The difference can be 450kbs for a picture vs 40kbs and create a fast, smooth user experience.
2. You’ll have a higher bounce rate on pages with little text. That is because there is no text to read and it’s easy to understand an image. Clients with image-heavy websites (such as plastic surgeons, or retail) have higher bounce rates on before/after galleries or image pages of products.
3. A good in your metadata. Improperly labeling your pages can lead to confusion and annoyance by users. If your page is about Shoes, please write a meta title and description that is about shoes. Users will leave that page (or bounce away) if they get content that is about shirts.
4. Technical Error. Yes, it is true a bad page in search results doesn’t technically hurt your SEO. But it’s just plain lazy not to redirect old pages. To not get that dreaded “you’ve been 404’d” dead page, put in a 301 redirect and when one lands on that old page, they will automatically get redirected to the new page and not have a gap in experience. You can check for your 401 errors in Google Webmaster Tools under Crawl>Crawl Errors.
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Hopefully, this article has helped you diagnose what’s causing your high bounce rate, and you have a good idea how to fix it. Now get to it! Contact Hundred Rubys today for an evaluation of your website – 415-697-8310.