Your website already has interesting content. The design matches the latest trends. You have fantastic images to show off your products and thanks to your marketing initiatives, traffic has started to increase.
Have you asked yourself the question why most of your visitors are still leaving your website? Why is the bounce rate increasing? Why is it that only such a small section of your visitors generate leads and become your customers?
Problems like this occur daily. There is a saying: “If you build it, they’ll come”. Unfortunately, when we want to convert visitors, the job is not that easy. We have to consider a lot of unique factors when it comes to online conversions. Such as correct optimization.
You noticed that your website’s visitors quickly move on from your website without making any conversions? The truth is, there is a lot of room for errors in the background that we have to pay attention to if we don’t want to lose conversions. If you answered the above question with a yes, it’s time you examined if you make the mistakes mentioned in this article. These mistakes lead to the increase of your website’s bounce rate.
We collected the nine reasons that can result in the increase of the bounce rate. If we pay attention to them, fix them, or use them, then the problems will become avoidable and you can keep the visitors you gained with the time and money you spent on achieving your goals.
We’re going to go through the following topics:
- Content is difficult to read & the design is outdated
- Too many adverts and options for subscribing to a newsletter
- The website loads too slowly
- The website is not responsive
- You haven’t made the advantages of your products clear enough
- Something is wrong with directing traffic to the landing page
- Navigation on your website is difficult
- Lack of call-to-action (CTA)
9 Reasons Why the Bounce Rate Might Be High
- 1) Content is difficult to read & the design is outdated
First impressions are based on looks. This is also true when it comes to websites which makes web design a very important factor. If your website still has the design elements of its first version and also lacks optimization, it is time for a major transformation!
Naturally, we are not only talking about colours, graphic elements, and images. Fonts, text colours, and their backgrounds are also important parts of the design. All of these factors influence the legibility and the reception of the site’s content.
Difficult-to-read content could later lead to the increase of the bounce rate.
Other than Comic Sans, you can use any font, there are no real rules for this. You can achieve desirable results by having contrasting colour combinations and clean, uncomplicated Sans or Serif typefaces.
- 2) Too many adverts and options for subscribing to a newsletter
If your website gets its income from the ads displayed there (it works as an advert based business model) then the ads have to stay. But the fact that you need ads does not mean that every inch of the website should be covered by them! On the contrary!
A fundamental part of achieving conversions is trust so it would be better to limit the number of ads and places where they are displayed. It is better if ads are not the first things the visitors see and ads should never be more prominent than the relevant content.
This suggests that optimizing the website is of utmost importance.
A solution for this could be an ad-free template or a custom developed website. The visitors want to see valuable content and avoid distracting elements such as:
- pop-up ads and texts
- flashing images
It is recommended to avoid making the newsletter subscription forms too intrusive or pushy. Consider how many forms you need and where to put them on your website! Expedia won an extra 12 million dollars by erasing one field from its form.
- 3) Autoplay
To tell the truth, I can think of a few more irritating things when it comes to a website than videos that start automatically. This makes me want to close the page immediately.
Today’s online customers have gained the privilege to decide when and how to consume online content. If you flood them with content they don’t need, you will lose them as potential customers in no time – especially if they haven’t made any purchases yet.
Website optimization can help you with moderation as well.
- 4) The website loads too slowly
The website’s load time is very significant with regards to website optimization and performance. Kissmetrics have carried out a survey that talks about this in detail. Here are some basic facts from their analysis:
- It is a fundamental factor for 47% of the customers that the page loads in 2 seconds.
- If the load time is more than 3 seconds than 40% of the visitors leave the website.
- After 3 seconds of waiting, customer satisfaction decreases with about 16%.
Do you agree now that website optimization needs to be on top of the to-do list?
It also has to be mentioned that if your page load time increases, Google will also like it more. It is known that pages with quick load times get ahead on the search results list which means:
- visitors stay for longer on the website,
- they view more pages,
- and the bounce rate decreases.
The first to factors contribute to the website getting further up on the Google search results list.
- 5) The website is not responsive
After Google updated their mobile algorithm, non mobile friendly websites fell behind on the organic search list.
Turning your website responsive may seem uncomfortable at first but you can’t let your traffic and sales decrease because of it. Think about it: more and more people are shopping on their phones to save time.
- 6) You haven’t made the advantages of your products clear enough
In order to assist your customers through the sales channel, you have to provide clear product information and highlight why your product is the best.
For example let’s see the case of the original Apple iPod. We’ll show two possibilities of how the iPod could be described on the website:
For the early buyers of Apple, it was important that they could carry 1000 songs wherever they went. The 1 GB storage and the MP3 format were only secondary factors.
Product functions often disappear behind such advantages. It is very important to understand and work with this phenomenon and in order to do this, you have to identify the conversion problems on your website.
- 7) Something is wrong with directing traffic to the landing page
Those companies that only have one or two landing pages gain less subscribers compared to those in possession of several landing pages.
A landing page is one of the surest ways of building an e-mail list. Because:
- it only focuses on one problem
- clear and have no frills
- it offers something valuable to the visitors in exchange for their e-mail address, for free. Something that the visitor would even be willing to pay for.
It is important for a company to have several landing pages because it makes categorizing potential customers based on their interests easier. As a result, you can offer everyone exactly what they want.
How can I decide who wants what?
Simply because you’ll be in possession of the following information:
You’ll know what the given visitor clicked on:
- which link
- which advert
- which landing page they got to
Simple as that.
If they are on elegantshirt.com, elegance is the most important to them.
If they are on the sportswear.com landing page, their priority is sportiness.
This does not mean that they are only interested in that one thing, but it is the most important for them so that’s what you have to highlight on the landing page. This is what the title will be about, the main image, the main advantage, etc.
Here’s another problem you have to pay attention to.
In a post on the Crazy Egg blog, Cody Ray Miller describes his experiences on visiting the www.nissan.com website.
You would think that typing this address into your browser would lead to the Nissan car brand’s website, wouldn’t you? Instead, it takes us to the website of a small family business selling small computer parts. Accidentally, the manager’s surname is Nissan.
Ask yourself the question: if you’re on the hunt for a new car on the internet but find yourself on a website selling computer parts, would you still insist on the brand you picked or would you broaden your interests?
Of course not. You’d rather keep looking.
What happens if we break our promise and we lead the visitors somewhere else?
The visitor gets excited and for a moment believes that they found the best solution to satisfy their needs. However, when they arrive to the landing page, they realise that the information they are looking for is not available, the page is in need of optimization. What do they do now? Obviously, they leave the page, thus increasing the bounce rate.
To be honest, you lost them forever as potential customers because it is enough to take advantage of their trust in you once.
Never promise anything that is not in accordance with reality or anything you can’t keep because these will only result in:
- the increase of the bounce rate
- having a low conversion rate
- the number of visitors will not be relevant as people only open it and leave right away because they didn’t get the information needed.
- 8) Navigation on your website is difficult
You’ve come across with this problem before too, haven’t you?
You arrive on a website looking for some specific information and find the following:
- an infinite and impenetrable online maze
- that is impossible to make sense of
Obviously, you leave the website in no time and look for another one where you can find the information you need and what’s been optimized.
If navigation on your website is too complicated, it can cancel out the positive effects of Search Engine Optimization and even lose you potential customers.
What can you do in this case? The best is to look at your website as if you were an outsider, one of its visitors:
- If it was your first time on the website, what would your expectations be regarding the information displayed?
- How much time would you spend trying to find the information you need and the answers to your questions?
If you consider this and realise that it is in fact complicated to navigate through your website then it is time to restructure it. However; in case you’re uncertain, it’s still not a problem as there are many services available for you such as:
- user testing,
- and mouse tracking analyst softwares (Mouseflow, Hotjar).
These tools can help you optimize the bounce rate.
- 9) Lack of call-to-action (CTA)
According to Small Business Trends’ 2013 survey, 70% of smaller B2B websites did not use CTAs. This is very interesting because it would seem that CTA is obvious for everyone.
Then why do they leave this part out? Simply because they’re concerned about drawing the visitors’ attention to making purchases.
Truth is, however surprising it might be, that customers will rarely make purchases (or do anything else) if you don’t motivate them to do so through optimizing the website. This can be done in blog posts or on the product catalogue page.
In this article, we aimed to gather the most important factors that might lead to the visitors quickly leaving the website.
It is not by any means comprehensive and we did not go into details either, but it is important that:
- these should be improved as a package, not one by one,
- during the optimization of the website, it is recommended to consider and correct the errors to make them a part of an all-round marketing strategy.
Strategic thinking should always be in the spotlight if the aim is to develop, measure, analyse, and optimize a website. This way we can see how the different parts are connected and make up a whole.