Business owners who feel their website isn’t doing all that it could are probably (and should be) studying their analytics. If it seems potential customers are coming to your website, but not converting, you’ll need to figure out why.

In some cases, you might be drawing in plenty of visitors, but they quickly leave meaning the average time spent on a website is low. This is called bouncing, and it’s a bad sign if you have too high a rate.

What is the Website Bounce Rate?

The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your site without browsing any other pages. Bounce rate does not relate to the amount of time spent on that page; instead, it’s an indication that your entry page isn’t what they are searching for or isn’t compelling enough for them to continue.

A bounce rate of 70 percent or higher is bad. Of course, you won’t ever get a bounce rate of 0 percent, but your goal is 35 percent or lower.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that a bounce rate is really saying that people didn’t go beyond one page. On some websites, a user will find what he or she needs on that page without requiring further interaction. Maybe he is just checking your phone number, which is listed in the top corner. Maybe she just wanted to re-read something on your home page.

Adjust Your Bounce Rate

Because bounce rate is a measurement, you can adjust it to make more sense for your website. For example, you can tell analytics to measure bounce rate as someone visiting your page who leaves after less than one minute. You can also analyze events that may happen on your main page, such as a video playing, to account for visitors who may watch the full video but not venture further into your site.

Why Users Leave Your Website

However, if you are still concerned about your website’s bounce rate, here are seven reasons visitors might be leaving.

  1. You targeted the wrong people. Many people with a high bounce rate assume something is wrong with their website. While that may be true, your first step is to think about your audience. If you are advertising using pay-per-click and your target keywords have little to do with your actual business, people will arrive there, realize it’s not what they want, and leave. Focus your content and advertising keywords so they relate to what you do or sell. By doing so, you may lower your overall traffic numbers. To some (and maybe your boss) that looks bad. But tell him or her this: You’re hunting, not fishing. Instead of casting a wide net and throwing back half of what you catch, you instead attract only the customers that are likely to convert.
  2. Your landing page doesn’t seem to answer their query. Your visitor is searching for the answer to a question. That might be “how much does it cost?” or “how does this work?” or “who offers this service?” Your page needs to satisfy their search query. Spend a lot of time thinking about this, so your pages answer questions quickly.
  3. They don’t know what to do next. Your pages should all contain a call-to-action that stands out (think buttons) and uses strong verbs. Make sure your visitors don’t leave because they can’t figure out what you want them to do or how they can take the next step.
  4. Your site is too slow. Your page should load in 2 seconds. Most people will give up after 4. After that, if and when your page loads, they might be bored or moving on. When your site finally loads, they may decide “too bad” and find somewhere else to go.
  5. Your site is not responsive. People on mobile devices will disappear swiftly after landing on a site that requires them to pinch, zoom, and squint just to read the navigation bar. If your website doesn’t make it easy for a mobile visitor to get what he or she needs, you are losing a lot of potential customers.
  6. Your site is ugly/has autosound. An ugly website indicates you are not credible or professional. If you assault your customers’ ears with annoying autosound videos, they will leave.
  7. Ads and popups all around. Remember, someone is searching for an answer. They click on a site only to be bombarded with ads, pop-ups, and registration demands. (Oh my!) Cool it with the sales ploys and focus on your customer’s needs.

Get your customer to stick around by talking to us for help.


Pete Peranzo

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