High bounce rates can be the bane of the existence of SEOs. They tell search engines that your website might just be miscategorized in the search engine results and can cause you to plummet in the rankings.
Often, webmasters have a troublesome time trying to figure out what exactly is contributing to their high bounce rates. It’s true that any number of issues can factor in. What’s clear, however, is if your bounce rate is a negative indicator of your website authority, it’s the result of some kind of failing in your site’s user-experience design.
Here are four reasons your user-experience may be contributing to your website’s high bounce rates:
- Site Errors: Site errors can account for a high proportion of website bounces taking place online. The fact is site errors are frustrating. And they create a terrible user-experience. When you visit a site, you expect it to work. If your site has internal links to pages that no longer exist or are broken, that can cause the visitor to bounce quicker than you can say….well, bounce.
- Slow Page Loading Speeds: Few things frustrate a site visitor more than a slow page load. Waiting for seconds, which actually seem like minutes, just to see a home page banner appear, when you know you’re going to need to scroll down the page or click on another site link and wait for its page banner to load can be mind-numbingly annoying. And when your website begins to annoy its visitors, high bounce rates happen.
- Intrusive Pop-ups: Another element that gets quite annoying for site visitors is the ever intrusive pop-up. They seem like a great idea from a business owner’s perspective, right? You can use them to capture an email address and grow your list or promote an offer or event upsell a customer with more products and services. But the fact is, nobody clicked on your website to get alternative offers, and few clicked on it to add their email address to your list. People online are extremely task oriented. The task when they visit your site is often to get information. If you can’t convey that information with a pop-up that diverts the user from their purpose, it’s probably a bad idea. Instead, consider designing a sidebar that gives them the option of that alternative offer or adding their email address to your list. Then maybe they won’t bounce so much.
- Disorganized or Buried Content: The worst thing people have to deal with when browsing online is getting teased with a content description and finding that the content they were promised is buried within a disorganized mess. If your site is experiencing high bounce rates, it could very well be because your content, while interesting or valuable, is simply buried and not easily skimmed. Use H1 and H2 tags to organize the mess and clean up your information flow and you just may see your bounce rates come down.
If you would like to know how a comprehensive SEO audit can help ferret out any issues that can contribute to a high bounce rate on your site, call Proctor Digital at 773.664.5819. We’d love to help!