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High Bounce Rate: Here’s Why Your Visitors Don’t Stick Around

Steven 5 responses Traffic Generation

Your bounce rate isn’t one of those stats that you need to monitor every day, but being aware of it and working to improve it can help you build a stronger blog. And when it’s all said and done, isn’t that what every blogger wants? So let’s talk about bounce rates. What are they and what makes them so high?

What Is A Bounce Rate?

The bounce rate for a single page is the number of visitors who enter your blog at that page and leave without viewing another page, divided by the total number of visitors who entered your blog at that page.

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So, each time someone lands on a page or post on your blog and leaves without clicking to something else on your blog, your bounce rate increases. Ideally, a bounce rate of zero would be wonderful but it’s never going to happen.

Top 7 Reasons Your Visitors Are Bouncing – And They’re Not All Bad

He didn’t find what he was looking for – Your visitor was attracted by the promise you made in your title but when he got to the page he couldn’t find what he was looking for. Is your content concise, organized and well-written? Are you using formatting to highlight the key points? Are you creating posts that are scannable?

This is a tricky one because he may have been given your link based on some off-hand word you used in your post. For example, if you’re blogging about a new tennis shoe you’re promoting and you casually mention it’s the same shade of red as the shoes Justin Bieber wore during his London concert tour, then your post might appear when someone conducts a search for “Justin Bieber” even though it really has nothing to do with the singer. Some bounces are just beyond your control.

He didn’t like what he found – He didn’t like your voice, or the style of your post, or your writing style, or the color of your background, or… You can’t please everybody and you shouldn’t even try. But this is one reason visitors bounce so it’s something to watch out for.

He was expecting to see something else – This is the main reason I bounce off a blog – I was expecting to see something else. Usually it’s because the blogger purposely used a misleading title to suck me in. And it’s a safe bet I won’t ever be back.

There was no compelling reason to stick around – Meh… the post was so-so but it didn’t say anything he hasn’t seen before or it didn’t make an emotional connection, he didn’t feel inspired to search around your blog to see what other pearls of wisdom you had to offer.

Your blog doesn’t send a clear message of relevancy – If you just happened to mention the benefits of a KitchenAid mixer in the middle of your post about what you had for dinner last night and your recipe for pot roast and you have puppies and kittens in your header and an ad for web hosting in your sidebar it’s hard to tell what your blog’s really all about. ‘Nuff said. Let’s move on…

There’s nothing to indicate you have anything else to look at – That bouncer might have enjoyed reading some more of your remarkable content if you’d given him any indication you had more to read. Are you adding links to your relevant archives posts to help new visitors find more of your killer content or are you just leaving them to their own devices?

He’s a regular reader who just dropped by to read your latest post – If you have a lot of loyal readers who hang on your every word then they’ve already read everything on your blog. Now they just come back to read your latest post. This is a “good thing,” but unfortunately it affects your bounce rate, too.

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5 Comments

  1. Carlie Hamilton

    Great post!

    I actually have a recent post that talks about why a high bounce rate can be a good thing.

    You should examine what your goals are for your website. A high bounce rate might be exactly what you are after. For example, what if you want people to click on your advertising. If you have a high bounce rate, then your website is doing it’s job!

    1. I couldn’t agree more with Carlie. I think website owners have this illusion that once a visitor enters their domain (pun intended) that they want them to stay and soak up all the great content and learn about their mission and history. However, I don’t think that’s typical user behavior. Users are looking for answers – a phone number, directions, pricing, etc. And as soon as they find the answer they move on. Aren’t we all super busy? So if you have a high bounce rate, doesn’t that mean that you’ve done an excellent job of getting your user the information they were looking for? That makes for great user experience and that’s a win.

    2. Carlie, you make a good point here. I guess it depends on the type of website you own, and the type of information you’re sharing with your visitors.

  2. Bill

    Great post, I understand what bounce rate is and what may cause it…how about some ideas on how to reduce it, other than making the assumption that you need to correct these points somehow.

    1. Hey Bill, I actually have a long detailed article about bounce rate that will probably help you reduce the bounce rate with your own website: http://dukeo.com/bounce-rate/