Semalt: 10 Reasons For High Bounce Rate On The Site And What To Do About It

The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing no more than one page of it. There are many reasons why they might do this, but in general, a high bounce rate on a site is a bad sign for the owner.

A high bounce rate indicates that all your efforts to drive traffic are diminished by users simply leaving the pages of your site without generating any conversions.

Imagine you have an offline store. Only potential clients just pass by. Or, even worse, they walk through the door, take a look around the hall and leave immediately. This is exactly what happens on your site every time analytics registers an "opt-out".

The good news is that everything can be fixed. Here are some of the most common causes of this problem and how to fix them.

Slow loading of site pages

Nowadays, the speed of a site directly affects whether the user stays on it or not. Only a small part of visitors are ready to wait more than 3-4 seconds, and the majority will simply close the tab after this time.

This is especially important for mobile phones. No wonder Google in its service for testing site speed shows data for desktops and mobile separately. Moreover, it is the mobile tab that is displayed by default.

Google has long stated that site speed is part of its ranking algorithm. So improving this indicator is necessary at least in the context of SEO work. But more importantly, it affects the user experience and the bounce rate as well.

How to fix:
  • check the speed of your site using one of the following services - Page speed analyzer or Page Speed Insights;
  • use the list of tips that these services give out after checking or pass them on to your developer;
  • optimize images by reducing their size using a graphics editor;
  • monitor the load when installing various kinds of scripts, plugins, or modules, they often negatively affect the speed of the site;
  • use a hosting that runs on SSD drives, not outdated HDDs.

The title does not match the content

You can create a nearly perfect headline that includes all the keywords you want and that your users love. But people will continue to leave the site anyway. The crux of the problem is that they don't find what they need in the article. The title and snippet simply don't match the content.

This can often be due to the low qualifications of the author who wrote the material. The "wonderful" property of many copywriters is the willingness to write on any topic without understanding it at all. As a result, we get some water that is completely uninteresting to users.

How to fix:
  • analyze the content of the page and edit the title and meta tags accordingly;
  • rewrite the content so that it actually answers the search queries that are included in it.

Technical errors

They are on any site, even the one that at first glance seems completely perfect. It is just that some of them may be minor, while others may seriously affect the site's performance and user experience. The slow speed of loading pages already mentioned at the beginning of the article can also be caused by technical errors.

For example, functional problems can lead to the fact that people cannot complete a transaction, interact correctly with the site (forms and buttons do not work), see a 404 page when trying to follow a link, etc. To find and fix problems, the most reasonable solution would be to hire specialists.

How to fix:
  • the first thing to do is to look at the reports in the webmasters' panels: the "Crawl Errors" section in Google Search Console;
  • order a full-fledged technical audit or conduct it yourself if you have the appropriate skills;
  • make a plan to fix bugs and implement.
If you are more or less versed in the technical part, but are not an SEO specialist at the same time, you can use an SEO tool: the Dedicated SEO Dashboard. It's an all-in-one tool, which will make it easier for you to do a complete technical audit of your website.

Low-quality content

Everyone is talking about content now. But to speak does not mean to be able to do. Visitors can leave your site simply because your content is downright bad. And if readability issues are added to this, then a high bounce rate becomes the expected pattern.

Many people prefer to order articles on exchanges instead of looking for sensible authors on the side and wasting their time on this. As a result, the text is written by the same jack of all trades for the automobile portal, the website of the medical clinic and the workshop for the repair of equipment.

Commercial niches may require hiring a content marketer to come up with a truly effective strategy for you. Sometimes just finding a good writer isn't enough.

How to fix:
  • start with the basics: check your grammar and correct grammar mistakes. It is not necessary to hire an editor for this, you can use the same "Spelling";
  • format the text on the page to improve readability. Use selections, subheadings, paragraphs, lists, and other similar elements for this;
  • involve authors who are well versed in the topic they are writing about. Ideally, if they are professionals in their field;
  • remember the basic principles of quality content - the article should provide answers to the reader's questions, be informative, and reveal the topic;
  • modify the text on those pages where its quality leaves much to be desired.
Write texts in human language, avoiding complex terms and overly long sentences. Dilute them with images, remember that people "scan" the page with their eyes, looking for something to catch on.

Poor usability

You can make your site beautiful, informative and functional. But this is not the main thing. The most important condition for success is that it should be comfortable to use. Otherwise, why should the user go to another page, if even the one on which he/she is, leaves the desire only to leave as soon as possible?

Here's something, but with the task of spoiling the visitor's impression of the site, many of their owners cope with a bang. Pop-ups, auto-playing content, banners, small fonts, and designs that generally resemble the triumph of surrealism are just a few of the gentlemen's sets.

Fixing usability issues is at the heart of everything. Without this, it is almost impossible to significantly improve your bounce rate and conversion rate.

How to fix:
  • make sure that people can easily find what they are looking for - test the ease of navigation, search, check the site for broken links;
  • use pop-ups only when really necessary and show them to a specific visitor no more than once;
  • the text should be easy to read on mobiles and desktops, graphics should not distract from the consumption of information;
  • test whether it is convenient to interact with the site on different devices (laptop, tablet, phone);
  • order testing of the site by real people, for example, through the service.

Outdated design

In addition to being well designed (usability), the site must also be visually appealing. Good design may be subjective, but it is still important.

You can't argue that a person will obviously have more desire to go into a stylish boutique than into a barn cluttered with old things. Even if they both sell the same thing.

How to fix:
  • an easy way: buy a beautiful template for the CMS on which the site is running;
  • a more difficult option: order the development of an individual design from professionals.

Inappropriate traffic

Oddly enough, for some reason, people think about it last. It may well be that you need to revise the semantic core. The challenge is to find words that target your target audience more selectively. Clicks from less engaged audiences often negatively impact your bounce rate.

If you are promoting a page for the query "custom kitchens", and at the same time offering typical models from the catalogue, it is not surprising that the visitor will leave as soon as they figure out what's what. This is a fairly simple example, but it just explains the problem.

How to fix:
  • analyze for each of the popular login pages the requests that come to them from the search, then filter out irrelevant ones;
  • work primarily on those pages that have a high bounce rate.

Non-adaptive layout

Go to Google Analytics in the "Audience" report, select here the item "Mobile devices", and then - the sub-item "Overview". 

And yet your website design is still not mobile-friendly - that's a problem. It is not surprising that in this case, people leave the site, because it is simply uncomfortable to use. A visual comparison in the illustration below:

Mobile and non-mobile site

How to fix:
  • you can buy a ready-made design on the same ThemeForest, which already has a responsive version;
  • if you don't want to change the existing one, you can order the adaptation of its layout for mobile.

CTAs don't work

The main task of CTA elements is clear already from the very definition of this abbreviation - Call to Action. That is, it is necessary to induce the user to take a certain action on the site. Thus, he/she not only stays on the site, but also looks at other pages of it, which reduces bounces. If the CTA elements are ineffective, then we will not be able to achieve our goal.

How to fix:
  • analyze titles and text on buttons, forms, and other elements. Perhaps they lack specificity, personalization, and a clear indication of what exactly the user needs to do.

No trust in the site

This is important for commercial projects, because people want to deal with reliable companies, in the integrity of which they are sure. Therefore, do not be lazy to make a detailed page "About us", indicate here contact information, reviews of existing customers, add guarantees/benefits to product cards if you have a store.

In addition to this, it would be useful to transfer the site to the HTTPS protocol. This green lock is still positively perceived by visitors, and for SEO, it is a good foundation for the future. 


Each specific site has its own problems and there are no universal recipes for their detection and elimination. In this article, I have given exactly the most common reasons in my experience.

In any case, before making any changes to the content, design, or functionality of the site, take the time to study the data collected by the analytics. Here you can find answers to many questions. Even small changes can have a huge impact on your bounce rate, allowing you to get much more bang for your buck.

If you can share some helpful advice on how to reduce your bounce rate, share it in the comments!