A site’s bounce rate is the percentage of people who visit just one page on a site, then immediately go somewhere else. Your site could be the first result the search engines display for a given set of keywords, but it will get nowhere fast if most of your visitors don’t stick around.
A high bounce rate can lead to big problems, and it’s notoriously easy to get one. While there are many reasons you might be inadvertently turning away visitors, you could be saddled with an out-of-control bounce rate because your site fell into one or more of these common traps.
Putting the Search Engines Ahead of Visitors
Remember, people, visit your site for a reason, whether they want to be entertained, book a vacation, or learn something new. In the broadest sense, users visit your site to solve a problem. If your site’s entry page doesn’t give them a way to do so–and entice them to do it–they’ll go somewhere that does, driving up your bounce rate in the process.
Sites built entirely around keywords; links with dull, descriptive titles; and nothing but large amounts of text on every page are great for search engines like Google, but they offer little to users looking to do something.
Many sites make the mistake of trying to throw everything they have at their users from the very beginning. These sites have cluttered pages, walls of text, and dozens of links in the top-level navigation. When a new visitor sees this, they quickly give up any hope of finding what they need and hit the back button to try to the next site on the search engine results page.
The more information you try to shove in front of your users when they first arrive, the higher your bounce rate will climb.
Nothing will turn users off more quickly than pop-up ads, excessive animation, and unexpected audio blasting out of their speakers. Ads might be a great way to monetize your site, but users don’t want to be assaulted by them the moment they arrive. Sites built around advertising instead of quality content irritate users and have high bounce rates as a result.
Even if the advertising on your site is attractive, remember that every ad is essentially an invitation to leave. Whether visitors are clicking their back buttons or clicking ads on your site which lead them somewhere else, your bounce rate will suffer.