Causes And Reasons For High Bounce Rate On Your Website

The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your site (or return to search results) after viewing only one page. Learn more about what is most often causes to have a high bounce rate and how to decrease it.
Last Updated
February 07, 2020



Common Insights Regarding Bounce Rate Metric

Common Insights Regarding Bounce Rate Metric


The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your site (or return to search results) after viewing only one page.

The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your site (or return to search results) after viewing only one page. However, the concept of "high bounce rate" is relative.

For most sites, it ranges from 26% to 70%


After analyzing the data, experts from this Memphis-based creative Agency compiled a system for evaluating bounce rates:

    25% or lower — something is wrong.
    25-40% is an excellent indicator.
    41-55% is the average.
    56-70% is higher than average, but it can also be a variant of the norm, depending on the type of site.
    70% or higher is a bad indicator, you need to analyze the site.



Low page loading speed

Site loading speed is part of Google's ranking algorithm, so it's important to pay attention to search engine promotion. Google promotes content that gives users a positive experience. The slow loading speed of the site is considered to be a negative experience.

If the page load speed is more than 3 seconds, the user can leave. The solution to this problem is the task of search engine promotion specialists and webmasters. However, with every change they make, you can immediately notice improvements.

You can independently check the site loading speed using tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom, and GTMetrix. You can also get recommendations on how to fix problems. For example, you may need to reduce the size of images or reduce the number of internal scripts.

If you would like to improve the speed of loading, you can try services like Cloudflare which delivers the content of the website as cache from various points of loading. Cloudflare is a content delivery network (CDN) that distributes the cached content of your website from the closest point to the user requested. For example, if a user visits your website from Russia, Cloudflare will deliver the content from the nearest server, usually will be from Russia as well.



Self-contained content

Self-contained content

In some cases, the user gets everything they were looking for on the first page of the site. Perhaps your page has amazing content that gives visitors all the information they need. Or maybe you have a landing page that requires a visitor to simply fill out a form.

In addition to the Bounce Rate, you need to analyze the average time on the page and the average session duration to see if there is cause for concern. These metrics are also available in Google Analytics. If a user spends a couple of minutes or more on a page, it means that this page was relevant to the visitor's request and no reasons to worry.

As you can see from the image above, landing pages have a higher bounce rate because the user doesn't browse any additional internal pages since landing pages contain only one page.

Otherwise, add more inbound links to your page. Those links should lead to other relevant pages of your website.



Different bounce rate for different pages

In addition, several pages of your site may have completely different bounce rates. Google treats these pages differently.

If your call-to-action landing pages have a high bounce rate (the user quickly fills out the form and leaves), and pages with content have a lower rate, then there is nothing to worry about — the bounce rate on the landing page can reach 90%!

It depends on the inbound links and engaging content that could keep the user interested.

To analyze your site's pages, open Google Analytics, go to the Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages tab, and sort the pages by bounce rate.



A blank page or a technical error

A blank page or a technical error

If your bounce rate is exceptionally high and you see people spending less than a few seconds on a page, it's likely that your page is empty, throws a 404 error or a 500 internal server error, or doesn't load properly.

Take a look at your site using the most popular browser and mobile device configurations among your audience (for example, Safari for desktop and mobile devices, Chrome for mobile devices, and so on).

You can also check in the search console in the "Coverage" section to discover the problem from Google's perspective. Fix the problem yourself or hire the right specialists. If you don't do anything, it may cause Google to remove your page from search results.



Broken link from another site

It is possible that you did everything right to achieve good results, but your traffic from referrals may have a high bounce rate.

It is likely that someone who places links to your site may be sending you low-quality traffic or the user may be misleading the context itself. In this case, you need to politely ask the site owner to delete the link to your resource or change the text.

Sometimes, you've changed the route of a particular page of your website, but still, the old path has been linked to external websites.

For example, our site has a followed page - Next, someone cites this page and leave a link to their blog.

After a while, you decided to change the page URL to

Probably, if someone clicks on the external link ( will be redirected to the 404 (Not Found) page. As a result, the user will leave the page quickly and the bounce rate to the page will be higher. point to


In order to avoid such an issue, when modifying a page, redirect it to the new page. For example: should point to


The average bounce rate by channel (source) may vary. As you can see from the image above, visits came from email are with the lowest bounce rate. That has a very simple explanation. People subscribe to newsletters by your website and probably email is coherent to the user preferences. Referral Traffic also brings low-bounced visits because a user clicks on a relevant link pointed to a certain page of your website.

Note: it depends on the quality of your content and website as overall.




Landing page or single page site

If you are a partner of an online store, the meaning of your partner landing page is solely to send visitors to the seller's site. In this case, a high bounce rate, on the contrary, indicates that you are doing your job efficiently.

A similar scenario occurs if you have, for example, a single-page site, a contact capture page, or a business card. In this case, the user simply has nowhere else to go, and therefore this page has a fairly high bounce rate.

Keep in mind that search engines usually determine quite accurately whether a site is doing a good job. If it meets the user's needs, then there is nothing to worry about, even if the bounce rate is high enough.



Poor quality content

Users may leave your site because of poor quality content (including misleading, automatically generated, not relevant to the topic of the page). You need to look carefully at your page or ask someone you know to rate the text and images. Your site's content may be great, but it's not optimized for all browsers:

If the layout is all right, analyze the texts on the site and answer the following questions:

    Do you write simple sentences?
    Is your text easy to read? Does it have headings and subheadings?
    Is the text diluted with images?

Improve your texts to increase the time people spend on your site. In addition, you can hire a freelance copywriter or content manager to turn your ideas into engaging and engaging content.



Negative user experience

Do you "attack" users with ads, Intrusive pop-UPS, and screaming CTA buttons? All these features can make them close your page as soon as possible.

In addition, visitors may leave the site because it does not have a search button or navigation bar.

Make sure that you avoid these common mistakes when creating your site, or ask a UX specialist to analyze your resource.

- small buttons, unreadable content

- confusing menu bar or lagging dropdowns or other UX elements (a button that is not clickable, for example)

- not working as expected (for example, sent a form that does not show any message for success/fail)





The page is not adapted for mobile devices

We all know how important it is to have a website adapted to mobile devices, but in reality this is not always observed. One study found that almost a quarter of popular websites in 2018 did not have a mobile version.

These sites do not look good on mobile device screens, and their pages are slow to load since 72% of the users browse on the internet using a smartphone. This is the reason for the high bounce rate.

Sometimes, when a page is compressed to fit a mobile format, some important information remains below the scroll line. As a result, instead of seeing the title and key information on the screen, the navigation bar appears in front of the user. The visitor believes that this site does not have what they are looking for, and returns to the search results.

So, if your site has a high bounce rate, test it on your mobile phone. You can also use Google's Test Mobile Site tool to do this.



Tips to reduce the bounce rate

Tips to reduce the bounce rate

Regardless of the reasons for the high bounce rate, you can use the following tips to reduce it.

1. Make sure that your content is really high quality

Your title and meta description in the search engine is a kind of advertisement for your site. Whatever your resource is dedicated to, the content must match.

In addition, you should not call your page the most detailed guide if it contains a short post with three tips.

Use the following tips to make your texts more readable:

    Break the text into paragraphs.
    Add image.
    Use short sentences.
    Don't forget to check your spelling.

2. The main information should be above the scroll bar

Sometimes it happens that your content completely matches the title and meta description in the search engine, but the user does not see it at first glance. Therefore, it is important to make sure that their first impression is the most positive.

Your main heading should match the heading of search engines. And if you are promoting an online store, the photo that the user sees when they open the site must match the description.

3. Increase the site loading speed

When it comes to SEO, the principle is "the faster the better". Keeping track of the site's loading speed is one of the top priorities. New ways to compress, optimize, and "speed up" your site are constantly emerging. To achieve fast page loading, you can:

    To introduce AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages).
    Compress all images before uploading them to the site.
    View all external or downloaded scripts, style sheets, and plugins. If there is something you don't need, delete them.
    Learn the basics: use CDN, minimize JavaScript and CSS, and configure browser caching.

4. Minimize the number of non-essential elements

Don't show too many pop-UPS, ads, and other content that users don't care about. Determine which call to action is the key for you and focus on it. For everything else, there are side panels or a basement/footer of the site.

5. Help people get what they need as quickly as possible

Do you want to motivate people to stay on your site longer? Then make learning the information easy and convenient.

Place a search bar on all pages of your site. Implement the smart search function and useful filters there. Work with the navigation bar. Using split testing, determine which of the drop-down menu options helps reduce the bounce rate. Add a table of contents to long articles and posts. This way the user can quickly go to the section that interests them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is higher bounce rate hurt the SEO?

Not straight relation between the bounce rate and SEO ranking. 

Example: you have a blog article that provides valuable information about 'how elephants live in the summer', but you haven't any other related articles to the topic. Probably the users who visited the article will leave it after the article's end but they will be satisfied with the article. Google understands that the bounce rate is not enough to deindex a particular page.

Note: if your website returns technical errors or not found content, Google may ignore these pages. Also, Google Bot could analyze UX elements and the HTML structure, and if it finds any issues, it could hurt the SEO results.

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