Is your website’s bounce rate high or low enough to boost your search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns?  Did you know that with the coming of Rankbrain, Google use site dwell time as a ranking factor in the search engine results page (SERP)? That means as long as your bounce rate is high, you will not do well on Google rankings.

Google will always favor web pages or sites with a low bounce rate because a high bounce rate indicates that the content is either not engaging and contains no value.

What Is Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate is a metric unit that calculates the percentage of website users who visit your blog or website and left without performing any task. These web visitors will enter your site through a page and withdraw from the same page meaning that your site visitors bounce when they land on your landing page and leave from the same page with engaging with it.

How to check your bounce rate 

To analyze your site bounce rate, Go to your Google Analytics >> Audience >> Overview. There you will see an overview of your website performance. Here is how to use Google Analytics to monitor your marketing campaigns.12 Reasons Why Your Website Has a High Bounce Rate

There are many reasons to why your website users leave immediately after landing on your site. So, if your site bounce rate is high, you have to read this article till the end:

1: Content Does Not Match The Headline Is a Reason for High Bounce Rate

If you use a super clickbait title, people are going to be forced to click on it because it is a compelling headline. Let’s say you use a title or caption that says, “How to cure cancer in 2 months – Works 100%.”

That is a promising headline that will move people to click through to your blog or website to read the article. Once they access the content, what will they get? Instead of how to cure cancer, your material deviates from the headline’s promise and talks about how the disease is disastrous and how to prevent oneself from getting cancer.

Do you think that they would be happy over that? No! They will be disappointed, and that can severely influence how users interact with your site. So, when you craft a headline, try to be creative to get the maximum clicks and also make sure that the title you are using connects with your content body as well.

2: Site Load Time Is Slow Accounts for High Bounce Rate

Website speed is a super crucial area in keeping your website bounce rate low. Nowadays, most people are impatient, including me. If your website takes a long time to load, chances are they might exit to a competitor’s site because you are not the only one writing on that topic.

There are thousands or even millions of web pages related to your topic. So make sure to improve your sites speed. To check your website load time, I would recommend you to go to Pingdom or GTMetric.

For example, let us say you want to use Pingdom. Head over to their site, open the software, and enter your URL. You can change the location and click the “start test” tab. The tool will show you your website’s load speed time, along with other metrics.

It will also give you a bunch of suggestions and recommendations you need to solve the issues and increase your website speed. According to Google, site speed is a ranking factor or this reason; I recommend you enable Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) on your blog or website because it is for speed – which means that website that allows AMP will load faster than those without AMP.

Bottom line: Website speed is not an option but mandatory. For this reason

3: Blank Page/ Error 404 Or Technical Error Will Increase Your Site’s Bounce Rate

If your website has any blank or error 404 Page, you need to work on solving the issue on that Page. Page Not Found errors (also known as 404s)  can increase your site bounce rate as they are leading a visitor to nowhere. When a user hit a blank wall, the next thing to do is exit your site – increasing your bounce rate.

Here is what to do; go to Google Search Console, under Crawl >> Crawl Errors you will find the issue from Google’s calculation. However, on the other hand, by customizing a good custom 404 page, it can help people find the information they’re looking for and thus reduce the bounce rate

You can use the 404page – your smart custom 404 error page WordPress plugin to create a perfect custom Error 404 Page.

4: Poor Backlinks Will Skyrocket Your Bounce Rate

Referral traffic is one among the most targeted and engaging traffic sources. But despite that, if you have a high bounce rate, it might be because of any of these reasons:

  • Wrong anchor text
  • Irrelevant traffic
  • Click by mistake, etc

5: Poor Content Is One Reason Why Your Bounce Rate Is High

Let’s be honest here, even if your website loads fast, the headline is catchy and relates to your target audience, but the content is weak – not a quality material or valuable information. What would your site visitors do?

Do you think they will stick around your site much longer to read the post? Obviously, no! So, make sure that your blog content is engaging and helpful to your audience. Make it compelling enough to encourage users to browse or click further on to other pages and keep coming back. This technique will enable you to reduce your website bounce rate.

Read this article to learn how to write stunning blog posts that people will love to read.

6: Bad Readability Also Contributes to High Bounce Rate

Would you like to read an article with no heading, subheadings, whatsoever with just understandable text-based content? I don’t think so! You need to have proper titles and subtitles to break your blog material and make it easy for readers to skim through your content.

Pro tips:

  • Use the H-tags (H1, H2, H3, and H4) in the body of content to create subheadings. The subheadings will break your articles and make them skimmable.
  • Write short sentences and paragraphs.
  • Use numbered bullets and bullet points to structure and break your content as well.
  • Use bold and italics to highlight main points.
  • Write clearly and straightforwardly that a grade six student can understand.
  • Leave more white spaces in your content. Research reveals that white space around a text and title improves user attention by 20%. Thus, it indicates that the use of white space can increase website user experience and boost conversion.

7: Poor Navigation Is Responsible for  Website’s Bounce Rate

Make sure you have a proper navigation system on your blog. The primary purpose of website navigation is to help users quickly find what they are looking for on your site. So, your navigation needs to stand out and be consistent.

Typically, the main menu will sit along the top of the page. If possible maintain fat footers

8: Your Website is Not Mobile-Friendly and Have A Bad Design = High Bounce Rate

As of May 2018, 52% of all worldwide online traffic came through mobile phones, that is according to Statista.

world wide traffic stats

The statistic shows the share of global mobile phone traffic from 2009 – 2018. As you can see, at present smartphones reports half of world wide web pages served.

device statistics

That means if your site isn’t mobile-friendly and mobile-responsive, you need to work on it. You will be losing out on a bunch of opportunities if your website is not friendly and responsive to mobile.

Here are more reasons why your website should be mobile-friendly. It will help:

  • Improve user experience.
  • Boost search rankings because Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites.
  • Increase your site’s visibility

How to make your website mobile-friendly?

  • Use a mobile-first responsive theme design
  • Compress your images and CSS.
  • Include the viewport meta tag (paste this onto the HTML for each page:<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1″>)
  • Use Mobile Plugins (Eg. WPtouch, JetPack, etc.)

9: Cross-Browser Responsiveness Will Give You High Bounce Rates

Cross-browser Responsive means that the web application works with all versions of browsers. However, it is not possible to have your site design look the same on every browser. Sometimes your website load perfectly on Chrome but it may break down on Safari, explorer, or Opera Mini.

It is a rare issue, but you have to make sure that your website is compatible across all browsers. In consequence, go to Cross-Browser Testing to check if your site is responsive. Cross-browser testing will analyze your website in over 1,500 browsers.

10: Pop-Ups And Interstitial Will Cause Bounce Rates to Increase

Your newsletter sign-up form or advertising placements on your site may be popping out constantly, thereby interrupting users.  It may lead to poor user experience and can make vistos to leave your site

A study by Hubspot showed that 73% of website users find pop-up ads annoying or intrusive and dislike it, while 64% have installed ad blockers.

11: External Links Open In The Same Tab Will Increase Bounce Rate

Allowing a link to open up in a new tab can help in reducing your website bounce rate. Website users who click on a link may want to get more information on the topic they are reading, or they may want to check the page.

In the eyes of Google, it is a bounce. On this account, make sure that all external links are set to open in another tab or window. If you are using WordPress,  click the link icon and check the ‘open in new tab’ box.

12 Reasons Why Your Website Has a High Bounce Rate

It’s pretty simple.

12: Security Issues Also Causes High Bounce Rate

If your website deals with handling sensitive information, you need to make your site more secure. People must have confidence that vital data such as credit card details are safe with you when they register it on your website.

But when your online space looks spamming and unreliable, they will leave your area for your competitors, which will effectively increase your website bounce rates. For instance, when browsing and I come across a site that does not have the green padlock, I leave immediately.

Considering this, secure your online space to encourage more visitors to your area. The first step to securing your website is to add the SSL. Once inserted or migrated, your browser will show a green padlock, and an attached “S” at the end of the regular HTTP.

So instead of the usual HTTP, it will change to HTTPS. The “S” means secure, signifying security. It makes a user feel safe and trusts you more, which also make your site more legit. Interestingly, Google has stated that starting July 2018; all websites must migrate to the HTTPS.

Wrapping Up

In all seriousness, though, you need to study your site’s analytics and understand it. You can use tools like Crazy egg to know where your visitors are coming from, where they are scrolling and where they left off.

Carefully inspect your site regarding User Experience, Quality of your content, Mobile responsiveness, etc. Hopefully, this article has helped you diagnose what’s causing your high bounce rate, Am I missing anything? Do you have anything to add?

Tell us in the comments section.


Jennifer Swan

Jennifer Swan is a freelance blogger who writes articles about digital marketing–SEO, blogging, WordPress, including web-hosting.


Nikola Roza

Nikola Roza · August 29, 2019 at 8:18 pm

Hi Moss,
one surprising reason for high bounce rate is having a huge image above the fold, and seemingly no real content beneath it.
It’s surprising how many people assume there’s nothing there and simply leave.
It surprises me because I would’ve expected folks to learn by now to scroll down and verify.


    Moss Clement · August 30, 2019 at 5:36 am

    Hi Nikola
    I agree with you because the first few lines of your article should be captivating enough to make the reader scroll down to read the rest of the post. But since the is no substantial martial beneath the image, the visitor will bounce.
    Thank you for your input on the subject.


Bastian · June 4, 2019 at 11:19 am

Hi Moss,

Nothing to add here. Very informative! Thank you


    Moss Clement · June 6, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    Hi Bastian,

    Thank you so much. I’m happy you like the post. I truly appreciate it. Thank you for stopping by.


nick deve · March 19, 2019 at 5:30 am

Hello Moss,

Great stuff, definitely Low bounce rate is good for Seo.

Nick Deve


    Moss Clement · March 20, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Hi Nick,

    Thank you.I’m happy that you agree with that. Thank you for coming by and adding to the discussion.


Donna Merrill · March 12, 2019 at 11:45 am

Hi Moss,
We have to think long and hard and test our headline so it reflects the content well. We also need the content to be good and readable. I do believe that will decrease the bounce rate.
Also loading time. It has to be quick or people will just go off to the next site. It’s our job to make sure things are running smoothly in order to keep that bounce rate low.


    Moss Clement · March 13, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    Hi Donna,

    You’re right about that. When you take care of your website’s issues including content headlines and other little aspects that will help your site to run smoothly, it will decrease your bounce rate and help you boost search rankings. Thank you for stopping by and for comming.


Lisa Sicard · March 11, 2019 at 10:34 am

Hi Moss,
I think too it depends on your SEO – if you are using any services or poor sites to link to. That can lower your bounce rate. I found Flipboard lowers mine though I love using the site and it does bring traffic.
What about opening to a new page for internal links? Does that play a role as well?
Thanks for the tips Moss!


    Moss Clement · March 11, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Hi Lisa,

    I agree with you entirely. Poor SEO strategy will hurt your bounce rate, and if you are linking to sites with low SEO juices, you will suffer along with them. As for Flipboard, it is a remarkable site with DA-89 and PA-69. I began using it recently as well. However, although I haven’t researched opening a new page from internal links, I believe it has some positive effect on SEO because it allows the user to remain on the original page while exploring other pages of your site. In that way, it makes your website visitors to stay longer on your site.
    Bytheway, the article above is a guest post by Jennifer Swan. I have tried to contact her to send her author byline, but all attempts have been unfruitful. The email she used to contact me is no longer working.

    Thank you so much, Lisa, for coming by and commenting.


Ryan K Biddulph · March 8, 2019 at 10:44 am

The content to headline note is key Moss. Super add. People try SO hard through headers, but come up short post-wise. Nail down sweet titles but publish even sweeter, aligned, helpful posts that match the title.


    Moss Clement · March 9, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    Thatis the magic stick, Ryan. When you craft a compelling headline, follow suit in the body of content to maintain consistency. Your body content must harmonize with your titles, that’s how to attract new readers and retain existing ones.
    Thank you so much for adding to the discussion.


Gaurav Kumar · March 7, 2019 at 3:01 am

Hi Moss,

The biggest reason of high bounce rate is poor user experience. When I say poor user experience that includes, high load time, poor navigation, bad design, poor internal linking etc.

Glad you have shared all.


    Moss Clement · March 7, 2019 at 8:50 am

    Hi Gaurav,

    You are right on point. For instance, a website must have an excellent navigation system that enables users to find what they are looking for. Not a system that takes you somewhere else. It is frustrating when you are taking to the wrong page. Thank you for coming by.


Amanda Ricks · March 6, 2019 at 1:12 pm

Hi Moss, You’re right bounce rate is important. And it can often be a difficult thing to improve.
Does having your links open in a new window really help? I seem to remember hearing that it was better for user experience to have links open in the same tab.
Have a great day. 🙂


    Moss Clement · March 7, 2019 at 9:03 am

    Hi Amanda,

    Having a low bounce rate good for SEO, and yes, it helps to have your links open in another tab or window. Let’s say you linked to authority sites with relevant content, and your site visitor clicked the link and read the post. While reading, he found another link and click as well. What do you think is happening in this instance, your site is closed, he is moving away from your site and may not return to again because he has seen something more interesting. I noticed that on your yesterday. I clicked a link, and it opens on the same window shorting or closing the original window. But when a link opens on a new window, the original page (on your site)is still open – meaning that the user is still on it.
    Thanks a lot for stopping by and commenting!


Sajid Akhter · March 6, 2019 at 12:16 pm

Hi Moss,

Good pice of information. Bounce rate is very important for all sites. It is vital to have a low bounce rate in order to stamp an authority and attract more visitors. Your suggestions are worth taking note of.

Thanks for sharing, have a good day.


    Moss Clement · March 7, 2019 at 9:06 am

    Hi Sajid,

    I agree with your thoughts. The lower your bounce rate, the more you can attract more users to your site because it indicates that you have value to offer. Thank you for coming and commenting.

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