The long and the short of why you would have a high bounce rate is that the people finding your website don’t like what they see. There are two main reasons for this: either your website is irrelevant to what they’re looking for or your homepage is unappealing. People stumbling upon your site when it’s not the goods or services they are seeking can happen when your ads aren’t targeted well enough. When setting up your ads, you have the option to narrow in on the demographics of who your ads will be shown to. Some people ignore this feature altogether, some people guess at who they think their target demographic ought to be, and some people actually look at their analytics and check who their demographic is before they decide who to target. Ignoring targeting altogether in favor of focusing solely on keywords is a mistake, in my opinion. Only using keywords is the old school way of doing it from before we could target demographics specifically, so it definitely can work and yield positive results but it’s going to result in a much higher cost per click and you’ll get fewer quality leads for the money you’re spending.
Guessing who your target demographic should be can lead to disastrous results. Ignoring targeting doesn’t steer the ship but setting targeting to incorrect demographics actively points the ship in the wrong direction and steers it away from the people searching for your goods and services. This will cause your ad budget to be essentially wasted. Going into the analytics and looking at who your customers actually are is always your best bet. Your actual demographics might surprise you. This is one of the reasons that businesses who hire marketing experts to explain their analytics to them and highlight the important data are able to make the best decisions for their companies. Being able to shape your goods or services in response to the needs of your customers is invaluable.
When your targeting is on point but your bounce rate is still too high, that indicates there is a problem with your homepage or overall website. Common problems are loading speed, overwhelming menus, dated appearances, inactive appearances, and a poor representation of goods and services. Loading speed is often the culprit for a high bounce rate, which, in turn, will lower your organic search rankings significantly. Speeding up a website can be difficult for someone with no technical background and I recommend leaving it to an experienced marketer to sort out. Trying to speed it up without knowing what you’re doing could break the whole site. Slow pages occur when the person designing the appearance of the site doesn’t understand the factors that speed or slow pages such as too many high-res images, too many plug-ins, etc. Inadequate hosting could also be a factor.
In the olden days of SEO, it was important to have as many pages as possible and it was about quantity over quality; Google has changed its algorithm many times since then and now vastly prioritized quality over quantity, and, in fact, now penalizes poor quality “thin content”. If your website was built that way back then or recently by someone with outdated knowledge, a redesign will be necessary and the cost of a redesign will be nothing compared to the business you’re already losing.
Having a dated or unattractive homepage can ruin a business. I am often approached by businesses looking to advertise because they’re not getting the amount of revenue they desire, but no amount of advertising can compensate for a bad website because people will click your ad, get to your site, and then exit immediately. If you can’t get people to stay on the site, you can’t sell goods and services. If your bounce rate is high for your organic search results, a redesign might very well be in order. If you made your website yourself and are very proud of it, great, but if it’s not serving you, it’s time to move on to a website designed by professional.
A high bounce rate is a symptom indicating that something is wrong; if the bounce rate is high on your paid search results, there’s a problem with your ads, if the bounce rate is high on your organic results, there’s a problem with your site. If you have a high bounce rate, I would highly recommend sending us an email so we can help you figure out what’s going on and then fix it because you are actively losing money on either your ads or lost leads through your website.