Social media marketing is a great way to expose your brand to new people and build a loyal following. But what happens when that following consistently bounces from your website?
A high bounce rate is a bad news for your website. It’s a sign your visitors aren’t getting what they want or need. But there’s good news here – if you can figure out why the bounce rate for your social visitors is so high, you can correct the issue and make your website much better in the process.
High Bounce Rate From Social Media Visitors
Bounce Rate: An Introduction
Your bounce rate measures the percentage of people who, upon visiting a specific page of your website, leave your website before visiting subsequent pages. Essentially, it’s a measure of how many people leave immediately after seeing your content – not exactly a good sign of engagement. You can measure this metric using any number of tools, including Google Analytics (which is free).
Generally, the lower your bounce rate is, the better. A lower bounce rate is associated with more engaging content, more interested visitors, better overall experiences, and, eventually, more conversions. That said, it’s almost impossible to have a bounce rate of zero since at least some people will leave your website no matter what your content is like.
Bounce rates vary significantly, but if you have a bounce rate of under 40 percent, you can consider yourself in very good standing. A bounce rate of more than 55 percent is a bit higher than normal, but it’s not a major cause of concern until you hit around 70 percent. Again, average bounce rates vary depending on a number of factors, including your industry, so take these figures as a loose guide.
The Usual Suspects
If you do have a high balance rate associated with your social media visitors, these are probably the factors you can blame:
1. High page loading times
Your website’s page loading speed is highly important. If a user visits a page of your website, and it takes 20 seconds to load, they might bail after just 5 seconds. The average web user is understandably impatient since most pages now load in just a second or two. Thankfully, there are many strategies that can help you improve your loading times. For example, you can use a caching plugin; caching plugins are designed to “cache” information related to your website so it can load faster in the future. This works effectively for repeat users of your website, though you’ll need other strategies to appeal to new visitors. You can also delete any old files you’re not using on your website (such as old blog drafts or irrelevant images) and reduce the size of the media you use. Cleaning up the backend code of your website can also help, though if you’re using a mainstream website building platform or if your website was recently developed by professionals, you shouldn’t have to worry about this.
2. Bad or amateurish content
Is your content riddled with typos? Is it inaccurate or filled with clunky, incomprehensible sentences? As many marketers have indicated before, “content is king” in the realm of online marketing; if your content looks amateurish or unprofessional, your users are going to leave. It might take those users a few seconds to read enough of your content to form a clear impression, but they’re certainly not going to visit subsequent pages after this experience.
3. Irrelevant or unrelated content
Misleading meta titles, meta descriptions, and social media posts can also force users to bounce. If they come to your website expecting one thing and they encounter something totally different, they’re completely justified in leaving. Make sure your web content is relevant and in line with visitor expectations.
4. Technical errors
What do you usually do when you encounter a 404 error on a site? If you’re like most users, you leave. If your website has technical errors that prevent it from being accessed, your bounce rate is going to climb. There are many ways to address a 404 error if you find one on your website. For example, if there isn’t any content for this page, you can upload content to fill the gap. If the page is down for a technical reason, you can work to identify that reason and bring the page back up. And if you have no intentions of hosting content on this page, you can set up a 301 redirect to guide visitors to a more appropriate page of your website.
5. Annoying popups or ads
The same is true for annoying popups or ads. There’s nothing wrong with trying to win some additional conversions with a tastefully placed ad or popup, but if your visitors feel like they’re being spammed, they’re going to bounce. It’s hard to say exactly what types of popups will make a visitor leave, but here’s a good rule of thumb; if the popups or ads prevent the users from being able to enjoy the central experience of your website, you have a problem. These ads should never be intrusive or obstructive.
6. Bad links
High bounce rates are also associated with irresponsible linking practices. If your link is spammed or framed incorrectly, it’s going to set visitors up for disappointment. Make sure each page of your website offers content in line with the title of the page (and appropriate for any links you’ve built to it). While you’re at it, discontinue any black hat link-building practices that could be interpreted as spam by your user base.
7. Lack of mobile friendliness
The majority of online traffic is now associated with mobile devices. If you want mobile users to stay on your website, you need to make sure your site is as mobile friendly as possible. In other words, it should load quickly, easily, and fully on all mobile devices. If you’re not sure whether your website is truly mobile friendly, don’t worry – Google makes this mobile friendly test both easy and free.
Identifying the Problem
Before you can fix the problem, you need to know exactly what the problem is.
Look for obvious culprits
Start by scanning your website for any obvious culprits that could be contributing to your high bounce rate. For example, do you have a dozen broken pages? Is your website riddled with pop-ups that make it impossible to load on mobile devices?
Conduct AB tests
If you haven’t found any obvious signs, or if your initial fixes aren’t working, consider conducting experiments in the form of AB tests. Send similar groups of traffic to two different pages of your website and see how they react; you can tinker with variables on one of your pages to try and isolate the variable that’s contributing to your high bounce rate.
Facilitate surveys and interviews
Failing that, you can conduct more surveys and interviews to get qualitative responses from website visitors. Is there something that your website visitors take issue with? Is there a common complaint in your audience?
Nobody likes to have a high balance rate associated with their website, but it’s a common problem for new website administrators and marketers. You may never achieve a bounce rate of zero, but you can certainly decrease your bounce rate to a point that allows you to score far more conversions.
See also: How do I optimize video content for SEO?