Bounce rates should be constantly monitored for paid campaigns. It is very important to identify and fix the root cause of high bounce rates. When you pay for these visitors, the poor performance brings down both your ROI and your profitability.
What is a Bounce Rate?
The percentage of site visits where the visitor only saw one page and left your site without clicking anything. When you pay for these visits it’s equivalent to handing someone money to walk in and then immediately walk out of your store.
7 Common Causes of High Bounce Rate
If the landing page messaging does not align with the messaging for the paid ad the visitor clicked, then their expectation will be completely off and they will leave the homepage. There needs to be consistency between the language, visuals and any offer.
POP-UPS, ROADBLOCKS, LIGHT-BOXES, CONTENT OR CALL-TO-ACTION OVERLAYS
Email capture light-boxes are a great way to increase email conversions, but not to the detriment of paid traffic bounces. If the light-box is too large, covers too much of the home screen, or doesn’t have a simple way to close, these can lead to immediate homepage exits.
The audience make-up and type of visitor paid for needs to be in-line with your website’s purpose and offering. While you were able to get a visitor to click on one of your paid search ads and they arrive on your site, they need to stay on site and follow-through with your site’s purpose. Some audience are not the right fit. Perhaps the messaging resonates and they have a desire to click on your ad to see the offer and messaging, but they might be too young, perhaps in the wrong geography, or they might not be in-market shoppers and you caught them at a bad time (either of day, of week, or in the purchasing cycle).
ABOVE THE FOLD MESSAGING
Sometimes the simplest cause for a high homepage bounce rate is the Call-to-Action positioning. The homepage visitor should be able to quickly and immediately see the call to action and get a sense of what your site is all about, from that first glance. In those first 3 seconds, without having to scroll, your homepage should clearly state the purpose. Perhaps your homepage already does this but that content is spread out throughout the homepage and requires too much scrolling or putting the messaging together.
If the traffic is from an email list rental (a list of contacts you bought or paid to send to) then you can expect to have increased homepage bounce rates because of the lack of audience familiarity with you. This can be adjusted by having something on the homepage resonate with the audience and their intention for visiting you, be it a service or product.
SLOW PAGE LOAD TIMES
It is well know that the longer it take for the homepage to load, the higher the impact on the bounce rate. According to Akamai every 3 seconds in page load lag doubles the bounce rate.
LINKS FROM THE HOMEPAGE TO EXTERNAL SITES OR UNTRACKED PAGES
Limit the number of exit links from the homepage — every time a visitor you paid for clicks on one of these links they are leaving your site. Control the site navigation and architecture of the homepage so that every click counts toward the site and homepage goal.