6 Reasons Your Website Has A High Bounce Rate, and How to Fix

If you’re experiencing a high bounce rate, it could indicate that there are issues with your website – as it’s a sign that users aren’t finding what they’re looking for. It is crucial that you identify the reasons why, and rectify these.

Here are some points to consider when looking at your bounce rate, and tips on how to fix.

What is Bounce Rate?

Website bounce rate is the percentage of website users who navigate away from the site after viewing only a single page. Bounce rate is a relative term that depends on company goals, and also what kind of industry you are in and what type of website that you have.

Optimal bounce rates are between 25% and 41%, but the average bounce rate is between 41% and 55%, and anything above this is considered high.

It’s important to interpret bounce rate in context – users may only view one page on your website, but might spend 10 minutes reading and find the answer that they’re looking for – meaning the landing page is performing well but still has a high bounce rate. This is why you should also look at average session duration/time spent on a page in Google Analytics, so that you can view the whole picture.

Google Analytics 4 no longer supports bounce rate, but has replaced this with the new metric ‘Engagement Rate’. You can find this in Acquisition > User Acquisition, or Traffic Acquisition. The metric ‘Engagement Rate’ includes sessions where a visitor has converted or spends at least 10 seconds on a page, even if they did not visit any other pages, meaning it is more accurate in giving you the bigger picture. To calculate your bounce rate using the new metric, subtract your engagement rate from 100%.

Why Your Bounce Rate is High

Here are 6 reasons why the bounce rate might be high on your website.

1. Slow Loading Speed

If your website page takes longer than a few seconds to load, visitors may get fed up and leave. To check your website loading speed, you can simply try to load it on a multitude of devices, or use a tool such as GTMetrix, Google Lighthouse or Pingdom.

Additionally, site speed is part of Google’s ranking algorithm as they want to promote content that provides a positive experience for users. Slow loading time often suggests poor user experience, which may result in your page not ranking well in search engine results pages.

2. Misleading Title Tag

Your title tag is the information shown on the search engine results page that users click. Both your title tag and meta description should accurately summarise your content, so that users get the correct content when they click through to your website. If you think that your title tag or meta description are not relevant, you can review your content and adjust your title tag and meta description, or rewrite your page content to address the search queries you want to attract users for.

3. 404 Page & Errors

If your bounce rate is exceedingly high, you may have a page error – such as 404. Replicate the user journey using the same browser and device – to determine if the page they are navigating to has errors. You can also use Google Console, which will highlight any issues on your website that you need to fix.

4. Low-Quality Content

We’ve discussed above about content not matching title tags, but what if your content is just bad quality? If the audience that you are targeting doesn’t find your content useful or valuable, then they are likely to click off.

Best practices for good quality content include:

  • Make it skim-reading friendly
  • Answer users questions
  • Use a mixture of long and short sentences
  • Use headings
  • Use paragraphs
  • Provide value

5. Bad Design

Bad UX design can come in many forms – pop-up ads, too many buttons, unreadable text with images – which can all contribute to users clicking off your website. Visitors want answers to their questions or problems, they don’t necessarily want to be sold on something. Make your design user friendly, and ensure that it’s easy to navigate using clear menus and headers.

6. Not Mobile Friendly

A large proportion of internet users browse on mobile – 48% in the UK. For this reason, it is paramount that your website and its design is optimised for mobile. This will ensure that users can use your website and that the design looks correct even on smaller screens.

Reducing Website Bounce Rate

To conclude, if you are browsing Google Analytics and notice you have a high bounce rate, work through the above to identify the reasons for users clicking off your website. Then, you can work on fixing issues. Here are 6 ways to reduce your website bounce rate:

  1. Speed up your website (e.g. remove or optimise large images, remove old content)
  2. Optimise title tags & meta descriptions to match page content
  3. Identify and fix 404 page errors
  4. Write high-quality content, or get help from a content creation service
  5. Ensure the design is easy to use
  6. Optimise design and layout on mobile devices

Website Design & Development Service

If all else fails, and your website needs an overhaul, our website design and development services can help you. We can redesign your website – either from scratch or using your existing site as inspiration – to help you to reduce bounce rate and convert your audience. Email us at [email protected] or call us for a chat on 0121 295 5352 to discuss your requirements.

Headshot of Rebecca young new team member


Rebecca helps to keep the team organised and supports all of our clients with day to day activities and content. She also runs all of Ballyhoo's internal marketing.