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High bounce rate help

Discussion in 'Search Engine Optimization' started by StephenHaw, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. #1
    Hi guys

    A client of mine has been having issues with extremeley high bounce rates for nearly 12 months now and between us both, we have been trying to pinpoint the issue, but are really struggling. Obviously we haven't been working full time on this, but with the issue being nearly a year old now, we both feel its time to ask any experts out there.

    The site is well looked after and content is regular, but the bounce rate, for some reason is just huge!

    The link - https://www.gardenninja.co.uk
    Here's the SEO / Analytics issues I've found. I've also attached some screenshots below to help show the graph.

    1. Bounce rate rocketed after the new site template launched. Up to 70-80% from 5% before. Launched Sept 2018.
    2. Sessions have dropped over the past couple of months by 25-30% which concerns me - his top 10 posts have seen a distinct drop in traffic ie - New Build Gardens, Garden Aspects etc
    3. On Moz I've seen a drop in backlinks - could this be down to any broken links or URL redirects from the site move last September or move to the new server this March?
    4. There has been a rise in home page sessions which is good.
    5. In March we switched to a hybrid state server which has really sped things up but I wonder if there's some broken links or what not?
    6. In April he was voted one of the top ten garden bloggers on Vuelo which should, if anything, have boosted traffic also got some great backlinks with Thompson and Morgan and the RHS which have great authority of (60+) It doesn't seem to be reflected by moz or site stats.

    Concerns: Concerned that the overall site stats are declining and with authority going a bit downhill with backlinks. Like we are missing some links and losing a bit of google juice. Also not sure if the meta data is correctly set up on the site for google? We did a few checks on nibbler and it pointed out they weren't' but we are not sure how to do this, or if it would cause high bounce rates? He publishes at least twice a month as well on the blog. Everythings optimised as far as we can see it.

    Here are some stats from the Analytics account and any help would be much appreciated.

    Thank you very much in advance, guys.

    Screenshot 2019-08-09 at 13.11.57.jpg

    Screenshot 2019-08-09 at 13.12.21.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2019
    StephenHaw, Aug 19, 2019 IP
  2. Robert David

    Robert David Greenhorn

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    There are some ways to to increase bounce rate of your website. The ways are following
    a) Improve Your Content's Readability
    b) Avoid Popups – Don't Disrupt the UX
    c) Create a Compelling Call-to-Action
    d) Improve Your Brand Storytelling
    e) Keep Your Blog Fresh With the Right Content
    Robert David, Aug 19, 2019 IP
  3. malky66

    malky66 Acclaimed Member

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    Why would he want to increase the bounce rate?? lol, some people #facepalm
    malky66, Aug 19, 2019 IP
  4. johneva

    johneva Well-Known Member

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    My first advice would be to find pages with the highest bounce rate and find sources with the highest bounce rate this may help diagnose, if just certain pages are an issue or certain sources are an issue opposed to the whole site design/structure.

    Check Google search console for any 404 issues, indexing issues.

    It really comes down to using the data you have better to determine the cause of your issues, something we can't do without the data.

    As a general rule high bounce rate means you either getting non relevant traffic sent to pages or you have design/ux issues, but in this case could be 404 issues due to the site move possibly.
    johneva, Aug 19, 2019 IP
  5. StephenHaw

    StephenHaw Peon

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    Thank you for your replies, guys. It's much appreciated. The frustration is starting to build, it's just pinpointing the problem.

    Right I've now added my https version of the site to search console. Turns out I was looking at the older http: version of Garden Ninja. Not sure how much that really matters but I've added the https site map now too. My hosting company put all the redirects in place for the move from http to https.

    I've checked with them and the page redirects for google to find the new https are correct and working. I sent them an email with the issue last week and they said its something that must be SEO its not hosting or the site map from their investigation.

    There's 3 soft 404s like the forum post mentioned. See screenshot below:

    Screenshot 2019-08-20 at 09.09.40.jpg

    3 404 errors - everything else is indexed and that the site has 1.8 pages per session. Just wondering how a bounce rate of 75% is being recorded if theres 1.8 sessions?

    However I'm still brought back to what happened on and around that date sept 30th 2019. Somethings change or occurred for the bounce rate to skyrocket. It's really concerning me as traffic is down and I've got some writing work off the back of being in that top 10 gardening bloggers list from Vuelo the big marketing network. I don't want to lose that.

    Pages per session: I have a gut feeling that there's something misconfigured randomly somewhere or something sending a signal to google that people are bouncing when they are not. Especially given most people are looking at 1.8 pages per session meaning they can't be bouncing. A bounce is a one hit and then gone metric isnt it? Also the pages per session has dropped on that date as well from 2.9 to now 1.8?

    I've been checking the internal linking in the pages and they all work as well.

    If anybody could take a deeper look at things, paid, obviously, I'd be very happy to do so!

    Thanks guys
    StephenHaw, Aug 20, 2019 IP
  6. Paul Stryer

    Paul Stryer Peon

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    Bounce rate being high is one of a few reasons in my experience
    1. Boring content
    2. No videos
    3. Site Speed

    I did not go test your site speed but it took for ever for you site to load on my end, we are talking 30sec or more to get the pics on the main page. If I was not looking because of this post I would have bounced.
    With that said sometimes it is not technical reasons that cause issues.
    I watched a couple of videos and although the information is really good, the content and action in the video is very boring. Sometimes it just takes being silly and having fun and the videos were just way to serious.
    And I hate to say this but sometimes your appearance of the person in the video makes a difference. Being from the music industry in the past I too had a Mohawk, and long hair and when I cut it off and went clean cut is when I noticed a increase in my business and people taking me serious. I'm not sure people looking for plant advice are really taking a person in a Mohawk serious. I might be way off base here but just my thoughts as soon as I got the website to load.

    The point I'm trying to make here is sometimes it is not a technical reason for bad SEO scores and high bounce rates. Try a different formula, put the hair down and have fun with it don't be so serious.
    Paul Stryer, Aug 21, 2019 IP
  7. Oso Optimized

    Oso Optimized Member

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    I don't have time to go through and analyze this, but when this type of thing happens, you immediately undo ALL changes and revert back to the old configuration. Then get professional help.
    Oso Optimized, Aug 21, 2019 IP