6 Critical Web Design Mistakes That Are Increasing Your Bounce Rate + How to Fix Them

A rough draft of website design

Bounce rate is an important Google Analytics metric that measures how many people leave your website without engaging or exploring it. The higher your bounce rate, the lower your ranking will be on search engine results.

One of the major causes behind a high bounce rate is poor web design. Website design and content are more critical than ever; it influences your audience’s response and actions. With extensive experience in website design and development, our experts are aware of web design mistakes most people make. Here, they have discussed these mistakes along with some viable solutions.

Mobile Unfriendliness

Most of your users will access the website from their mobile phones and if it doesn’t offer a good experience, they will switch to a competitor’s site. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that mobile traffic has surpassed desktop traffic, so having a mobile un-friendly website could exponentially increase your bounce rate.

Here’s How to Fix It

  • After creating a website for desktop, optimise it for mobile devices and perform adequate tests to rule out any issues.
  • Make sure your mobile-optimised website looks appealing to users and displays important information without any clutter.
  • Use tools like Google Search Console to identify mistakes and resolve them.

Content Overload

Content overload, or content shock, is when you put too much information on your website that overwhelms visitors and they leave your site instantly. Due to increased content consumption these days, most people are tired of reading and prefer skimmable content. If there’s too much going on on your website, it will increase the bounce rate.

When it comes to web design and content, less is most definitely more. People naturally gravitate towards easy-to-digest content. Long paragraphs, unfamiliar words, non-essential details, and distracting design elements affect user experience and your website’s performance.

Here’s How to Fix It

  • Strategic use of negative space in web design
  • Self-explanatory and well-written content, presented in a way that’s easy to digest
  • Identifying the target audience’s search intent and directing them to their desired categories
  • Balanced text-to-visual element ratio, this includes images, videos, symbols, etc.
  • Collapsible menus to reduce clutter

Thin Content

Although less is more, it doesn’t mean that you should put too little content on your website. As explained by Google, content that provides little to no value to users is referred to as thin content. Many website owners are unaware of this mistake and experience a higher bounce rate, despite keeping things simple. You still need to provide answers to your visitors, but the key is to know how much is enough. This depends on your specific target audience. You should be aware of what they’re looking for and provide it efficiently.

If there’s one thing the newer Google updates have shown, it’s that the search engine takes quality and user experience very seriously. The more satisfied your visitors are, the lower your bounce rate will be and the higher your SERP ranking.

Here’s How to Fix It

  • Ensure personalised communication that results in longer visit duration and higher user satisfaction.
  • Learn what your audience wants and offer exactly that.
  • Make real-time changes according to your industry and Google algorithm.

Low Site Speed

Web surfers come across many websites offering different solutions. If your website takes longer to load, it wouldn’t take a user long to switch to a competitor’s website. This is one of the major web design mistakes developers make that lead to a higher bounce rate and lower SERP ranking.

Moreover, site speed plays a crucial role in Google’s ranking algorithm. Slow-to-load websites offer a poor experience to users, and Google doesn’t want to promote that. It knows that users what quick results, which is why the search engine also offers featured snippets. Therefore, one of the first things to check is the speed of each page on your site. You can use Google PageSpeed Insights to determine the speed, and also recommendations to improve it.

Here’s How to Fix It

  • Compress your images
  • Leverage browser caching
  • Reduce third-party scripts

 Multiple screens showing website

Advertisements Covering Crucial Content

Most businesses display ads on their website to make some extra money. While this practice is completely okay, your ads should never take away attention from the main content. Many websites have annoying pop-ups that prevent readers from viewing the website content, and they go away. Generally, people prefer to skip or ignore ads, regardless of where they are viewing them.

Here’s How to Fix It

Ads can be a big turn-off for your users if not done right and leave an negative impression on users. If you want to display them, here are some ways to do it without increasing the bounce rate.

  • The first thing users should see is the answers they’re looking for, not ads.
  • Make sure ads don’t take up more space than the website’s content.
  • If you want to use pop-up ads, display them on the side of the page after the user has been on the page for a few seconds. Make sure it shouldn’t appear for more than 0.30 seconds.
  • Avoid using microscopic close buttons on pop-ups that make it impossible for users to click them.

Low-Quality Visual Content

Adding images and illustrations is the key to a good website, but they must be of high resolution. To achieve optimal site speed, some web designers use low-quality visual content which ultimately results in a higher bounce rate due to poor user experience. A website can have both high-speed and high-resolution images when you’re using the right optimisation tools.

You should also consider the scaling of images and media used on your website. Disproportionate images give a poor look to your website, and stretching an image reduces its quality. Make sure you’re scaling every picture with a consistent ratio of 1:1.

Another thing website designers forget are the thumbnails, image previews, and favicons. These elements also affect the overall look of your webpage.

Here’s How to Fix It

  • Carefully choose high-quality photos, thumbnail images and illustrations; each element should be relevant and meaningful to your target audience.
  • Don’t forget to add metadata and alt-text; it helps search engines know what the image is about and boosts rankings.
  • Ensure proper image scaling.
  • Use image optimisation plugins to prevent decelerating of website loading speed.

Website designers

You can also consult our website design team to reduce your bounce rate. We are a leading digital marketing company in Canberra, offering a wide range of solutions to businesses and individuals. Our services include search engine optimisation, content marketing, web development, and more. With the help of TocToc, you can rank your website higher and offer a great experience to your users! Contact us for details.



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