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Why Is The Bounce Rate of My Paid Ads So High?

Everyone worries about the bounce rate of their website. Are potential customers interested? Or are they leaving? What’s making them leave?

A data-led approach to marketing can be a good thing in many ways—but we’ll be the first to admit that data can get overwhelming, especially when it comes to something like bounce rate. So many people know that bounce rate is bad when its high and good when its low—but they might not know how to address it.

And worse, if you notice via Google Analytics that the bounce rate for your paid advertising is high, you might start to feel a little panicked. That can’t be good, right?

And you’re right. In this blog post, we’re going to answer some questions about bounce rates—like what is it, exactly, and what are the rates you should be looking for—as well as what might be causing a high bounce rate for paid ads.

What Is Bounce Rate?

A bounce rate is defined as “a percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from a page without interacting with any other pages..” Bounce rate is different from the time spent on your site, although the two pieces of data are often related. However, in the simplest terms, a bounce occurs when a user clicks to your website, stays for long enough to read briefly, and then leaves.

They don’t click any other links. They don’t explore your website. They read and leave, or they don’t fill out the form, or they don’t buy the product.

Bounces are going to happen—but keeping the number low, and creating conversions, is the name of the game after all.

So if you’ve noticed that the bounce of your paid ads is high, you might start to feel nervous—especially if you haven’t noticed an increase in leads or purchases.

Let’s talk good bounce rates for paid ads:

  • The average bounce rate is 41-55%.
  • An excellent bounce rate is anything between 26% and 40%.
  • A bounce rate between 56-70% is considered higher than average.
  • If your bounce rate is over 70%, this requires immediate action.

(Reminder, bounce rates tend to be higher for organic search, specifically blog posts as the intention of those pages is simply for a user to read it! These rates are only for paid advertising.)

What Can Affect Bounce Rate for Paid Ads?

If you’re seeing a high bounce rate for ads (anything over 50%), there are a few reasons why that might be happening.

  • Your website is taking too long to load.
  • Your website is not mobile-friendly.
  • Your website content doesn’t match the CTA used in your ads.
  • You’re not implementing negative keywords.
  • You’re not setting expectations via ad copy.
  • You’re not implementing remarketing.

Long story short: it can be a lot of things! But if you’re paying for ads (and especially if you’re paying CPC), if your bounce rate is high for those ads, you’re throwing away money, your ads aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing, and you need to assess the situation to help it improve.

So, let’s dig deeper into what could be going on.

1. Website Loading Issues

As we’ve written about SEO before, issues with loading your website can be a major issue for users. Most users will abandon a website that takes more than 3-5 seconds to load.

As well, if your website isn’t responsive to mobile, doesn’t have a mobile version, or is simply not mobile-friendly, most users will probably abandon it. As we know, up to 60% of searches occur on mobile devices, so page loading speed and responsiveness can be a major issue when it comes to bounce rates.

2. Ad Copy

The copy of your ads themselves might be an issue that causes a higher than average bounce rate. This can be for two potential reasons: the content of the destination link doesn’t match the CTA of your ads or you fail to set expectations through the copy (text) of your ad itself.

Here’s an example: let’s say you search for dried mango slices. The top ad on Google is “Try Our Mango Slices” from a brand you think you’ve heard of before. You click the link and are taken to a blog post about apple slices. You immediately click away, because that’s not what you searched for and not what you want.

Little inconsistencies like this can increase your bounce rate. As well, if your CTA (that’s “call to action”) is something like “Download Here” and your destination link is your homepage, potential customers won’t really appreciate that.

What does it mean to set expectations in ad copy? According to Google, the best ad copy is “specific, relevant, attractive, and empowering.” We highly recommend reading through Google’s best practices for ad copy here. They do the best job of explaining what exactly helps set expectations for potential customers.

3. Ad Setup

The way your ads are set up might be part of the problem.

Let’s consider our example again: you search for dried mango slices. You get ads for dried apple slices, raisins, and everything else too. This is a sign of bad ad setup. When you search for dried mango slices, you don't want ads for any other type of dried fruit.

Negative keywords are a way to ensure your ads don’t show up for certain searches. For example, if you run a dried fruit company and you have 2 ads, one for dried mango slices and one for dried apples, you can use negative keywords to ensure that people searching for dried apple slices don’t get ads for dried mango slices and vice versa.

If you are using remarketing, you have a specific campaign for visitors to your site that allows ads to follow them around the internet. (You can read about remarketing here.) Remarketing allows you to capture more information about those who bounce from your site, whether via organic search or paid advertising. If your bounce rate concerns you, but nothing else is working, remarketing is a chance to get another opportunity out of website visitors, even if they’ve previously bounced from a paid ad.

Want More?

There you have it! If you’re dealing with high bounce rates for paid ads, these are a few good places to start. If you have more questions, you can always send us a note here or check out these blog posts for more information.

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