There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that people are staying on your website and appreciating all the hard work you’ve put into your content. Of course having top quality, relevant content is key to attracting and keeping your audience, but there are other things you can do to increase your stickiness.
A low bounce rate (the rate at which people leave your website) is a strong indication to search engines that your site is of value. The time visitors spend on your site builds your authority and means you’re increasing your chances of higher rankings and more conversions.
So what are the main culprits that make people leave your website? What can you do to avoid it? Below we will give you 10 reasons visitors bounce a website and some recommendations how to prevent it from happening.
1. Slow Loading Speed
Most mobile users expect a website to load in 4 seconds. No matter how informative and useful your articles are, or how fabulously clickable your headlines appear, a slow site will absorb valuable seconds you should be using to build a connection with your visitors.
So a slow loading site is a big thumbs down. Remember, in this fast-paced fibre optic world every second is eternity for a searcher. They can (and will) “return to search” and choose another website to see that answer, or buy those shoes.
Google takes notice of loading time so if your site is sluggish you could be losing your ranking position and lots of traffic.
2. The ads and content battle
Ads done right are a great source of income for website owners, but nobody likes to open website pages that are crammed with too many advertisements.
Too many adverts can also slow loading time and distract users’ attention from engaging with your site.
Make sure your content takes priority over ads and that the ads are placed with consideration for best practice.
3. Autosound problem
A definite no-no, especially if you’re autoplaying ads, but also just any sound. Just don’t do it! An unwanted outburst of sound can and will drive your visitors crazy, cause embarrassment, or burst unsuspecting eardrums. Users will not spend time to find out what the noise was all about. There are some suggestions that different rules apply to sites in the hospitality industry, but I remain skeptical.
Turn off autosound, and make sure any autoplay videos are muted so users can initiate the full surround sounds experience for themselves.
4. Poor site structure
Poor content layout can harm your conversion rates as users lose their way and search engines can’t index your content.
Website navigation should be intuitive, it can help to get some outside help here through user testing. This savvy UX professional advises that your site should be able to be used by a drunk person and will charge you $150 to do this himself. Even if you don’t fork out the cash it’s a good idea to keep that in mind.
A/B split testing, beautifully illustrated here by Fast Co Design will help you improve your existing site and those all important conversion rates.
Make sure your site has a clear hierarchy. This will help search engines find all your pages, distribute your link juice to all your pages and also helps users find what they want with minimal clicks.
If you’re seeing a high click rate and a low conversion rate it’s time to do some split testing on your page.
A clear call to action will help visitors to know what the next step is and where it is on a website. Make sure you have a good balance between usability and design.
5. Poor grammar and spelling mistakes
OK, so this is kind of obvious. No one likes to read content that is full of grammar and spelling mistakes. It doesn’t give a great impression of your business and might deter people from making a purchase.
Sense check, double check and get a second pair of eyes to proof read it. After a while your brain will read what it thinks it says, not what you’ve written and you’ll skip over those sneaky little typos. We’ve all done it. So even if you’ve read it over 20 times, get someone else to proof your content. Or make use of special services like Grammarly.
6. Low quality content, lots of hard to read
This sort of follows on from spelling and grammar. You’ve spent time creating the content and you want people to spend their time reading, and hopefully sharing it. So make it worth everyone’s while.
Writing copy that produces results requires planning, consideration for your audience, as well as some understanding of what search engines are looking for - and what will get you penalised.
In addition to your body content spend some time considering the best headlines and descriptions as part of the writing process.
Write for your audience, and pay attention to guidelines laid out by search engines.
7. Asking for private information
Too many fields in a form often leads to shopping cart bounce. Make sure you have an option to check out as a guest.
Tailoring users’ experience based on their preferences can be great for usability, but don’t overdo it as you don’t want to appear invasive. Users should be able to opt out.
Try to ask only those questions that can simplify your business and help you create a more personalized approach to your clients.
Only ask for information that you really need to help your clients proceed to the following step of the purchase.
8. Website not mobile-friendly and not responsive
According to a recent comscore report:
“Total mobile activity including mobile browser usage recently eclipsed 60 percent”
And we already know that getting email clicks from mobile users is difficult. Ideally you want to give your site the best chance of succeeding no matter what device is used.
In addition to this Google are in the process of clarifying their mobile friendly algorithm which they will be rolling out in a few weeks.
If you are not mobile-optimized, you risk losing your potential clients and leads. Most of your customers want a mobile friendly website to get what they need easily. All text on your website should be clearly readable on various devices.
Minimize the need to pinch, scroll and zoom. Try to make your website responsive and accessible on all platforms and devices. Check your site is mobile friendly using Google's tool.
9. Pop-ups and blockers
Websites that use unrelated pop-ups - this is an old one but still worth mentioning. The more pop-ups you show, the more likely people are to leave your website. Even if you have good content, frequent pop-ups will only annoy people.
This pop-up is a real nasty piece of work - it won’t go away even when the close button is clicked and it is totally unrelated to the content of the site.
Whereas the pop-up below actually relates to the content, has a clear call to action and outlines the benefit to the user. It also has a close button that does what it should.
Create a blog or news section on your website and publish useful and interesting information. That will get people to subscribe your site, like, or share in social networks.
If you do use pop-ups include a strong incentive and clear close button.
10. No Contact and About Pages
Many websites don’t clearly show contact details in the form of emails, phone numbers or a physical address. For that reason some users may not complete the buying process, either because they lose confidence in your site, or because they can’t contact you with any questions they may have. Even if you have a good website, you may lose potential customers. The same applies if you have no About page, so potential clients can’t see information about your company.
Having these pages can help people make a final decision about using or buying from your website or not.
Create an informative About page that Includes email, address, phone number and a simple, easy to use contact form.
Let’s review everything you should take into account to prevent people from leaving your landing pages:
1. Make sure your site is loading fast across all devices
2. Review ad placement and quantity
3. Avoid using auto-play videos and audios
4. Create an intuitive site and page structure
5. Spell check!
6. Focus your content on what your audience cares about, and do it well
7. Simplify purchase forms
8. Make your website mobile friendly and responsive
9. Use pop-ups wisely and sparingly
10. Give people information about your company and a clear path to contact you
There are a bunch of things that can boost your sales, but the most important thing is to avoid the common culprits that can hamper the overall process. Try to understand what your visitors really want to do on a website.
Your goal as a website owner is to attract traffic and retain your customers to increase sales. The target of your visitors is to find a website which works well and where they can find what they are looking for. If you can give them this they won’t have a reason to leave your site.
Let us know in the comments below what makes you bounce a site and never return!