There is an explosion of content on the Internet today.
So much so that people don’t ‘Read’ content anymore, rather they skim through it. In a time where there is an abundance of information, keeping your visitors on your website even for more than a few seconds is getting harder.
It can be a struggle to convince visitors that your site offers a lot of value.
It’s even more frustrating when you have a website with a great design and good content, only to find that visitors are still in a hurry to leave your website.
Why do visitors leave your website?
There’s a simple analogy to this. Inviting visitors to your website is like throwing a party. It’s not enough that you buy chips and a dozen bottles of sodas and hope for a great party. You really need to take the effort and make the party worth going to.
The average time spent on a website is 58 seconds! But this need not be the case with your website. By making use of some best practices you can increase this to a large extent. But first, you need to understand why visitors bounce from your website in the first place.
Here are all the reasons why visitors are in hurry to leave your website.
1) Your Website Is Slow
Now when I say slow, I’m talking about just a few seconds over here. That’s right, a few seconds is all it takes for your visitor to make the decision to leave or stay while your landing page is loading.
Consumers have access to high-speed Internet at their fingertips today. As we continue to develop faster internet connections in the coming years, visitors will get more and more impatient.
Regardless of how great your content is, visitors are not going to wait at your doorstep, especially when they can access your competitor’s site faster.
According to Kissmetrics, 47 percent of visitors expect a website to load in less than 2 seconds, and 40 percent of visitors will leave the website if the loading process takes more than 3 seconds.
A faster landing page has the added advantage of having better SEO rankings. Google wants to rank websites with a better user experience higher than others and loading time is an important factor here.
2) The Content Layout Isn’t Appealing
So what do people look for in a website? Remember, users don’t actually read your content – they skim through the content.
There should be a flow to the content that visitors read on your website. You need to keep the reader surfing smoothly along with it.
The visitor, after reading said content, should be informed to make a decision (a click, opt-in, etc.) during their stay on your website.
How does the human eye scan a page? This knowledge can help you design the layout of the page in a way that the visitor reads most of your content. This is what is referred to as the visual hierarchy of page content.
Having a visual hierarchy tells readers what to read and in which order. For example according to a study in visual hierarchy for content, it’s been proven that readers scan a text heavy page in an F shape pattern; and pages with less text in a Z shape pattern.
3) Your Website Design & Readability Matter!
When it comes to webpages, sadly, it’s going to be judged by its cover.
Although looking at the bigger picture, good content should have a higher priority when it comes to judging a website. The reality is that you could have the absolute best content and it won’t mean anything if you don’t have a good website design to compliment it.
But we have known this for quite some time now. With all the content that is available online today, users have been exposed to a lot of stunning website designs. And the user is always craving for designs that are even better.
So it’s not enough that you feel you have a good website design. You need to stay up to date and be aware of all the new designs and templates that are working for other websites today.
While some might argue that changing the website design is not practical and that design should be consistent, this is far from the truth. Just take a look at Facebook. Look at the design of the website today and compare it with what it looked like a few years ago, or even a few months ago.
A fresh design not only ensures that the visitor is not getting bored with your website; it also creates an impression in them that you are actually making the effort to make their lives easier.
Website changes could be as simple as changing the shades in your color scheme to as big as changing the entire template and layout.
What are the cool things to include in your website design today? Using large fonts and minimalistic designs seem to be all the rage right now. Try to incorporate some of these designs for your website. But keep in my mind that this format could change any day from now.
Remember, for website design; change is good.
4) Multimedia That Plays Automatically
Digital marketing is still a learning process. A few years ago we thought it was a good idea to have videos on landing pages that started to play automatically. Well, we were mistaken.
First of all, auto-playing videos are going to slow down your landing page.
If a visitor has a slow internet connection he’s going to be left with a buffering video player and a bad impression. They are almost always going to bounce from the site.
Secondly, you’re playing the video against the consent of your visitor. This brings up the fact that the user is in fact not in control, and nobody wants to feel that way. They are going to see this as an intrusion.
Simply put, it’s just plain annoying. Don’t do it.
5) You Don’t Have Call To Actions On Your Pages
You have a great web site design and some pretty awesome content to offer. Let’s say you have done all this. Now, what do you do to reduce your bounce rate?
There are many cases of websites like this but the problem is that the user does not know where to go from your landing page. If you want to retain visitors within your website you need to direct him to take action and go to the next page. They might find your content interesting and read it but they are going to leave the landing page as soon as they are done.
Try to link to similar content and provide a CTA to direct the visitor to similar or other relevant pages.
Contrarily there is such a thing as having too many CTAs. I’m sure you have seen some examples of these. Webpages that are stuffed with unnecessary CTAs like ‘Buy this now’ ‘Don’t miss this opportunity, click here now!!’ This is an instant turn off and you’d want to bounce away from this page as fast as possible.
6) Targeting The Wrong Audience
How do you know that visitors are bouncing from your website? Ideally, you would compare the no. of visitors to your bounce rate.
But have you wondered, are you even getting the right audience from your traffic? Is the traffic leading to conversions?
Too often has it happened that marketers are so focused on optimizing so as to get traffic that they don’t stop to wonder whether they are getting the right traffic? The problem with this is that a visitor might end up on your landing page simply because you rank on a particular keyword.
Your landing page might be completely irrelevant to the visitor and they are sure to bounce off.
So even if it means sacrificing a few visitors, try to optimize your webpages keeping in mind who the right target audiences are.
7) Inactive Blog or Outdated content
When people build an impression about a website, in the back of their head they want to see that the people behind this website are making an effort. They want to see some new activity
going on in the website.
A website with a stagnant blog immediately translates into- ”This site is dead, there is nothing new over here. Move along”
Make it a point to freshen up your website by updating your blog at least once a week.
Before stuffing up your blog with random content, you need to ask yourself what kind of information should you include on your website. It’s not enough that your content is rich in SEO keywords, it should be created keeping in mind the visitors who are more likely to lead to conversions.
So there you go. These are just some of the main reasons why your visitors leave your website.
In the end, it all boils down to this; if you want your visitors to stay on your website, give them a pretty good reason to and focus all your efforts on customer satisfaction.