Your website is a big part of your business marketing strategy, but if your visitors don’t stay on your site very long, it may not be as effective as you need it to be. After all, your website is (in theory) designed to provide information and lead visitors toward certain outcomes. If they enter your site but leave without further interaction, you may have a problem.
When a website visitor comes to your site and leaves after accessing only one page, that’s known as a bounce. Your site’s bounce rate can vary depending on what kind of site you have, and there is no hard-and-fast rule about what a “good” or “bad” bounce rate is. In general, however, visitors who come to your site, access a single page, and leave again typically bounce because something on your site doesn’t meet their expectations. What are the reasons visitors will abandon your website?
Top 10 Reasons Visitors Bounce
Popups are common in today’s website experience, but you should be careful about their timing. Trying to capture a visitor’s email address with a popup the moment your site loads can be a turn-off. Give your visitors time to explore your site before asking them for contact information.
2. Direction to the Wrong Content
Visitors who use the search feature on your site are looking for something specific. If your search results return content unrelated to their query, they may abandon your site without a second thought. Thanks to the sophisticated algorithms on search engines, your visitors will expect a very similar experience to the search results they receive on Google. Don’t direct a search query to your home page or force a visitor to dig too deeply into your product offerings.
3. No Clear Call to Action
What path do you want your visitors to take while they are on your site? It’s likely you’ve considered this question, regardless of what kind of site you have. For e-commerce sites, the ultimate goal is a sale. Informational sites typically want visitors to contact them or provide contact information. No matter what type of site your business has, if you bury the call to action or limit it to a single location, you could lose visitors. Give your visitors multiple opportunities to complete the path by providing them with call-to-action points in various locations.
This can be a tricky issue. If you’re serving up content like a Top Ten list or breaking a process down into steps, it’s usually best to have all of that content on a single page. Making a visitor click through to another page to continue viewing your content is incredibly frustrating – doubly so if you’re also serving up ads in the midst of your content. In e-commerce, however, pagination can make sense. If a visitor’s search returns 300+ results, breaking those results down into manageable chunks can benefit the user experience. Allow for filters to sort the results to help visitors find what they want.
5. Not Mobile-Friendly
Smartphones have changed the way people interact with businesses. If your company website isn’t optimized for mobile, you’ll lose those visitors who use their smartphone as a pocket-sized computer. If they have a poor experience on your site using their phone, they won’t return.
6. Bad Design
Not everyone is a web designer, but just about everyone knows poor design when they see it. Bad design in a website is an immediate turnoff for most people. A site that isn’t visually appealing or is confusing in its layout will frustrate visitors, leading many to leave nearly as quickly as they arrived.
7. Poor Navigation and Usability
A site’s usability often goes hand-in-hand with its design. Visual clutter, lack of clear direction, redirects, pages under construction… if you make it difficult for a visitor to navigate your site, they will abandon it in favor of a competitor whose site is easier to explore.
8. Autoplay of Video and/or Audio Content
There are very few people who will embrace a visual or auditory onslaught the first time they open a web page. If you must include videos or audio, make playing them optional. Media that automatically plays can leave visitors searching for a stop or mute button, and ultimately can drive them away from your site. This is a popular tactic on many social media sites, and it’s annoying.
9. Slow Page Load
Human beings are notoriously impatient – spend a little time in congested traffic and it’s obvious. In today’s world, we all expect instant results, and nowhere is this truer than online. Website speed is critical. Websites that take more than three to four seconds to load give visitors an itchy backspace finger. If they perceive your site is taking too long to load, they’ll move on, quickly.
10. No Clear Benefit to Visitors
Even the most casual browser is ultimately looking for something online. Visitors who land on your site are seeking something. If your site doesn’t give them the sense that they will find what they’re searching for, they’ll bounce. Visitors want value when they land on your site, and without an immediate sense of this value, they will abandon your site.
A Website Should Be Like a Well-Drawn Map
The experience your visitors have on your website should align with its goals. A well-constructed site will make use of good design, purposeful content, and clear, visible calls-to-action. Much like a well-drawn map, your website should lead visitors to outcomes you have defined ahead of time. Depending on the kind of website you have, such goals could include contacting you for more information, requesting an appointment, or making a purchase. If your site has one of the issues described above, you may lose visitors almost as soon as they arrive.
Fortunately, you don’t have to live with a website with abandonment issues. Lieberman Technologies can help you to fine-tune your website to reduce or eliminate visitor bounces. We can even help you decide if you need a new website altogether. Your website is a significant investment in the success of your business. Let Lieberman Technologies help you to make the most of that investment!