10 Ways Your Website is Driving Customers Away
So, your website has been live for a while now and on the surface all seems well. All the graphics are in place, everything is linked up correctly, but for some reason your bounce rate is through the roof. People seem to be arriving at your website and leaving in droves. What possible reason could there be for this?
There are likely a few factors you’ve missed that are putting people off. Fortunately, most of these are easy to rectify. In this article, we take a look at some of the most common reasons why people might be leaving your website too quickly.
Although this feature does seem to be fading from popularity, it still rears its ugly head on the occasional website. Most home users listen to their own music or watch television while browsing the internet, so your website having its own soundtrack is likely to be a source of irritation rather than joy. Office users will either have their speakers on silent making your automatic music nothing more than an unnecessary addition to page load times, and if they don’t the music will be nothing more than a source of embarrassment when it comes blaring out in front of colleagues. Hardly the way you want a potential customer to remember you.
Spend any time browsing for content online and you’ll have encountered these nasty little critters. They’re those square or rectangular adverts which pop up in the dead centre of your screen when you’ve just loaded up an interesting article, and refuse to go away until you’ve either entered your email address or carefully unearthed the miniscule close button blending seamlessly with the background. Don’t use these. The vast majority of people will simply bounce off your website as a point of principle when they see a scrolling advert appear.
Overtly Complicated Navigation
All content on a website needs to be as easy to access as possible. People want to be able to click through to their desired content as quickly as possible, so 10-tier menu labyrinths aren’t going to go down very well. When a visitor visits your homepage for the first time, they want to see the link to their area of interest within seconds of arriving. Remember, it is quicker for a visitor to simply bounce off to another, better-designed website than digging through a badly designed one just because they happened to get there first. 90% of users will leave your site if they can’t find what they are looking for within 2-3 clicks.
Your Website is Not Responsive
This is a subject we tend to discuss a lot on this blog. The internet is evolving to the point that if your website isn’t responsive, you may as well not have a website at all. In just a few weeks, a new update to Google’s algorithm is set to give massive rewards to responsive sites and penalise those which aren’t. However, this article is all about why your website is driving people away. Simply put, if your website isn’t responsive, then everything is going to appear tiny on a mobile phone, and people are going to have to go to the go to the trouble of resizing the website to make everything readable and be able to click the tiny buttons. Again, it will be much easier for prospective customers to bounce off to a website designed with mobiles in mind. Additionally, Google have just started indicating which websites are mobile-friendly on their search results, so the growing mobile market may not even reach your website if you don’t go responsive.
What kind of first impression does your website give to visitors? If the first sight they are presented with is a news feed with the most recent article dated “10/02/2014”, then they are probably going to assume that your company is no longer active. Ensure any blog, news or social media feeds are regularly updated and watch your bounce rate drop. Additionally, regularly updated content means better SEO rankings, so you’re on to more than one winner.
Badly Written Content
This is always going to be a fine balance. Yes, you need to make your content SEO-optimal, but you also need to ensure it engages your customers and makes sense. Fortunately, all the old SEO tricks such as keyword packing now get penalised, so as long as you produce well-written, relevant content, you’ll be fine in SEO terms and create something that first time visitors to your website will engage with. Be extra wary for spelling and grammatical errors: After all, if you can’t be trusted to do something as simple as a spelling check, why should a customer trust you with anything else?
Slow Loading Speeds
Nothing’s going to have people hitting the “Back” button away from your website faster than a home page that takes an eternity to load. You need to ensure that all of your images are suitably compressed to allow for a quick loading time, and that all the website scripts are optimised. As well as encouraging people to stay on your website, quick page loading times bring additional rewards in terms of SEO.
No Social Media Links
Social media has emerged as one of the most important marketing platforms in recent years. Unsurprisingly, the lack thereof can be a major dissuasion for prospective customers. Social media links show that you are a progressive company, open to embracing new media platforms. The increasingly interactive elements of marketing are also capitalised upon when you include the options to share or like posts – people will do this, and there are only benefits to be gained by allowing people to promote your business for you. Finally, social media feeds are a quick way to demonstrate to your visitors that your business is still active – as long as you commit to updating them.
Ugly Landing Pages
It may seem like the most basic of all the basics, but an ugly website is not one that people will want to stay on for any length of time. This comes down to ensuring you have a good looking website, and not just a functional one. After all, having a shabby looking website with poor colour palette and shoddy layout simply says that you don’t care about the image your own business presents. If this is the case, why should your prospective customers care? Ensure that your website is at least clean in its layout, and give people a good reason to stick around.
Ensure You are Giving People what they Came For
Whilst it is getting harder and harder to use SEO for something you aren’t offering, the same cannot be said about PPC. Therefore, it is important that any adverts you have out are actually relevant to the content on their respective landing pages. Whilst no-one would waste their PPC budget sending people searching for “Cheap Cleaning Supplies” to “Bouncy Castle Hire” landing pages (or anything similarly irrelevant), a trap you could be falling into is creating adverts targeting search phrases that are familiar to your own industry sector, yet in practice the people using them will be looking for something vastly different. A good example would be if your company is selling cleaning supplies on an advert generated by the search term “cleaning suppliers”, whereas 98% of people using this search term are in fact looking for a cleaning service. Keep an eye on your PPC, and ensure that people get what they’re expecting when they land on your website.
Does the above sound strangely familiar? Is your website driving people away in one or more distinct ways? Why not get in touch and discuss our range of Web Design services? Call 01606 884 123 and ask to speak to Jon Ranwell, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.