The Top 10 Reasons People Leave Your Website

20th April, 2016 by

Does your site send visitors running for the hills? Here’s why:

These days, setting up a website is easier than ever. Where it was once obligatory to hire a developer or possess advanced coding skills yourself, now you can use template website-building platforms like our very own website builder to create a website within minutes. It’s truly amazing how fast and far website building has come in the past five years.

However, just because you have a website live online doesn’t mean it’s serving your needs as a company. Many people don’t realise the extent to which your website can work against your goals if it’s not designed correctly and with the user in mind. If you’re looking at your analytics and wondering just why you’re getting such a high bounce rate or so many users are leaving your site within a minute of arriving, you could be making any number of serious errors, from your design and layout to your copy and user interface.

It can be difficult to know just what it is about your website that’s not working for your users, and normally takes a bit of detective work and strategies like AB split testing to figure out what works best. However, if you’re just at the beginning stages optimising your website, here’s a list of the most common reasons why users leave your site.

Nice website, but what do you do? If your company mission is not clear immediately upon arrival on your homepage, then a website visitor is very unlikely to spend their time figuring it out for themselves. Don’t assume that every visitor to your homepage already knows what you do; make it clear without any clicks or scrolling.

Readability: Don’t make your content difficult to read with small fonts and background colors. Likewise, dynamic design is great, but not if it prevents someone from easily reading what you have to say. When in doubt, keep it simple.

It’s too ad heavy: A page laden with ads, pop-ups and banners looks spammy to a visitor. Don’t sell your website space in the hope of raising funds at the risk of alienating your customer.

Auto-play video or audio: If music or a video plays automatically when a visitor lands on your page, they will almost certainly leave. It’s disrespectful and interruptive—what if they’re in a quiet place and don’t want others to know what website they’re visiting?—as well as a very outdated way to get attention.

Outdated plugins: No one is going to go to the trouble of downloading a plugin like Flash to watch a video on your website. Use simple embedding platforms like YouTube or Vimeo which everyone is familiar with using.

Your navigation is unintuitive: If someone is looking for your services, contact page or prices, it shouldn’t take them longer than a few seconds to find what they’re looking for. Labyrinthine navigation on a website is not only frustrating, it greatly increases your bounce rate.

Registration requirements: People don’t necessarily want to give you their email or enter their age to view a piece of their content. If they don’t already like you as a brand or company they’re unlikely to hand this over, so don’t ask for it when they first visit your site. Exceptions to this of course are websites for alcohol brands who are legally required to request age confirmation.

Slow to load: It’s unacceptable at this stage for websites to have pages that are slow to load. Don’t heap dynamic features onto your pages if it means that visitors will get bored and leave while those elements are loading.

Colour selection: Colour palettes are a major way that visitors judge your website upon first visiting. Don’t pick a colour scheme that won’t resonate immediately with your intended audience, but also don’t pick one that’s too loud and distracting.

Broken links: If your contact page or blog leads to a broken link, a visitor is unlikely to go any further as they will assume your website is out of date or a scam. Make sure all your links are active and not serving as a dead end to visitors.

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