You have invested a sizable chunk of money into building an online presence, marketing and ensuring that your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is perfect. And while it has started to pay off and people are coming to your website, they’re surprisingly quick to hit that back button.
The Bounce Rate, which is the percentage of visitors of a website who navigate away after viewing only one page, is something thatevery digital marketer must be concerned with today because it measures how well you are engaging with your customers and nurturing leads. If the first impression of your website’s homepage causes someone to immediately leave, you’re failing to convert potential customers.
So what is the issue? You have an excellent and engaging website, but your customers won’t stick around. Here is a quick rundown of some of the most common reasons people leave a website or landing page and more importantly how you can prevent them from doing so.
Reaching the incorrect audience
Reaching the correct audience should be one of the most critical aspects of your marketing strategy. If you are bringing the wrong audience to your website, they definitely won’t stick around. If your ideal customer is a man between the ages of 18 and 25, but the traffic you are bringing in is mostly middle-aged women, it’s no surprise your conversion rate is going to be low.
Now, this is course has less to do with your site and more to do with your marketing and SEO efforts. For example, if you are using Google Ads but aren’t precise in your targeting, you’re wasting your money.
While narrowing down the audience you are trying to advertise and market to won’t necessarily deter visitors from bouncing entirely, but it will remove from the equation people who are not going to engage with your website or brand in the first place.
Slow loading times can significantly increase your bounce rate. If a user has to wait more than 3 seconds for any portion of your website to load they are likely to leave.
Slow loading times
Research shows us that the average website visitor will spend about 15 seconds on a website before they decide whether they want to stay or move on. So thinking in logical terms, if your site or landing page takes even a tiny fraction of that time to load, your risk of losing visitors dramatically increases.
Fortunately, there are a lot of tools and plugins out there that can help you determine your website loading times and can also help you determine the best ways to improve that loading time. Another surefire way to determine if your website is too slow is to look at a competitors site. If their website has a more responsive design than yours, then yours is too slow.
Some helpful tips to fix a slow loading website are to stay away from large files such as large images, keep media to a minimum and use flashy page effects sparingly. Pop-ups should be extremely limited (most customers won’t appreciate them anyway) and video content would be best left off autoplay. Focus on a site that delivers your message in a clear and concise manner without sacrificing the customer experience.
Poor design and functionality
Piggybacking on the previous point, even if your site loads at lightning speed, if the website design looks and feels tacky you will quickly lose the interest of your site visitors. If you have overcrowded pages, inadequate feature content, broken links or challenging navigation; it only serves to frustrate the visitor and drive them away.
On the other hand, if you have a website that is clear, concise, and has a visually appealing design along with well-developed content along with relevant links and easy navigation you will provide a visitor with a positive experience that can help to convince them to stay around.
Here are some critical guidelines for good web design:
- Simplicity: Get rid of unnecessary design elements and make your website easy to understand.
- Hierarchy: Set up your website so visitors naturally gravitate to the most important parts.
- Navigability: Your website’s navigation should be simple and obvious.
- Consistency: A uniform look and feel throughout the entire website important.
- Accessibility: Your website should be responsive or compatible with all devices.
- Conventionality: Use elements and designs that people are familiar with – no need to reinvent the wheel!
- Credibility: Be upfront and transparent about your intent and pricing.
If you are not sure where to start, there are a ton of free tools that can help you more effectively think through and map out your website experience so that your site is optimized for the best outcome – which would be more visitors converting into paying customers. WordPress for example has plenty of themes specifically designed around website niches or platforms like Amazon. This means more money for your business!
Don’t forget about mobile users – It is also important to note that nearly more than half of all web traffic is generated through mobile devices. Optimize so that the user experience is as smooth as it can be, regardless of what device is being used to access your web pages.
Complex or confusing copy
Being that you only have a few seconds to capture the attention of your website visitors and entice them to stay, it is absolutely imperative that you do so by having clear straightforward and easy to understand content. This is especially true if you have sales funnels, which naturally should only have one purpose whether that is downloading an e-book, signing up for a free trial, or buying a product. Don’t forget to bring that same philosophy to CTAs (calls to action) making it easy for visitors to immediately purchase from you. For example, an ecommerce website would want to make sure the checkout button is immediately visible for goods, rather than being hidden.
If your message is not straightforward and easy for your visitors to quickly grasp you will lose business.
To prevent this from happening, make sure that your content quickly and concisely conveys what you have to offer the visitor and includes a strong call to action. Your landing page should be relevant to whatever ads you are using to drive traffic to them. And of course, most importantly the process of getting your visitors to take action should be fast and easy.
People leave when they don’t know what to do
When a user visits your website or landing page if they are overwhelmed by information or options, they just don’t know what to do or where to start. Typically when a visitor experiences this, they are quick to leave.
You want to do your best to try and lead the visitor to where you want them to go. This means ensuring that your website or landing page has a nice flow to it that can gradually move a visitor from one part of your website to another. Make sure that your call to action is clear and concise and that anyone who visits your website or landing page will be able to recognize the call to action within mere seconds. You want to set yourself up for success, so this point is especially crucial if you are going to convert visitors into paying customers.
Visitors Don’t Get What They Expect
This particular point can also go back to your marketing and content strategy. If you have ads that promise a consumer one thing but when they land on your website the content doesn’t align they may leave immediately. This can hurt your business reputation as well because customers may feel like they were misled or tricked to get to your website in the first place.
It is vital to ensure that your website or landing pages reflect your ad campaigns or marketing content. While this may seem obvious, it is often the reason for a higher bounce rate. Thankfully this is a simple problem to fix. You just need to check your ads and ensure that your landing pages and website align.
If your website meets all of the criteria in the categories as mentioned above and you have done everything that you can think of to optimize your website for incoming traffic, perhaps your site is not the problem.
Most companies use Google analytics to track web stats because it is free and easy to use. However, if you have not set up your tracking tag correctly, you are clearly not getting the right data. Luckily, of all of the issues that we have mentioned this is one of the easiest to correct. Google even has a tag assistant feature to help you in this area.
Whether you have a sluggish site with poor content and confusing messages or you are merely going after the wrong target audience, bounces equate to missed opportunities which in turn means less money for your business. Addressing the critical areas mentioned above should help you keep site visitors on your pages longer and improve your chances of converting them into paying customers.