There is so much time and effort expended in getting your website ranking up in Google and other search engines, nurturing your social media followers, writing content…and when the visitor lands on your website they leave almost immediately or get chased away. What happened? Going to Google Analytics will only tell you so much – your figures may show you have a high bounce rate (people leaving your website without going past the home page), or your visitors landed on a product, article page and were only for a mere few seconds.
We need to understand the internet user and the aesthetics of displaying content on a website to keep the visitors on your site. Our average internet user has a trigger finger so first impressions are extremely important. Here are a few things to avoid that will keep the visitors on your website longer.
Last month Google implemented a new Search Algorithm that favours mobile friendly websites in searches. Besides this very important change there is the human aspect that is just as vital. If a person is visiting your website from their mobile device, cell phone or tablet, and your website has not been optimised to automatically adapt to all screen sizes, the visitor will find it hard to navigate and view your content, this will instantly make them leave your website to search other more mobile-friendly websites.
No more popups
These are mainly experienced when you see an interesting post on Facebook, Google plus, etc. that links to an article on a blog page. Upon landing on the article page, the website is so happy to see you it throws up a popup window effectively creating a barrier to the content you wanted to read. Now you have to deal with an unexpected and irritating situation which immediately lessens your interest in the website and the article. For example: Follow us on Facebook! or Buy my ebook about this topic! or Last minute special! or Become a Subscriber!
All of which are a bit premature as surely you want to see the website and read the content first before you get too involved?
So now your choice is usually to find the no-thanks-not-right-now button and press onwards or hit the I-really-can’t-deal-with-this-right-now button and exit smartly. Sometimes the popup does actually work but for the times that it lessens the user experience or chases visitors away, is it really worth it?
Slideshow styled articles
Once again we have clicked on an interesting article link from a search in Google or from a social media site. The website that posted the article has decided to present the information like a slideshow, so you read about 50 words and then have to click next. The whole page loads again, usually accompanied with lots of promotions in the sidebar, so you can read page 2 of the article. Reading an article like this is just tedious and upon recognising the familiar layout the visitor will decide if they really want to click through multiple pages or simply leave.
Slow loading pages
There are many reasons why a website is slow to load and any one of them will cause visitors to move on. Slideshows that have video, large images or too many slides can slow the page load time down.
Social media feeds or widgets that are importing information from other websites, all take time to bring the data across. Decide if it is really necessary to have all the bells and whistles on the page and scale it down to the absolute minimum.
Badly designed websites
Some websites are a challenge to read if the colours clash, the text is too small or too faint. Banners and information compete for your attention making the website appear confusing, too complicated or even vague as the visitor is lost as to the true purpose of your website.
Think of your website as the ambassador for your business that will connect with a visitor and draw them into interacting with your website and your business.