Your business's website aims to attract, engage and eventually convert new customers, but what if it is actually acting as customer-repellent and pushing them away?
Driving highly-targeted traffic to your website can be a time-consuming and costly process, so the last thing you want to do is cause your visitors to quickly leave your website, especially if it is due to something that could have been easily prevented, such as these things.
1. Slow load time. Have you ever landed on a website and just sat there waiting … and waiting … and waiting some more for the page to load? It is extremely frustrating, and you probably never returned to that website again because of that horrible experience.
According to KISSmetrics, 47 percent of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40 percent of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
How to fix it: Run a Google PageSpeed Insights report and GTmetrix performance report for your website. These free tools not only give you a score and grade, but they also provide suggestions to help you improve the speed and performance of your website.
2. Forced registration. Your website also acts as a lead-generation tool, but that doesn’t mean you should inconvenience or outright annoy your visitors by asking for their information before you deliver anything of value to them.
The use of pop-ups that display immediately after the page loads or locking blog content and requiring an email registration to view them will push your visitors away. If you provide useful content and information your visitors will want to sign up for your updates or mailing list to stay connected with your brand because they see value in what you offer.
How to fix it: Focus on providing value to your visitors and your leads will grow naturally. If you want to attempt to convert visitors before they leave your website, use a pop-up that features exit-intent technology, displaying the offer once the visitor has decided to leave your website. According to Bounce Exchange, 70 to 96 percent of the visitors abandoning your site will never return.
3. Animation and audio. Years ago many web developers felt that music and an abundance of animation was the key to success. Nobody wants to hear cheesy elevator music or be forced to watch animation before they are able to access the meat of your website.
Web design is constantly evolving, and music and animation aren’t what your visitors are expecting to encounter when they visit your website. These things can also slow down your load time.
How to fix it: Focus on a very simple website design that loads fast and allows the visitor to immediately identify the product or service you are selling. If it takes your visitors a long time to figure out your website, they will most likely leave quickly.
4. Poor navigation. Your visitors must be able to land on your site and immediately identify how to navigate it, and they need to be able to do this regardless of what kind of device they are using.
If they can’t locate your menu or there isn’t a clearly-defined purpose they will become frustrated and leave. You could have the best content, products or services, but if the visitor can’t easily locate them your website isn’t doing its job.
How to fix it: Have one single navigation menu that is easy to access and clearly defined. Make sure that your menu is responsive and provides desktop, mobile and tablet users alike with an effortless navigation experience.
To get complete insight as to what your visitors are doing once they land on your website, use a tool such as Crazy Egg, a heat map tool that helps you identify the most popular areas of your site. It also shows you how far down visitors are scrolling, what parts of the website are working and which are not, and also what your users are doing on your pages.
5. Lack of fresh content. You could have a fast-loading website featuring a pleasant design and easy navigation, but if it isn’t updated on a regular basis with fresh content you could still be pushing people away. If a potential customer revisits your website, you want them to be welcomed with fresh content.
How to fix it: A blog that is updated on a regular basis is a great way to ensure there is always something new for returning visitors to find value in. The frequency in which you update it will vary greatly depending on how often your visitors are returning and your ability and budget. Once you do establish a publishing schedule, it is important that you stick to it, whether it is daily blog posts or weekly updates.
Are there any particular website features or lack of that cause you to quickly leave? Let us know is the comments section below.
Copyright © 2013 Entrepreneur.com, Inc.