People are leaving your website: Why and How to fix it

Do you know what page retention is? If not, don't worry! This blog post will answer that question and more. Page retention refers to the percentage of visitors who return to your website after viewing one page. The page retention rate can indicate how successful your content is at keeping people on your site for an extended period of time. The longer people stay, the more likely it is that they will make a purchase or take an action to engage with you (e.g., sign up for your mailing list). 

If you are interested in understanding why some people leave your website and fixing the problem, then this article is perfect for you. We'll discuss exactly what causes page abandonment and how it relates to web design speed as well as web design aesthetics.

1. Website Speed

There is nothing more frustrating that looking for something on the internet and you click a link and the website is either too slow to load or it's a nightmare navigating as you are waiting longer than you hoped for it to display what you need. One of the biggest deterrents for users visiting your site is speed! If you aren't sure what your website speed is check out Google Pagespeed or pingdom. They not only show what your website speed us but give you little tips on improving the performance. 

Sadly it's not always down to your design, it could be to do with too many plugins (wordpress) not optimised code or your websites server/hosting slowing you down.

2. Popups

In the 90's popups were all the rage, in your face adverts splashed your screen 'Buy this', 'Download now!' they were everything. Overtime websites stopped using this annoying distractions as they found it put off the users experience and ultimately started to lose them sales. Conversely over the past 5 years they are making a comeback, a comeback no-one wanted or needed! If you are employing the users on popups on your website, STOP!

If you are stopping your users from getting to the information they want, you can be sure they can find it elsewhere without the irritation.

3. Layout & Design

The age old idiom 'Never judge a book by it's cover' has merits in it's philosophy but ultimately we are all wired to make first impressions. Your website is often the first thing a user sees of you and your brand. We covered this extensively in our Website Design Matters: The Importance of Layout and I would strongly suggest you read about it more there. If you are visiting a website and the design is just plain ugly, text is behind images, font colours are hard to read on the website it's an immediate put off!

This doesn't just call into question yours or your designers skills but it also shows a lack of professionalism and you lose trust. Trust is key, particularly on the internet where you can't physically see the shop, the person behind the counter or the tangible stock. People have to trust that when they purchase something online that it's a genuine website and they actually get the product. 

4. Mobile Friendly

I cannot stress this enough, ensure your website is optimised for other devices! Gone are the days everyone has a PC in their homes or office and that's the only way they view the online world. We're in a highly digital world and so many devices are coming out with all different sizes, dimensions and options. 55% of all internet traffic is generated from a mobile device. That's over half of every search, click and view comes from a mobile device. If your site isn't working the best on mobile then you potentially alienate over half of your userbase from doing anything on your website.

Search engines also review mobile optimisations to rank them within a google search. Check out Mobilemoxie which shows you what your website looks like on different phones. It might be small or it might be large changes to get your site fully mobile ready - but it's totally worth it!

5. Your Content

They say that for creating a website which has high traction and reach on search engines that 'Content is King'. Having more content gives you greater reach with your audience. That isn't always the case though, your site shouldn't add content for content sake. You need to ensure that everything you add on your site adds relevance to your end goal and to your users. For instance, we do website development and social media management, so you wouldn't expect us to be writing blog posts or have pages dedicated to Weight Loss, Children's Toys or Best Pubs in Britain. It's brilliant if someone finds you on a search engine, but if they find you for the wrong reasons they why would they stay? The rest of your content isn't relevant to them. Ensure you review your website by checking what is relevant to your users and does it serve the right purpose.

If nobody comes to visit then all this effort doesn't really matter! So focus on driving targeted visitors and not just any visitor, through SEO or paid ads. It's better to have a smaller but highly engaged audience than large numbers who don't care about you at all - think quality over quantity."