As soon as you publish your website and open for business, the battle to elbow your way up the ranking begins. You’ll fight tooth and nail - publishing content, posting on social media, everything you can possibly think of - to get on the first page of a Google search. But believe it or not, the amount of time a visitor spends on your website has a lot to do with your Google Ranking.
Driving people to your website is a difficult enough task but keeping them there once they do show up is another matter altogether. It’s a deeper level of frustration when you spend time and money to get your target customers interested, only to have them click away within seconds. Nothing can be more disheartening and embarrassing than seeing that your average session time in Google Analytics drops with every visitor.
Now, it would make sense to ensure your website is intact before spending any money on advertisements or a good campaign. But let’s say you’ve done that, or at least you think you have.
So, what gives? What are some reasons why people leave your website?
When it comes to your customers, you want your website to be their new home, so to speak. Taking the time to investigate why they are leaving after a few seconds and then fixing those issues will benefit your business or brand.
So here are some reasons to have a look at:
Slow Loading Time Will Make People Leave Your Website
A slow-loading website is a surefire way to lose traffic. In today’s day and age, people are in a hurry - or are under the impression that they are in a hurry, at least. They simply will not wait for your website to load. They’ll simply click over to your competitor.
Back in the dial up days it was more acceptable. You could click on a website, have dinner, catch a flick, then come back and hopefully you’ll be able to see what you’re after. Sure, there were good days and bad days, but with dial up ALL websites were slow. It was expected.
Nowadays, warp speed is the new normal: people want immediate action. They want their information, and they want it now. If you don’t deliver, then you’ve probably lost a potential customer or follower.
Remember: on your own computer or phone, your website is most likely cached and will load quickly. To test it properly and see what the outside world sees, you’ll need to use a different device or clear your cache. If you think it’s loading too slowly, then it’s time to investigate.
Here are a few reasons why a website will load slow, all of which will affect your performance and SEO in numerous ways:
- Images are not optimised
- No caching techniques – lack of cache control headers, no use of CDNs
- Bloated HTML and CSS
- Too many ads
- Too many plugins
- Not using GZIP compression
You can also include server issues and a host of others. It’s important to have someone who knows the nuts and bolts of website development to have a look under the hood. It could be a simple fix, or it could be something major - either way, it’s costing you valuable traffic.
No Mobile Version Means No Website Visitors
Just as with the slow loading times, the days when people do most of their web browsing from a laptop or computer are over. Why should they when they have their mobiles on hand? Many internet users out there still have both a smartphone and laptop, if there is a need.
But according to this article “In 2020, the number of unique mobile internet users stood at 4.28 billion, indicating that over 90 percent of the global internet population use a mobile device to go online.”
90 percent is a huge chunk of 100 percent. So, if your website isn’t available on mobile, then that could be a huge reason why you’re not getting traffic.
Now the topic is why do people leave your website. You’ll need to check if your website is mobile-friendly, or responsive. This means that your website is going to look good on all devices. Remember, people browse the internet to relax and find information easily. They are not interested in doing a lot of heavy lifting or having to squint to read tiny text or hold their phone at arm’s length for giant, cut up words.
Again, this is something you can test. Open your smartphone and take yourself on your potential visitor’s journey. Ask yourself what would annoy you or make you click away. If you find that your website isn’t responding well on mobile, then you’d best investigate getting that fixed right away.
Bad Design Can Make People Leave Your Website
This might be a bit of a bee sting - especially if you designed your website yourself - but the truth is that if the design and layout of your website isn’t attractive, you won’t retain visitors.
Your website is like your storefront and your visitors are window shopping. If the design is clunky, messy, and unattractive then they will leave. If they must step over garbage (like intrusive pop ups) and can’t see what you have to offer clearly through the window, then they’ll walk on by.
Choosing a good colour scheme is essential. Pleasing pastels or earthy tones are easy on the eyes and don’t take away from the message you’re attempting to deliver. A good standard font that fits your brand and industry is something that needs to have some thought put into as well. A nice, easy to read serif is a good choice.
Bad design shows an immense lack of personality on your part. Imagine if you met someone and wanted to have a conversation with them, but found that they had no personality, that they were dull, boring, and bland. You would most likely leave their presence as soon as possible. The web design needs to reflect your brand. What emotion are you trying to invoke?
Have a look at some other websites that you like, then speak to a good web designer about your ideas. Then listen to what they have to say. Just remember to leave the ego at the door and have an open mind. A better design means people will stick around and see what you have to offer.
Very Little or No Content
Now, content is more than just a description of what you do, and what services or products you’re offering - that’s only a part of it. Content has many other forms like blog posts, articles, pictures, and even videos (but be wary of loading times with videos!) Having great content for your visitors to browse ensures they’ll stick around and even come back for more. Just about every website in every industry that you visit these days will have a blog page - whether it's kept up to date or not is another thing.
However, when it comes to content, a lot of brands make the mistake of only producing content that is about them and them alone. This is a huge mistake. There are so many topics that can be blogged about in every industry. Let’s say you have a website, and you sell golf balls. You obviously want golfers on your website, and you want golfers to buy your golf balls. So, would you only have blogs or articles about golf balls? Hopefully not. You can have blogs about acquiring the perfect swing, or The 10 Best Golf Courses In South America, or even How To Ditch The Office And Play 9 Holes.
The content on your website is what your visitors come there for. They want to be entertained. Without attractive images, a solid blog for them to sink their teeth into, or some interesting articles, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity.
Navigation Is Difficult
How is the journey through your website? Is everything clear on the different sections? Is the menu easy to find or do visitors have to look for it?
These are important aspects to look at. The content on your homepage should be just the beginning. A taste of more to come; it should also guide the visitor on the next steps, where to go from there. You’ll see that I use the word “journey” a lot in this blog post and that’s simply because that’s what it is for your website visitor, and your content is the guide.
Have you ever clicked onto a website, read the homepage and was still left unsure at what they did? Perhaps you had an idea, but it wasn’t clear? Other people have too, and that is something that will make them exit quickly.
You’ll want to make sure your visitors have a clear understanding of what you do and how your product or service can solve a problem for them. Let’s take our golf ball website for instance. If you clicked over to the website and on the home page it said something like “We help golfers worldwide come in below par every time!”, with no mention of their golf balls, would you know what they were selling? Probably not. Sure, it’s a great hook and with the correct subtext it might work, but why risk it just to sound fancy?
Wouldn’t something like “Our streamlined golf balls are the choice of champions!” be a better option? That’s just an example - perhaps not a very good one - but you hopefully get the point. It’s clear from the get-go that this company sells golf balls, and they believe their product sets them apart from the rest.
Be clear in your message and let your visitors know what you do right away. It will keep them on your page wanting to find out more.
Those are just a few of the reasons people leave your website. That traffic is important not only to your business or brand, but for your Google Ranking as well. If you want to take a deeper dive into your website challenges, contact us now at E2E Studios and let’s have a chat about it.