Have you noticed an increase of the bounce rate in your website analytics? This is one of the key signs that people have not found your website relevant and left it within the first 10 seconds after landing on it. Why does it happen? Your SEO is on point, your website ranks for the right keywords, your social media marketing campaigns point users to the relevant landing page… So, why do people leave your website?
This is a growing concern among many companies and entrepreneurs when they take a look at the traffic data on their website. Bounce rates are on the increase because people’s way of browsing the internet and looking for information has changed. Some years ago, they would sit down in front of their computers and patiently seek the information they needed. The stationary character of browsing the internet meant that you set aside time for it and you were willing to wait until you found out what you wanted to know.
At the present, people whip out their smartphone while waiting for the bus or the taxi, perform a quick Google search, tap on the first relevant website links and if they do not instantly find what they want, then they try another website.
And apart for the browsing habits, another thing has also changed: there are far more websites covering the same topics and selling the same products than there were some years ago. With a tenfold larger offering, people will not waste time on a website that does not answer their questions, because they have plenty other options.
Well then, what makes people leave a website in 10 seconds?
1. Slow Loading Time
At the very beginning (on the 23rd of August we celebrated 25 years since the first website came online) people jokingly called the WWW World Wide Wait. It was understandable, and there was no other choice but to wait while a website was loading.
Right now, if it takes more than one or two seconds and people note the delay in the page loading, they will simply tap or click on the Back button and find another website. Testing your website for loading speed periodically is a must for any company. Slow loading could be caused by anything from poorly written code to obsolete third party plugins and widgets. Fix them as soon as possible.
2. No Obvious Value Proposition
The first question people ask themselves once they landed on a website is: “What can this website do for me?” It does not matter if it is a home improvement forum, a new mommies’ blog or an online cosmetics store, the website must show from its home page exactly what it is about and what information it contains.
3. Poor Navigation
Do you remember being small and getting lost at the mall? This is exactly how a new visitor on your web page feels if they cannot find the information they are looking for, or get lost somewhere on a sub-page with no clear way to go to the contact page or home page.
Website menus should be simple, straightforward, easy to navigate and without complex ramifications. If you do need a complex sub-menu for a large website, then it is mandatory to include breadcrumbs at the top of the page helping people navigate away from a certain page at any moment.
This is the bane of modern technology gone wrong. The fact that you can easily record a short movie or speech with your smartphone, does not mean that you should replace the classic home page with a video. And set it on autoplay with sound. Even on Facebook™, although all videos are set on autoplay, the sound is muted and it is the viewer’s option to turn it on. On a website, however, setting your videos on autoplay is a recipe for disaster. People browse the internet in many public or private places and the sudden blaring sound of voice or music would be at least embarrassing.
5. Too Many Ads
Yes, you are trying to monetise your website through affiliate links and banners. However, if the ads (static, hovering and scrolling, video ads) represent a clear impediment from reading the content, the visitor will leave your page. Or, they come back with ad-block software installed on their browser and you do get the traffic, but no monetisation at all.
As you can see, there are a lot of things which turn people away from your website. Make sure you continue to review and update your code, design and content, and always try to offer your visitors the best user experience possible.