Attracting potential clients to your site is only half the battle. The goal of every website owner is to retain visitors and to rouse them to cooperation, because traffic levels affect the conversion ratios directly: the more people are interested in your site, the higher is the probability to make a deal and earn money.
What is the top reason visitors leave websites? And what shall one do to turn occasional visitors into regulars, and then into clients? These issues are discussed below in this article.
Why do Visitors Leave your Website?
1. Loading Speed.
It is quite often that the acknowledgement with your web source ends before it has even started. According to statistics, people are unwilling to wait for a page to load for longer than 3 seconds. They ruthlessly abandon slow-thinking sources in favor of the faster working websites.
Since search engines aim at maintaining the leadership of the highest quality websites on the internet, they also pay very close attention to this technical matter. And pages that load slowly can expect to have the least favorable positions in search results.
How to Detect the Problem?
Google Page Speed service shows how fast your site loads up. And if the ratio is not too good, it will provide some suggestions on how to improve the situation.
How to Solve the Problem?
Following actions can positively affect the site’s loading speed:
- Switching to a higher profile and better quality hosting provider.
- Activating the browser cache.
- Optimization of the website code.
- Optimization of images, videos.
- Using compressed data.
2. Tangled Navigation.
When visiting any page of your website, one shall clearly understand how to move to another page, to a specific section; how to find contact information or to make a purchase. All transfers shall be as clear, simple and logical, as possible.
It’s best to think the navigation through while taking into account the specifics of your website, and your target audience in particular.
3. Content Quality, it’s “Freshness”, Relevance, Literacy and Legibility.
Web source content shall correspond with visitors’ expectations. After transferring to a particular page, users shall be able to find answers to their questions. It may be some information, help on taking a particular action, ordering a product or service, etc. However, besides being useful, content shall also be interesting.
Besides, it’s very important to regularly update information. Where we’re talking about some content that’s tied to a specific time frame (such as news, analytical articles), the publication date shall be specified.
Never ignore orthographic and punctuation literacy of your content. Mistakes make your website look very unfavorably, and your company image will immediately diminish in visitors’ eyes.
Information provided shall also be convenient to read. In particular, the font shall be neither too small nor too large, neither too fancy nor too pale, neither overloaded with formatting elements nor lacking thereof.
How to solve the problem?
- Try to conduct an honest and critical evaluation of the site content from its visitors’ standpoint. What might they like, and what can irritate them?
- Format your text using titles, headers and lists; add images; avoid long sentences and large paragraphs. However, pay attention that there are not too many fonts and formatting elements.
- Regularly update information. Add publication dates, which helps your visitors to see that you’re really paying attention to your website.
- Order page content from experienced professional copywriters or, at least, use proof-reading services.
- Google recommends to use 16px font as optimal for the apprehension by your site’s visitors.
- Line spacing shall be around 1.2 em.
4. Outdated Website Design.
Internet is subject to trends, which also affects issues of website design and structuring. If a page looks like it’s from late 90’s, its information (however interesting and useful it might be) will probably not catch attention of modern internet users.
High quality website can be quite expensive. However only such a site has actual potential to earn profit.
How to Solve the Problem?
- A/B testing can help to determine website design and structure that are best for active conversion. It might not be the quickest process, however it gives relevant results.
- Look up to market leaders when designing your web source.
- Look for successful design examples in related site galleries. For example, you can find many interesting ideas at http://zurb.com/patterntap.
- Pay attention that your website opens correctly in all popular browsers.
- Don’t forget about current and outdated page layout methods.
5. Excess Advertising.
While advertising is the “engine for product”, it’s excess only causes potential clients to reject products so actively imposed upon them.
Therefore, try to use various pop-up windows with valuable offers to your site’s visitors as rarely and as appropriately as possible.
It is also important to exclude the possibility of redirect to an advertising page, especially if it’s totally irrelevant to your source’s topic. Visitors view such cases very negatively.
6. Excess Registration Requirements.
Even the most interested visitor of your website won’t want to go through complicated, labor-intensive registration process that requires entering lots of additional information, especially if it’s personal data (such as home address or passport details).
If you really need all that data, make sure you provide a relevant explanation on the registration form. Otherwise, try to make it as simple as possible for your audience, so that it would only take a couple minutes to fill in. Simply analyze existing forms and choose the one that will be best for you and your visitors.
7. No Call for Action.
Researches show that only 20% of websites feature a clearly defined call for action that encourages visitors to make a conversion. Try to make sure that your web source is among them.
How to Solve the Problem?
By using relevant calls (that are obvious, while not too persistent!), encourage your site visitors to:
- Order a product/service.
- Fill-in a registration form.
- Download an application or a document.
- Sign up for a newsletter.
- Leave a comment on a discussion board.
- Call customer support.
- Use a software offered on the site, etc.
8. No Mobile Version of the Website.
According to statistics, 85% of smartphone users use their gadgets to access internet. Therefore it’s impossible to overestimate the importance of smartphone (and tablet) friendly versions of websites.
You can use this service to assess how adequately your website will be seen on phone screens.
How to Solve the Problem?
- Make sure that your content is optimized to smartphone display area, while making sure to take into account various display sizes.
- Don’t forget about active elements, such as buttons, banners, links, etc. Smartphone users must be comfortable using them without increasing the page zoom level, using scroll bars, etc.
You can read more about developing an efficient mobile marketing strategy in the following article.
9. Outdated Plug-ins.
Flash plug-in, used by some websites, is already out of date. Therefore, visitors of such websites will either waste their precious time downloading updates for such plug-in (which is unlikely), or simply switch to other websites that are more technically advanced.
Therefore you shall pay close attention to this issue. If you want to post many animation and video files on your website, it’s best to do so using HTML 5.
10. Automatic Audio- and Video Playback on the Website.
You have probably seen this at least once, when as you open a page, video starts showing or music starts playing without your authorization.
Generally, your visitors won’t appreciate such a surprise as a pleasant one, but will be rather annoyed. First of all, this requires increased traffic use, while not everyone has unlimited internet traffic. Secondly, media files often playback loudly and simply frighten your visitors. Finally, that same sound can give away that a person is visiting a particular website, which is not always convenient and appropriate as well.
Therefore, if you still want to use such features on your website, you shall provide your visitors with an option to turn them on and off at their own will.
11. Value of a Product/Service/Company/Website Remains Questionable.
Spend some time to develop some truly selling content that explains all advantages of your particular offerings, your company, or your website.
Make sure to only post valid information and not to give vain promises. The truth will come out after the first cooperation experience, and clients that were cheated on won’t just be willing to repeat a transaction, but will probably take their time to spoil your reputation.
You shall always have the “About Us” section that tells the story of your company, when it was established, what it does, what advantages it has. Photos of licenses, entitlement legal documents, diplomas, etc. also wouldn’t go amiss.
How to Solve the Problem?
- Provide detailed and clear characteristics of you products/services/company/website.
- Provide quality and informative images of your products in addition to the text.
- Give your visitors an option to receive an advice from company managers regarding the product choice.
- Allow comparison of your product and service offerings, so that it would be easier for your clients to make a choice.
- Allow comments. This will increase the level of trust from users and potential clients.
- It’s best to provide the price of products/services or at least allow an option to calculate their estimate price based on the features provided by the user.
- Make sure to tell your visitors about yourself in sufficient detail.
12. No Contact Details.
Make sure that users have several options to contact your company representatives and website administrator. Address and phone number won’t be enough (not everyone can visit your office or spend money on a phone call), but also your e-mail, ISQ number. Even better idea is to set-up an online chat with a manager.
Don’t ignore the ever so popular social networks. An account with an informative content will be an additional source of conversion. Besides, this is a convenient way to notify potential clients about news, sales, and events related to your organization. Users can also exchange opinions about you, share their experiences from cooperation, which can also positively affect your image.
13. Website is Down, Hacked or Unavailable.
If users notice one of the above mentioned problems with your website, they probably won’t want to visit it again. Only your most faithful regular users will make an exception, however they will also be gone after several failed attempts to access the site.
Therefore, you shall not stint a professional and responsible administrator that will “keep his eye on the ball” day and night.
Research by Hub Spot shows that about 55% of internet users spend no more than 15 seconds on a website.
This means that you shall leave no stone unturned to make sure that the content seen/read/heard on your website in such a short timespan encourages the visitor to not only return to the website later, but to also contribute to increasing its conversion.