Let's recap everything: You have invested in the right design team (😏), wrote yourself a brilliant piece of copy and even photoshopped those images. So why is it that your bounce rate is through the roof?
Being a web design studio, this is an issue we often face for our clients and ourselves. Unfortunately, the answer isn't as simple as "build it well and they shall stay". Fortunately, it is not that complicated either!
Firstly, we need to understand the problem: why are people losing interest in your site?
Recent research by media startups like Medium and Upworthy proved that modern website design should not just focus on increasing the number of pageviews, but rather increasing the length of stay for each view. Basically, hold your attention rather than simply capturing it.
In our fast-paced era of constant stimulation, scrolling is no different. Tab-hopping visitors will only spend 15 seconds on your website before moving on to the next one. We even asked you, our dear friends, to tell us what drives you away! Here are the results:
These real-life examples tell the story of fast-paced visitors who simply do not have the time for pages to reveal their content. Which brings us to reason number one.
3 Reasons why visitors are leaving your site
1) Your website is slow to load
Research conducted especially for loading speed and its link to people losing interest proved exactly what our short poll demonstrated:
47% of visitors expect a page to load in 2 seconds, or less.
73% of mobile users encountered a web page that was too slow to load.
A 1 second delay in page loading response translates to a 7% fall in visitor conversions.
To render this in clearer terms, if your business is making €100,000 in sales through its eShop per day, a 1 second delay in page responsiveness could cost you €2,5 million in lost revenue every year. Scary, isn't it?
So to avoid a visitor turning away before they even reach your amazing content or hot products, optimise your site for loading speed and responsiveness.
There are hundreds of factors affecting page speed, but some of the most important ones include:
How many media files such as, videos and images are on the page.
What themes and plugins are installed on your website.
Your website's server-side scripts and coding discipline.
To avoid losing you in the tech jargon, we will circle back with a more instructive blog soon about how to best speed-up your website!
2) Bad Navigation
Visitors often get lost, aimlessly wondering around your site for hours (actually no more than 15 seconds) until they finally hit that exit button. More often than not, this is because of bad navigation.
Your website structure can mean all the difference between a visitor finding your product fast enough to add it to their cart, or feeling like they landed on a treasure island where they sense goodies are around, but simply do not have the map.
If your website is cluttered or even a mess, a visitor will quickly lose trust and abandon ship. Remember, you only have 15 seconds to direct a user to your treasure and this is how you can go about it:
Position your Menu or Navigation Bar at the top of the site, where users expect to find it.
A common web design practice, the site header containing all the links for the journey forward is almost always placed at the top-centre of a website. While we are all about quirky and funky designs, make sure you don't lose sight of what's important on the way - conversion.
Consistent design across your website by using the same fonts and colours will help your site visitors become familiar when browsing and trust your brand.
If navigation was to frequently change in either style or position on each page, users will be left confused about where they are, what they are supposed to be doing and end much more inclined to switch tabs and search for their purchase somewhere more transparent.
Clear Next Steps
When site visitors land on your site, they are often not sure about next steps. Instead of allowing them to leave out of confusion, why not navigate them along your web content to complete their user experience.
This do not mean bombarding them with buttons, links and random CTAs! Imagine how frustrating it is to arrive on a web page and not knowing where to first click.
Take some time and visualise your visitors' journey, from entry to checkout. Create clear sections advertising your content and place consistent call-to-action elements to facilitate clicks there!
Remember to always give your visitors a clear reminder of why they are visiting your page. Are they supposed to contact you, see your portfolio or visit your socials? Either way, clearly map out these next steps!
3) Outdated Design
With 29% voting for Outdated Design, it is clear that modern web development has still a long way to go.
As a web design studio, I know that it is easy to get ahead of oneself and make websites which are either overly-complicated or too simplified. The result is always the same: visitors turn away.
The solution is to create something bold and yet, minimalistic. Solving navigation issues and setting out clear next steps will only get you that far; your content will finish the job.
Engaging content offers visitors a new perspective about what you are offering, inspiration or even a good laugh. All of which can increase your chances in keeping them focused on your web page and reduce that bounce rate.
Take a look at our website for example. Biased, probably, but the data speaks for itself. After improving upon our own loading speed, navigation process and content, our site enjoyed a 32% increase for average session time and increasing conversion rates.
The simple reality is that visitors will keep leaving your website for any number of reasons and factors.
If however you keep noting a big drop-off between online traffic, conversion rates or time spent by visitors on your website pages, then it might be a good time to take a closer look under the hood.
First, confirm your site’s value. Ask yourself whether that's what visitors want to see - make sure what you offer is compelling and paired with clearly-structured navigation.
Then, optimise your page for speed across all devices, ensuring that all visitors get a fast and responsive experience out of your website.
All that's left is to then focus on the details, like website element design. Fix those button curves, bolden your colours and add enticing imagery.
In a nutshell? Make it fast, functional and fantastic.