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Top 10 Reasons People Leave a Website

Tuesday - May 14th, 2013

Written by: Rob Ruscher

Top 10 Reasons People Leave a Website

Once a new visitor stumbles onto your website, you have 10-20 seconds before they decide whether they’ll stay or leave. This is why it’s so important to make sure that both your mobile and desktop sites are optimized for consumer retention and usability. Since websites are driving more and more business, it’s crucial that your brand represents itself online just as it would in the physical world.

Avoid These Web Design Mistakes

Each site has the potential to be unique and offer something new to the market. However, there are certain basic truths to web design. Certain elements should just flat out be avoided to increase the time people spend on your site. While most marketers focus on driving traffic to site, it’s just as important to invest in keeping users on your site. What’s the point of driving traffic if it doesn’t stay? To keep people on your site, avoid:

  1. Complex navigation. Can people find the Home Page, About Us, Contact Us, and other crucial elements of your site easily? If not, be sure to highlight the key static pages that define your brand for first time consumers. Be sure that your site design is focused on quickly showcasing your brand for first-time visitors. Too much content makes your site cluttered. Focus on a clean site with simple navigation.
  2. Overwhelming ads. It’s okay to run advertising on your site. Most people do! But if ads seem to override the content or if popups appear with every click of the mouse, your visitors will scramble away from the site as quickly as they came.
  3. Obtrusive content. While video and audio can be used to engage people, using a pop-up welcome video intrudes on the browsing experience. Avoid as many pop-ups as you can.
  4. Registration without benefit. Registration is a tricky beast. You want people to register on your site so that you can gain their information (such as email) for long-term marketing purposes. However, people don’t like registering unless they see a clear benefit. Only use registration if you intend to give something away for free such as a PDF or weekly email updates. Otherwise, registration just to view basic content will drive people back to Google to find convenient content.
  5. Lack of frequency. It’s crucial to post as often as possible without getting annoying. A site that isn’t updated frequently looks “dead” to the consumer. By updating your blog or news content on a regular basis, users know that the site is still functional and that your brand is still current. Frequency doesn’t just refer to how often you post. It can refer to site updates as well. For instance, does your site look like it was created in 2013 instead of 2002?
  6. Lack of personality. With so many generic templates available, if your site looks unoriginal, people are more likely to leave. They’ll also leave if your content lacks personality and is useless.
  7. Focusing on the desktop version. When optimizing a desktop version, it’s easy to forget to optimize your site for mobile users as well. Many users will navigate away from a site if it isn’t specifically optimized for mobile users. Be sure you take advantage of all that traffic by optimizing your site now!
  8. Making false promises. If you promised something such as an exclusive tip, offer, or article on the previous page, then the link better lead to that promise. Breaking a promise or making false promises on your site will make your brand untrustworthy and consumers won’t return.
  9. Lack of inspiration. Keep your site visually engaging with pictures, different fonts, and thematic colors. A site that lacks visual personality is just as “dead” as a site without useful content.
  10. Lack of focus. What’s the purpose of your site? A first-time visitor should be able to determine this within seconds. If users have no idea why they’re on your site, they’ll be more likely to leave without a second thought.

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