Is your site guilty of any of these? If so, your hard-won visitors might be turned off your website, never to return. What’s the point of all your social media and marketing efforts if your website’s bounce rate is skyrocketing?
1) Too Much Text Or A Cluttered Layout
People skim websites; they don’t read them. And they certainly don’t have time to read a short novel’s worth of text on your home page. Keep your content brief and get to the point, quickly. Use small paragraphs, and frequent section headings to keep your text easy to digest.
Your layout should include lots of white space, images and graphics that get your message across easily. Think of the difference between a posh clothing shop, with its wide aisles, well-spaced clothing racks, and sparse furnishings, and a disorganised flea market.
2) Slow Download Speeds
Major turn-off! Time to investigate the slowness. Is it your web hosting company’s server? Have you had an uptick in traffic? How large are your images and what format are they in?
If you’re on WordPress, how many plug-ins are you running? There are loads of articles online to help you determine any slowdowns your visitors might be experiencing – maybe it’s time to run down the list of possible causes and fix them.
3) Confusing Navigation
This is the older sibling to a cluttered layout and the two tend to go hand-in-hand. If your visitors can’t figure out where to go next on your site, they are simply going to leave. And if a visitor does stick around but has to resort to using your sitemap, you’ve already lost the plot.
If you are afraid your website has gotten out of control, it might be time to get back to basics. Figure out what pages you actually need, which ones can be deleted or consolidated, and come up with a structure that puts your visitor’s needs front and centre. You may even wish to involve your regular customers and readers by creating a poll, asking for feedback and suggestions.
4) Overuse Of Pop-Up Windows
Pop-up windows have their place, sometimes. At least I used to think so. Now they just fill me with annoyance and I completely ignore their contents. Unless it’s almost impossible to find the little ‘x’ that closes the window. In that case I give up in less than a nanosecond and leave your website. And I’m never coming back.
5) Auto-Playing Audio Or Video
Seriously – think about your reader for a moment. Many people like to surf the web at their desk during the day, and they want to do it discreetly. Not all workplaces are equally cool with their workers spending time online.
Your website blaring a tune the second they click on it is not how your visitor wants their manager to know they aren’t working on that TPS report right now.
6) Outdated Content
It’s summer time. If you still have your Valentine’s Day content displayed on your home page, what else aren’t you maintaining? Up-to-date content sends signals to your visitors that you and your business are organised and efficient. You’ve got your stuff together and you’re up to the job.
7) Pagination Posts
We get it. There’s a time and a place for both infinite scrolling and pagination. Pagination can be handy for really long articles – it will give your reader a sense of how long the article is.
But some websites have taken pagination to a ridiculous extreme. Lower quality sites tend to use excessive pagination as a way to keep their visitors clicking, even if each page has very little content on it. They are sometimes called pagination or slideshow posts and they waste your reader’s time.
Using pagination posts on your website will make you appear selfish. Most people have caught on to the fact that this practice increases page-view statistics in order to attract advertising. Think less about stats and more about giving your visitors a positive experience on your site.
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