Your website is the backbone of your brand. It’s the hub of your online marketing infrastructure, and (hopefully) the ultimate destination for your audience, whether they come from direct search, social, or somewhere else. Finding ways to direct people to your site is important, but what happens when they get there and have a terrible experience? No matter how many people visit your website, if they aren’t spending time on it, or have a negative experience, all of your hard work will be for nothing.
Whether you’re pushing for sales, email sign-ups, or lead generation, a bad experience will ensure that nothing happens, other than giving someone a negative view of your brand. If you’re seeing a high bounce rate on your site, it’s time to do a website audit, and find out why people are leaving.
The number one reason people leave a website? Slow loading. A good website should be loading in about 3-5 seconds. People are busy, and while 3 seconds might not seem like a lot of time, if someone is staring at a white page or a spinning icon, chances are they will assume your page is broken or outdated, and move on. The next time you click on a link, pay attention to how long the load time is, and how long you’re willing to wait.
One aspect that not only turns visitors off, but also affects your site’s loading time is a glut of ads. Too many ads will detract from the look of your site, and the more you have, the more lost your content becomes. Pop-up ads are particular offenders. Often, instead of closing the pop-up box, a person will simply leave the site (you’ve probably done this more than once). Just as annoying as pop-ups are auto-play ads or videos. Make sure your audience has a choice in what they listen to, and save them the embarrassment of an ad turning on while they are sneakily reading your website in a meeting.
Content Is King
Your audience is going to your site for content. It could be a blog, a sale, or a video, but your site is riddled with spelling and grammar errors, irrelevant copy, or is just overall boring, you’ll lose viewers. This goes hand-in-hand with your site’s design and usability. Even if your copy is fantastic, if it’s not well laid-out on the page (particularly for mobile viewers), no one will read it. Having too many ads can break up your content or make it hard to read. Huge blocks of text become overwhelming. There needs to be visual appeal to every page, even if it’s a simple blog.
Along with a messy look, poor usability can also hamper your audience and send them packing. Make sure your menus are clear and concise, your search function is intuitive and helpful, and your links are opening in a new tab. Those small details can have a tremendous impact on your bounce rate.
Keep It Mobile Friendly
Possibly the most important feature for you to pay attention to is how your page loads on mobile phones. 84% of smartphone users browse from their phones, even when they could be on a computer. If your page does not render properly in mobile across all phones, you will see a nosedive in website interaction. Make sure that it looks good, and that all the functionality – such as menus and search features – are simple to find and use. There are numerous tools that will help you view your page on specific phone types. Make sure you are checking all of your posts on both Android and iOS before publishing.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or aren’t sure where to start, there are a few simple steps you can take to improve your customers experience. Don’t let your website hamper your business!