Top 5 Reasons Your Target Audience Leaves Your Site during the First Few Clicks
Your products / services are perfect for audience, but still they leave without buying anything or without even looking around. Why?
The following is a list of easily remedied reasons why your perfect customer isn’t giving you a chance:
1) Unappealing Design: Despite being told since we were children not to judge a book by its cover, we still do. No matter how well-written, informative, and helpful your website is, if it’s unattractive or appears unprofessional, visitors will assume that there is nothing of value on the site and move on.
How to fix it: If you aren’t a designer, hire a professional to design your website. It may cost more up front, but it will result in visitors who stick around longer and are more likely to purchase your products or services.
2) Lack of street signs and breadcrumbs: Websites are built with an expectation of how visitors will get from point A to point B, but, similar to real life, people rarely follow those defined paths–consider how often people choose to walk across the grass rather than stay on the sidewalks. If visitors arrive at a subsection of your website and either don’t know where they are or don’t know how to find earlier sections, then they will get frustrated and leave.
How to fix it: Make sure your navigation is clear, regardless of what page visitors arrive on. Every page needs to have your company logo, a page header, and an easy-to-understand navigation bar in order for visitors to know where they are on the website. For more complicated websites, you might consider laying out breadcrumbs such as Home>Services>Lawn and Garden>Mowing–this will show visitors where they are now, and how to get to previous navigation levels. Keep in mind that users won’t always be able to just press the back button, so make sure users never find themselves stuck on a page.
3) It takes too long to reach the content: Internet users are impatient. How long are you willing to wait for a page to load before leaving and trying a different site? Thirty seconds if it’s something you really wanted to see? Five to seven if it’s a random site you were linked to or found through a search engine?
The same is true of content. If it takes the visitor too long to reach the content they’re looking for, whether it’s because of a lengthy splash page, too much required reading, or too many pages to click through to reach what they want, they’ll look for their information elsewhere.
How to fix it: Don’t waste your visitors’ time. Avoid fancy splash pages unless you have reason to believe that your target audience will love them. Tell visitors the most important information about who you are, what the purpose of your website is, and how you can help them right away. Make your navigation simple enough for them to click directly to the page they want, instead of needing to click through several pages to reach it. The longer it takes visitors to find what they’re looking for, the less likely they are to stick around.
4) Your Website doesn’t appear to meet their needs: Have you ever read every page of a site and still had no idea what products or services were being offered? When visitors arrive at your site and don’t immediately understand its purpose, or it doesn’t appear to be what they want, they’ll back out of the site and try another website.
How to fix it: Stop trying to impress your visitors and just talk to them. Make your content simple and straight forward don’t hide behind fancy phrases and words that you think make you sound good. Also, make sure that your website design matches your brand. If users are visiting because of a serious matter and your website design is fun and bouncy, they’ll decide this isn’t what they’re looking for without even reading your content.
5) No encouragement to look beyond the landing page: Many times, people are linked directly to a page within a site, usually a blog or video of interest. They read or watch the one item of interest and leave without looking at anything else.
How to fix it: First, make sure the purpose of your website is clear and consistent on every page. This can be as simple as having a short byline at the end of each blog that says who you are and what you offer (Example: Michelle Salatar is the CEO of Sumer, LLC, a company that specializes in web copy writing, SEO copywriting, and the promotion and marketing of websites after they launch). It should be unobtrusive so as not to annoy regulars, but explanatory enough that new visitors aren’t required to search for who are and what you do.
Second, link to similar articles, videos, or games (Example: If you like this, you’d also like . . .). This will keep users on your website longer, and if they find multiple things they enjoy, they’re more likely to subscribe to updates and return at a later date.
Third, include a short call to action, such as Subscribe, Share and Enjoy, or Follow me on Twitter. Don’t make these hard to find because most visitors are unwilling to search for them.
Tags: brand message, business message, professional website design, simple website navigation, web content writer Charleston, website design
November 6th, 2009 at 9:59 pm
Great ideas, Michelle! Especially the reminder to always have a call to action – so many websites don’t have one and it’s like being stuck in the middle of the ocean with no lifeline.