You know that customers are visiting your site -- but why aren't they staying? There are many reasons, some less obvious than others, why your website itself might be driving customers away. If you find that your stats are showing a high bounce rate (or "high turnover" rate), take a look at these reasons why your site might be causing customers to run instead of encouraging them to make a commitment or purchase.
1. Confusing and difficult navigation.
When customers come to your business's website, do they know right away where to click and how to navigate your site? In order to ensure your site is user-friendly, run usability tests and take any suggestions into account. Remember that when customers don't know where to click and can't easily find what they need, they'll simply go elsewhere. Focus on making your site layout clear-cut, simple, and streamlined; you're looking to provide a good user experience.
2. Too many distractions.
A website that's rife with content-obscuring ads will just annoy customers. Additionally, elements like flashing graphics or automatically-playing music will turn off viewers. Making use of advertisements and interactive content is fine, but you need balance. A cluttered website with advertisements and distracting videos and music is merely confusing and overwhelming. Do yourself and your customers a favor and make your own content the main focus of your site.
3. Lots of links to other websites.
Linking to other sites from your front page just gives people a reason to click away from your site. Since you want customers to stick around and browse your site, limit the number of outside links your site features, and shy away from using them on front and landing pages. Set any links you do have so they'll open in new tabs; that way, potential customers can easily return to your site once they're finished with what you've linked.
4. Not mobile friendly.
Over 17% of all web traffic currently comes from mobile devices, and the number of smartphone users is only rising (Tweet This). Now more than ever, people are using mobile devices to browse the web and make purchases. A 2012 Google study found that 75% of smartphone users prefer using a mobile-friendly site (Tweet This). This data all boils down to one essential point: if your site isn't easily navigable by mobile devices, you're losing customers.
5. Requiring login information.
Many people either won't want to take the trouble to enter in their email when prompted immediately, or they'll be wary of providing information to a company they know little or nothing about. Requiring log-in later on is fine, but up-front demands for information without providing the customer with anything won't win your company any favors.
Websites play a vital role in most small businesses. If your site is difficult to navigate, full of distractions, provides too many links to other sites, isn't mobile friendly, or forces viewers to enter personal information immediately, you'll be losing valuable customers and potential income. Take the time to evaluate your site for improvements, running usability tests if possible. With the right focus, you should experience less bounce-rates and more growth.
(Image via freedigitalphotos.net)