Are visitors coming to your website and then leaving in droves? That most likely wasn’t your goal when creating your site. Unfortunately, there are several simple, well-meaning things that you might have done that are making your visitors do just that leave. The following are the most common reasons why visitors leave a website in search of another and, as such, are best avoided.
- Blinking, flashing and other animation. Animation may seem like a great way to get your visitors’ attention. Unfortunately, it tends to annoy visitors more often than not. Further, many of these features are browser-specific and, thus, serve no purpose for those using browsers that don’t recognize your animation. Other types of animation can require plug-ins, which is always annoying if you don’t have it. Try to grab your visitors’ attention in other ways, such as with a pleasing design, emphasizing important information, and providing valuable content.
- Splash pages. A splash page is a page that visitors first see when typing in your URL. They usually have some jazzy logo but little or no content, and visitors often have to click to enter or continue on to the rest of your site. Unfortunately, splash pages are a turn-off for a lot of visitors, and they also tend to confuse search engine spiders. Your visitors want the information they’re looking for quickly and right away, they don’t want to drown in your splash page.
- Broken links. When visitors click on a link and get an error message instead of the information they’re looking for, they become frustrated and often leave. Be sure to check your links on a regular basis and fix any problems you find.
- Impossible navigation. A navigation system that’s difficult to understand or use is a surefire way to frustrate your visitors. Make sure that your site includes a user-friendly navigation system so that visitors can quickly find the information they want. Always include a clear link to your homepage on every page of your site, as well as a sitemap and even a search feature.
- Too many, too bright, or too clashing colors. Be sure to choose your colors wisely. Don’t choose colors that are too bright or too shocking. Also avoid using patterned or other busy backgrounds. When you do select your colors, remain consist with them throughout your site. It’s best to use a dark colored text on a light background for easy reading.
- Outdated information. If visitors find outdate information on your website, they’re not going to return again. Be sure that you update and review your content on a regular basis. It’s often a good idea to include the date that a page was last reviewed, provided that it was fairly recently. Visitors like to know that you’re on top of your website and providing them with new and valuable information. It gives them a reason to return again and again.
- Long load times. Long load times are one of the biggest complaints that Internet users have about web pages. The most common reason for this is the use of too many or too large graphics. While graphics can add a lot to your website, they can also add a lot to your page’s load time if not used properly. Be sure to use graphics carefully and optimize them to load quickly.