The main reason for having a website is to grow your business, whether that’s in the form of more inquiries, building brand awareness or more product sales from your online shop.
So if most of the people who land on your homepage are leaving too quickly, your website really isn’t doing its job and you need to find out why.
Here are the top 5 reasons for high bounce rates:
1. Your website loads too slowly
Internet users are impatient; they don’t want to wait for a site that takes ages to open.
If your website takes longer than 10 seconds to load then it’s considered very slow. Ideally your site should take less than 5 seconds to open.
Two great ways to improve site speed:
1. Reduce image sizes on your site so that they are rarely larger than 200kb and use less images and video when possible, especially in the mobile version of your site.
2. Invest in better, faster web hosting.
Two free tools to measure site speed:
Pingdom – https://tools.pingdom.com
GTMetrix – https://gtmetrix.com
Use these tools as a guide and remember that website speed also depends on which location the site is being viewed from vs where the web server is located. So if your website is hosted by a South African web host with local servers, your site will load faster for users in South Africa.
2. Hard to navigate and use
Creating a user-friendly design is not about being wildly creative with navigation, layout and scrolling format.
Unexpected navigation locations and odd scrolling effects – ie the page doesn’t scroll down but sideways – actually detract from user experience.
There are many studies that show that most website visitors expect, and are happier when, they find standard features such as navigation menus and logos in conventional places – ie at the top of the website.
An important part of user experience design is creating clean, functional and orderly designs that make use of a lot of white space, logical hierarchy regarding heading and paragraph text sizes and strategic + simple call-to-actions.
If your website layout is cluttered and disorganised – jamming in as many images, text, call-to-actions and multimedia as possible – this will be a major reason your site is scaring away visitors.
Read this article by Jakob Nielsen if you want to delve deeper into the world of website usability – https://www.nngroup.com/articles/113-design-guidelines-homepage-usability/.
3. Intrusive pop ups
If a massive pop up advert takes over my screen as soon as I arrive on a website, I almost always immediately leave the site. The same goes for a lot of other people.
Intrusive pop up ads are rude and annoying. Why should I give these sites my precious personal information when I haven’t yet had a chance to take a look around?
So if you have a big rude pop-up scaring users, then this is probably why they’re leaving your site fast.
Pop-up ads do have a place and can be effective lead-generating tools, but not as a screen-dominating intrusion as soon as a visitor arrives.
4. Your website is not mobile friendly
In 2018, nearly 53% of all website traffic worldwide comes via mobile phones, up from 50% in 2017. As of February 2017, mobile accounts for 65% of all web traffic in Asia and for nearly 60% of all web traffic in Africa.
So if your website is not mobile friendly, you’re losing potential traffic.
Another factor to consider: Google now priorities mobile-friendly websites in its search engine ranking algorithm. So non-mobile sites face significant SEO disadvantages when compared to their mobile-friendly competitors.
5. It’s not clear what your business does
It’s important to let your potential customers know exactly what you do within 3-5 seconds of landing on your homepage.
If you don’t make it easy for them, then they’ll probably leave soon after landing on your site because they don’t have the time, energy or inclination to find out more.
How to measure your website’s bounce rate
Google Analytics is a free tool you can use to see and track your website’s bounce rate. Learn how to set up Google Analytics here – https://moz.com/blog/absolute-beginners-guide-to-google-analytics.