Mistakes that will cause Visitors to Leave Your Site

Nov 19th, 2013

Once you’ve gotten visitors to your website or blog, you want them to stay and browse for a little while. This will help increase your conversion rate and get you ranked even higher in the search engines. But visitors only spend a few seconds on a main landing page before they decide whether they like it and continue on to its other pages, or leave and find a new site to get their information. So how do you get them to stay? By avoiding these mistakes that are sure to make them leave.

Poor Navigation
Confusing elements on your landing page such as unnecessary visuals, scattered links that take users to different parts of the site, and linked text that’s difficult to understand will only make users feel frustrated and angry. Instead, group navigation links in one main place (such as the header,) and a clear logical layout will let your users easily roam around your site. Most importantly, it will keep them on the site, without even one second’s consideration of leaving it.

Poor Ad Placement, or Too Many
Ads are an essential part of many different websites and blogs, but there are different ways you can place them and use them so they won’t anger your visitors. Firstly, limit the amount you have. Multiple ads take up a lot of space on the server, and that means that when your visitors want to land on your site or roam around within it, it will take much longer – which will again, only frustrate them. Also, be careful about where you place the ads. To the sides and to the bottom of the content are best, as they won’t be intrusive or the first things a visitor sees. Also make sure that there are not more ads on the site than there is content. It’s this latter that users are there to see, after all.

Poor Video Placement
Videos, just like ads, can be annoying to some visitors, especially if they don’t have a choice in whether or not they watch it. Make sure that videos placed on your site have clear “play” and “stop” buttons, and that they don’t start automatically when someone reaches the site – taking away their choice of watching it. Also, don’t include loud music on these videos. While it might be your taste of music, remember that it won’t be everyone’s. Many visitors are looking for video versus all-text pages these days, but you still have to know how to use them wisely.

Forced Registration
One of the things people like best about information found online is that it’s typically free – meaning that it requires no money or time to be given upfront. If you force people to register before they’ve even had a chance to look at your site, it’s a deterrent to entering it at all, even when that registration is totally free. Forced registrations are really just a barrier between the user and your site, and why would you want any kind of barrier that could detract visitors?

If you’ve found that people are landing on your website, but they’re not sticking around long enough to find out what’s contained within the pages past the landing page, these may just be a few of the mistakes you’re making. These are the most common errors webmasters and website owners make though, so fix the problem and you should start to see your conversion and your retention rates start to increase.
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