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5 reasons why people are leaving your site (and how to shift it for more results!)

Noticed people don't tend to stay on your website?

When reading your site analytics, it can be discouraging to notice low engagement and high bounce rates (when people leave your site without even taking a look around. So rude, right?)

All that content you've poured hours into, not getting consumed.

But the truth is, sometimes there are things on your website that annoy your visitors.

The good news? They’re easy to fix. So today, let me share with you 5 reasons why people leave your site immediately, plus how you can shift it for more results. Let's get started.

A white woman is working on her laptop and sitting at a coffee table.

1 // Your site takes too long to load

I'm sure you're sick of hearing this one all the time but in the internet world, speed is King. If it takes more than 2 seconds for your website to load, you're just giving people an opportunity to multi-task and open new tabs. This means they might get distracted and simply forget about you. Cruel, but haven't you done it too?

How to fix it:

Head to GTmetrix to identify what's slowing down your site. Enter your URL and GTmetrix will give you a speed score with a detailed breakdown of your site's performance and which areas you need to improve.

2 // Your navigation is complicated

There’s so much information online and if people can't find what they're looking for, they’re not likely to stick around. Multi-dropdowns menus with too many links can be overwhelming. So is confusing language: attempting to be creative with the naming of your navigation links only makes it harder for people to browse your website.

How to fix it:

Opt for a simple but clear navigation menu. I always suggest my clients use between 4 to 6 links maximum in their top navigation. You can add other important (but secondary) pages in your footer menu. And when it comes to naming your navigation links: don't be creative. Instead, I suggest you use straight forward language that clearly tells people where a page might take them. Think "Get in touch" instead of "Send us a note". Or "Portfolio" instead of "Happy Clients".

3 // Your mobile site is a mess

With over half of web traffic now happening on mobile, you could be leaving a lot of money on the table by not optimising your website for mobile devices.

Thankfully, most website builders take into account mobile devices these days. That said, keep in mind there is a huge difference between a website that works fine on mobile, and a website that's truly built for mobile engagement in mind.

Indeed, people browse the web differently on their phone than they do on their laptop, which is why it's so important to think your mobile website strategically (instead of just a 'mobile version' of your desktop site)

How to fix it:

When is the last time you checked your website on your phone? An audit of your mobile site is the first place to start. Your mobile site should focus on speed and easy navigation, your content should be scannable so forget long paragraphs of text (unless you're writing a long-form article for a blog)

4 // You use immediate pop-ups

Most of the time, people who land on your site don’t know who you are. Yet so many times, they don’t get a chance to spend 15 seconds on a site without a pop-up interruption. This is particularly off-putting when combined with invasive cookie notices.

There are some scenarios where pop-ups do help with conversion - like discounts, for example. But other than that? I suggest my clients stay away from pop-ups because they are intrusive and provide a poor user experience.

How to fix it:

Just don’t use them, it’s as simple as that. You don't need pop-ups to sell and make money, y'know 😉 

5 // There's no obvious call-to-action

So, people know who you are and what you offer... but do they know what to do next? Are you encouraging them to take the next step? Call-to-actions (CTAs) are buttons or links that prompt your visitors to do something. It ‘calls them to act’: fill out a contact form, check out a services page, subscribe to a newsletter… you get the gist.

They help you drive people to specific pages or sections of your site. But mainly, they play a huge role in increasing your conversion rates (conversion: when a website visitor converts into an inquiry, a subscriber or a sale - depending on what you want to ‘convert’ your visitor into.)

How to fix it:

What's the main action you want people to take on your site? Once you've determined this oh-so-important goal, you can start dotting CTAs around your site. The first place to start is your homepage header. I like adding CTAs at the top right of navigation menus because it always catches the eye, but I encourage you to look for inspiration around the web.

Ready to create a website that attracts your ideal clients?

If you feel like your website isn't quite engaging enough, then you absolutely need to join me for a FREE Website Strategy Call where we'll go through the biggest obstacles that are currently impacting your website conversion rate.

During this absolutely free 30-min strategy call, we'll discuss:

  • What you need to include on your website and where so you can give your clients the best experience
  • How to structure your website so it flows easily and feels intuitive so you dream clients know exactly what you do and how you can help
  • How to make sure your website resonates with your people so they’re excited to buy from you

Book your strategy call

What about you? Tell me the reasons that make you leave a website immediately?

Author: Chloé Meresse

I’m Chloé, the designer and web strategist behind Milk Tea Web, a creative studio specialising in strategic branding and website design. 
With nearly a decade of communications experience in my back pocket, I help purpose-driven businesses create strategic brands and websites that clearly communicate their mission and everything they stand for.

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