People leaving your website straight away is bad news.
There’s never a time where you’d want someone to leave your website, but now it’s more important than ever thanks (or no thanks) to Google’s RankBrain. RankBrain is a complicated animal, but in a nutshell, Google are now paying closer attention if people click to your website from search results then immediately click back again. If someone does this, it’s a sign that your website didn’t satisfy them, and it’s likely Google will send it down the rankings as a result.
So now you know why people leaving your site is doubly bad, here’s ten reasons people might be leaving as soon as they arrive.
1. It’s ugly or outdated
We’re superficial creatures, and if your website looks ugly or just outdated, that can be enough for people to leave immediately (in under a second to be precise).
2. They can’t read it
If your text is too small or too difficult to read, then don’t expect people to hang around long. The contrast between the text colour and the background colour is also important for legibility – run your combination through an online tool to check it’s easy to read.
3. It’s slow to load
No one has time to wait for websites to load anymore. If yours isn’t there within three seconds you can say bye bye to half of your visitors. Test yours on Pingdom to see how you fare.
4. It isn’t mobile friendly
With mobile browsing now more common than desktop, it’s a given that your website should work on mobile devices. Check your site on as many mobile devices and browsers as possible, because if it doesn’t work, visitors won’t stay long.
5. It’s hard to navigate
Every website visitor will arrive on your website with a goal – whether that’s to find out more about a topic, buy something from you or get in touch. If they can’t quickly and easily navigate to their intended destination, then you can expect to kiss them goodbye.
6. You use old technology
If you use outdated technology such as Flash, many visitors won’t even be able to see your website. If there’s nothing to see, there’s no reason to stay.
7. It’s not what they expected
This one is particularly relevant to people visiting from search engines. Does your page title promise one thing and your content deliver another? If your website isn’t what they expected to find, they’ll be pressing the back button instantly and trying somewhere else.
8. Autoplaying music or videos
No one wants to accidentally blast music through the office when they’re web browsing. If they can’t turn it off quickly, they’ll leave instead. So it goes without saying it’s best to turn off autoplaying music and video wherever possible.
9. There’s no way to find what they want
If your website is missing a search function then people will just look elsewhere. Life’s too short to sift through a website when you can just try another one.
10. There’s too many instant pop ups
Put bluntly, pop ups are annoying, they get in the way of the content that the visitor is intending to read. Too many, too soon, can cause people to close down your website before they’ve even looked at it.
What to do next
Worried your website might be turning people off? Want to know which pages people are leaving in their droves? Find out how to use Google Analytics to check which pages you need to work on.