While I haven’t counted how many times a day I rely on the Internet to figure something out, it’s definitely a high number, and most likely on par with my peers. It’s hard to recall what I did before this all-powerful tool was so easily accessible. I suppose I asked the human version (my mom), but now I am truly adulting because I go to Google for my unanswered everyday queries.
With all of this constant searching, think about how many times you click on a page to then immediately abandon it. This is known as a “bounce”. A high bounce rate means that the majority of your website visitors leave before moving on to a second page or interacting with your content.
Even though a website may be the first to show up on a list of search results, it still has the potential to disappoint.Even the website at the top of a search result has the potential to disappoint.
With all of the options available to us online, we can’t help but wonder if another website will serve us better. Many times it does and we end up elsewhere.
Many can agree; the first result is not always the best in terms of what information you’re searching for. What exactly makes one website better than another?
What automatically drives people away?
Here are some common website mistakes that have people constantly hovering over the return arrow, sometimes before the page even loads.
Don’t Be Clickbait
For those of you who are unfamiliar, clickbait refers to web content where most everything on the page is oriented towards advertising, rather than providing quality information. As constant web surfers, we’re drawn into clickbait websites by their sensationalized headlines and/or imagery.
“You won’t believe what this celebrity did with mayonnaise!”
“You’ll never guess which incredibly powerful political figure said this!”
“Use these 14 tips from the world’s leading website designers to quadruple your online leads in 3 whole seconds!”
I’m sure you’ve seen clickbait in the form of a sponsored advertisement on Facebook or the like (pun intended). Once you click on the link, you realize that it is ridden with advertisements, moves at an extremely slow pace, and is lacking in any sort of content depth.
In other words, it’s the worst, and nothing like what you anticipated.
Avoid Clickbait Like the Plague
It’s all too easy to fall into the clickbait trap. It has the ability to keep users clicking through your website (with false hope of finding an answer or information), which in turn keeps them on your website longer. Of course, this assumes that users don’t become frustrated and leave your site instantly.
Before you dive headfirst into the clickbait trap, remember:
Your content should always seek to provide quality information or answers for your target audience.
Should you fail to do so, your brand and online reputation will feel the wrath of upset users who just spent 30 seconds mindlessly clicking around only to be thoroughly disappointed.
If you run into content online that might be clickbait, you can always trust the SavedYouAClick twitter handle to tell you the truth.
Build Trust Before Being Intrusive
A website shouldn’t ask for an email address right off the bat. When visiting a site for the first time, I would rather be able to view the content before having an email plea absorb the entire page. The more aggravating email asks are those without the ability to decline or click out of the offer.
Of course, you are never obligated to share your email, but sometimes it’s easier to leave the page rather than click the minuscule “no thanks” button or to type in our default email address (you know, the embarrassing one from the early or late ‘90s you’ve kept around as a spam collector).
Your website and brand need to build a relationship with the user before asking for their personal information. Remember, your brand reputation is on the line the minute the homepage loads. Do you really want to be known as the company that only cares about capturing consumer data?
Capture Email Addresses the Right Way
We get it. The more email addresses you get, the more email marketing messages you can send, the better the opportunity for leads and sales. It makes sense, right?
Your website is where potential and current customers go for information and quality content. They don’t visit your website to be hounded relentlessly. They do not provide their personal information only to be solicited and spammed on a daily basis.
Instead of becoming a nuisance, use these email capture best practices to develop a relationship with your audience:
- Allow users to organically provide their information by including a subscription form in a side bar or at the bottom of blog posts.
- Let users choose the rate at which they’d like to receive content from you.
- If you use pop-up capabilities on your website, wait until the user is about to leave a page before asking — not when they arrive.
Look Flawless on All Devices
Nowadays, a successful website should be able to be viewed correctly from a multitude of different platforms. Gone are the days where we only had to worry about people viewing our content from a computer screen. On top of that, we have tablets and smartphones, which have been increasingly used for everyday searches.
Google found that 48% of mobile research starts with a search engine, 33% start on a branded website (such as yours), and 26% start on mobile apps — and those numbers are only climbing.
It’s vital that your website is displayed well on both a personal computer as well as a mobile device. If not, then people won’t hesitate to leave your website before the page loads.
To Make a Mobile App or Mobile Responsive Website?
Due to the massive rise in mobile usage, businesses now have to decide if a mobile app or a mobile responsive website is best for their audience’s user experience.
The answer: it depends on the specific audience and your marketing goals.
If your goal is to have a wide range of people access your content and website easily from a mobile device, a responsive website is the way to go. If you aim to provide users with a personalized mobile experience, invest in an app.
Regardless of your choice, your responsive website or mobile application better resonate with your target audience or they will be long gone before you have the chance to convince them otherwise.
If You’re Guilty of Any of the Above…
You need to rethink your approach to garnering an audience. Reconsider and your website retention rates just might go up!