A typical web surfer will spend less than eight seconds on a website.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight seconds: not a lot of time.
Why do people leave a website so soon?
Here’s 10 of the most common reasons (and what you can do to fix them):
1. They’re not sure exactly what you do
Never, ever assume anybody knows anything about your business before they arrive on your site. Make it clear, crystal clear, in your header exactly what you do. Catchy slogans and taglines rarely will do you justice. If you’re a CRM software company for the pharmaceutical industry, say you’re a CRM software company for the pharmaceutical industry.
2. They’re not sure if your product or service is for them
Is your product or service for seniors, teenagers, pet owners, doctors, or multi-national corporations? Signal to visitors that they’re in the right place with your content: clear headlines and images of your typical customer.
3. They’re not sure what they should do
Can they conduct a search? Sign-up for a free trial? Download a whitepaper? Buy something? Make the path forward clear for your visitor, and don’t give them too many things to do or they’ll choose none of them (and leave). Your site should have primary (e.g. purchases) and secondary (e.g. email sign-up) conversion goals so you can measure and optimize your site’s performance over time.
4. They don’t know how you’re different
There’s probably hundreds if not thousands of other businesses selling the same thing as you, or at least in your market space. You need to communicate what sets you apart from your competitors. Is it price, service, technology, or a rewards program? Go above and beyond and show a “Competitor Chart” that clearly illustrates how you’re different.
5. They don’t think you’re credible
Your design sucks. You don’t list any customers. You have a Facebook page or Twitter account that haven’t been updated since 2012. These are just some of the things that will make a visitor “bounce” from your site. Show that you’re credible by highlighting any industry accreditations, awards, and well-known customers. Scatter testimonials throughout your site, show off your social media followers, and if you know your site could use a design refresh, well there’s no time like the present.
6. They didn’t land on your homepage and are lost
I’d bet you that if you took a look at your Google Analytics right now, you’d find that most people who land on your site DON’T land on your homepage. They probably have landed on a blog or a product or service page. Without having seen your homepage, will they know who you are? What you do? How you’re different? And what they should do next? You need to treat every page like your homepage, and provide a clear path forward.
7. There’s no call-to-action on the page they landed on
Similarly, you need to have a clear call-to-action (CTA) on every page. Can they read another blog, download an eBook, or call for a free quote or consultation?
Your visitor won’t do what you want them to do unless you ask them.
Optimize your site for conversion, every page.
7b. There’s no irresistible offer
The vast majority of visitors to your site aren’t ready to buy your product or service. So how do you keep them as a prospect? You make them an offer they can’t refuse. Whether it’s a free trial, a whitepaper, or an exclusive newsletter or contest: get their contact information so you can nurture the lead. Email drip campaigns, new blogs posts, and making use of social media are great ways to keep your prospects engaged so your company is top of mind when they are ready to buy.
8. They can’t view your site properly on the device they’re using
More and more people will view your site on a mobile phone, tablet, or phablet (yes, I said phablet). If your website isn’t mobile friendly, or lacks responsive design, you’re basically showing potential leads the door.
9. They can’t read the text on your site
An oft overlooked component of design and usability is your website’s readability. We always, always recommend a white background and a black or dark font for web text using at least 12 pt font (we use 14) to optimize readability. It just makes things easier to read (think of children’s books), especially for those who have vision impairment issues or are colour-blind.
10. They’re just not that in to “You”
Ask yourself, is your website about your company, or your customer? People don’t care about your company, people care about themselves. They’re interested in your product or service because it could help them solve a problem, save time or money, or improve their image. In your web content, “speak” to your customer as you would speak to them in person. Use words like “you” instead of “customers” and “us” instead of “our company” to connect with your customers on a more personal level. After all, people do business with people, not companies.