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8 Ways Your Website is Driving Customers Away

avatar Accelerate Media | Staff Piece

This post was originally published April 14, 2018 and was updated April 29, 2022.

One of the “simplest” goals business owners have is to reduce the bounce rate on their website. However, this task can actually be quite complicated, because in reality, the business owner is really looking to increase engagement, which should in turn increase the conversion rate and decrease the bounce rate.

In order to get started on this “simple” goal, it’s important to know what to look for. And unfortunately, most business owners become so familiar with their site that they are blind to what outsiders’ first impressions are.

Because of this, we have created a list of some of the most common reasons why people may be leaving your website too quickly.  

  1. Your content isn’t focused on the customer’s needs – or it’s just plain old
    If you come to a page titled “Best Lawn Mowers of 2022,” you don’t want to read about the best fertilizer for your lawn. Even worse, you could start reading and realize it’s based on the best lawn mowers of 2014! Keeping your website up to date and making sure everything is titled properly is extremely important to help reduce page bounces.

    And, if you have a piece of content that drives traffic, remember to update it regularly. You don’t want to lose potential visitors this way simply because they see a date from 3 or 4 years ago and automatically think the content no longer applies.

  2. There are spelling or grammar mistakes
    If your website was never reviewed for grammatical or spelling errors and a visitor picks up on that, they will likely bounce. After all, if you don’t have the time to review the way you sell yourself and your services, what else do you not have the time to do correctly?

    If grammar is not your forte, we recommend checking out this article of mistakes we see most often and utilizing a proofing service like Grammarly or Writer.

  3. Visitors are confused
    When a user arrives to your website and doesn’t know what to do right away, odds are that they’ll leave. Sometimes, your site’s navigation might be too confusing. Other times, there may not be a clear call to action. Or maybe your site is just too busy with a lot of colors, pictures, animations, or text. No matter what the issue is, if your customer becomes frustrated or overwhelmed, then they will bounce.

  4. You ask your customers to sign up for your services too early
    Collecting data from your visitors and potential customers is core to many marketing plans. But, (in most cases) before you start asking for a customer’s name and email address, you need to prove your worth to them. You should avoid excessive use of pop-ups or modals that require visitors to sign-up before they know who you are and what you’re about. Let your product/service do the talking, not an annoying pop-up asking for their personal data.

  5. Your site is slow
    One Mississippi. Two Mississippi. Times up! If your site hasn’t loaded within two seconds, chances are that could be the culprit for your high bounce rate. According to Maile Ohye of Google, “2 seconds is the threshold for eCommerce website acceptability…At Google, we aim for under half a second.”

    Here’s a tool where you can check your website’s speed.

  6. You have videos set to automatically play
    We’ve all had this happen to us before. Some random video starts blaring a testimonial or product feature overview from our browser tabs, but we don’t know where. After searching for the culprit (and not finding it), we just close the browser. Setting videos or music to automatically play not only can irritate visitors, but tends to make them die a little inside as well. Let them hit that play button for themselves if they so choose. 

  7. Your site isn’t responsive
    The internet is always evolving. According to Google, the number of smartphones has surpassed the number of personal computers in many countries, so having a mobile-friendly website is critical to having a robust online presence. Looking good on a desktop is not enough anymore, your site needs to be able to adapt to the many screen sizes that exist today. If you’re not sure if your website is responsive, test your website here. 

  8. Your contact information is hard to find
    For businesses, if a prospective customer can’t easily get in touch with you through your site, they’ll never contact you and, in turn, they’ll move on to the next website. Having a phone number, physical address, email address, and/or business hours are all significant and build credibility.

    However, if you’re extremely opposed and don’t want all of that information out there, at least post links to the company’s social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn as an alternative way for prospective customers to get a hold of you. This is especially important for local services to consider – we recommend adding your number to your social headers.

So, is your website guilty of any of the above violations? If so, get on it immediately. There is traffic to convert and now you have a game plan. You’ve found the problem; the next step is resolving it.