There are few things as disheartening as spending months building a website you’re proud only to end up with a high bounce rate and readers who are leaving your site as soon as they get there.
Over the years I’ve had many blogs, some successful and some not, and spent more hours than I care to remember obsessing over Google Analytics trying to figure out why on earth people aren’t staying on my site.
Below I’ve set out below 6 common reasons why people might be leaving your site.
YOUR CONTENT DOESN’T MEET EXPECTATIONS
Your visitors are coming to your site for a reason. Maybe they’ve clicked on an article that looks really interesting or they’ve been referred to you by another blog. Perhaps they found your site through a Facebook advert.
Whatever it is, if people are hitting your site only to find that the content isn’t what they expected it to be then they’re going to be leaving pretty sharpish.
Maybe your content doesn’t provide the solution to the problem they were looking for. Maybe the link description didn’t accurately describe what the content was all about. Or maybe it simply wasn’t engaging enough.
To attract the right readers who will find your site engaging, make sure that you are promoting specifically to your target audience, accurately describing what your site is about and providing content that helps or entertains them in some way.
YOU DON’T HAVE A NICHE
Aaargh…this is one that I have struggled with time and time again. Trying to narrow down your blog to a specific niche. Not only is it incredibly difficult to decide what your niche should even be, but its scary to think that you’re going to be cutting all those potential readers out.
But think about it for a second. If someone is visiting your site because they saw an article on ’10 Ways to Travel Europe on a Budget” and click on a blog full of helpful tips on budget travel and money saving travel hacks, chances are they will be tempted to take a look through some of your other posts. Probably even come back to your site again.
If, however, they click onto your site to find posts on budget travel mixed in with high end hotel reviews and fashion advice then they will probably decide that your site isn’t completely relevant to them and leave after reading that one post.
NOT ENOUGH LINKS
You want people to visit multiple pages and posts on your site right? So make it easy for them. There’s nothing worse than reading a post that gets you excited only to find that its virtually impossible to find your way to other similar posts.
If you’ve written content about a certain subject that ties in perfectly with another post you’ve previously written, then link to it. If you have a sidebar, include links to ‘popular posts’ and categories to make it easy for readers to browse.
Add a section at the bottom of each blog post showing other similar posts that they may be interested in reading.
All these things will encourage readers to check out other content and pages that they otherwise wouldn’t have taken the time to find.
POOR WEBSITE DESIGN
Did you know that the average website user decides within the first 8 seconds whether or not they want to stay on a website?
That means you need to make a pretty good first impression.
If someone clicks onto your site only to find it poorly designed, cluttered and difficult to navigate then you are risking having readers click away before they have even gotten around to reading your post.
Design not your strong point? Get a free website review to find out how you can improve your site’s design and reduce your bounce rate.
POP-UPS POPPING UP TOO SOON
Pop-ups are generally a bit of a love hate thing. Some people don’t mind them whilst others will click away as soon as they pop up.
If you decide to include them on your site, try to do it in as uninvasive a way as possible. Have a pop-up that flashes up in the corner of the screen or after your visitors have been on your page for some time or have read down to the bottom of a blog post.
That way you’re at least giving them a chance to get interested before asking them to sign up or buy something.
YOUR WEBSITE LOADS TOO SLOWLY
I can’t stress enough how important a fast loading time is.
The average reader will abandon a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load. So if your load time is any higher than that (especially if you’re getting up into the 7 / 8 second range) then you may be losing customers before they even get chance to read what you have written.