Page abandonment: Why are your visitors not converting?

People (well, the majority at least) tend to judge quickly based on very little. We, humans, are a very complex bunch, and our feelings and emotions play a major role in everything we do, regardless of how objective we try to remain.

This results in us quickly jumping to conclusions, sometimes right, sometimes very, very wrong, in which case we might be missing out on something that we might have actually enjoyed. This applies to the people visiting your website as well. They will come, wait for few seconds to skim around, and if it doesn’t “feel right”, they will move on the next option, which is unbelievably easy given the endless options offered to them on the www. This is what defines your bounce rate, it’s the percentage of the total visitors who come to your website and leave without taking any actions like engaging with your content, filling out a form, or not moving on to another page. These are the visitors who shortly after coming to your landing page have already decided “meh... not interested”. Not being able to take visitors through all the stages of your sales funnel is, of course, not great for your marketing strategy. Now the question is “what can I do to get my visitors to stay on the site and what do you want them to do”? Read below for the 10 most common factors driving high bounce rates.

1.Slow loading

This one is a real mood killer, and one of the main reasons people flee from your website. As a rule of thumb, you should not keep you visitors waiting for longer than 4 seconds, if the waiting time is any longer than that, you’ll be able to see those bounce rates shooting right up. The ideal loading time of your landing page should be two seconds, pretty much the maximum attention span of most of us! Here are two tools that can help you evaluate your website loading speed:

2. Not connecting product benefits with customer needs 

You know you have a great product /service, it does exactly what your audience is looking for, so you have gone ahead and made a great website with the hopes that it will sell like hotcakes. Unfortunately, all you can see is sky-high bounce rates. The problem might be simpler than you think: you are not aligning your products benefits with what the customers are looking for. One of the most important thing to do when trying to close a sale is knowing how to relate the product or services you are selling with the issues that your prospects are facing. Even more important is knowing how to present this on your website for this is harder to do when you are not able to explain this verbally to each and everyone of your prospects individually.

3. Poor content / layout

Being able to connect the products benefit to the customer needs will not take you very far if you have horrible spelling mistakes and very poor grammar. In fact, poor content is one of the worst mistakes you could possibly make as it is one that can be easily avoided. Think about it, how frustrated do you get when you are trying to decipher an email from that one client who cannot form a proper sentence to save their life? Well, if people have the option of not putting themselves through that frustration, believe me when I tell you that they won’t. The same goes with layout, do not expect people to stay on your site if the layout is just as terrible. Invest in proper content and layout, take the time to plan what you are going to say and how you are going to present it, it will make all the difference.

4. No skimmable content

 Another content related mistake you might be making is presenting content that cannot be skimmed. I get it, you produce great content, and you want people to take the time to read it all. But, let’s not forget what we are trying to achieve here, you want people to convert, and if they don't feel like they need to go through everything word by word, so be it! Not to mention that these might be people who already learned everything they need to know about your brand elsewhere and are just looking to purchase your products from the site. Make sure you divide your content into section, use headings and subheadings for easy skimming. Get a third party opinion on your content before you go live, it’s a task worth investing time in.

5. Product / service is too complex to be sold in one go

Sometimes the reason why your bounce rates are so high has nothing to do with the website design, content or navigation. It is simply a matter of your product being too complex to be sold in one go. When putting a product or service on the market, it’s always best to have a realistic expectation of how fast it will sell. For you to do this as accurately as possible, you need to understand the level of risk involved in purchasing the product for your prospects. Higher the risk, longer the time it will take you to conclude the sale. Because of this, your visitors might feel the need to visit your site multiple times and even speak to you directly before they go ahead with the purchase.

6. Getting the wrong audience

Whether or not you send the right audience to your landing page has a huge impact on your bounce rate (shocker, right?). As obvious as this may seem, when you have a substantial budget for advertising, you might end up losing focus of whom you are really targeting. Let’s say you have a product that is specially designed for students who practice a certain sport, if you get the all the kids from an entire school to your landing page, chances are you will see high bounce rates. Segment your audience, get the right target and focus on them.

7. Distracting visitor with other offers and advertising

Trying to sell everything in one go is a sure way to get your visitors bounce off your page as soon as they land. Keep things simple and let your visitors focus on what they came there for first. Bombarding them with banner ads can significantly reduce your site credibility and trust, and visitors might leave without even going through with what they came to you site for in the first place. If you do include (very few) ads on the page, make sure they are not intrusive, distracting and that they are related to the other material displayed on the page.

8. No clear call to action

This mistake is one you might be making without even being aware of it. Let’s say you’ve done your best to have great design, content, layout, colors and everything works just fine, right? Right, unless you have used an unclear, not so visible call to action hidden somewhere at the bottom of the page. Your call to action is the final step you need to take your visitors through in order for them to convert, so it’s wording, positioning, color and shape have to be carefully studied. Do not try to get too fancy and creative with your CTA buttons, as you might end up confusing the visitors. Keep it simple yet catchy, and as for the positioning, here is no clear cut rule. Sometimes above the fold works better than below the fold or vice versa, take time to do A/B testing to see which one works best for you.

9. Asking for too much info

“I just love filling out lengthy forms giving out all of my personal information online!” said no one ever. Being too nosy is a deal breaker, so refrain from including never ending form on your page where you ask visitors everything from their mother’s maiden name to their blood type. As a general rule, only ask for information that is absolutely necessary to get your visitors to the next stage. People don’t like to divulge their information, especially online, so keeping your forms short and sweet will surely earn you a few bonus points. 

10. Not optimized for mobile

This is the one rule that you will have no excuse for ignoring. It’s being said over and over again, and unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you must surely know the golden rule “mobile first.” A large chunk of your traffic comes from mobile, and ignoring that is just downright foolish. Make sure your site is responsive so that people don't have to get frustrated scrolling endlessly, zooming in and zooming out trying to make sense out of words overlapping each other. In short, keep your landing pages simple, clear, informative and easy to navigate. You visitors should find precisely what you told them they would find, and they should be able to do so quickly. All the elements of your landing page should work together to drive the visitors toward the action they are supposed to take.


Created: April 28th, 2016


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