OK, so your small business has a website? Congratulations! That’s a great start because less than 64% of small businesses actually have a website despite the fact that most people Google a company before deciding to drop by or call to ask about their products or services.
Helping your target audience to find your website and getting them to visit it is another hurdle.
Does it mean that you’re on the safe side if your website generates a lot of traffic?
Hate to break this to you, but if your visitors just pop in and stick around for 15 seconds (and that’s the case for 55% of people), then your website is practically useless.
Let’s see why your visitors bounce off your website and how to make them come back and stick around longer.
It Takes Ages to Load
Time is a relative concept when it comes to the load speed, and according to some stats, the “ages” from the title refer to longer than 3 seconds as that’s pretty much how patient 40% of people are.
You bet, but complaining about this injustice won’t get you very far. Instead of that, buckle up and swing into high gear.
Here are some tips to push you in the right direction:
- Adjust the size of your images, as bigger files slow down your load time
- Don’t install plugins – yes, they can be practical and add numerous functionalities but they make websites sluggish
- Get rid of the excess code.
If all this is Greek to you, then you should hire a programmer and get them to optimize your website.
Your Content Isn’t Helpful
No matter what industry you’re in, the importance of relevant and useful content can’t be stressed enough.
In other words, you can’t create the content which revolves around your company and its awesomeness. Your prospects don’t want to read extended ads in which you pat yourself on the back.
They want to learn something, find a solution to their problem, and most importantly, they want you to help them.
So, how-to guides, educational posts, easy-to-follow videos, and a regularly attended and updated Q&A section can do wonders for your engagement rate, which is a surefire way of keeping your visitors and slashing your bounce rate.
If you’re running a small financial firm, then you can write about tips and tricks of maximizing tax deductions, while an interior decoration business should, obviously, discuss, say, the best ways of maximizing small living spaces.
It’s really easy – your visitors come to your website because they have a problem that they want to solve. By not trying to promote your business blatantly and by sharing some free advice, you’ll come off as genuinely interested in their wellbeing.
You’ve got yourself loyal visitors which have the potential to turn into your clients.
Make sure you do a lot of social and SEO research to find content ideas for your website. You could also invest in more advanced tactics such as surveys and analytics to learn about your audience’s interests.
Too Many Ads
Did you know that almost 30% of people use an ad blocking tool?
You probably know where this conversation goes.
Yes, too many ads and pop-ups annoy your website visitors, and they leave.
While monetizing your website can bring you some much-needed cash, exploiting this digital real estate for spamming your visitors will turn their back on you.
Namely, such an intrusive approach will damage your user experience as well as online reputation.
Make place them only in the areas suitable and appropriate for the purpose, and track their performance to see how much you earn from them.
Don’t be surprised if these pushy ads make more financial damage translated in the lost customers than they bring you financial gain.
The Lack of Communication Channels
As we’ve said, your customers are looking for ways to solve their pain points when they come to your website.
And they want to do that efficiently and effectively.
Sometimes your blog posts and how-to guides aren’t enough, and that’s why you need to keep every possible communication line open.
In a nutshell, help your visitors get in touch with you.
Providing your phone number, email, and address is the first step.
What you should also consider implementing is the click-to-call option. Namely, you can expect your mobile visitors to memorize your phone number or jot it down while they’re trying to contact you.
The click-to-call feature will allow them to simply click on your number and call you.
Live chat is another must-have feature as 90% of consumers say that it’s helpful, while 63% of people claim that they are more likely to return to a website if it offers this option.
It’s also a great idea to design an app which will allow your prospects to have a more direct experience with your brand. Such an approach will engage them and make them stay longer.
Visually Unappealing Design
Many small businesses have poorly designed websites which look like a makeshift solution.
Having a tiny marketing budget isn’t an excuse for having a visitor-repellent abomination of a website.
And it’s not only about breaking some aesthetic rules – research has shown that almost 50% of people assess the credibility or trustworthiness of a website based on its visual appeal.
Another thing to take into consideration is its readability. Inconsistent fonts and colors, typos, paired with a layout which leaves much to be desired can easily put your visitors off even trying to read your carefully written blog posts.
Too much clutter and the lack of white space is a surefire way of ending up in your visitors’ black books.
Multimedia Which Plays Automatically
Multimedia is a good thing, but only if it doesn’t start blaring out of the blue once your unsuspecting visitor lands on your website.
Besides, being startling and unexpected, multimedia which is played automatically can also slow down your website, while it will congest and hog almost entire bandwidth of your visitors with a poor internet connection.
Naturally, all the visitors from the example above are more likely to leave your website before even giving it a chance.
Analyze your website and see whether it suffers from any of these issues. Although there are many more reasons for a high bounce rate, these are the basic ones that you should eliminate before you dig deeper into the matter.
About the author:
Michael Deane is one of the editors of Qeedle, a small business magazine. When not blogging (or working), he can usually be spotted on the track, doing his laps, or with his nose deep in the latest John Grisham.