You have just about 15 seconds to grab someone’s attention once they arrive on your website. Otherwise, chances are they’ll leave and go elsewhere.
That’s not a lot of time when you think about it.
Especially since the amount of competition out there is staggering.
If you don’t have exactly what people are looking for right away, they’ll abandon your website without a second thought.
So how do you go about getting people to stick around and see what you have to offer?
The first step is understanding why people abandon websites so quickly. The second is knowing how to encourage people to stay.
And today, we’re going to look at both.
Why People Abandon Your Website
When someone leaves your website before viewing a second a webpage, it counts as a bounce.
The higher the bounce rate, the more people that are abandoning your website without exploring other pages.
This is very harmful to your site’s SEO since one of Google’s ranking factors is based on how deep people navigate websites. In other words, the more web pages a person visits, and the longer they stay on each webpage, the better that website will rank.
There are many reasons why people will abandon your website:
- Once they arrive, they realize you don’t have what they’re looking for
- Your website doesn’t load quickly or function the way it should
- Navigating your website is too difficult
- You don’t instill enough trust from the start to convince people to stay
- Your web design is out of date or overwhelming
- There’s nothing inspiring compelling people to explore more or take action
- There is no value proposition (why you are better than the competition)
- Your site isn’t responsive or mobile-friendly
Now that you understand some of the most common reasons why people will abandon your website, it’s crucial you take steps to prevent site abandonment.
1. Optimize Page Loading Time
The easiest way to lower your bounce rate is to optimize your website for faster page loading times.
After all, if your website doesn’t load within 3 seconds or less, 40% of people will leave right away.
To do this, use the free online tool Google PageSpeed Insights. This tool will analyze both your desktop and mobile versions and let you know how fast they load and how well they perform.
If your site is running slower than you’d like, here are some ways to make it faster:
- Invest in reliable hosting
- Reduce server requests
- Minify CSS, HTML, and JS files
- Compress images into smaller files
- Utilize a CDN
- Enable browser caching
Don’t make people wait once they arrive on your website and wonder what it is you have to offer them. Instead, optimize your site for speed and performance and give people a reason to stay.
2. Make Things Visual
Aside from your website’s headlines, people are going to notice the images you have on your site first before anything else. If the images are unappealing, overwhelming, or not relevant, you increase the chances people will abandon your site immediately.
A great way to create original images for your website that can be used on your site’s homepage design, landing pages, and even within blog posts is to use the free online tool Canva.
Choose from a wide variety of pre-designed templates to get started. Also, change things like fonts, color schemes, layouts, and text to make the images your own.
Since the visual appeal of your website is so important to boosting site visitor engagement, it’s a good idea to draw inspiration from those that have already created successful websites.
In fact, in this selection of Oberlo eBooks, you can check out 10 online stores that have done things right, so you create a visually appealing, and highly converting, website.
For instance, you can learn things like:
- What color schemes work together to encourage site exploration
- How to set yourself apart from the competition and grab people’s attention
- What type of branding, including business logos, others use
- How successful online shops cater to their target audience using web design
- The kinds of value propositions people use to get people to take action
- How eCommerce shops are set up to drive people down the sales funnel
- What kind of navigation is being used to direct people to the most important web pages on the site
Learning from others is a great way to make improvements to your online business, whether you sell a physical product, offer a service, or just want people to become loyal followers.
3. Format Content for Readability
How you format your website’s content is essential for getting people to stay on your site for longer. This is especially true when it comes to blog posts.
After all, 80% of people will read your site’s headlines once they arrive, but only 20% will read what you’ve actually written.
To capitalize on that 20%, and aim to improve that percentage, format your content so anyone can read it and fully understand the point you’re making.
Not sure how to do that?
Use the Hemingway Editor. Analyzing your text, this free online tool looks for:
- Adverbs that can be changed
- Any uses of passive voice
- Difficult phrases that can be simplified
- Hard to read sentences that can be cut down
You also receive a readability grade. As you make changes, you’ll notice the readability grade lower, which means your content is becoming easier and easier to read.
In addition, make sure to use attention-grabbing headlines, headings, and sub-headings, and short, easy to read sentences that are broken up into small paragraphs.
Also, don’t forget to use bulleted lists. They are easy to scan, break up text into easier to digest chunks, and make your posts look good.
4. Make Use of Internal Links
You probably know by now that gaining authoritative links from external websites is great for your site’s SEO.
But did you know that internal links are just as important?
Internally linking within your site’s content to other web pages found on your website does many things:
- Boosts your SEO efforts because it gives crawlers more to index and rank in relevant search results and leads people to dive deeper into your site
- Makes navigating your site easier for site visitors
- Increases the time people spend on your website as they explore relevant content
- Helps drive your leads to your online shop and convince them to convert into customers
- Guides people to related content they might be interested in, increasing your site’s value
Linking to other content on your website, whether it be products and services, related posts, relevant categories, and tags, or even using the navigational menu will help keep people on your website longer than ever.
And there you have it! 4 proven methods for not only lowering your bounce rate but increasing the value of what you have to offer site visitors and giving people more of what they want.
If you work hard to master these strategies for keeping people engaged once they arrive in your site, you’ll find that you don’t need to worry about the 15 seconds it takes to grab people’s attention.
Instead, you’ll have to worry about creating more content, stocking up on more inventory, and hiring more team members to keep up with the demand in your business you’ve created.