If you are experiencing a high bounce rate for one or more pages of your website, it is time to step back and take a closer look at why. The chances are that you will find that there is something which is annoying your visitors.
We all know that visitors are notoriously difficult to keep happy and there will always be a few that you can never please, but there are also some well known annoyances that you can easily remove to improve the user experience.
Time is of the Essence
Bearing in mind that most of your web page visitors are seeking information or the answer to a question and are almost always in a hurry to find it, how quickly is what you have promised available.
Not only is page load time important, once that has happened, the average visitor will spend just 3 seconds looking for the expected content. If it is not there, they will abandon your page.
Pop-ups in general can be annoying but especially the ones that cover the material you are in the middle of reading!
To add insult to injury, they are often asking for the visitor’s opinion about the website (100% bounce for me) and the only good time to ask that question is when the visitor is ready to leave.
Most visitors do not enjoy being faced with a dazzling array of flashing, moving animations, a video or soundtrack that starts up automatically or worse still, a person who jumps up in front of the content and wants to chat.
Also under this heading comes websites that are built in Flash. Search engines cannot read or index it and although Flash can be used very creatively for interactive web building, it is really only suited to certain types of business e.g. Disney.com.
Internal links when used correctly are an excellent way to keep visitors on your website for longer but they can easily become annoying when they do not work or lead to irrelevant content. This is really a basic housekeeping issue and one that should be checked on regularly anyway.
A third annoyance is when the user clicks a link and it opens in the same window. This is annoying for the visitor as it means they will have to navigate back to get to the original content and not good for the website, as it is likely to lose conversions. Internal links should always be set to open in a new tab in the browser.
Whilst the ones above are the most common annoyances, there are other more subtle things that also wind visitors up, including:
. A contact form rather than contact information (both is better)
. Generic or irrelevant images
. Keyword stuffing making text read badly
. Too much industry jargon
There are numerous ways to annoy your visitors and make them leave more quickly than you would like. Take the time to review your website from a visitor’s aspect once in a while. If you do not feel that you can do this objectively, be brave and ask someone totally unrelated to your business and try not to be offended if they find something that annoys them!