Your website should be a money-making machine that helps you book clients, sell programmes and enrol people in your courses. But that’s tough to do if people leave your website a few seconds after they get there. And, that means you’re wasting money if you’re driving traffic to a wonky website with paid ads.
So let’s fix it!
There are a few different reasons this might be happening – we’ll cover 7 in this blog post. And we’ll cover some tips for making improvements that keep people on your website for longer.
But first, how can you tell how long people are spending on your website? There are 2 main tools I use and often set up for my clients: Google Analytics and Hotjar.
Google Analytics is free and easy to set up (learn more here). It shows you:
This data is so helpful for learning about what people are doing on your website, but it doesn’t help you understand why they might be leaving. That’s why I recommend Hotjar. It creates heat maps and video recordings of everything people are doing on your website. So you can see exactly where they were (and what they saw) before they left your site. And that helps you identify (and correct!) problems that drive people away.
Pro tip: if you use any analytics tool that collects information from your website visitors, you need to disclose this (and how you use and store the data) in your Privacy Page.
Tools like Google Analytics and Hotjar can help you discover if and why people are leaving your website after just a few seconds (without taking any action). But let’s talk about some common reasons users bounce and how to fix it.
Did you know that people expect a load time of 2 seconds or less?! And if your site takes longer than that, there’s an increasing chance that people will bounce. How can you tell if this is a problem for you?
There are lots of free tools to measure your site’s loading speed (and that tell you how to fix it); my favourite is Google PageSpeed Insights because it looks at how fast your site loads on both mobile and desktop. Plus it tells you why your site might be slow to load and ways to fix it. Test your site’s speed here.
One of the main culprits of slow load times is large image files. Of course you want the images you use on your website to be clear and beautiful, but they can really slow things down. So it’s a good idea to compress your images before you add them to your media library or website using tools like ShortPixel or TinyJPG.
Pro tip: Use JPG images wherever possible – these are smaller files that platforms like Showit can optimize. Use a PNG just if you need a transparent background.
You can speed up your site by removing old images and videos from your media library that you aren’t using on your website.
Have you ever been on a website that’s absolutely inundated you with popups? One popup soon after people arrive is ok, but bombarding them with new windows and popups will drive people away from your website.
Similarly, overloading your visitors with too much text can send them away from your website. People generally only read headings and subheadings, so think carefully about the text you’re using. 69% of content on a website is never seen by visitors! So make sure you’re giving people the most relevant and importing information they need (and not much more than that!).
We all want to make a good first impression, right? For visitors to your website, first-impressions are 94% design-based! So if your site is badly designed, you’re putting potential customers off. Let’s talk about what might be wrong and how to fix it.
Is the layout of your website (and homepage in particular) confusing? Put yourself in your visitor’s shoes and consider what information they want and in what order? Are you trying to cram everything onto your homepage? What can you leave out, pare down or move to another page?
What about your colour palette? Are the colours too bright? Jarring to the eye? What feelings do the colours they evoke? Color Combos is a great site for testing your website’s palette and making sure it’s user friendly. Just pop your hex codes in and get your results. Give a try here.
Let’s also think about the images on your website. Are they related to your products or the outcomes you help your clients achieve? Or are they cheesy (and obviously) stock images? You can really elevate your site by working with a brand photographer, but that can also be expensive. Instead, try using paid stock images from sites like Haute Stock, Social Squares or MOYO Studio. These are high quality, beautiful and less-obviously stock photos.
Ok, last on our design list comes navigating your site. Is the menu at the top and bottom of your page clear? Some sites get too creative with their menus and prioritise design over function. This leaves visitors confused and they ultimately leave.
With your navigation, it’s best to be clear, not cute. If you have a blog, call it ‘blog’ on your menu, not ‘musings’ or something opaque like that. Make it easy for people to get around on your website, or they’ll leave.
Similarly, take a look at your buttons and links. Is it clear to your visitors where and what to click? And where that click will take them? And more importantly, do those links work? If people can’t get where they want to go… you guessed it, they’ll leave your website fast.
Again, try to put yourself in your visitors’ shoes. Or better yet, ask for feedback from a friend on your site. As soon as they arrive on your homepage, they should be able to tell what you do (or what you sell), how it helps them and how to get started.
That means you need to have a really clear headline to sum this up. And be clear. Do you provide coaching for business executives that makes them better leaders? Sell online courses for creatives that help them scale their business? State it loud and clear.
And accompany that headline with an image that shows your product, customers or both. Again, go for clarity, not cuteness or metaphors, here.
Let’s think about your goals for your website. Do you want visitors to signup for your newsletter? Book a one-to-one call with you? Buy a product? What do you want them to do when they’re on your website and what will help them solve their problems?
Once you’ve decided on your goal and the action you want visitors to take, make that very clear and repeat it all over your website with calls to action (CTAs). So that might be ‘Buy now’, ‘Enrol here’, ‘schedule a free consultation’, ‘download your checklist now’. ‘Get a quote’ etc. And make sure that your CTA(s) stand out by using buttons that are easy to click.
Visitors to your website might not be ready to do what you’re asking – especially if it involves payment. That’s normal and totally ok. But you can make a positive impact on their experience by providing your contact information on your website. That way, they can ask questions, visit your location (if applicable) or get in touch.
Ideally, you should have at least an email address in the footer of your website, but people also expect a contact page. There, you can set up a form for them to complete and submit so you can get back to them.
You can also add a chatbot to your website so people can ask questions or get in touch without leaving the page they’re on. These use Artificial Intelligence, but can also let your website visitors chat with you (or a member of your team) directly. They’re especially useful on sales or product pages when your leads need information quickly. Check out tools like Chatra, Zendesk and Drift to see which might be right for you.
There might be other reasons that visitors leave your website soon after arriving, but these common problems might also be plaguing you.
There are 6 common reasons visitors might be leaving your website after a few seconds:
If you need help setting up analytics or want a free website review to understand why visitors are leaving your website after just a few seconds, book a call with me. We’ll talk about what’s going on with your website and create a strategy so you can fix it.
Then you need a strategy for your website. And you can create one with this FREE guide and workbook.