What makes someone leave a website?

September 7, 2011 1:45 pm

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What NOT to do on your website.

Attracting a potential customer is hard enough. Grabbing their interest and retaining them is even more difficult. It’s important to design your site so that user frustration is kept to a minimum thereby maximizing customer retention.Below are some examples of what not to do when designing your website.

1. Bad Navigation

Nothing frustrates a website visitor more than a website that’s hard to navigate. Complex or inconsistent navigation can cause users to feel helpless confused or angry – certainly not the emotions you want potential customers to be feeling.

  • Your website navigation should be logical intuitive and easy to understand.
  • Try grouping navigation elements in a central area. For larger websites try adding a sitemap.

2. Too Many Adverts

Suffocating your visitor with ads that pop flash and fill the entire browser will only serve to enrage them.

  • Running ads on your site can be a perfectly legitimate way to monetise. However in order to maximise your retention rate (and lower your bounce rate) be tasteful and discreet in your approach to display ads.

3. Bad Content Structure

Bad content structure can destroy your conversation and retention rates. Make your content (especially your contact info) easy to find. It is estimated that as many as 50% of sales are lost because potential customers cannot find what they are looking for.

  • Don’t have visitors fish around for the content they’re looking for.
  • Group similar content into a single concise manner.
  • Consider using bold headings in addition to highlighting certain keywords that visitors may be searching for.

4. The Registration Requirement

It is often the case that forcing visitors to register before they can view content is much like a physical barrier. Barriers such as forced-registration may ultimately cause the visitor to go elsewhere for what they are looking for.

  • Avoid putting up barriers between you and your visitors.
  • If a visitor must register to interact with your site try giving them a taste of what they are signing up for. Offer a preview or a demo.

5. Boring Content Boring Design

A dull website that has no purpose or interactivity will never create a memorable experience for a visitor. Data suggests that 40% of visitors do not return to a website after a negative experience.

  • Minimalistic websites can be very effective and beautiful if done correctly. Always be sure that your site has utility and that your visitors have no trouble finding what they need.
  • Consider ways to enhance interactivity with your visitors. Examples of good engagement catalysts are blogs fora and special features that are updated on a regular basis.

6. Poor Legibility

Bad typography choices