What makes users leave your website?

While one of the first major questions asked when your website is failing is usually “What makes people visit your website?”

However what happens if you have plenty of visitors to your website but the end goal for your users are not being reached?

This is when you should ask the question “what makes people leave your website?”

Baldly designed websites with bad user experience can turn people off visiting your website, below are a few examples of why people may not visit your website. You’ve probably been frustrated with them yourself in the past.

Your design is outdated.

Design matters. However you also have to remember that primarily people come to your site to find information. If your site looks like it was created in 1996 and is rocking a visitor counter, it’s time for a professional face lift. If you’re running a blog no visitor will like to see “last posted 2013” make sure to keep it fresh.

Out of date geocities website
If you website looks like this, it’s time for an upgrade!

Not being able to find the information they are looking for

As mentioned above, when a user comes to your website they are looking for information. If you provide an offline service, visitors to your site are probably looking for contact details. These should be placed on the homepage for easy access as well as in the navigation,  linking to a contact page.

hair dressers
Granted this site has a contact  link but to enhance user experience, the contact number should be displayed on the homepage.

Using nonsensical names in product description

Your business may be in a niche market but don’t assume the users know the specialist area.  Try using a more semantic naming convention such as a products name rather than a products code. Customers would much rather see Samsung TV 50″ rather than SAMXY200 series.

The registration requirement

This is one of my pet hates and for me is an instant turn off. If a website forces visitors to register before being able to view content, this causes a barrier and people will simply leave the website and look for the information somewhere else.

pintrest registration requirement
Website which insist on sign up before viewing are a massive turn off.

Too many adds

If you are going to have advertising, make sure it’s relevant to your product and is discreet. As a general rule, adverts should not be the first thing visitors see when landing on your site.

A website with too many adverts
An example of adverts distracting the user from the content they came to find on the page.

Break your content up

Don’t give people a wall of text to read. Instead split it up with headings, sub headings, images or bullet points. This will help the user to quickly read the important parts to see if they are on the right website for the information they require.

The videos on your site auto-play

There is nothing more annoying than visiting a site and a random video starts playing. You can mute your device, scroll down to find the video to switch off or leave the site. Most people choose tha later.

Instead give users the option to start and stop media at their own free will.

Auto playing media
An example of auto playing media.

What’s Your Opinion?

What makes you leave a website?

Let me know in the comments below.