You have 15 seconds to make a good impression on your website visitors. If you don’t capture their elusive attention in that short time frame, you will not achieve your goals. Whether you want them to peruse your catalog, read more blogs, or make more purchases, all of those will be nothing but a pipe dream if you don’t engage your visitors on your site quickly.
If your website has a high bounce rate (calculated by how quickly visitors leave after landing on your site), then you’ll want to work on resolving this sooner rather than later. Rather than prioritizing vanity metrics like page views, you should focus on the amount of time website users spend navigating, exploring, and hanging out on your website. You want them to stick around as opposed to returning to the search results pages because they didn’t find what they’re looking for. Below lists ten potential reasons why you may not have met your website goals this year.
1. Super Stiff Competition in the Market
For some industries, it is not the website alone that’s the problem — you have stiffer competition, so you get lost in the search results.If you are in a highly competitive niche, this means you must amplify your marketing game even more if you want to increase website traffic and reduce bounce rates. First, you must ask yourself the following questions:
- What can you offer that is different than your competition?
- Are there any untapped resources in your field?
- What aspects of your industry are underrepresented?
- What angles have not been approached yet?
Now is the time to think outside the box if you want to hit your website goals. For example, if you have tons of competitors selling the same products on your e-commerce site, it’s tough to make that sale. But if you kick your service up a notch by providing free shipping or fast tags with the two-day shipment, you can grab your market’s attention. In addition, collaborating with a fulfillment partner can make a world of difference in your sales and revenues.
2. Difficult Website Navigation
Anything that’s disorganized is an eyesore. Period. The same holds true for your website. If it doesn’t have a clear structure, people will get confused and leave. Though you may have high traffic to your homepage, if they bounce off right away, this indicates that you’ve got navigation issues and customers have a poor user experience.
On top of that, this tells Google that your site is not great because people leave immediately. As a result, your site will not rank high on the search results page compared to your competition. If you want to ensure your users stay on your site, pay attention to your website design. Take the following steps to ensure your customers have a hassle-free experience:
- Provide a clear site map
- Put up a navigation menu
- Use thoughtful headers
- Provide tabs and labels
3. Slow Site Speed
Apart from a poorly constructed website, your site speed is a key determinant if people will stay or not. Never underestimate the power of speed as it matters to modern people with diminished attention spans.
Sadly, the average mobile website takes about 5 seconds to load. Unfortunately, people get bored with a 3-second lag. This seemingly small discrepancy means your website is not giving visitors what they want fast enough. If users don’t stick around long enough for your page to load, they won’t see the value your brand offers.
On top of that, the high bounce rate will adversely impact your search engine results rankings. Thankfully you can fix this problem by trying the following:
- Check your actual site speed with free tools like Page Speed Insights or Google Speed Test
- Reduce your image file sizes without sacrificing quality
- Lessen the number of videos you upload on a single page
- Minimize the number of HTTP requests on your site
4. Your Content Doesn’t Foster Trust
A company’s reputation is critical when it comes to business because people only patronize brands they trust. Thus, your website will only be truly successful if people trust you. So ask yourself, what is your company doing to build trust?
If you are bombarding visitors with nothing but hard-selling sales pitches, it can be a huge turnoff. This is especially important for those who are at the top of your sales funnel — not yet ready to make a purchase, but looking to get educated. In this case, the last thing they want in that moment is a sales pitch, so if you can focus on education at this level of the funnel then when they are ready to make a purchase, they will trust you and choose you.
In short, don’t annoy your visitors- build rapport instead. To build trust, you must address the following issues with your target audience:
- Pain points
You need to assess the undertone of all your content. It is not enough to create promotional content. Instead, focus on those that create value. Provide educational and trustworthy information that they won’t find elsewhere. Most of all, fulfill your promises. If you’re a business that promised to deliver on a specific date, live up to that. Get creative with your fulfillment solutions to make things happen.
5. Not Targeting the Right Keywords
It will truly be a struggle to meet your website goals if you rank poorly in search engines. No matter how great your unique products or services are, it won’t matter if people do not know where to find you. Thus, you must optimize the right keywords in your niche. Make sure you target the right keywords in your website content.
- Start with keyword research and implement a content strategy that will drive excellent results for your business.
- Put yourself in your target market’s shoes and imagine what they want to see from your brand for best outcomes.
- Talk to your audience. It never hurts to ask your audience what kind of content they’d like to see as well!
It’s also important to avoid keyword stuffing – this signals to the search engine bots that your contnet is written for them, and not for the readers. You can learn more about keyword stuffing here.
6. Poor Implementation of SEO Best Practices
There are many on-page SEO basics that your site must implement so you will rank high on searches. On top of that, there’s also off-page, local, and mobile SEO. Are you doing everything in your power to implement these practices on your website? Here’s the thing– your competitors are most likely doing it. Hence, if you are not, you will get left behind.
Today, more than 5 billion of the 8 billion people on this planet have mobile devices. As such, modern people have made it a habit to address Google on their phone or tablet when they have a question or need, no matter where they are or what they’re doing. From searching their favorite products to looking for product ingredients, they do it all. Research has shown that mobile users rarely look past the first page of the search results. If you want to stay front and center in your target market’s eyes, you must optimize your website.
7. No Publishing Schedule
Apart from publishing quality content, you must set a publishing schedule. Regular cadence when it comes to content distribution will boost your search ranking. Why? If you regularly update your content, it allows Google and other search engines to crawl your site and index it for new keywords.
If you’re ready to give your content strategy a boost, try introducing two new pieces of content a week for starters. First, create a content calendar to keep abreast of what’s been posted, what you are posting, and what you will post in the future. This new posting habit keeps you fresh and relevant in the eyes of your prospect and existing customer. New content means you are in front of their eyes, and you stay in their minds. Most of all, it will help with memory recall.
8. Failure to Reference a Credible Source
Your website may be lagging in making an impact because you fail to include credible sources, highlight data, and provide statistics. People have access to so much information nowadays at the tips of their fingertips; they will not just readily believe whatever you say on your website.
If you want to make an impact, always include a variety of sources. Affiliating with an expert will boost your authority and credibility, providing stats means you are willing to stand by your words with facts, and case studies prove you don’t just talk-the-talk. Hence, you are not merely making claims, but you are showing facts, which builds trustworthiness. Not to mention, search engines rank websites with credible affiliations higher than those without them.
9. Presence of Too Many Broken Links
Website visitors hate getting an error page because it signifies that they did not get what they expected, and it also feels like a broken promise becuse they expected one thing and, you guess it, got nothing. If you have many broken links on your website, which leads to error pages or re-directs, it is time to start cleaning up. Don’t make the mistake of believing that these broken links are not a big deal.
The hardcore truth is that these broken links can create havoc on your website. It can hurt your business’s reputation by making your brand look sloppy and unreliable. Moreover, it will hurt your search engine ranking because broken links lead to an increased bounce rate, and Google will definitely penalize you for that. We’ve already stated that a poor user experience will negatively impact your brand and your sales as a whole. As a result, you will lose leads, customers, sales, and revenues. It’s not worth it when a broken link is an easy fix. Dedicate some time every month to analyzing and cleaning up your site- your users will thank you for it.
10. Incomplete Site Information
While you’re looking over your site for broken links, evaluate the information present as well. Does your website have an “about us” page which includes your complete contact information? An “about us” page shows all your visitors who you are and what your business is all about. It is one of the most critical steps you can take when building trust with your audience. Keep in mind; people do not like to do business with those they know nothing about.
Secondly, make sure you have clear contact information on all of your devices at the top and bottom of your page. Just don’t lump them all in your “contact us” page. The moment visitors come to your website; they must immediately know how to touch base with your team.
These ten items are not exhaustive, but remember, prioritize having a clear and easy-to-use website that makes users excited to explore and wanting to return. This approach ensures they won’t go to your competitors’ websites. The golden rule is this: If your page is not easy to use and view, then people will leave your site, and fast. It’s that simple!