Twelve Reasons People Abandon Websites

The average amount of time a user will remain within a website is 59 seconds, after this their patience will start to waver. So, the big question is, can your customer make it to the checkout or complete a goal in less than a minute?

A minute isn’t very long when you consider that it includes finding how you can help them, why they should buy from you, can they trust you, and also finding answers to important questions about your delivery areas, prices and options, for example.

Here’s our top twelve reasons why people abandon websites, and how to fix them…

The content is difficult to read

There are lots of reasons people might find website content difficult to read.

It might be because of the lettering itself. Maybe the font, text size and colour aren’t right for your customer or brand. Childish fonts, handwriting fonts and old fashioned fonts should always be avoided as they don’t give a professional feel and can undermine your brand. In particular, fonts like Comic Sans, Time New Roman, Courier, Arial, Bradley Hand should never be used, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cringed at a website because they use comic sans. Overly fancy fonts and script fonts can be hard to read, plus the letters don’t always space well making it look ugly.

Content that isn’t well written is also hard to read, so check your grammar and spelling carefully. Or even better, get someone else to check it for you.

The design doesn’t appeal

Your website isn’t for you, it’s for your customer, so the design must be appealing to them. Take a moment and step into the shoes of your golden customer. What do you think would appeal to them? What would they expect from a website that sells a product or service like yours? Consider colours, photography, features and style, as well as the type of content you include. Remember, what appeals to you might not appeal to your golden customer.

A dated website can be off putting too. If you haven’t looked at yours for a year or two, then maybe it’s time to freshen it up a bit.

Too Many ads

You’d think this one would be obvious, after all, none of us like peering at websites through multiple pop-ups and ads. However, many experiences are ruined by ad content. Take a look at this screen shot. The website is barely usable due to the volume of ads. It might have been easier to use on a computer, but as we just found out, most people are using devices to search the web nowadays.

I actually sent this screenshot to Jane to tell her how difficult it was to use her recipe blog. She didn’t care one bit, just said she had to make her money somehow! I’m not denying that, but surely, there has to be a balance.

How long would you persevered with this recipe?

It doesn’t work properly on mobiles

More and more people are using their mobile to research and buy on the internet, in fact 60% of website enquiries are now made using mobile devices. However, it is estimated that 3/4 of websites are NOT mobile friendly. This is crazy when you realise that 30% of sales will be abandoned due to the site not being optimised for mobile.

Take a look at yours, how does the layout and text look when you see it on your phone? And what about navigation, is it still easy to find your way around? Is the text still readable and the buttons big enough to press easily?

You can’t find what you need

If the answer can’t be found quickly and easily, then people are quick to switch off and go elsewhere. Think about the normal places people look for certain things on a page. For example, you would normally check the footer for a websites privacy policy and terms, and you would expect to find the shopping basket and login at the top right corner.

You already know the types of questions your customers might have about your product or service. How they might find the answers they need on your site? Are things where you’d expect to find them?

It can help to map the path you’d like your clients to take when they visit you. Look at the pages you’d like them to travel through, do they get all the answers easily, and is it obvious what to do next?

Don’t forget your call to actions! A lovely big button on each page leading your customers to the next step is essential. You just can’t depend on your customers to spend time searching for things.

Restrictive contact options

Everyone is different and we all like to stay in touch in different ways, but forcing your customers to fill out a web form to get more information, or only accepting enquiries at certain times can be very off putting. How does you golden customer like to stay in touch, do they prefer to chat on the phone or to send a message? Will they expect to be able to schedule a discovery call on your website, or do they prefer an instant response via a support bot! Whatever it is, make sure to include their favourite, and a coupe of alternatives, just in case!

They can’t find the prices

This is a biggie! More checkouts are abandoned due to unexpected costs being added at the last minute – in fact this accounts for 25% of all abandoned sales. To avoid this being an issue, it’s vital that ecommerce websites make it easy to calculate final costs such as delivery, additional VAT, required extras, options and of course, the cost of the actual product itself. Believe it or not, this isn’t always clear, either!

It’s slow to load

Research by KISSmetrics suggests that 47% of consumers expect a page to fully load in 2 seconds or less. Large media files, old plugins, and flash content will slow down your page, as will videos that autoplay.

Tools like Smush can help reduce the size of your pictures, you can also disable old plugins and stop running flash. If you are not sure how your page is doing, google has a great tool that will tell you.

Go to: where Google will analyze your page speed for mobile and desktop users, and get ideas of where any problems might be. Here’s what it might look like…

The Desktop view showing the speed of one of our pre-built sites

They aren’t sure of the benefits you offer

Many businesses are good at listing the features of their product, but aren’t so good at articulating the benefits. This can be a stumbling block for shoppers, but it’s an important step in showing your customers how you help them, not just what you do.

Here’s the difference for an mp3 player: Feature = Can store 1gb of mp3’s. or Benefit = 1000 songs in your pocket.

Your landing page didn’t appeal

You only have around five seconds to grab someones attention when they visit your site. If you are successful they will stick around and start scrolling or clicking, if you’re not, they’ll abandon the page.

The space above the fold (the part of the page they see before scrolling) is the most important part of your site. This is the bit your customers will judge you on the most. There isn’t much room though, so you’ve no space for “welcomes and waffle”. You need to get straight to the point and make it really obvious who you help and how. You’ll also need your best call to action here. If they want to know more, they’ll scroll or use your navigation to find it – as long as you’ve put it there!

Your site is not secure

There is nothing more worrying than when you visit a site and Google flags it as not being secure. When users get a warning that a site might not be safe they click straight out. This is so easy to fix with an SSL certificate – they are even FREE!

Stuff doesn’t work

Is there anything more frustrating than finding broken links and forms, discount codes that don’t work, desktop features that don’t translate to mobile such as mouse-over, missing files, or whatever else could go wrong, the list could go on and on. Bottom line is that broken websites are infuriating at best!

You’ll have to check your website yourself though, as most times, your users won’t report broken elements, they’ll just go elsewhere!

What makes you close websites?

Let us know in the comments…

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