Have you checked your bounce rate lately? Are you looking for ways to lower your bounce rate?

The higher your bounce rate is the more you risk losing out on potential customers and sales.

Your bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who come to your site and leave without moving on to another page. In most cases the longer a visitor stays on your website and the more pages they visit the better; this typically represents customer engagement and interaction.

When it comes to having the best bounce rate possible, first impressions are everything.

You only have a few crucial seconds to give a good “first impression” and interest the visitor enough to keep them. But if you commit any of these common website mistakes you risk “annoying” your visitors, which leaves you with a high bounce rate and ultimately, you lose out.

By removing any annoying design features and making your site more user friendly, you will:

  • Make a better first impression
  • Improve your bounce rate
  • Increase time spent on your site
  • Increase the number of pages viewed
  • Increase your conversion rate

Even if your bounce rate seems acceptable it never hurts to learn how to improve bounce rate, which in turn, will improve your website performance.

Here is a checklist of the worst and most “annoying” website mistakes you should avoid.

Put an End to Flash

Flash is more a thing of the past now. This multimedia platform was meant to provide animation, video and interactive components but Flash has never been SEO friendly and perhaps more importantly, Flash is not Apple friendly. Apple products do not support flash, and with thousands of new apple devices activated each day it means that more and more of your visitors won’t be able to preview your Flash content. All of your animation and videos will appear “broken” or inaccessible to your Apple visitors. Unfortunately they will likely leave your site and never to come back.

Turn off Automatic Video or Music

Confused, startled, annoyed, over stimulated; I think we have all felt many things in response to websites that automatically launch music or a video before we are ready – they fail to allow us to exercise our right to choose to press play…or not. There is no way of knowing how your visitor has their audio setup or if they are listening to other music, or if they are working in an office with others and so on. Unless you have a very experiential based website you should seriously consider letting your visitor decide when they want to hit play. After all, they are expecting to see something and not hear something when they click into your site.

Speed up Your Page Load Times

Not only is page load time a factor of SEO and rankings, but for a visitor to wait for your page to load can feel like watching a pot of water boil – it’s slow and frustrating! If it takes more than 3 to 5 seconds for your site to load your visitor will likely get impatient and find another source. Take away extra images or videos that may slow down the loading time and build a mobile site for visitor searching from their phones (remember connectivity for a mobile device is often much slower).

Skip Showy Graphics and Add Relevant Content

One of the most annoying things (especially as a content writer) is getting to a website that looks great – the graphics and multimedia are impressive – but it doesn’t have any of the information you need! A website needs ad copy and catchy design but it also needs to function as a data source providing good relevant information for its visitors. Find a good mix of attractive first impressions and question-answering content and you will keep your visitors engaged and prevent them from leaving your site.

Stop Pop Up Chats That Won’t Stop Popping Up

We have all walked into a retail store only to have each sales person approach us asking if we need help. I have even gone into a store to have the same sales person ask me several times if I need help, obviously not remembering who I was. It makes you want to shout, “Just leave me alone!” Your visitors can have the same response to pop up chat features without a visible “close” or “disable” button. The pop up chat feature should also be near the corner (although still visible) and not obnoxiously intrusive. Keep pop up chat features in banners and in your call to actions – if your visitors want to chat they will.

Excessively Long Sign Up Process on E-Commerce Sites

If you have an e-commerce site with a mandatory sign up process prior to making a purchase you should analyze the exit rate during checkout. Chances are you may be losing visitors who had a desire to buy something but when they saw they had to register they were turned away. Some say people don’t want to take the time to sign up and suggest the exit rate can be as high as 60% for this reason alone! By adding a “quick check out” option you can easily boost your sales. The visitor will have to give you almost all of the same information (shipping address, billing address, payment information, etc.) but they won’t feel like they are creating an account or making a big commitment to your site. And they won’t have to worry about remembering their login information and password when they make a purchase in the future.

Spelling Mistakes and Poor Grammar

Does your website copy look like it was written by your 12 year old nephew? Your website needs to establish credibility and authority and simple spelling mistakes or misuse of the words (such as “they’re/their/there”) may be a big turn off for potential customers – especially if your services or products rely on accuracy. Taking the time to proofread, proofread and proofread some more may contribute to a lower bounce rate and will do a lot to improve your brand’s reputation.

Not So Quick and Easy Quote Forms

Admittedly there is a fine balance between getting enough information from visitors requesting a quote and asking too much information, so much so that you scare them off. Ask only relevant questions that will help the appropriate person respond to the contact request. For example, do you really need their full mailing address? With each additional field you add to the quote form ask yourself how it will help you better interact with the person and close the sale. Make adjustments to the form, do AB testing and see how visitors respond.

Improve Site Usability

Remember that each visitor has their own personal tolerance when it comes to these common and often overused website mistakes.

For most people, site usability is paramount and any one of these faults will instantly make them stop browsing your site. For others, these types of errors will slowly wear away the trust and respect they have towards your website and brand.

We’re all visitors to websites – what other items would you add to this list of “Annoying Website Mistakes” that cause you to bounce or exit a website?

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