With so much content on the internet today, people now tend to skim rather than read. Keeping visitors on your website is essentially getting harder and harder. What’s more frustrating is when you have a website with a really slick design and a good amount of content, only to find that visitors are still in a hurry to leave!

So, why are visitors leaving? 

The average dwell time on a website is just short of a minute, 58 seconds to be exact. By making use of some of the best practices you can increase this, but, you need to figure out whats making them leave in the first place.

Here’s five reasons visitors might be leaving.

1. The website is slow

A slow loading website isn’t a website that takes minutes to fully load, we’re talking about a website that doesn’t load within seconds. A few seconds is all it takes for the visitor to hit that back button. With internet speeds only getting faster, this means visitors will only get more impatient.

Nearly half of website visitors (47%) expect a website to load in less than two seconds and 40% will leave if the website hasn’t loaded within three seconds.

A fast loading website also has the added advantage of better SEO rankings.

2. Website Design

Unfortunately, websites do tend to get judged by what they look like rather than the content on them.

A fresh design ensures that returning visitors don’t get bored, it also gives the impression that you’re constantly active and looking at ways to make your content more easily accessible for them. These changes don’t have to be drastic, it could be something as simple as a colour change.

If you’re looking for tips, large fonts and minimal design seem to be the current trend.

3. Outdated News/Blog

Returning visitors will expect to see activity on the site. Most new activity comes from the news or blog section. A website with an outdated blog or news section screams ‘This website is dead, move along.’

Make a point of updating this section once a week. Although, be sure to update it with information that relates to your business or industry, avoid irrelevant topics.

4. Not Responsive/Mobile Friendly

Laptops and Desktop PC’s are no longer the only devices that people browse the internet on in 2017. As each day passes more and more visits to websites are done by mobile devices, people want information on the go and will turn to their mobile device for this.

Trying to browse a non-responsive website on a mobile device is frustrating. Pinching to zoom, having to scroll left and right to read the content. That’s obviously the last thing a visitor wants when they’re on the move or in a hurry to find out information.

Visitors want convenience, not a challenge.

5. Poor Navigation

Site navigation is part of the user experience and a navigation that isn’t clearly defined or hard to understand will lead to a poor user experience. Chances are the visitor will be left frustrated and leave.

Site navigation should be one of the first thing you think about before the design stage. A sitemap can help figure out the structure of the site and will generally help in creating a logical navigation for the website in question.

When a visitor comes to your website it should be obvious what your business does and what the visitor is supposed to do next.

So there you go.

These are just five of the reasons why visitors are leaving your website. If you want visitors to say on your website, you need to give them a reason to.


Note: This post was originally written in 2017 and has been updated to reflect changes for 2019.