Article November 2014

9 Reasons People Leave Your Website In 3 Seconds

Is your website hurting your business? If people are leaving your site in droves, and you’re not seeing many leads, conversions, or sales, your site might need a tune-up.

In this digital age, where 89% of customers search the web before making purchases, online user experience can make or break your business (Digital Influence Index 2012). 

Most website visitors are on a mission to find something specific. You only have 3 seconds to tell them what to do, make it relevant, and keep them interested. Otherwise, they’re gone. And they may never come back. In fact, 40% of visitors don’t return after having a negative experience. Sometimes, you only get one shot. Don’t blow it (Kissmetrics).

Creating a successful website inspires confidence and trust in your visitors. If they can get what they need quickly and easily from your site, they will be more likely to trust you and the products you sell.

Do you know what might be wrong with your site? Here are the top 9 problems that could be driving your prospects away. 

1.  Too Slow
Did you know that 47% of users will ditch a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load? Most people have a lot to do and little time to do it. Time is precious. Don’t make them wait (Kissmetrics).

Pro Tip: Be selective of the number and size of your images. They can slow down your site and even produce half or partially-loaded images. 

2.  Poor Navigation
If people are confused and getting lost, they aren’t going to stick around. It shouldn’t take them 20 clicks to get to a desired destination. The general rule is 3 clicks or less. 

Pro Tip: Give people a reason to stay. Don’t make it difficult for them to find what they need. Know your audience and what pages they will find the most useful, and direct them there quickly. Also, find a good analytics program that will track where users go on your site and how long they stay there. 

3.  Broken Links
Nothing can be more frustrating than clicking on a link that doesn’t work, especially when it’s critical information. Broken links and 404 error pages not only make a site look messy and unmaintained but create a huge headache for users. 

Pro Tip: Double check all links regularly to make sure they are functioning properly. 

4.  Not Mobile Friendly
Laptop and desktop computers are no longer the only devices people use to access the Internet. In fact, the world is going mobile, and 25% of users only access the web through their mobile devices (Smart Insights). Research also shows that 62% of businesses who designed a website with mobile in mind saw an increase in sales (Econsultancy). 

Pro Tip:  Responsive web design is extremely effective in making your site user-friendly on multiple digital devices. With responsive design, your site will be optimized for each device, creating a positive user experience no matter what consumers use to access your site.

5.  Poor Design
Did you know that 94% of first impressions are design related? If your website looks and feels unprofessional and messy, it communicates that you don’t care and haven’t put a lot of thought or effort into your site. And if you don’t care about putting your best self out there, you must not care much about the quality of the products you sell. 

“The appearance of a website will be a determining factor in its success. Not every website needs to be an award-winning design in order to achieve its goals, but it should appeal to its specific audience and should present a positive, professional image" (

Pro Tip: Trends in web design are constantly changing, and if you haven’t redesigned your site in 5 or more years, chances are it will be glaringly obvious to your visitors. It’s best practice to update your website every couple years to keep it fresh and interesting to users. 

6.  Not Enough Detail
Most people don't buy from businesses they know nothing about. One of the quickest ways to drive people away from your site is to leave out important information. 

Pro Tip: Including enough detail about your business on your site helps educate and motivate your customers toward a desired action, whether it be making a purchase, filling out a form, or contacting you by phone. These critical pieces of information include product descriptions (photos, sizes, prices, functions, and materials), services offered, contact information (email, phone, and address), hours and days of operation, professional accomplishments, awards, and community involvement. Make sure all of these details are in a spot that is easy to find. 

7.  Poorly Written
One of the fastest ways to diminish your site’s credibility is to include content that is poorly written. Some things to look out for are grammar and spelling errors, inconsistent language and ideas, spacing issues, and a lack of direction.

Pro Tip: Proofread every piece of content before you publish it online. Recruit at least two others to help look for errors. Also, make sure the writing is organized and moves logically and smoothly from one idea to the next. Last but not least, check your facts. The last thing you want is to attach your name to something that isn't true. 

8.  Isn't Sticky
Does your content grab your reader’s attention quickly? Sticky content draws your audience in by offering real value. It might be an answer to a problem, a new idea, a compelling story, a demonstration, or a funny joke. You don’t have to give away trade secrets, but offer enough of a taste that they’ll want more.

Pro Tip: Offer content that informs people about your product and helps them explore all the different facets of your business. They might arrive looking for one thing on your site and discover another product or service they weren’t aware of. 

9.  Visually Cluttered
A cluttered website confuses and overwhelms your visitors, leaving them at a loss of what to do next. Plus, the more you add to a page, the less people are likely to see. 

Pro Tip: Leave enough white space on each page to help users focus and absorb the most important information. Don’t cram every product and link on one page. And tone down the bells and whistles. Some believe that the more flash and pizazz they add, the more impressive it will be. However, too many features and effects will distract viewers from the important stuff. 

Is It Time To Redesign?
Your website is one of the most important parts of your business strategy. It can be a powerful vehicle in generating awareness for your company and increasing business opportunities and growth. To stay ahead of your competition, it’s vital that you continually adapt to the demands and needs of your customers and prospects. If you don’t, someone else will.