How to Scare your Website Traffic Away

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/

When your bounce rates are high and people come to your site only to leave it quickly, reaching your goals can be hard. To make more sales, increase email subscriptions, encourage engagement and accomplish almost anything else with your website, you need to increase the amount of time people spend on your site.

Many businesses unknowingly scare their site traffic away, actually working against themselves. When you avoid things that spur visitors to push the “back” button, you can make your site a more powerful marketing tool.

Overwhelm them from the Beginning

When your homepage is full of text, crowded with images or includes too many options, you will overwhelm your visitors as soon as they land on your page. You really only have a few seconds to impress a site visitor so you can’t risk overwhelming people from the beginning.

Make your homepage simple and don’t confuse your visitors with so many options that they don’t know where to click first. Use a streamlined design, break up large sections of copy and make it very obvious where users need to go for the information they are looking for.

Make Important Info Hard to Find

One sure fire way to scare visitors away is to make the most important information on your site hard to find. If users can’t see right away where to click to find what they are looking for, they will quickly lose interest and leave your site.

Create a navigation menu that includes a few basic options and headings that show users exactly where they need to go. For example, if people come to your site looking for your store locations, include a “Find a Location” option on your main menu. Don’t bury the information people are looking for.

Include Confusing Navigation Menus

Speaking of navigation menus, make sure yours are clear and simple. The labels should make sense and the pages you link to should be strategically organised so that people can easily navigate your site.

Remember that you don’t have to include all of your pages on your main navigation menu. In fact, it’s better to choose the most important pages to include here and link to the others throughout your site where it makes sense.

Skip Basic Functionality Features

Failing to include things like a search bar, contact form, social media links and other basic functionality features can frustrate your visitors. Making your site as easy to use as possible is important to decreasing bounce rates and converting visitors into customers. Think about why people use your site and then design the layout, features and functionality based on those needs.

Be careful not to include so many features that they become distracting, but don’t skimp on the things your site needs to make it useful.

Don’t use a Mobile Site

If someone visits your site from their smartphone or tablet and discovers your site isn’t mobile friendly, chances are they won’t visit it again from a mobile device. The mobile audience is a valuable one and it’s important that your site is easy for people to use no matter what kind of device they are using.

Make sure you aren’t doing any of these things that scare visitors away and make your website less effective. When your site is fully functional, easy to use and well designed, it will help you reach your marketing goals.