• Buffer
  • One of the main goals of running a website is to actually get people to visit. And once they visit, you want them to stick around for a while. In fact…the longer the better.

    That being said, you want to do everything in your power to keep people from leaving your website.

    Today, I want to share with you an infographic from KISSmetrics that discusses eight separate factors that encourage people to leave a website.

    1. Bad Navigation

    I’ve written here before about site and blog navigation. These are absolutely crucial to get right in order to get people to go where you want them to go, and get them to see what you want them to see.

    Bad navigation kills your conversions. And if people can’t find exactly where they want to go, and find it quickly, they are likely to leave your website altogether.

    2. Too Many Ads

    Ads can be very profitable. But show too many ads, and they are an instant turn-off causing people to flee and never come back.

    3. Bad Content Structure

    The infographic states that as much as 50% of sales are lost because people can’t easily find the content that they are looking for.

    Organize your content in a clear and concise manner. Group relevant information together. For example, don’t make people browse around 50 different pages to find the information they need to make a decision about your offerings.

    4. Obtrusive Use of Video or Audio

    Video and audio that loads automatically can be really annoying. People like to choose the content that they consume. Don’t force it down their throats.

    On a personal note, I find audio that starts automatically far more annoying than video. It’s probably because videos are easier to spot, and stop, on a page than audio players are :) .

    5. Registration Requirement

    This one is a bit of a toss-up.

    There are plenty of membership-based businesses that require people to register before they can consume any content. And if people leave, then they likely weren’t your ideal client anyway.

    That being said, in most cases requiring registration isn’t the right way to go.

    6. Boring Content, Boring Design

    Visual design plays as much of a role in people’s experience on a website as the actual content does.

    According to the infographic, 40% of people don’t return to a website after having a negative experience.

    I have also seen statistics that over 90% of people that cite trust issues with a website relate it back to bad design.

    In other words…every detail counts.

    7. Poor Legibility

    Don’t get fancy with your fonts. And don’t make them too small. If people can’t read what you wrote, they won’t. And they’ll leave.

    Just this morning I ran across a blog whose font was minuscule. I had to strain my eyes to read the first few sentences before I bounced.

    And I have pretty good vision…

    8. Lack of Frequency

    True to human psychology, we always want the latest and the greatest.

    Then again, times are changing so fast that older content may not even be applicable any more in some industries. When faced with the choice, most people will choose to consume the content that is more recent.

    To overcome this, publish content frequently. But also update older content to refresh it.

    I use a trick to get around this factor by not displaying publish dates on my blog posts. The comment section does display the dates of the comments. But then again, I’m hoping that if a visitor has gotten all the way down to the bottom of the blog post, they’ve actually ready it.

    Bonus (not in the Infographic): Site Speed

    People have a short attention span. And in some cases site speed can be a big barrier that makes people leave a website before giving the content a fair chance.

    For that reason, improving site speed should always be a concern. Plus, it now affects search rankings too!

    What Makes Someone Leave a Website [Infographic]



    15 Responses to What Makes Someone Leave a Website [Infographic]

    1. Nima says:

      lol your own website fails at this.
      you got : too many ads, poor content and that annoying lightbox asking me to signup.

      • Eugene Farber says:

        Thanks for the input Nima…which ads are too much for you?
        I see only two ads for my own products in the sidebar…

        Also…the lightbox is easy to close out. And once you close out once it won’t appear again. There is no subscription requirement here.

        Just out of curiously…I saw a surge in traffic from Reddit when I published this. You wouldn’t have happened to visit from there?

    2. Ursula says:

      These are excellent tips! Poor navigation and loud audio will make me leave a site in seconds.

      • Eugene Farber says:

        Yeah, for some reason the audio bothers me a lot more than video does.

        • Michael says:

          Audio is much more intrusive and broadcasts to anyone within earshot that you’re surfing. I prefer the video ones with an option to “scroll over for sound.”

    3. Jeremy Holstein says:

      Honestly, the only time I ever leave a website is because I’m done with it or was just curious as to what the site was an found my answer. I think that should also be a reason added. It’s not like people ONLY leave because of some flaw.

      • Eugene Farber says:

        That’s true Jeremy. This wasn’t supposed to be an exhaustive list. Plus, if someone has found what they are looking for on your website then you have done your job. They might leave at that point without taking further action…but you’re not going to please anyone. I wouldn’t add that to a list of things you should be concerned about.

    4. Richard Harris says:

      “True to human psychology, we always want the latest and the greatest.”

      Which is why Viktor Frankel, 7 Habits, and The Road Less Traveled sell year after year? The latest is rarely the greatest.

      =====================================
      “I use a trick to get around this factor by not displaying publish dates on my blog posts.”

      Why, I didn’t know that was a trick; I thought it was just sloppy journalism. I DO know that the lack of a dateline infuriates me, and I never read that blogger again.

      • Eugene Farber says:

        Thanks for your thoughts Richard. You will find exceptions to every rule. There are, of course, timeless classics. But would you deny flat out that people like “new” as a general rule?

        Also, sloppy journalism would imply that his is a journalistic endeavor…which it is not. In fact, I also wouldn’t consider what Huffington Post does to be journalism.

        Why does the lack of date infuriate you? Do you want to know how recent it is? :) .

    5. Prerna says:

      Though I knew all of the enlisted factors, but it always works to be reminded of these factors constantly. Specially the Navigation point. A good website should tell the user what action does it want her to perform.

    6. Ben says:

      Agreed with first comment. Good article but this website/blog should follow some of the advice it is suggesting.

    7. david underhill says:

      I agree lose the popup
      Most people HATE THEM

      • Eugene Farber says:

        Hi David,

        That’s certainly a point of view that many people have. But if the content is good enough are people really going to let a pop up stop them from consuming it? You closed it out and left a comment. And I’m assuming the pop up didn’t bother you again (at least it shouldn’t have).

        Do you have evidence to support a blanket statement like “most people hate them.” I can show you stats for subscription rates in favor of having a pop up.

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