What Is The First Thing You Notice About A Blog Or Website When You Arrive?
I would bet my first born child the majority of you would say, “the appearance.”
Whenever we surf the Internet—among the clutter and fluff of information and spectacle—we are consistently drawn to what we see first. What our eyes distinguish as aesthetic appeal is what entices us to delve deeper into a website. Therefore, wouldn’t it seem relevant— and almost respectively common knowledge—that a website’s structure should be based on aesthetic arousal and visual stimulation?
Yet so many sites miss the mark completely and not only smash together images and bodies of text onto a page—hoping the masses will sift through the jungle of lexicon, but they plaster the page with unnecessary, unrelated imagery. They forget that simple is better. Simple graphics, text (including proper spelling and grammar), and images will solidify a website’s ranking as dependable, trusted, and viewer friendly.
With That Being Said, Here Are 3 Ways To Make Your Website Visitors Bounce
1. Lack Of Visual Appeal
Let’s start with images. The human eye naturally tends to look left to right, top to bottom. This is the way we’re taught to read, and when we survey any environment we naturally take our focus left to right then high to low. When you’re constructing your website, make sure the most important images are located top left where the eye will initially be drawn. It’s important to make sure the image is relevant to your opening statement or site direction.
If you’re a coffee company and your first image is a smiling frog in a swamp, you may want to reconsider your image use. Make sure your visitors know what they’re getting the second they arrive. We all know first impressions are one of the most important factors in a website’s overall rankings. Will people stay, or do they click and leave? Image placement is critical in keeping those viewers wanting more.
2. Poor Punctuation And Grammar
It’s true that a majority of Americans cannot consistently use a comma or semicolon correctly in a sentence, but that doesn't mean they can’t spot an occasional misuse by someone else. Make sure your website is proofread multiple times. I may be a total weirdo, but I cannot tell you how many times I went to a site and immediately left because “you’re” was spelled “your,” or “lose” was spelled “loose.” Grammar and punctuation are crucial aspects to credibility on your site.
If you’re not a grammar freak, find someone who is to make sure your site is proofread and correctly spelled and punctuated.
3. Outdated Material
This may be the most difficult part of maintaining a viable and trusted page. Usually when you've constructed your work-of-art website, you want to hang it for all to see and never touch it again. Unfortunately for the “perfectionists” and “finishers” of our day, the masses want updated content. If you’re not adding to and changing your website, you’re left in the proverbial interweb void never to be found again. It sounds harsh, but content-driven websites are what bring unique visitors.
Consistently adding and subtracting from your site is the key to mastering web traffic. The constant of a great website is change.
These are just a few ways your website can maintain its integrity and dependability. Even though these tips may seem redundant or common place, once you start slacking off on your grammar and visual updates people will notice, and they will pack their bags. You may not see it at first, but once your traffic starts to slide you’ll notice the suitcases are gone and there’s a note on the kitchen table saying, “I’m sorry, this isn't working. It’s not me, it’s you.”
Do you have anything else to add? Would love to hear your comments below.
Bonus – How About Three More?
Bonus #4 Cookie Cutter, Stock Website:
You know what they look like. The second you see a cookie cutter site you know it’s from a stock template with a title change and a few new images. For sites that need a lift you may have fresh and stellar content, but the user can’t feel it at first glance.
Bonus #5 Slow Load Time
Every second matters with users and load time. Users have become accustomed to a hyper-fast internet and, according to a Kissmetrics survey, 30% of users will wait 6-10 seconds before they abandon a page. If your load time is more then 4-5 seconds, consider some of the following issues.
- Does your page have large images?
- Is your site burdened with too many ads or slow-loading ads?
- Whose fault is it? The host? The server?
- For WordPress sites, do you have too many plugins or plugins that need updates?
Bonus #6 No Direction – Unsure of What to Do Next
So I landed on your site and everything is optimized properly but, at a glance, I have no understanding of what to do or where to go next. This can be caused by not having a site plan at all or possibly by over planning. A lot of sites are filled with so many links, images, and content that it can become confusing and cumbersome to the user. Give me direction and guidance to funnel me toward the end goal. Every page should have a purpose in the story of your site and pass the user on the next chapter in your book.