Have you ever taken a look at your website’s statistics and wondered why the majority of visitors don’t last for more than 5 seconds on your website? Why do they immediately press the back button? Was it something you said? No, it was probably a ‘designer mistake’. If you would like to know my personal perspective, please continue reading and I will tell you the 3 major reasons I leave your site immediately after I clicked on your link.
1. Pagination with one item per page
Whether this concerns a slideshow with the 24 funniest cat pictures divided over ten separate pages or the 10 most common causes to catch a cold all nicely divided by one cause per page, I’m really not going to click through this. I, and I am sure many people with me, want to see what your web page has to offer at a glance.
I am pretty sure this is done to artificially inflate the views for any ads on each web page, but it simply won’t work out. You need to think of the needs of your visitors first. Because without visitors, you can’t make money with ads.
3. Any type of pop-up
Pop-ups, pop-unders, whatever you call it. If it pops, I’m out. When I am completely new to your website, do not immediately ask me to leave my email so I can “stay informed!”. You will have to earn my email address. My email address is given up when you have proven that you have worthwhile content to offer. Give me some time to decide whether I’ll subscribe to your email list of not. And don’t ask me whether I’m sure if I want to leave your website when I click the back button; clicking the back button is not an accident. I am holding the opened door in one hand but you are tugging at my wrist of my other hand. This is only making me want to slam the door right behind me as soon as I yank myself free.
Some things are not so much of a problem
Unlike other people, I don’t immediately leave if your website doesn’t load fast enough. It’s sitting in a new tab, I’m not in a hurry, I’ll wait a bit. And there is only one reason that autoplaying sound/video is not on the list: it doesn’t seem to be as common anymore as it used to, thank goodness! Music that automatically starts playing is by far the most annoying part of browsing the Internet, but it appears to be far less common than it was back in the early 00’s. Nowadays there are autoplaying videos, but thankfully they are muted unless given permission to make sound.