Getting traffic to your website is the first step in reaching your goals. For most businesses, though, it takes more than a glance at any given page to complete a valuable goal. This means keeping your users on your site, engaged, and moving through the funnel. Obnoxious web design can turn users off of your site, your product, and your business. Here are three tips to help keep more of your visitors on-page, and nudge that bounce rate down.
Your users are on your site for a reason. Maybe it’s to find out more about your product or service. Maybe it’s to see a gallery of your offerings. Maybe it’s to read your blog. Whatever they’re there for, the dominant way we deliver it is via text. Body text, call-to-action text, text overlaid on an image, whatever– users have to be able to read it in order for it to do its job.
From the user’s point of view, unreadable text is an annoying chore. We can’t easily read what you’ve written, so unless we’re already sold on your business, we’re not invested enough to try. It also smacks of unprofessional insensitivity. Web design is design— it’s about solving a problem. That problem is keeping an unattached user on your site.
As pretty as your medium grey text on a light grey background looks, it’s hard to read. Doubly so for those portions of your white text overlaying an image, if part of that background is white.
Don’t Hijack Your Users Preferences
It’s not common, but I experience it enough that it should be mentioned. Your user has settings on their computer and browser. Settings they’re used to, and that work on 99% of all websites they visit. If you hijack them, you alienate your user. You put yourself, your business, and your website between the user and their computer– previously totally connected.
The most egregious form of this is scroll hijacking, usually to get a smooth scrolling effect. By hijacking your users scroll settings, you frustrate their expectations. They expect their scroll to function a certain way, and that’s no longer happening. The culprit: your website, which appears to have been built by an out-of-touch artiste who is also a control freak. That’s annoying, and a good way to drive off users is to annoy them.
Keep Your Pages Focused
Focused design is easy-to-use, and easy-to-use is clean. It’s easy to find what you want, or spot that call-to-action, if it stands out from the rest of the page. By keeping your page design focused on one or two topics or goals, you can minimize the noise. A one-column layout is much more approachable than three or more. One menu makes more sense to the user than three, especially if those three are broken up and strewn about the page. Don’t take my word for it– get it from the folks over at GoodUI, who have the data to back it up.
Good web design is about keeping your user on your site, informing themselves, and finding an easy path to your business goal. Don’t lose them at the first step by presenting an obnoxious website. Keep it legible, don’t alienate your users, and make each page easy to grasp. These three things will help reduce your bounce rate.
Next time: web development tips to decrease your bounce rate!