How to Prevent User Drop-off on Your Website

Posted by Molly

Addressing your website’s pain points can help you streamline your conversion funnel and keep from losing potential customers. Below are some of the biggest reasons for your users to leave your website. If you find you are losing a large number of your website’s visitors it may be wise to perform an audit of your site and make sure you are not making any of these mistakes.

What is User Drop-off

Before diving into how to prevent user drop-off it is important to understand exactly what in entails and how it differs from your website’s bounce rate. User drop-off is calculated by taking the number of visits to the current conversion step (example: clicking to a contact form) minus the number of visits from first conversion step (example: visitors to your homepage) all divided by the number of visits from your first conversion step.

Drop-off-rate

User Drop-off vs. Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is something completely different. The bounce rate on your website consists of the number of users who immediately left your site or hit the back button after they arrived. Google considers these people who only stay on your site for a matter of a couple seconds. Some of the main causes of this would be poor load speed, non-responsive website on a mobile device, or extremely outdated look.

1. Unclear Call to Action

The most common mistake I see all over the web is a lack of a strong call to action. For you, your call to action is simply the goal of your website. Is the point of your site to sell a product? To grow readership and subscriptions? To gain clients for a service? Based on this principle you need to create a clear and concise conversion funnel that users will pick up on and follow. For example, if you are selling a service and want to convert your user to a customer it would make sense of you to get them to call you of fill out the form. With that in mind you need to make sure that button, form, or information is at the very top of your design hierarchy. If the user cant find the call to action then they become frustrated and give up within a very short time frame.

Conversely, if your website is overloaded with too many call to actions then the user will automatically be overwhelmed. The second you present your user with a decision you have just put an obstacle in the way of converting them.

Drop-off-rate-CTA

2. Confusing Navigation

Another thing to look into when considering how users interact with your website is your navigation. The first question you need to address is can your user even find your navigation? With new UX elements like collapsible or hidden navigation you may be losing a sizable portion of your users. The other thing to consider is if your navigation links clearly mark off paths of your site. If your user clicks on a navigation button and goes somewhere unexpected or not matching the button title, they will most likely become confused and give up.

Another issue that we see a lot in bad web design is the use of multiple navigations. If done correctly this can be used to help rather than hinder the user, unfortunately most of the time it just makes the user feel lost and helpless. If they can’t determine exactly where they are on your website, chances are they will leave.

3. Cumbersome Forms

An extremely common user experience debate about drop-off and conversion centers around online forms. In many cases there is a precarious balance you need to strike between gathering enough information from the user and scaring them off. If a user approaches a form and feels overwhelmed or can’t readily access certain required information, chances are they won’t bother filling it out. Which form would you rather use?

Drop-off-rate-Forms

4. Unclear or Missing Contact Information

One of the most important considerations for someone looking to convert a user by selling a service is your contact information. It is shocking how often crucial information like a phone number or address is missing from a site or hidden so the user is unable to quickly find it. Depending on the goals of your site, it is usually wise to have this clearly stated on every page so the user never has to go far to find it. If you make them search for it, they are probably going to your competitor.

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