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5 Web Design Flaws That Result to High Bounce Rates

web designThe Internet is a very visual world. What people think of an entity can be reflected in how well it presents itself online. If they don’t like what they see, they move on. Your web and graphic design makes or breaks your success, and the bounce rates tell you if you’ve been made or broken.

The bounce rate is the measure of how many people visited a page (perhaps the home page) on your site via the recommendation of a search engine, and left (“bounced”) without exploring the rest of your website to return to the search engine results page. It’s an important statistic to take note of because a high bounce rate can kill your SEO efforts. It suggests that your content is not relevant to the search terms, and thus your position on the results page will dip.

Bounce rates come in two kinds--the actual bounce rate and the standard bounce rate. An actual bounce rate is determined by the number of users who navigated away from your site almost immediately. Standard bounce rates factor in how long a user stays on that particular page. Bounce rates can be monitored through Google Analytics and other similar tools that tell you which websites have dangerous bounce rates. A bounce rate that is below 30% is low, while rates hovering at 50% and above are high.

One of the most significant factors affecting bounce rate is presentation. Here are some reasons why your web design is rebounding visitors away.

1. It’s not easy to navigate. Visitors who go to your site need to have an easy way of getting to the other parts of your site. If you don’t have a clear and simple site map, or if navigation links don’t work, users will not bother sticking around to find out how to explore the site if another site can give them what they want more quickly. The general rule in web design is to be user-friendly.

2. It’s too messy. Some websites overwhelm visitors by having too much going on in a single page. Every page is easy to reach, but the chosen font is unreadable, is too small, or is too big. Others use completely different backgrounds and design concepts for every page, creating a complete disconnect in all the components of the site. And there are those who utilize bright, clashing color schemes for the design, making it hard to look at the screen. Having interesting content won’t matter if the content is painful to read--you’ll find users clicking the Back button as quickly as they can. A good website is simple, cohesive, easy to read, and relaxing to the eyes.

3. It’s not universal. Browsing the Internet is different for everyone all over the world. From the tools they use (PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones) to the browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari) to the different screen resolutions, it’s a necessity for websites to be flexible in terms of design. Your site may look great viewed on your PC, but how does it look to the user with an iPhone? If your visitors enter your site and find the formatting all messed up, it’s like walking into a poorly-kept store--they’ll just leave and go someone else. The same is true for a website that’s so steeped in Flash applications and videos that it takes forever to load on a less-than-high-speed Internet connection. Even if your content is fascinating, very few people will wait half an hour to see it.

4. It looks old. Visitors get on the Web to find the latest information available. If your website looks like it was last updated in 1997, you won’t find many lingering visitors because you’re giving off the impression that your information probably isn’t reliable too. An outdated website design tells visitors that you aren’t on the pulse of what’s hot and what’s not in the industry, and that means your content must be equally out-of-touch.

5. It’s full of technical issues. How many of us have clicked on what seems to be an interesting link, only to be told that there are server or coding errors with the page? No matter how well-designed a website is, visitors will give up on you if your links aren’t working. A great website should be completely accessible, with all bugs ironed out and accounted for.

pail usability issueIf you find your bounce rates to be worrying, there is still time to lower them. Update what needs to be updated, overhaul what needs to be redone. Get feedback from knowledgeable peers and potential users on the effectiveness of your web design. In the age of the Internet, don’t let your website go.

About the Author @CelinaConner is a Yoga Instructor, an alumna of Information Technology and Web Design Development at Martin College Australia and a mother of a beautiful daughter, Krizia. She has a passion in cooking and formulating vegan recipes.

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