Mistakes even big sites make that lower visitor retention


Visitor retention is one area many sites consistently ignore.  There are pictures of hot girls, but little branding.  Great product review, but only knowledgeable internet users understand how to follow the site via RSS.  Wonderful pictures of cars, but little incentive for potential customers to signup for the newsletter.  Here are the main issues I have personally observed while viewing hundreds of sites with great potential, but substandard retention.

  • Site takes too long to load because of 3rd party content
  • Focused on monetizing the site, vs keeping the customers to monetize repeatedly
  • Unrelated Graphics
  • Misleading titles with unrelated content
  • Big promise of a subject with little delivery
  • Content is there, but hard to find

Site takes too long to load because of 3rd party content

Twitter feeds, Ad Banners, Videos are great way to increase content on your site and monetize your site.  To 3rd party content properly, understanding page load and user experience is important.  Have you followed a link on facebook to a site offering pictures of beautiful person and sit there for minutes while  ads load, then content presents itself? How likely are you to revisit that site without following another link?  If you knew it was the same site, would you eagerly follow it, or would you load the page and walk grab a cup of coffee while the first image loads?

Focused on monetizing the site, vs keeping the customers to monetize repeatedly

Banner Ads, Videos with links, Affiliate links, pop up videos and hard driven marketing for a purchase can be very profitable for a website.  But if these items slow down the page load, how many customers hit the back button or close the browser tab?  Without customer experience as a priority, your sale, click on an ad, or view of an impression will not be nearly as successful as it could be.  If your site makes money by customer impressions, make a site experience that will stimulate traffic.  Make an environment where the impressions are higher.  Do not allow your bounce rate to increase because 3rd party content takes forever to load.

Unrelated Graphics

Unrelated graphics may draw someone to your page, but it will not keep them there.  A nice picture of a beautiful person can draw traffic, but one time visitors are a limited source of income.  Try relating your graphics to the content of your page or the brand of your company.  Focus on what the person is feeling when they look at your page.  Try desperately to avoid increasing your bounce rate by not relating a piece of the page to the expectation of your User.

Misleading titles with unrelated content

Headlining is a powerful tool of Drawing people to your site, Post, Product page, or Ad.  If you write a headline to catch peoples attention about cars, but you’re really talking about the transit system in your local area, the wrong type of viewers are now looking at your content.  An occasional signup for your newsletter may happen, but most likely your brand is now associated with misleading content.  You have programmed a potential repeat visitor to associate your site with misleading or non truthful intentions.  Protect your brand and deliver the content you have promised!


Big promise of a subject with little delivery

When expectations have been built, make sure the delivery matches!!!  If a promise for all the information that will ever be needed to build a professional ad network and make millions of dollars is given, make sure that is has been delivered.  To properly build an ad network to make millions of dollars may take a whole series of books containing millions of pages of information.  If that is the case, make sure you cut the posts into smaller pieces and provide navigation for all ten million pages.  But if you have one opinion not based in fact, as previously stated, your brand has now been associated with misleading or non truthful intentions.  A potential valuable visitor may be converted into a powerful naysayer converting other potential valuable signups into people who avoid your site. Protect your brand and deliver the content you have promised!

Content is there, but hard to find

How many sites have you visited where you looking for something promised, but had to search, or could not find it.  If a post is separated in many smaller posts, provide navigation to previous and next, if not any section of the series.  People who are looking for something should be able to find it fast, or they will discount your site as another pain they do not want to deal with.  Sometimes creating navigation can be a pain.  Especially if you are unfamiliar with your site software, or the features are not available.  Take the extra effort and ensure that your customers have the best experience possible.  The better the user experience, the easier it is to convert a one time looker to a repeat visitor.  Repeat visitors are  a lot easier to sign up to newsletters, site subscriptions, or follow product and article feeds.  Protect your brand, protect your brand, protect your brand!!!

Keep people coming back…

Whatever your monetizing model, even if it is undefined as of now, keeping people coming back to your site, app, desktop application, or store is how to grow a consistent business.  Retention is one of the most important aspects of your business.  Even if you feel that you have a one time sale product, there are always accessories.  Ads are more likely be clicked or viewed if people come back over and over.  Products get destroyed, expire, and break, so why not focus on keeping customers coming to your site.  Even if they are not purchasing with every visit.  Most people have friends or someone that respects their opinion in an area, so have consistent visitors bring new customers.  Maintain what your marketing dollars and time have produced.  Keep valuable resources and use your resources positively to create new resources!!!

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