10 Reasons Why Visitors Will Leave Your Website in 10 Seconds (or Less)
“Don’t judge a book by its cover”
“Looks can be deceiving”
“All that is gold does not glitter”
“Beauty is only skin deep”
“Things aren’t always what they seem”
Over the years, we’ve come up with many ways to say, “don’t make assumptions about something’s value or worth based on its outward appearance,” yet the majority of us are still guilty of doing this every day and websites certainly aren’t immune to this kind of treatment.
Research conducted by Princeton psychologists revealed that it only takes 1/10th of a second to form a first impression about someone.
It’s also been proven that it only takes about 1/2 of a second for visitors to form an opinion about your website that will determine whether they stay or leave.
So, today we’re going to dive into the top 10 reasons why visitors will leave your private practice website within 10 seconds or less.
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#1. A lack of clarity
Is your practice name immediately obvious to visitors? How about the purpose of your website?
When people visit your site, they expect to see who you are and what you have to offer them within the first couple of seconds. Make sure that you’re showing them your name and your most important services right away.
A visible logo and a clear tagline that speaks directly to your ideal client’s needs are two great ways to start out on the right foot and keep visitors from hitting the ‘back’ button.
#2. Inconsistent branding
Do the colors of your website align with your brand’s personality? Just like the clothes you wear represent your personality, the colors and images you use on your website, print materials, social media, and so on are a direct representation of your practice’s overall brand.
Cohesive branding in all of your marketing – online and offline – reinforces your practice’s unique personality and allows people to quickly recognize your business across multiple platforms.
Your brand should inspire emotion from your ideal client so the key branding elements you choose – logo, font, color palette, images, etc. – should be chosen based on what they like versus what you like.Your brand should inspire emotion from your ideal client so the key branding elements you choose should be chosen based on what they like versus what you like. Click To Tweet
The more cohesive your branding is, the easier it will be for your clients to recognize you on any platform and build a relationship with your practice.
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#3. Outdated website design that’s not responsive
Research has shown that first impressions are 94% design-related; that the look and feel of a website was the main driver of first impressions. In other words, if visitors don’t like your website, you’re probably missing out on a lot of potential new clients.
Make a strong, professional impression with both existing and potential new clients by utilizing a clean, modern design for your private practice website.
And while we’re on the topic of design, does your website look and perform well across devices of all different screen sizes? With over half of all web traffic taking place on mobile devices in 2019, responsive website design is no longer an optional feature – it is now a necessity.
Every Brighter Vision website is designed to be fully responsive so that all your visitors will have an excellent user experience regardless of the device they’re using. If you’re worried about whether your site is mobile responsive, you can try Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see how it scores.
#4. Content that is difficult to scan
When people land on your website, they expect to find what they’re looking for pretty much immediately. And those people aren’t going to read a full wall of text under any circumstances, but especially not when they’re in an emotional state looking for a therapist who can help.
When it comes to your Home page, keep the content sections short and direct with shorter paragraphs. Make use of headings, subheadings, bullet points, and even bold text to break everything up and make the page easily scannable and draw attention to the most important points.
#5. Poorly organized navigation
Is it easy for visitors to find their way around your website? Are they able to find what they’re looking for quickly? The way you organize the content on your private practice website can be just as important as the content itself.
When it comes to your website’s navigation, the simpler the better. Keep your navigation menu clean by putting no more than 5-6 items at the main level and only using one additional level of submenu items.
Once you’ve created your initial navigation menu, do some testing to make sure it comes across that way to the majority of users. Ask a few of your family and friends – even clients – to sit down and watch them try to navigate through your website. Your site’s navigation should be intuitive, descriptive, and straightforward. If they’re struggling to find something, it may need to be moved in your menu.
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#6. No clear CTAs
So, you’ve caught your visitor’s attention with your alluring website design and then kept it this far with your relevant, well-organized content – don’t lose them now! The end goal of a page should be obvious to anyone who visits it. What is it that you want them to do next?
Someone visiting your website didn’t come there to do any critical thinking – they’re expecting to be guided in their journey to mental wellness. Even if the answer is “I want them to contact me,” make it easy for them to do just that by adding a prominent “Contact Me” button.
Tip: Use buttons instead of just hyperlinked text. They’re much better at grabbing a visitor’s attention.
#7. Low-quality photos
It has been reported that visuals cause a faster and stronger reaction in our brain than words. The images you chose for your private practice website can help visitors better engage with your content. Furthermore, if the images you use on your site really reach out and speak to their unique struggles and needs, their emotional reactions will result in them remembering much more of what they’ve read.
Using high-quality photos is a great way to illustrate your services and resonate on a much deeper level with your ideal clients. However, if all they see is a blurry image of a low-quality photo that’s been enlarged too far, that could leave them with a bad taste in their mouths as well.
Make sure that the images you’re using are high resolution and that they’re either photos you own (or have purchased) or that the proper attributions have been made (if they’re required). Sites like Bigstock are fantastic resources for purchasing high-resolution images to use on your website but there are plenty of other free stock photo websites available as well. Here are a few of our favorites:
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#8. Missing contact info
Is it easy for website visitors to contact you no matter which of your web pages they’ve landed on? This is truly a “must” for a private practice website. After all, how are your visitors supposed to contact you if you don’t tell them?
Start out by creating a ‘Contact’ page on your website and list all of your important contact information on this page – phone number, email address, street address and even a map to help with navigation to your office. This page is essentially a portal for turning website visitors into new clients.
A ‘Contact’ page is a great place to start in making sure your website visitors know how to reach you, but don’t stop there! Take it a step further by including your primary contact info (phone and email) on every page of your site. Your header and footer are great locations for this kind of information.
#9. Slow load times
When it comes to keeping visitors on your site, load time also plays a pretty significant role.
According to Kissmetrics, 47% of people expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
We shoot for all Brighter Vision sites to load within 2 seconds or less. Does your site take longer than that?
Not sure about the load times for your private practice website? Use Pingdom’s Website Speed Test to test it out.
#10. Other annoyances
Is your site using any features that visitors may find annoying?
The two that we find particularly irritating are:
- Auto-play music or video. According to Brandwatch, the overall sentiment toward auto-play was 74% negative. Plus, today’s most popular browsers now allow users to block videos that automatically play with sound. If your website automatically plays music or videos when the home page loads, you may want to think of turning those off.
- Pop-ups that load immediately. While pop-ups can still serve a purpose – such as building your email list – there’s definitely a fine line between them being beneficial and just a flat-out nuisance. Avoid using pop-ups “on page load.” Pop-ups that appear “on exit intent” (i.e. when someone’s mouse is hovering over the “back” or “close” button) are much more polite which means you’re far more likely to have them opt-in and share their email address with you.
Your website is no longer simple a digital brochure that you send people to when they ask for more information about your practice – it is now the central hub of your entire online presence.
By always keeping your ideal client in mind, you’ll be able to avoid many of these common pitfalls and have a truly effective private practice website.
Review your website for these top 10 faux pas and fix anything you do find right away. Your website should be working as hard for your business as you do.
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