I originally wrote this a little over a year ago. I re-read it and I think it still applies. If you are running a blog you should take a moment to read this. Read my 6 Sure Fire Ways Visitors Will Hit the Back Button When They Visit Your Blog.
Note: This article does contain affiliate links. If you click on them and sign up for their services I will receive a small commission from the sale.
1. Your Website is S-L-O-W
The #1 reason why visitors will hit the back button when they visit your website? It is because you website is taking forever to load.
So if your page is taking 5 minutes to load the possible reasons for this are:
Your Hosting Sucks
Shared hosting might be cheap. But you end up paying the price in the long run. From website down times, to poor support, to taking forever to load your site. The list can go on and on. My suggestion is if your going to be serious about blogging? Spend the money up front for a quality host like WP Engine. They provide a high quality service that ensures that your page will load quickly!
Can’t afford to move right now though? I completely understand! Read below on how I managed to get the most speed by combining the use of MaxCDN and Cloudflare to get this site to load at around 2 seconds.
Your Running Plugins that Affect Load Times
I love WordPress and all that it can do. And I’m a Plugin junkie. Unfortunately you might be to. If you have a lot of plugins that require a lot of resources to run than that will dramatically affect your load times. I highly suggest reading the article below on how I researched and figured out which plugins work, and which ones don’t.
Your WordPress Theme Looks Great But…
Your free theme could be the issue as well. It might have a bunch of cool features in it. It also might have been poorly coded or not optimized correctly. Although the offerings out on the web are getting a lot better. I would highly suggest purchasing a 3rd party framework and get a child theme. I personally use Genesis here at avgjoegeek.net. Although there are others out there that work just as well such as Thesis and Headway.
2. You Have a Pop Up Blocking Your Content
I understand that Pop Ups work. I’m on the fence here about them. On the one hand they do convert. On the other hand? They can annoy people to no end if done incorrectly. To make sure that you take away some of that ‘annoying’ factor:
- Make sure they have a clear way to be able to quickly click out of the plugin.
- Make sure that it will look and work correctly for Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
- Test to see how the popup is performing. If it isn’t and you see traffic dropping? It’s time to rethink and redesign your popup so it stops driving people away from your website!
3. You Have Too Many Ads
I understand you want to make a buck. I’m sure most people blogging do. We all need to eat, pay for hosting costs, or buy a Hawaiian island. But if your site has too many advertisements this is another big turnoff for potential visitors.
Visitors want to see your CONTENT. What I don’t want to see are poorly placed Google Ads or every other word I highlight over popup with an advertisement. If you look at a recent guest post on avgjoegeek.net you can read a great article on ad placement there.
Read More: Ad Relevance and Effective Ad Implementation
The general idea for ad placement is to try to make it as unobtrusive as possible while still placing them so people will click on them. It’s a fine line between flooding a site with too many ads vs. having ads that still performs well. Not to mention that Google will penalize your site for having too many ads placed on your website!
4. You Use Generic Stock Images
So you have great content, a well designed site, proper ad placement, product placement, and email opt-in forms. Why would you ruin it with Stock Images? Nothing says “I could care less about your experience” than using a generic stock image. As soon as a visitor sees the generic smiling face with a headset on – they are outta there and could care less about your content.
Another reason as to why you shouldn’t use stock images? More and more social media sites are starting to use your images like Pinterest, Tumblr or StumbleUpon. If you want your content shared on these sites – it is imperative that you think about the imagery you use on your site.
A great resource to help you with creating great graphics? PicMonkey – Its an online service that will help you design and create awesome looking graphics right from your browser.
5. Your Content Sucks
Of course you could have the best designed site in the world. But if you’re posting ‘Top 10 Basket Weaving Techniques’ on your Tech blog? Visitors are not going to read any more than the title – give a sigh, shake there heads and click the back button never to visit your site again. Below are a few tips to ensure visitors will keep reading!
Read More: How to Make Your Blog Google Friendly
Make sure your content is relevant to your niche or topics on your blog. Stick to the topic! If your running out of material to write about? Ask for a guest blog post. Or do a List post. Make a post about your old content. Do an interview. Or anything as long as it is relevant to your blogs overall topic!
I admit it. I am a grammar nazi. And with so many spell checkers, dictionaries online, even the one in WordPress sort of works. There is no reason as to why you should have a misspelled word in your post. Or improper use of wording (which I’m sure I’ll have a few too *grr*). So do your best and before hitting that publish button re-read your post and check for grammar! Believe me it helps.
Writing for People
Although you have seen a BILLION posts on how to write for SEO, Create Killer Titles, Make sure your keyword density blah blah blah. They forget to tell you one very important fact. Write for people – not search engines. Sure it is important to sprinkle SEO into your article. But write for those who will be reading your content first. Because if I see something that looks like it has been scraped and re-written poorly? *Poof* there I go clicking the back button and you will have lost a reader for life.
6. You Don’t Moderate Your Comments
The final straw for visitors to ensure they never visit your blog again? You don’t moderate your comments! I know part of the mystical formula that is Google’s Page Rank is to get a ton of Comments. But not moderating them is actually worse than having no Comments at all!
Having spammy comments, links to porn, pharmacy sites, or other spam sites will hurt your site more than if you only have 1-2 comments from real people. Not to mention it will turn away your visitors if they see you don’t care enough to moderate your Comments section.
Update: I like most sites have just turned off Comments altogether to avoid the amount of spam they received. Its unfortunate but it just isn’t worth the risk.
Some ways to fix the Spam on your site though are pretty simple:
Install Anti-Spam Software
Make sure you are using SPAM plugins like Akismet or GASP. They might not filter it all out. But they will filter out a large majority!
Get a Comment Plugin
There is a ton out there though. Personally I prefer Disqus at the moment. Some other great alternatives are LiveFyre, or you could add Facebook/Google Plus comments instead and remove WordPress commenting entirely!
Although I am personally against Captchas – they can be quite effective at fighting off the Spam from your site. There is the default one that comes with WordPress – or a ton of other options.
What to Take Away From This?
If what you are doing is working? Then by no means change it! If that pop-up is getting you tons of sales or email subscribers – then don’t worry about it!
Now if you think I am pointing my finger at you? Then you should audit your blog and work on making some changes. Remember that blogs are always changing – so nothing is wrong if you’re making them for the positive! But make sure you test them to make sure they don’t hurt your blog instead of helping it grow!
Update: Another sure fire way? Making a bunch of list posts that a million other people have written before you lol. Make sure to do your own thing and stick to a topic your readers want to see. These tips are still relevant at least.