5 reasons people aren't clicking beyond your homepage

With everything that 2020's thrown at us, you’d be forgiven if you haven't checked in on your website for some time.

Think about it for a minute and consider whether you've noticed a drop off in client engagement and leads coming through your website. Perhaps your candidate flow isn't what it once was, or maybe your homepage bounce rate is through the roof.

No doubt these interactions with your website will have been impacted by the pandemic. However, if it's high bounce rate you're suffering from, there could be some issues with your website that are easy to remedy.

Tennis ball bouncing on a clay court

What is bounce rate?

For those unfamiliar with website bounce rate, it's the percentage of visits to your website that end without a single interaction. Essentially, a visitor shows up on a webpage, takes one look around, and leaves.

Any website's bounce rates depend on a number of factors and they can be high for legitimate reasons. However, as a rule of thumb, you should be aiming for a rate of 40% and under.

So, if you find yourself with a high bounce rate, here are 5 reasons people aren't clicking beyond your homepage.

1. First impressions really do count

94% of immediate website critiques are design related and focus on the look and feel of a website before the content is even considered. In fact, poor web design influences users to reject the website altogether and not trust it in the future.

Design that's too complex, has a busy layout and a lack of clear navigation options are often cited as the most common issues when it comes to website first impressions, closely followed by having boring design and poor use of colours.

To grab a potential client or candidate's attention, you really need to make these first impressions count, but you won’t have long...

Holding a watch as the hands spin quickly

2. It takes 50 milliseconds to form an opinion of your website

Websites in 2020 are judged swiftly and ruthlessly.

As the saying goes, “you shouldn't judge a book by its cover”, but websites are subject to an extreme level of snap judgements that influence perceptions of credibility almost immediately.

Users take around 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) to determine whether they like your site or not, and ultimately whether they’ll stay and look around it or not.

For any given client or candidate search query, there will be any number of suitable results and options to click. So, when they click on your site, does the design, imagery, content, brand etc. showcase credibility?

3. If the content or layout is unattractive, 38% of users will stop engaging with a website

You've got the user on your website and they've stayed longer than 0.05 seconds, but if you have unattractive content or poor layout these are both significant factors in them potentially dropping off without fully checking out what you’re all about.

Cluttered and confusing navigation that includes dropdown menu on top of dropdown menu makes accessing your content difficult and can be frustrating for the user.

How are they supposed to find those impressive client testimonials, information on your services or placement stats if they’re hidden away behind a confusing layout?

Frustrated women looking at her laptop

It’s also important to think about your imagery choices and how they tie into your brand. Do they suitably reflect your markets, business, culture and people, and what do they say about you as a business?

Unless you're willing to pay for something bespoke, it can be tough to avoid using stock imagery, but try being a bit creative in the message they're showing and tie it back into the content. The last thing people want to see is a series of meaningless or dull images that don't represent you or them.

4. Visitors to your website won’t take action unless you ask them to

That’s where clear and obvious calls to action come into play, and when done right, calls to action can increase conversion rates by 80%. The trick is to create a clear path to action for the user by clearly signposting where to go.

Are you directing them to your jobs page, to get in touch, to upload a brief or speak to a member the team? Are these pathways clear and uncomplicated?

Laptop showing neon sign saying 'you are here'

Effective calls to action play an integral role in your recruitment pipeline, helping your visitors become leads, leads become customers, and customers become loyal patrons of your brand.

We all have our favourite eCommerce websites that we go to time and time again. Recruitment websites should take a leaf out of online retail’s book when it comes to understanding the customer journey and the barriers to steering users around their websites.

5. Websites on mobile devices should be as good or better than its desktop website

You could have all the traffic in the world but if your website and content isn’t responsive and optimised for mobile devices, users will seek out alternative options i.e. your competitors.

Nearly 8 in 10 users stop engaging with content that doesn’t display well on their device, and Google says that 61% of users are unlikely to return to your site on mobile if they had trouble accessing it first time round.

Red first aid kit and red stethoscope

If your website needs a check up, what can you do?

Firstly, ask yourself a few questions - does my website represent my industry? Am I being directed to the right areas (jobs page, submit brief etc.)? Is the navigation menu clear and manageable?

Approaching these sorts of questions from the point of view from the client and candidate will help. Imagine you’re them; can you get to where you want to be easily?

Bolster this by roping in someone from outside your business to test out your site and make a note of their thoughts as well as your own. A fresh set of eyes can spot things you might have missed,

Secondly, identify where you can make the changes that are quick, easy and necessary. This might be updating your imagery, making the content a bit punchier, combining one or two of your pages to reduce the menu size.

Finally, if you think your website could do with an update, an overhaul or a professional eye cast over it, then engage with your web design agency or if you want some info on what we can do at Nineteen to help, then get in touch.

Cue clear and obvious call to action buttons...

Stats taken from: https://www.sweor.com/firstimpressions