by Brenda Timm

Think of all the time and resources you invest to increase your web traffic and get more people to your site.

Whether you’ve scored their clicks through an email, some stellar SEO or a banner ad on an affiliate site, the last you thing you want after all that work is to drive those new visitors away.

But one wrong move might mean their exit … they could quickly shift their time and attention to another (gasp! – maybe even a competitor’s) site.

So what are some of the things you need to avoid? We’ve put together five common web mistakes that have been known to send visitors clicking in another direction:

1. Confusing/Cluttered Navigation – A simple navigation structure is ideal in eliminating any confusion, but menu items should still be clear enough – and named properly – to direct people to the right place. The dangers of too many options stuffed in one giant menu? Information overload!

2. Unnecessary Splash Pages/Pop-Ups – Most visitors will see a splash/entry page as an extra step in their mission to find the information they came for, so why chance it? As for pop-ups, these can serve a purpose if done right. The problem comes when sites use an excessive rotation of pop-up windows appearing on multiple pages, and even worse, no obvious way to close them.

3. Long Load Times – Pages with large images or multi-media files that take forever to load? Forget it! In the time it takes for these items to appear, your visitors will be long gone and navigating their way around other sites.

4. Hidden Contact Information – One thing that should always be easy to access from every page is your company’s contact info. If a visitor is eager to learn more after reading about a product or service, a frustrating search for contact details won’t leave a great impression.

5. Lead Generation – Providing a helpful resource or tool in exchange for some basic info is usually a win-win. But asking new visitors for too many details to secure that download? They might abandon the lead generation form and your site altogether.
We put a lot of work into building good, solid websites and implementing tactics that encourage new traffic to come. Why not put that same amount of effort into things that will help visitors stay put once they’ve landed and make their experience a positive one?