You don’t live in a perfect world.
None of us do.
See, in a perfect world, we’d never have people unsubscribe from our email lists. In a perfect world, we’d never have to encounter writer’s block ever again. In a perfect world, readers won’t leave our sites. No matter what the reason is.
Unfortunately, the world is far from perfect.
People can unsubscribe from our lists at anytime.
Writer’s block is a common occurrence to those who write.
And, unfortunately, readers do leave our sites for countless reasons.
In previous blog posts, I touched on the first two issues. But the last issue is something that’s been concerning me for the past few months.
And if it’s something that you’re not concerned about, maybe this post will change your mind.
What Really Makes A Reader Decide To Leave A Blog?
This was a question that I started asking myself two months ago … and I wanted answers.
I mean, every time I checked my stats, my bounce rate wasn’t getting any lower.
And the numbers I was starting to see, were quite disturbing.
25 … 10 … 17 … 47.
Those numbers represented how long a few visitors would stay on the site … in seconds.
Why did they leave so quickly? I just couldn’t understand it. But rather than stress my brain out, I decided to do the only thing that made sense …
… I ASKED!
See, for the past two months, I’ve been asking my readers, people on social media and people on various forums this exact same question:
And, to my surprise, I was provided with more than a couple answers. But although there were various answers that were given, what I’m sharing with you is the most common reasons that people seemed to have.
Truth #1 – Your Page Load Time Is Too Slow.
There should be no shock that this would be the main issue that people had.
And, as a blogger, it should make perfect sense. Think back to how many times you went looking at a blog for information and the site was taking a long time to load.
I know, for myself, the most amount of time I’ll wait is 10 seconds … and I’m one of the reasonable ones out there. I know people who said they’ll wait 2 seconds or less for it to load.
Don’t believe me? Here are some opinions on this that people have:
Here’s someone else’s thoughts on this.
And this one …
As you can see from these answers, page speed is a major issue. And if you don’t make an attempt to correct it, readers to your site will quickly stop being readers.
Lesson To Learn – This is something that you have to start taking very seriously because the longer it takes for your page to load, the higher the chances are that your readers will leave your site.
And in case you didn’t already know this, slow load times can affect your search engine ranking. But what it also can affect is the overall visitor experience.
This is the last thing that you want so make sure you address this immediately.
Truth #2 – Your Content Just Sucks.
No matter what you blog about, the general consensus is that if your content sucks, then readers aren’t going to stick around. And that makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?
But before we get into why it makes sense, let’s read what some people actually said about it:
Before I continue, really listen to what that person’s saying. It really speaks volumes.
Hopefully, your blog and the content you write doesn’t fall into the category of “little quality.”
Here’s what someone else had to say …
This person’s talking about the home page, not even specific blog posts. If your home page is a landing page, make sure the content you write is appealing enough to draw people in.
Now, it seems pretty obvious where content really stands with regards to blogging and websites. After all, we’ve all been exposed to that played out saying, “Content is King.”
But even though my belief is that promotion has surpassed content for that title, content is still obviously very important.
Lesson To Learn – Your content is still important and you should be focused on writing exceptional content that’s not only for the audience but appeals to them as well.
Even though promotion is the real king, your content still has to be of the highest quality possible.
As you can tell from this truth, readers still expect you, as a blogger, to be on top of your game no matter what. If you’re not, then they won’t feel the need to stay.
Truth #3 – Your Text Is Not Formatted.
You’re on Twitter and you click on a tweet that has a really interesting headline that entices you. The topic seems like something you’d be interested in learning more about so you decide to click on it.
You’re then redirected to the website and all you see is this …
… walls and walls of text.
You know it’s a topic that you’re interested in but it’s the formatting of the post that’s the problem.
Would you still read this post? Answer honestly now.
If you happened to say yes, then, my friend, I won’t call you a liar but I’ll tell you that you may be in the minority.
Fact of the matter is, many people won’t bother wasting their time to read that. In fact, here’s what one person had to say about it:
I know this person’s not the only one that gets turned off by this. I, for one, refuse to read a post if it’s a wall of text.
Format. Your. Posts.
Lesson To Learn – Readers don’t want to feel as though when they visit your blog, they’re reading a school textbook. That being said, you should format every single post you write.
Headline. Subheadings. Lots of white space. Readable font.
When you choose not to do these things, you’re going to push your readers away because 9/10 readers will leave the very second that your content isn’t formatted.
Truth #4 – You Don’t Have What They’re Looking For.
Imagine yourself shopping at a mall in your city looking for those new designer boots, or that popular gadget you heard so much about.
You don’t know exactly where to look but you hope that the information desk will be able to point you in the right direction.
They direct you to a store that would seem to have what you’re looking for – but after looking around, they don’t have it. You talk to someone who works in the store and they confirm that they don’t have what you’re looking for.
Obviously you’re sad about it but knowing this information, would you stay around that store and look to see what else they had, or would you leave and try another store?
More than half of you reading this would choose to stay in that store a little while longer. Am I right?
But while that works for offline businesses, people aren’t that willing to stay around if they don’t find the information they seek online.
Here’s what one person had to say about that:
I don’t know about you but if I’m looking for a specific piece of information and I come across a website that doesn’t have it, I don’t stick around.
And I’m not the only one that feels that way, obviously.
Lesson To Learn – Sometimes, you just can’t win nor please everyone. You could spend the last 30 days writing some of the best content you’ve ever written but if it’s something that your readers just aren’t looking for, they won’t hesitate to leave.
And as unsettling as that sounds, you should still try your best to write content your audience will appreciate.
Truth #5 – They Can’t Stand Your Pop-Ups.
To tell you the truth, I was completely blindsided by this.
You have so many “experts” out there that say that one of the best ways to get subscribers, is to include a pop-up on your site. And I’ll admit, when I had a pop-up, I was getting a steady flow of subscribers. But when various people shared what made them decide to leave a site, this was one of the most popular answers.
Here’s what some people said:
That person was very candid about it but are they wrong?
Would you stay on a site if the pop-up keeps on coming back every 30 seconds or so … even if you did close it?
There are some sites that I visit on occasion where they have that dreaded pop-up syndrome. Even when I close it, it come back 30 seconds later. And yes, it is very frustrating.
Here’s what someone else had to say:
Like I said earlier, many “experts” out there actually say that one of the better ways to get people to subscribe to your list is to have a pop-up appear on your site. Yet these are real people, not experts, that’s saying that they don’t actually like it.
Lesson To Learn – It’s expected that you should test your site. There are certain things that you should test for and pop-ups is definitely one of them.
Given the information that’s been presented here, I don’t suggest you do pop-ups that continue to pop-up every 30 seconds. However, you should test whether or not pop-ups, in general, is something that works for your audience.
Keep in mind that some wouldn’t mind it, and subscribe, and some will ignore it or even leave your site and never return. But you never know unless you test it out.
After reading all this, you may feel as though there’s a few things you need to do on your site. That’s exactly how I felt when I first saw the answers that some people were giving.
It’s true that readers leave our sites for any number of reasons. In this post, there were only 5 main ones listed, but tallying up all the answers, there were well over 17 reasons that people gave for why they leave a blog or website.
This is something to be concerned about and I encourage you to check them out and make the necessary adjustments.
What are your thoughts on this? Do any of these disturbing truths concern you? Please don’t hesitate to share your opinion and leave a comment below. Also, if you’re curious enough to see the complete results of what everyone said, here’s the links to the first forum and the second forum.
F.Y.I. There won’t be a post next week Monday due to the fact that it’s Canadian Thanksgiving on Monday and I’m choosing to spend that time with family. The next post that will be published will be on October 20th. Hope you all have an awesome few weeks.
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