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10 Things That Make People Bounce From Your Site

By Eric Miltsch on Aug 24, 2013

stop itMany dealers have invested a lot of smart money in a lot of dumb things when it comes to their website. And by dumb things, I mean those things that are causing people to leave your site. I'm sure you remember being on a website that frustrates you. You remember that site and may even go out of your way to avoid it again. 

Think about the experience you're providing your visitors. Is it simple? Are their obtrusive items? Is it easy for shoppers to get the info they need to make a decision? 

Here's a list of some of the key culprits. And yes, I understand that you may not be able to control every single item. If so, speak up to your website vendor and let them know you want help with the changes. And if a website vendor tells you there will be a charge for it, simply ask them why they're charging you to help them improve their product. 

  1. Music or auto attendants who automatically start playing - and are also difficult to stop. Would you run up to a new showroom customer and start blasting music at them or just start shouting out your newest specials? 
  2. Traditional Captchas. Please stop showing these squiggly words. You can't possibly have that much of a spam problem, you probably don't get that much traffic to even warrant it on your site. If you still think you need it, there are much easier solutions - such as asking you what 1+2 equals. 
  3. Pop-up coupon offers that cover the entire home page - and are extremely difficult to close. If you must use them, make them appear off-center, make them smaller and make them very simple to close. 
  4. Multiple pop-ups on the home page. This is more of a personal preference, but I recently visited a dealership site that had a coupon pop-up, a drop-in chat window, a right-hand margin "ask a question" tab and a bottom pane tool bar that all loaded at the same time - it looks like an old west shooter game. I didn't know where to look first. Plus, all of these scripts slowed the entire site down and each page took way too long to load. 
  5. Survey pop-ups on the home screen. Again, you don't ask your showroom visitors to answer CSI surveys when they walk in the front door.
  6. Immediate newsletter sign-ups. Same deal. Please stop. 
  7. Too many required fields in the contact forms. Name, email, phone number. That's all you need. I would even test name & email and let the phone number be an optional field. You don't need my home address if I'm submitting a form. (This is a sticky situation with the vendors as the OEM's may require this - it needs to change as it's a key factor why forms don't get used as much as they could) 
  8. Blank specials pages. I want to see the specials. Where are the specials? I clicked on this expecting specials! 
  9. Mobile sites that don't have the click to call function. Users expect this. 
  10. Not showing all of your vehicle photos on your mobile site. One photo doesn't cut it. 


What other items do you keep seeing that may contribute to your site's high bounce rate? Let's get a solid list of items and wipe these problems out with the help of the website vendors. You'll enjoy better website performance and your online visitors will appreciate the improved experience.


You got most of them! I would add - videos that offer no additional information and show the same pictures (in lesser quality) in a slideshow. Real video or no video, please. - Pierce

Aug 26, 2013

Pierce - oh, you're so on the money with that one! Thanks for adding it!

Aug 26, 2013

How about a slow loading site?

Aug 27, 2013

Absolutely Deidre!

Hopefully people are aware of how quickly their site loads. Most vendors have this in check, the problem arise when too many large/hi-res photos or graphics are added to a page.

Aug 27, 2013

Eric - great list. I'll add two:
1. Some dealer sites have 20+ calls to action on the homepage and many of them are not color or size coded to draw the visitor's eye towards the most important one(s). I can see a lot of consumers feeling confused and overwhelmed when visiting those homepages, or at least spending more time than they otherwise would trying to find what they need. If you buy into the notion that people will only spend X amount of time on your site, you've just burned precious seconds making them think about where they want to go. It will take several rounds of user research and tweaking to improve the situation, but it's probably worth the effort.
2. A big mess of SEO keyword stuffing below the fold. Although it probably isn't a major contributor to people bouncing, it's ugly and it keeps people from getting to your site because you are being penalized by Google for it now.

Aug 27, 2013

I must admit that I am using a coupon pop up on my home page that should probably be placed elsewhere on the site.

I personally hate inventory without any pricing. Would you ever use Amazon again if they asked you to call for a price on everything on their site? I am all for creating a call to action, but people are on your website for information. Giving them no indication of price causes people to simply close your site and find another that does give them a price.

Aug 27, 2013

good post, dealers need to remember that they have only SECONDS to keep their prospects on their page.

Aug 29, 2013

Behavioral Targeting will take care of issues 3,4,5 and 6. There is a time and a place for these types of pop ups or offers. And it is NOT on the home page or the page the customer enters the site on.

Aug 30, 2013

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