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Don’t Read Me: The Six Best Ways to Make Sure People Never Click on Anything on Your Website

Getting people to your website isn’t the same as keeping them there. In fact, the average “bounce time” is about 15 seconds. That means people figure out if they want to hang around and look – and click – after just 15 seconds. What makes them bounce?

Load time is the most common reason given by users who bounce. In fact, almost 40% of users leave if the site takes too long to load, and almost 50% expect the site to load within two seconds.

If they choose to stay, what makes them decide to go away? If you’re looking to avoid getting any clicks on your site, here are ten easy ways to chase users off.

  1. Avoid a call to action on your homepage. A call to action keeps visitors on your website by giving a prompt to the user. It can ask a visitor to sign up for a newsletter, agree to get sales notifications, or even offer a special discount that needs the customer to “buy now.” A simple button or link can encourage a customer to keep looking and clicking.
  2. Don’t scale the website to be viewed on a phone or tablet. Almost 90% of users think a company’s website “when viewed on a mobile device should be as good or better than its desktop website.” It isn’t very difficult to do: make sure that the site works with the screen of computers and mobile devices, don’t use complex tables, don’t put up too much content on a single page, and don’t include videos that won’t play on multiple devices. All small things that can payout in lots of clicks.
  3. Let those videos start the second someone pops up the page. People love being forced to watch or listen before they make the first click on the page. Putting enforced videos on your page will get you a click off your site and onto someone else’s. First, using videos slows down page load. Second, people might love videos, but they also love being the ones to select them. It’s clear that people watch and learn from the number of YouTube channels, but no one likes their computer or device to start playing something in a meeting when they’re supposed to be paying attention.
  4. Rules are meant to be broken. Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is, technically, a requirement for websites. Following the requirements means that your site will be accessible to all. There are many companies that will check your website for you, and others that simply list the requirements so that you can check them yourself. Either way, if you choose to ignore compliance with ADA, you will definitely lose more than a few clicks. 
  5. Don’t make it pretty. There’s more than one way to look good (or bad). Users prefer white space around text to make reading easier, especially when they are on their devices. Headings and sub-headers are great ways to organize for a quick scan. Lists are also helpful, giving users a chance to take in a lot of information quickly. Avoiding all these helps to make sure that no one will click and keep going. The other thing that matters is the content. A professional look might draw a user in, but does it keep them there, clicking? According to studies, almost 40% of people stop using a site if it’s “unattractive.” Professional artwork and layout make it far more likely that you won’t lose a user immediately.
  6. Show that you don’t care. Don’t check your links. Don’t edit your text. Don’t update your information. Don’t look at comments and remove spammers. Don’t include any sort of contact information. Don’t include ways for users to follow you on any social media. The less care you put into the upkeep of your site, the less time your users will stick around and browse around.

Don’t worry – you’ll know if you avoided making contact with customers. Nearly 90% of users are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. Engagement is easy to avoid, if you only know where to offend.

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