You may have spent a lot of time, effort and money on getting your website up and running, but is it working as it should? The real million dollar question is: do viewers stay on it or leave it?

If the answer is the latter, then something is wrong. Take a look at your site forensics and see how long would-be buyers stay on the site. If the figures look worrying and you don’t really understand them, talk to your website designer. If people are not staying to browse and buy, you are going to lose clients and your website is not worth the money you committed to it. Your site needs to do a lot more than just function. It has to appeal to viewers and stop them from getting frustrated and clicking off. When these people begin to ‘bounce’ (the Google Analytics term for leaving your site quickly), you need to get them coming back.

A good web designer in Birmingham will know exactly what to do to make your website work hard 24/7 but if something has gone wrong with your site; maybe you built it yourself or used the cheapest web developer you could find, you need to put it right now or watch as your sales slowly drift away.

Here are the top 10 reasons why people may leave your site. If you tick any one of these boxes, get help from a good web designer now:

1. Not being responsive
A website with responsive design is one that can be viewed on a mobile, laptop, desktop or any type of device. It is called ‘responsive’ because the site responds to the viewer’s device and ensures that the site is able to be seen and used easily. If your site is designed only to be viewed on a desktop machine, viewers are going to find it impossible to use on a mobile device and will go elsewhere. The visuals of the site will be distorted, aligned wrongly and text may be all over the place. Your site has to be easy to navigate so that if a person views first from a mobile and later from a desktop PC, they will see the same thing. If they cannot see your entire site on their screen, they are going to click and leave. Google also loves responsive sites as it helps with your optimisation rankings and will move you on and upwards towards the top of the search engine ladder. Take the time to get your mobile design sorted and it will pay dividends.

2. Messy navigation
When you land on a website, you need to know where to go. Navigation needs to be clear, well organised and easy to find for new viewers. If they find themselves taking the long way round, going in circles or ending up somewhere they don’t want to be, they won’t stay. When they browse they want to find the thing they need quickly, or they will look for it via a competitor site. When designing your navigation plan, think of words like ‘simple, accessible and informative’ and you will be on the right track.

3. Archaic design
Does your website look like it needs a shot of dermal filler? Is it aging, dull as dishwater and uninteresting? If so, this will be one of the key factors that prevents users from staying on your site. Once they land on it, they will evaluate it in 15 seconds and if it isn’t appealing and up-to-date, off they will go. Your site needs to capture their interest and whilst ‘vintage’ may be in with regard to fashion and home interiors, it is definitely out when it comes to web design! You need to keep up with current trends so find a good web developer that has their finger on the pulse and let them loose on your site.

4. Unreadable content
Regardless of the quality of the writing on your site, if viewers can’t read it, it will be a no-go. Fonts should be chosen not only to reflect your brand style but also so that they are easy to read quickly. The clearer your text, the more likely people will actually read it. Pay attention to your fonts, text and background colour, spelling and grammar.

5. Ads galore
Put yourself in the shoes of your website viewer and think of one of the most annoying things you can find and that is too many ADS! Popups will drive anyone crazy and lots of them can make people frustrated, losing track of what they actually came to your site to do. If you have several ads on your site, take a step back and look at whether they could be driving viewers away.

6. Videos that play automatically
These types of videos now crop up everywhere and they can be incredibly maddening and infuriating. As well as interrupting browsing, they have a negative effect upon usability and accessibility. Whatever your viewer is doing on your site, once this videos comes on, it will cause conflict. The result? They immediately click away. If their software is dated and the clip will not play, they are also going to run a mile.

7. Nothing about you
Your ‘About Us’ page is incredibly valuable, but many sites do not have it. They go straight to the Home page and then add a whole lot of services. This is wrong. Interested customers will look for the page about your business; they need to know that you are credible and trustworthy. Use this page to really sell yourself and build rapport, which is always the beginning of a great relationship.

8. Your personality rating is zero
Does your site have personality? This may sound odd but if it does not appeal to potential clients, they are not going to get a feel for what you are about. A good developer will convey your business’s individuality, character and persona in a powerful way by using both words and artful design.

9. Slow to load
Have you checked your site to see if it loads quickly? If it takes more than 3 seconds, users won’t wait. Viewers want instant results and the speed of your pages can literally portray your site as being a dud. This is something that a professional web designer will take into account. There are also tools provided by Google that will test your page loading speed so get checking yours.

10. Product benefits lost in the haze
Do you sell benefits or features? People want to know what the benefits of your products or services are if they buy from you. Tell them how helpful they will be. Steer away from the hard sell and complex features and tell them about the payback. If they are unable to identify with your offer, they won’t take the time to wonder why. Make your selling points clear and obvious.

If you are ever unsure as to how your website is performing, all you need to do is put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Click on your site and view it as a new client would. Take no prisoners. If you are doubtful about anything, it should be looked at and revamped. Once you get it right, your web forensics will provide proof that all of your hard work was worthwhile.