by Ronnie Higgins, Eventbrite | October 24, 2019

First-time visitors to your event website are looking for any reason to bail. You only get a brief moment -- about 15 seconds, according to Marketing Land -- to convince them to stay and register for your upcoming meeting.

During these precious seconds, anything that inhibits a smooth user experience works against you. Every detail of your website can make the difference between winning over a new attendee and saying goodbye to yet another visitor.

Three common causes for website bounces are a failure to optimize for search engines, a cluttered site design and a clunky purchasing process. While these mistakes are commonplace, it's relatively easy to avoid them. Below are five steps we at Eventbrite recommend to improve the user experience and drive up ticket sales.

1. Optimize Your Website

For visitors to become customers, they have to find your website. If you're not showing up on the first page of Google results, the chances of that happening are slim.

The solution? Invest resources to boost your site's search engine optimization. Organic search is responsible for roughly half of all website traffic and regular optimization can provide an even greater increase in clicks, according to research from BrightEdge. Dedicate steady labor to this task, whether it's from an employee or a contractor.

2. Make It Attractive & Easy to Navigate.

Your website's design is the first thing users will notice. An overcrowded and complex design will turn them away within milliseconds.

Make sure that your site's aesthetic and layout are in sync with your brand. According to information from Blue Corona, 48 percent of website visitors cite page design as the top way they determine the credibility of a business. Consider what your visitors are looking for when they land on your website and make it easy to get there.

3. Choose The Right Images

The human eye is more drawn to images than words. Google knows this -- SEO Tribunal reports that 97 percent of page-one results on Google contain at least one image. Choose images that showcase your event experience and place them carefully on the site to draw visitors in. Hiring your own event photographer is a worthwhile investment, but appropriate stock photos can do the job in the meantime.

4. Remember That The Devil Is in The Details

When visitors come to your website to learn about your meeting, don't leave them guessing about key details. On any page directing them to register, make sure the event time, date, location and cost are clear.

Leaving out this information could keep potential guests from signing up. Don't let a careless omission kill your best chance to seal the deal.

5. Simplify Purchasing

Make it easy for users to register for your meeting with one-click purchasing. According to Barilliance, 28 percent of people abandon their shopping cart due to complicated check out. Ensure your registration process is streamlined and all event costs and fees are clear upfront. 

Additionally, don't overlook your mobile. If it's difficult to purchase tickets or register for your event from a smartphone, you're guaranteed to lose some sales.

Your website's first impression is critical to attract -- and hold -- the attention of visitors. Make your site memorable by assessing every aspect of its design and content, and your event will benefit as a result.

Ronnie Higgins works at Eventbrite, helping event planners level-up their registration game. Born and raised in New Orleans, he enjoys nothing more than helping people get together -- whether it's for a conference, class, or a citywide party like Mardi Gras.