A conversion is a a defined activity on a website. When a website visitor takes this defined action it should be a step to become a business lead in my pipeline. Generating more business from our website requires more conversions. Conversion optimization is the process of increasing the number of leads. The optimization process involves tweaking design elements to improve performance. Here are 5 reasons or website design mistakes that could be preventing your sales leads.
Reason #1 – Long Forms
Don’t make it too hard for people to respond on your website. The number one reason why most websites are not getting conversions is super long forms. The sales team expects that on the very first website visit somebody will enter their life story. Can you imagine somebody sitting on on a website long enough to fill out screens of information? Put that in the hands of a mobile user. Somebody trying to do this on their phone with two thumbs filling out pages of information.
A firm called Formstack did some research on this issue. They’ve discovered that the magic number fields in a form is four.
You may be saying my sales team will never go for that. They want us to ask for this whole list of information in the beginning . But what you really need is your foot in the door. Four fields could say, OK, here’s my name, here’s my phone number, here’s my email address, here’s the company I work for.
If I have those four pieces of information, I have plenty. I can use this to get that person on the phone and follow-up with them by email. More than four fields runs the risk of turning leads away. The same study shows how forms with more than 6 fields start to loose conversions.
Reason #2 – Barriers between your Visitors and your Website.
Do customers have to setup an account before they can check out? Do visitors have to use a login to see your content? Do users have to click through pop-ups to see your homepage? All this stuff is putting barriers between you and getting that sales lead.
When your first interaction with a user is to put a barrier or a “gate” in front of them, how does that build trust? Users have to give you personal information to go farther into your site. But they haven’t had a chance to experience your expertise. How do they know what you have is worth signing-up for or even paying for?
I understand marketers who spend a lot of time producing content want to get something in return. Information, like an email, they can use to further their marketing strategies. But does it have to be the first thing visitors see? Do you need to meet them at the front door with an ask?
Here are two suggested articles that will offer more explanation on this issue.
To Gate or Not to Gate? Is That Really the Question? (See how you feel about their pop-ups while you are trying to read this super helpful article.)
Check out this classic article: “Login Walls Stop Users in Their Tracks. ” The data is still often quoted and the advice is still good.
Reason #3 – Unclear on Next Steps
The next problem that websites have is not being clear where visitors should go next. When users cannot figure out what their next step is, they leave. A clear next step is a CTA or call-to-action.
What is a clear call-to-action?
- Shop Now
- Schedule a Consult
- Call Now (great for mobile users)
If you are not being specific enough, your website comes off as hard to use. Not only CTAs are a problem. How navigation and links are styled. How navigation and links are labeled. The visitor is not clear that if I fill this form out, what’s going to happen next? What’s going to happen with my information? Or the design is not making it clear what they are signing up for?
What do you see on a lot of websites?
- Learn More
- Read More
- Click here
Learn more. What does learning more mean? How do I measure learn more? How do I decide if somebody has actually “learned more” from my website? That’s just not clear. Can you imagine a salesperson sitting in a meeting with a potential client and asking them to learn more? No, they wouldn’t. They would give them the next step to start doing business together. Your website should do that too.
Reason #4 – Design is a Distraction
The design of your website should highlight your content and functionality. When sites begin to have conversion issues one reason is design problems. The first thing to look at would be readability. A site that is hard to read is hard to use. Users don’t have enough time to figure out a hard-to-use site. Things like dark form fields with dark text over a dark photo. It’s hard to read.
Another issue could be what is the focus of your page design. A good page design focuses on the call-to-action. The CTA should be the brightest thing on the page. Your eye immediately goes to your next step. Distractions can come from too much clutter on the page. Large photos that have no purpose but to fill out the page design. Use of color in other areas of the page. Things flashing and moving on the screen. All of this takes away attention from getting that conversion.
Reason #5 – Lack of Trust
Trustworthiness is an SEO factor and also a conversion factor. Trust happens with your website visitors by putting out quality content. Demonstrating your expertise with your web content. Displaying credibility items like testimonials or professional certifications.
How do you lose the trust of web visitors? Sometimes its very simple mistakes. Sending people to different URLs to complete conversions. Having content on one site versus another website. Sending users back and forth between sites. Not being careful with branding items. Like having different logos on different pages.
The number one trust factor that that throws people off is stuff not working. Broken links. Pages are too slow. User goes to submit a form and it doesn’t look like it was successful. If your forms aren’t working, I wonder why you are not getting more business from your website?
Where Do We Start?
Now its time to figure out the million dollar question, what do people want off of my website? Before you start, make sure that your site is set up to track conversions.
To start optimizing for more conversions, you will want to focus on one issue at a time. Change one thing at a time. Make small changes you can track. Start testing. Tweaking, testing, tweaking until you start to see those conversion numbers tweak up.
A suggested place to start would be your homepage. On business websites, the homepage is the most visible. It typically draws the most traffic. More conversions from your biggest traffic generator makes a lot of sense. Having a high-performing homepage is good for business in the long term.
Don’t jump in and redesign the page. Take one item, like maybe the call-to-action button in your top banner. Change the label. Test it, make sure you get traffic on the page to see it. If that doesn’t work, your conversions don’t improve, change it again. By making small changes, now we are learning what interaction people want and what CTA they are likely to click on.
Once you start to see results, take that call-to-action and amplify it on the rest of our website.
Next time you feel like your website is not generating business, don’t panic. Don’t immediately jump to a complete website redesign. Stick with it and continue to test and tweak and test and tweak until you find the formula that works.
Check out our webinar recording, “How to Get More Revenue from your Website Traffic?“, to dig further into the topic of conversion optimization.