The truth is that your website is only as good as its ability to convert prospective clients into leads and sales.
Whether the end goal of your site is to push customers to download an e-book, sign up for a software demo, fill out a request form, or purchase a product, a low conversion rate can severely limit the success of your business.
Unfortunately, a significant number of marketers fail to adhere to basic conversion rate optimization principles resulting in low conversion rates and lost revenue for the business.
So, the big question is – what can you do to improve your website’s conversion rate? In this blog post, we outline some common pitfalls that may hurt your website conversion rate. Read on to learn more.
Pitfall #1: Mismatch Between Expectations and Reality
The first pitfall we want to discuss goes beyond the website, and it is perhaps the most important. You need to address it with your team because if you fall there, you can do everything on the planet but still fail to increase your conversion rate.
We are talking about the basic principle of communication and marketing; continuity. Typically, people land on your website from different sources and do it for a reason.
Perhaps they saw your Google ad, searched for something, and your site popped up, or saw your social media post and clicked on the link you had provided. Whatever the case, they expect to find more information or complete an action they read or thought about in the first place.
Therefore, you need to do everything possible to ensure you match your ads, SEO titles, social media posts, and so on with the content on your landing page.
A mismatch between the two will automatically result in high bounce rates that further impact your conversion rate. You see, a high bounce rate is often an indication that something is not right.
Remember that there is only one first impression, and you must make it count. Stay true to yourself and your value proposition, target the right people and steer clear from setting up click baits.
Pitfall #2: Too Many Steps
Every marketer is aware of the sales funnel. This is basically the process in which prospects travel from first becoming aware of your product/service to finally making a purchase.
A sales funnel typically contains several steps that prospects must complete to reach the end of the funnel and make a purchase.
However, many marketers make the mistake of packing too many steps into their funnels, which only complicates matters and frustrates prospects. As a result, they either drop off completely or never reach the end of the funnel, to begin with.
That is especially true of ecommerce sites that require users to register for accounts before checking out. That move alone can create a stumbling block in the purchase process that may hurt your conversion rate.
Ideally, you want to keep your sales funnel as short and simple as possible. The fewer steps prospects have to take, the more likely they are to complete the process and make a purchase.
In fact, experts encourage marketers to do everything possible to ensure site visitors get to where they want to get in three clicks or less.
Pitfall #3: Lack of Social Proof
Social proof refers to the tendency of people to copy the actions of others to feel more comfortable about their own actions.
It is a psychological phenomenon that exists for a reason; it helps reduce the risk associated with new experiences by providing some level of assurance that others have already gone through the experience and survived.
As humans, we are social creatures and are wired to seek reassurance from others before taking action. That is why the lack of social proof can negatively impact your website’s conversion rate.
If you want people to take action on your site, you need to provide some form of social proof that others have already done so. The most common forms of social proof include customer testimonials, reviews, social media comments/shares, and celebrity endorsements.
Including some form of social proof on your website can help increase conversion rates by giving visitors the reassurance they need to take action.
Pitfall #4: Poor Website Performance
How long would you wait for a page to load? What if you were browsing something on a site and you discovered it has a ton of broken links? Would you stay on the site or move on to the next one?
Your website’s performance plays a significant role in conversion rates. If your site is slow, difficult to navigate, or full of errors, visitors will likely leave without taking action.
In fact, research shows that just a one-second delay in page load time can result in a 7% reduction in conversion rates.
That is why it is essential to focus on website performance as part of your conversion rate optimization efforts. Make sure your site loads quickly, pages are easy to find, and there are no technical errors that could frustrate or turn off visitors.
Website speed and stability have an even more critical link to conversion rate; building trust. If you can’t deliver a good user experience on your site, visitors will quickly conclude that you can’t be trusted to deliver on your promises.
And if they don’t trust you, they’re not going to do business with you.
Pitfall #5: Unapparent or Weak Call-to-Actions (CTAs)
He who doesn’t ask, doesn’t get. A call-to-action (CTA) encourages visitors to take a specific action, such as subscribing to a newsletter, downloading a white paper, or making a purchase.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that having weak or unapparent CTAs can have a negative impact on conversion rates.
Your CTA must be clear, concise, and relevant to the page content. It should stand out from the rest of the page and be impossible to miss.
In addition, your CTA should be aligned with the user’s needs and expectations. If you’re promising one thing but delivering another, you will have difficulty converting visitors into customers.
Finally, make sure your CTA is actionable. Use strong verbs that encourage visitors to take immediate action, such as “download,” “subscribe,” “buy,” or “sign up.” If your CTA isn’t driving the desired action, make changes until you find a version that works.
Pitfall #6: No Customer Support or Help Available
While several technical and design aspects can hurt your conversion rate, there is also a more human side to conversion rate, or rather lack of it.
Your website only serves as one central touch point along the buyer’s journey. To improve conversion rates, you must focus on the entire journey, not just the website.
That means providing quality customer support and assistance at every stage of the process. If potential customers have questions or problems, they should be able to reach out and get help from a real person.
They will likely give up and take their business elsewhere if they can’t. Make it easy for them to connect with a human without having to go through countless clicks or hours of waiting.
Fortunately, there are many tools that can help, such as live chat, contact forms, email, and even social media.
Pitfall #7: Failure to optimize for Mobile Devices
Mobile devices are quickly becoming the preferred way for people to browse the web. In fact, mobile traffic now accounts for more than 54% of all global internet traffic.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that businesses that fail to optimize their sites for mobile devices are missing out on a major opportunity to increase conversion rates.
If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, it will likely load slowly, be challenging to navigate, and may even have errors that prevent visitors from taking action.
To avoid these issues, ensure your site is responsive, which means it will automatically adjust to fit any screen size. In addition, simplify the design and ensure buttons and links are large enough to be easily clicked on a small screen.
Pitfall #8: Unpleasant Surprises
You must have come across a commercial for prescription drugs where the advertiser spends 57seconds telling you how great the medication is and the final three seconds (in a very sped-up monologue) of the side effects ranging from depression to heart attack.
Once you hear about the rushed side effects, you simply decide that the medication isn’t right for you even if you had been convinced about its benefits for the first 57seconds.
The same principle applies to websites. If you’re going to ask visitors for their personal information, make sure they know what they’re getting in return.
For example, if you have a form that requires an email address, clarify what the visitor will get by providing their information. Will they get a free e-book? A discount code? Access to exclusive content?
Don’t spring any surprises on them after they’ve already taken the time to fill out your form. If you do, you’re likely to see a high rate of abandoned forms and low conversion rates.
Some marketers wait until the user has provided all the information required before they start to pop up with complicated privacy policies, confusing legal contracts, and even hidden fees. This will leave a bad taste in your prospect’s mouth and a high abandonment rate.
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