We have written the post, “10 Worst Reasons Your Website Isn’t Converting” to help entrepreneurs, business owners, and beginner website owners. The article seeks to help shed light on the importance of conversion while highlighting the top 10 reasons why websites suffer from poor conversion. Included in the article are tips and pointers to help our target audience resolve these issues.
This article was written by Jabez Roberts and first posted on February 19, 2020. The most recent update was on February 19, 2020.
Your website is a critical asset for your business’s success in today’s ever-growing digital age. People are constantly browsing the internet, connecting on social media and staying in contact in the digital world.
Gone are the days when you and your business are limited to your geographic location. In fact, there are constantly new ways being developed that can bring you and your business success from online regardless of where you are.
There are numerous businesses that exist online without a physical location. Many of today’s businesses with a physical location were first started with a website and a profitable online presence. This website has propelled them to sustained growth and profitability over many years.
When starting a business, entrepreneurs now have the option of working from home and using the funds that would be dedicated to covering an overhead cost like rent, lease, and travel to and from work, to a more suitable cause like Search Engine Optimization, Online Marketing, or even Product Development.
Your website can be a huge determinant of your online success regardless of your business and size. It can just as easily benefit a small mom and pop store, a doctor’s or lawyer’s practice, or a church as it would eCommerce giants Amazon and eBay.
Website conversion describes when a visitor on your website takes an action that you would desire them to take. Website conversion varies and is different on each website, business, and industry.
Some forms of website conversion include:
- Contacting a business
- Scheduling an appointment
- Signing up to their newsletter or email list
- Making a purchase
- Reading several blog posts
- Becoming a member
- Subscribing to future news and notifications
- Sharing a blog post or article
- Many more
Today, we are going to discuss the 10 worst reasons your website isn’t converting and how to solve them.
Let’s get started
No. 1 Slow Loading Time
The first website conversion killer and probably the most fatal is having a slow website.
A slow website is often one of the 10 worst reasons your website isn’t converting. In fact, website speed affects website conversion so much that visitors may not even wait for your website to load before they leave. The speed of your website directly affects the user experience of your website. Google has also stated that your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rankings will be affected by your website speed.
Ok, I get that a slow website is bad and website speed is important but why? Why is website speed such a big deal?
That’s an excellent question!
Website speed directly affects your bounce rate. Your bounce rate is the number of single-page visits on your site compared to the total amount of website visits.
The bounce rate also shows Google how many people are satisfied with your website, blog posts, and overall experience when using your website.
What is the most frustrating thing that could happen when you click a link on the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP)?
That’s right! It never loads fully or properly!
That is to say, you click on a page and after 10, 12, or even 20 seconds of waiting for the website to load, it doesn’t load fully or is displayed properly. There are blurry and broken images, parts of the information are bland and haven’t appeared yet and everything is disorganized and cluttered.
That is the sin of a slow website. Most people will leave your website before its even finished loading.
In fact, according to a report by Section.IO, 9.6% of visitors leave your website if it isn’t loaded in 2 seconds or less. This number is further increased when another 13% of visitors leave within 3 seconds and a whopping 32.3% leave if it loads within 7 seconds.
That means that if your website isn’t fully loaded and functional in 2 seconds or less you will be losing visitors before they even land on your page.
Remember how we defined Bounce Rate earlier?
This is a direct contributor to sky-high bounce rates! A visitor clicks on a link to your website and leaves immediately to another website because your website takes too long to load.
Therefore, you now have another single page visit that lasted only 2 or 3 seconds.
This tells Google that your visitor had a negative experience when interacting with your website. Your high website bounce rate also tells Google just how many people are having a great experience on your website and finding what they need.
Google is focused on keeping its searchers happy and providing the best results possible to its users. It responds to this repeated report of negative experiences on your website by showing your page to fewer people. That means your SEO rankings decline.
They will continue to decline until you make an effort to improve your website speed.
Below is a picture of a result of a website speed test done on GT Metrix’s page speed tester.
No. 2 No Call To Action Or Poor Call To Action
A Call to Action (CTA) on a website is a prompt telling the visitor what to do to continue to the next step. It’s also an easy way of instructing your visitors what their best course of action may be when they visit your website or landing page.
A call to action comes in many forms. On a website, it might be in the form of a button that gives the user the option of visiting your services page after they’ve landed on your home page.
When they have visited your service page and are more familiar with how you can help them, a great call to action would be to direct them to your Signup page, Pricing Page, or Contact us page.
The option you choose depends greatly on your business and how you want to serve your customers. Another great option might be to direct them to page with your case studies, testimonials, past works and, clients.
This social proof helps to solidify yourself as a solution to your visitors’ problems.
Another form of a CTA may be a signup form that you have. Simply adding a heading above your form telling your visitors that they should enter their name and email address gives a huge boost in conversion.
The button on your form with a text like ‘Subscribe’ or ‘Signup’ is also a form of a call to action on your form that is telling your visitors how to use your form and what to do.
A call to action is also present in an online marketing campaign. It may be a part of the ad copy that tells the user to “Tap the ‘Learn More’ button below” on your Facebook Ad Campaign.
Calls To Action are so important for conversion that digital marketers and marketers at large have spent many years and billions of dollars to split-test and optimize their CTAs for the best conversion
A poor call to action is both confusing and unclear. In fact, it is so confusing that visitors tend to leave instead of trying to figure out the best course of action.
Too many CTAs are also a real and terrible threat. That is to say giving your visitors too many options is just as bad as giving them poor options or, in the worst-case scenario, no option at all.
New visitors on your website are not familiar with your business or service and should be given all the help in the world to know what to do next to benefit from your service.
A rule of thumb is that if it’s not easy and intuitive to tell what the next move should be for someone who is entirely new to your business and website, i.e seeing you for the first time, then your CTAs need to be optimized before they are ready to be used.
Take a look at the screenshot below of the home page of a website we’ve developed. Is it easy to tell what you should do next?
No. 3 Poor Layout And Design
Your website will determine how thousands and maybe even hundreds of thousands of prospects and clients learn about your business. It will be your online representation of your business and could be the only way many people will learn about it.
If your website is plagued by a poor layout, outdated design, and appears old and rickety then this is the impression visitors will have of your business. They will judge you the way they see you.
They may even be fearful of doing business with you because of your website. The poor design and layout may cause them to think that you’re out of business or that you’re a spam website that is trying to scam them of their hard-earned cash.
And who can blame them?
While this may sound like terrible news it is not. In fact, it is amazing news because now you know what to do to improve your business’s image and your website’s conversion in one go – get a professional, modern, and world-class design for your website.
When a user visits your website and it is entertaining, captivating, professional, and looks simply amazing you can be certain that they will spend more time on your website.
When they spend more time on your website you are given you more opportunities to connect with visitors and communicate your values and benefits to them.
A website with a professional design adds to your visitor’s confidence and trust in your brand. They see you as a company with a positive and high-class image. This immediately puts you in a position to connect with them.
After all, who wants to get a car from a car salesman with an old, beat-up car that looks salvaged and beyond repair? If you don’t care about your image, why should I believe you will care about mine?
It sounds cold and unforgiving but so is the world of business. You are constantly being judged on your appearance and looks and your website is no different.
Knowing that this happens gives you another opportunity to improve your conversions and your brand.
Below we have included a gallery of some of the websites we have designed that truly communicate their brand to their ideal customers.
no. 4 Poor Responsiveness
Responsiveness refers to your website’s ability to be displayed properly and retain functionality on devices with different screen sizes. A responsive website is one that shows properly and without problems on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.
Since most users access the internet via mobile devices it would be a disaster if your website was not functional and showing properly to those users. Google has identified this as a potential problem and, as a result, have decided that websites that are not responsive will be less likely to be shown in the Search Engine Results Pages.
Therefore, responsiveness is a direct contributor to your website’s SEO rankings. Lower SEO rankings will mean less organic traffic to your website from searches. This causes a spike in marketing costs to pay for traffic to your website from a Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign or Facebook traffic campaign for example.
This traffic, however, is still unlikely to result in conversion as an unresponsive website is unlikely to be functional and displayed properly on mobile and tablet users’ visits. This will cause them to leave your website out of frustration with the impression that it is broken and not working.
This causes a spike in your website’s bounce rate which also negatively affects your SEO rankings even more. This also affects the Cost Per Click (CPC) rate of your marketing campaign and makes your website, business, and marketing campaign less profitable.
Needless to say, it is important that you improve your website’s responsiveness.
To get a fully responsive website developed for your small business at an affordable monthly rate you can use our Cyber Grow Online Presence Website as a Service program. Our websites start as low as $399 per month.
Alternatively, you can get an enterprise-level, fully customized website developed by our team by visiting our Website Development page.
All our websites are built fully responsive, secure, and with the best practices for speed, conversion and your success in mind.
We’ve added pictures of a responsive website below. Please view the desktop, tablet, and mobile views and take note of the similarities in appearance. You can test that the functionality remains by visiting Expressive Teez.
Tablet View – Kindle Fire
Mobile View – iPhone X/XS
No. 5 Poor Unique Value Proposition
One of the most influential parts of your website that directly affects your marketing ability and conversions is your Unique Value Proposition (UVP).
Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) is your message to your website visitors that informs them about the benefit of your offer, how it solves their needs, what makes it unique compared to the competition and therefore better than the competition.
Your UVP is your first opportunity to sell your product or service, position your business or brand as a viable solution, and raise the interest of your website visitor now turned into a prospect.
Your UVP will be the first thing your visitors read when they arrive at your website. As a result, it is your first chance to make a first and positive impression and you want it to last.
As a general rule your UVP should:
- Explain how your product or service solves a problem your ideal customer has
- Tell the specific benefits your customers should expect from your product or service
- Say why customers should choose you instead of the competition
Your UVP is not your company’s slogan, mission statement, or vision statement. It is also not an introduction to your company’s history or reason for doing the business you have chosen to do.
Instead, it’s a short, informative bit of information that in 5 seconds or less communicates to your customers the value they get from doing business with you, the problems they can expect to be solved, who your business is looking to work with, and how your solution and approach fares with regards to the competition.
There are many ways to craft an effective UVP and many factors to be considered depending on the type of business you operate and your preferred approach to UVPs. The message you wish to communicate to your audience and the accuracy of this information are also important factors.
To learn more about writing the best UVP you can for your website please read this detailed guide by online marketing giants Hubspot.
Take a look at the picture below and ask yourself if you understand the UVP presented here in 5 seconds or less. you can view the web page by visiting Digital Pyxi’s CDN page to decide if your thoughts were right.
No. 6 Poor Content And Copy
Is your content short, spicy, prompt, and entertaining? Does it grab your reader’s attention, stimulate their senses, and engage them in a deep and exciting way?
Does it answer all their questions quickly, and relay all the most valuable and useful information with ease and clarity?
If your website’s ad copy doesn’t do any of this then stop what you’re doing and resolve that problem.
All websites are unique as are the businesses they represent. But even though businesses may be unique they all thrive on one thing – profits. Even though websites might be unique they all thrive on one thing – conversions.
If your content copy is poor, weak, boring, uninspiring, tedious, and drab, you can expect with 100% certainty that your conversions are going to fall through the floor.
The reason is very simple: no one is going to stick around to read your boring content. If they don’t read it then they won’t know how you can help them. They won’t know why you’re the best solution no matter how great you are and how many people like them you’ve helped in the past.
If they don’t know you can help them why would they contact you and ask for help?
- Your website copy should be short. It should tell the whole story in as few words as possible.
- Your website copy must be visual. It should make use of graphic and emotional trigger words that helps the reader feel, smell, taste, hear, and experience the true meaning behind your words.
- Your website copy should be exciting. It should raise the interest and curiosity of the reader and keep them engaged and hooked on what you’re talking about.
- Your website copy must be reliable. It should contain facts, figures, statistics, reports and other official forms of proof that give the reader evidence of your claims. This adds trust and confidence in your brand.
- Your website copy should be clear. It should leave nothing to chance and guesswork. Every idea expressed must be clearly stated and easily understood. This will save you a lot of headaches down the road.
- Your website must be properly edited and free of grammatical errors. All punctuations must be properly added and your content must be proofread and passed by an experienced and qualified proofreader. Just a single grammatical mistake can prove costly and damaging to trust especially if it is noticed by your visitors. That error can erode your credibility and cast your visitor’s confidence in your ability to deliver a top-quality service or product in doubt.
As all websites, pages, and businesses are different and have a unique goal or conversion objective, we understand that it may not be possible to meet all these criteria.
In some instances, you may only be able to meet one of the lists of criteria but you should never accept not meeting any. These are all simple pointers even a beginner can use to improve the quality of content on their website.
All online marketers and SEOs would profess, “Content is king.” Improve your website content for better conversions, SEO rankings, and user experiences.
How does the copy we’ve used in the website below make you feel? does it change your emotions and thoughts about website security? Does it give you hope? Does it engage with you and keep your attention?
No. 7 No Social Proof
Social Proof is a psychological phenomenon where we feel more comfortable doing something that we would otherwise feel unsure about because other people are doing it. In other words, we feel more compelled to do it because there are many other people doing it even if we have some form of fear or reservation about doing it.
We feel more comfortable doing it because a lot of people doing it makes it appear more desirable.
Immediately you can begin to see the value and power of social proof on conversions on your website.
With social proof, you are able to quickly and easily dispel any fears and concerns your visitors might have of doing business with you.
Additionally, while you dispel this fear you are also able to build trust, confidence, and security around your product or service.
Social proof is a powerful way of leveraging your past work and successes to drive future success.
This is why when you visit major websites with a serious marketing plan you will often see reviews from major public figures and industry leaders in the niche that the business operates.
Take, for example, the screenshot of Astra’s website, a popular WordPress theme, and plugin developer, below. They have reviews from many popular agency owners and influencers who love and use their products.
For eg. When you go to Sucuri’s website you will see a list of clients who trust and use their services.
Similarly, when you go to an internet service platform like Microsoft’s CDN you will see another batch of companies on display to give social proof that “these large corporations trust us, we help them, and are good enough for them so we are able to help you too!”
That’s a powerful message to display to any prospect that is considering working with you.
Displaying social proof on your website can take many forms. A rule of thumb is that you must use individuals that are related to your perfect or ideal customer. This helps you to tailor your market message to your ideal audience.
Some ways to implement social proof on your website include:
- Inviting experts, celebrities, news agencies, and past successful clients to mention you on their social media and how you’ve helped them
- Host a webinar, podcast, or blog post with a trusted industry figure and leader who can vouch for your credibility and shed light on how you help them. Eg. Doing a podcast interview with a popular real estate agent to attract more real estate agent clients to your digital marketing business
- Post screenshots of popular social media mentions and reviews
- Add logos of your past clients
- Sharing popular milestones across social media and your website to help users understand that your brand is growing and more people trust and use you
Lack of social proof is a surefire way to kill conversions and miss an opportunity to build trust and confidence with your users. Do not pass up on such an easy way to boost conversion and communicate a message of trust, reliability, and success to your prospects and visitors.
No. 8 No Case Studies
Case studies are detailed reviews you post to your website about a client you’ve worked with and how you’ve helped them.
Case studies are useful marketing material on your website because they give a first hand and detailed reviews of how you can help your prospects.
A visitor on your website likely has a lot of questions, fears, doubts, and concerns. They may believe you can help them and want to give your business a try but because they have been deceived, lied to, burned, and ripped off so many times in the past they are fearful of parting with their hard-earned cash.
This is your opportunity to be the business of dreams and present them with a case study or two that outlines your experience working with similar clients and how you’ve solved their problems.
You should include before and after images, statistics, etc. Use anything to further stake your claim as a potential solution to their problems and prove your credibility.
They will love and appreciate you addressing their concerns and it will help to boost their trust and confidence in you.
Your case study does not need to be lengthy and tedious. A page is enough most times. Be sure to include:
- The client’s name
- Business name
- Contact Information
- The problem they had
- The approach you used to solve their problem
- The results you obtained
- The time it took to achieve these results.
This is what it takes to create a solid case study that helps build trust and confidence while positioning yourself to your clients.
No. 9 Poor Navigation
Poor navigation is an easy way to tell your visitors to leave your website without doing anything let alone doing what you want them to do.
Poor navigation describes the difficulty your visitors will have when searching for a desired page or information on your website.. This is even more fatal on larger websites and eCommerce websites.
If a user lands on your page and cannot find basic pages such as Contact, About, Pricing, Services, and Case Studies/Reviews, they will leave without converting.
They search for these pages to learn more about your brand and business, product, and services. This information is needed for them when deciding to use your business.
They may have a question about how you can help their business or how you’ve helped others like them. They may want to learn about free trials for your product or service and are looking for your pricing or contact page to get more information than they’ve found so far.
They may even be ready to join your community and signup to your website but they can’t find the signup page.
What a nightmare this must be for them!
But I guarantee it will be an even bigger nightmare for you because they will leave and join your competitor. After all, the uniqueness of your business is only one reason they should work with you and there is always competition that is trying to get your customers.
Ensure that your menus are optimized and working, footers have the relevant information, product categories and tags are set up properly and all your pages are visible and easy to find.
The header and footer of the website shown below are helpful, intuitive, and easy to understand in less than a second. Navigation should never be an issue on your website.
No. 10 Poor SEO
SEO, Search Engine Optimization, is the process of optimizing your website and landing pages for visitors who are searching for your product and services using search terms or keywords that relate to your website. SEO is a major factor in getting organic traffic to your website.
There are four major types of SEO and seven, in general, to take into consideration when doing SEO for your website. The types of SEO are:
- Technical SEO
- On-Page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Content SEO
- Local SEO
- Ecommerce SEO
- Mobile SEO
This is where you ensure that the technical parameters of your website are in working order. This is very important because without technical SEO search engines might have a hard time finding your website and assessing its content. Technical SEO includes:
- Ensuring your Robots.txt file is accessible by web crawlers. Web crawlers are search engine robots that scan your site and robot.txt is a file that allows them to work on your website. Without this nothing else matters since it won’t be seen by search engines like Google and Yahoo.
- Create an XML map that is submitted to all major search engines. The XML maps tell the robots that scan your website where to find all the pages on your website.
- Fixing all crawl errors that might prevent your website from being properly crawled. Crawling is where a robot visits your website and assesses and reports the content and structure back to a search engine like google for ranking and showing to users who are searching for you.
- Optimizing your site structure and URL structure for SEO friendliness and better user experience.
- Adding your website to Google Search Console and verifying your domain.
On-page SEO is focused on optimizing each page for a specific keyword or keywords. On-page SEO is an important ranking factor because each page of your website adds to your website’s overall SEO score. Some things to consider in On-Page SEO include:
- Optimizing your page title
Your page title should not be misleading and unclear. Instead, it should properly summarise the focus of your page and help visitors who land on your page know exactly what the page is about and what to expect in 3 seconds or less.
- Optimizing your headers
Your headers help in SEO in several different ways. Many SEO engineers will say that your H1 tag should be reserved for your title and broad idea. They will also say that each page should have only one H1 tag. Additionally, H2 tags should be for major headings and topics on the page and H3 to H6 tags should be used for subtopics or subheadings. If you are a beginner SEO, blogger, or website developer it is best to consider your heading tags to be used to help make navigation on your page easier.
- Optimizing your images
Images add to the quality of your page and help to enhance your presentation and deepen the message you’re sending. Your images should be properly named to describe what they are about and their alt attributes should be completed to tell browsers more about their purpose and what they are showing.
Off-page SEO is concerned with promoting your web page so other users across the internet can find it easier. The most common form of Off-page SEO is link building.
This is where you submit links of your website and pages to other webmasters to request them to include a link of your related and relevant page to their content. This gives search engines like Google and Yahoo the impression that your page is important, relevant, and trustworthy. After all, if there are many people referencing your work then it must be good.
This causes an increase in your search engine ranking and the amount of organic traffic you receive not just from search engines but from websites linking to your website.
Content SEO involves optimizing the content of your website and webpages for the keywords or search terms, that are related to your website. Content SEO involves producing readable, exciting, well-presented and formatted content on your website to consistently engage and nurture readers about your product, service, company, and brand.
This is directly tied to On-Page SEO where you will optimize individual pieces of content for their specific search term or topic. Off-page SEO comes into play where you get other websites to link back to your individual pieces of content.
Content SEO is broad and far-reaching and is now considered with the overall body of the content on your website and how they complement and relate to each other.
This is the process of optimizing your website for appearance in local searches. This is especially useful for service and brick and mortar businesses that might want to drive more foot traffic to a physical location.
As an example of local SEO please see the screenshot below of what appears when we searched for ‘coffee shops in manhattan’. Take note of the Google My Business listings as they are a key factor in local SEO success. Notice also the ability to get directions via Google Maps to these businesses and the other information listed in the top 10 results of the Search Engine Results Page.
E-Commerce SEO is fairly new since it is not yet recognized as a type of SEO that’s commonly mentioned but it is one that we take seriously and dedicate time to strategize, implement and optimize with our e-commerce clients at CyberDream Developers. Ecommerce SEO is important because it drives organic traffic to your store. That means over time more traffic comes to your store that is searching for your products and services.
Ecommerce SEO involves:
- Optimizing your home page and category pages
- Using the correct tags for your products
- Using relevant high-quality images for your products
- Optimizing the short and long product descriptions for your products in a way that search engines will rank them for relevant keywords and search intent
- Adding Schema-markup to your products
- Promoting your products and offers to social media and other online communities
E-commerce SEO ties into all the other SEO factors we previously discussed.
Like e-commerce, SEO is not a widely recognized type of SEO but one we take into consideration as we develop our client’s websites at CyberDream Developers. Mobile SEO is the process of optimizing your website for perfect display and function on mobile devices.
This may involve
- Creating Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (Google AMPs) for your website for better performance on mobile devices
- Ensuring the responsiveness of your website
- ConductingGoogle page speed tests to ensure it is of an acceptable speed on mobile devices and is also considered mobile-friendly by Google – the world’s largest search engine.
SEO is one of the major ways in which your website can fail. This list is not exhaustive or complete and is only intended to highlight the different areas of SEO that need consideration for optimization on your website.
Bonus – Free E-Book
Download our free eBook, “Your Website’s Conversion Mistakes: 26 Reasons Why Your Website Is Scaring Away your Customers” by clicking here or on the picture of the eBook displayed.
Conclusion – 10 Worst Reasons Your Website Isn’t Converting
We sincerely hope that this article has helped you to better understand website conversion. We would love to hear your thoughts about website conversion and what are some of the top things you’ve done to improve conversion. Feel free to share your ideas with us in the comment section below.
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