So you’ve taken all the textbook steps to drive traffic to your website: You’ve implemented target keywords, the copy reads better, you’ve added high-quality images, you have a responsive design, and then you’ve seen a rise in Google’s search rankings.
However, perhaps all those changes aren’t driving results to your business website. What if your sales numbers from the website remain flat or barely eclipse what you were doing before? Where did you go wrong? Well, it could be a multitude of reasons, but, in short, maybe you’re still trying to understand your customers and figure out what motivates them to buy from or reach out to you.
Several psychological and cognitive factors are in play when somebody 1) lands on your website from search, and 2) decides whether to follow one of your calls to action – anything from subscribing to your newsletter to purchasing a product or service from your company. Let’s take a look at four of the primary reasons why there may be a disconnect between your volume of traffic and the number of conversions.
You’re Deluging Them with Technical Information
When somebody lands on a page where you’re trying to sell them something, do they initially see a plethora of long, technical paragraphs or a seemingly never-ending list of bullet points? Have you loaded up on specifics about your product or service before even hitting the fold of the page?
If the answer to those questions is yes, then you’re going to want to dial back how much information you’re hitting a potential customer with as soon as they land on the page in question. What you should do instead is focus on strong photos and graphics, particularly if they illustrate how the product is supposed to work.
You’re welcome to get into the finer details beneath the fold, but near the top of the page, you can get away with a little as a sentence or two – or even a couple of carefully crafted short phrases in large font – that describe what your product or service does, including the problem it might solve. If you head over to our home page, you’ll get a good idea of this theory in practice.
Too Many Calls to Action (CTAs)
Too many options can often be a problem, as the customer may become overwhelmed and click out of your website rather than taking a step forward. When you’re trying a drive traffic to a landing page on your website, does that page have an abundance of calls to action, such as “sign up,” “subscribe,” “order,” “enter your email,” “enter to win” and “call us”?
Just as you should be cautious with the amount of information you present above the fold about your product or service, you should also take it easy with the number of CTAs you have in that space: One is usually ideal. Furthermore, the number of CTAs on the page overall should be low and manageable. If you’re trying to lead the visitor in one of umpteen directions, he or she will likely take one route instead: backward.
The Page Lacks Direction and Is Confusing
Even if the top part of one of your landing pages is light on copy about your product or services, as recommended above, that doesn’t mean the visitor to your site is always going to know what step to take next. If the page is broken into a variety of different sections and there are a multitude of colors, buttons and other elements in play, the potential customer may be confused about which area to concentrate on, including glossing over the part that would have appealed to him or her otherwise.
Make sure there’s a clear focus on what each page on your site is supposed to be about, as well as how each image helps direct the user to what you want to sell. For example, if there is a person in one of the photos, try to have their eyes point toward a specific call to action on the page. When you start thinking about how to clearly direct visitors to the money-making clicks on your website, you’ll then take the steps necessary to bolster interaction and engagement on the page.
You’re Not Sure What’s Getting Clicked on and What’s Not
Another issue that may be effecting your website conversions is you haven’t figured out what motivates your existing customers and where they’ve clicked on a web page. One easy step to take is to grab somebody from outside your company – like a friend or a family member – who has never seen the page you’re hoping to bolster. Have that person sit down and interact with the page with no prior knowledge of what to look for, and get their feedback on what they’re viewing, including what they’re inclined to click on. Your confidant’s actions will give you an idea on how new visitors to your site are taking in what you present to them.
A helpful tool for understanding where exactly on a page visitors are clicking is a heatmap, offered by companies like CrazyEgg. Once you can tell where they’re clicking, you’ll get a better idea of how to organize the page. For example, do you have a video near the top of the page that is getting ignored? Perhaps you can move it to the bottom, or just strike it altogether, in favor of a more popular element that’s below the fold. Your conversion rate should jump as soon as you realize some of the areas that are undervalued and need to be featured more prominently.
The common denominator between the items above, specifically the first three, is clutter – meaning you want to avoid clutter on any landing page of your website, especially above the fold. In the top area of a page, you want to entice somebody to take one step closer to a purchase, and you can get into the nitty-gritty of the product or service later in the page. You also want to visually guide visitors toward the desired calls to action on your site, and understanding where they click now will help you decide how to better organize your content going forward. Take each of the steps above, and then watch your conversions take off.