Here’s Why Your Website Visitors Aren’t Turning Into Customers (A Guide to Conversions)

Web traffic is great. It can bolster your SEO performance, leading to even more visitors, and increase your brand awareness. Unfortunately, traffic alone does not pay the bills for any business.

If your website is experiencing plenty of visitors, but very few of them are converting and becoming customers, something is amiss. Let’s review eight possible reasons why leads are not turning into conversions and how you can resolve these concerns.

Approaching the wrong audience

Check the analytics of your website visits and build a profile of your most common clicks. Compare this to the ideal consumer profile that you constructed during your market research. If these are not aligned, it may be time to reconsider your marketing approach.

Imagine that you operate an ecommerce website selling clothing. That’s great – everybody needs clothes. That’s a broad church to promote, though. If your website specialises in designer clothing for women aged 20-40, this needs to be made clear in your marketing.

Visits to your site from men, women over 50 or shoppers seeking a bargain will skew your statistics, resulting in maximum bounce rate and minimal conversions. Not all web traffic is equal. It’s better to attract a concentrated number of serious leads than an abundance of unsuitable alternatives.

Muddled messaging

Let’s play a quick game of word association. We’re going to list three brand names, and we want you to consider what comes to mind.

  • Nike
  • FedEx
  • McDonald’s

We’re assuming that you immediately pictured sportswear, parcel deliveries and cheeseburgers. These are examples of super-brands that have established themselves in the minds of consumers. These companies can advertise and promote themselves in any way they see fit. Their logo alone is sufficient to ensure instant recognition and trust.

Unfortunately, we’re willing to wager that your brand is not at this level yet. As a result, you need to be extremely clear about what you stand for and what you can offer. There is a time and a place for abstract marketing. For now, focus on portraying a clear and consistent brand message throughout your online presence.

Countless distractions

If your marketing strategy has done its job, a visitor clicks on your website with at least half a mind to make a purchase. Ride this wave and encourage them to go ahead. If you keep distracting a visitor, you’re providing countless opportunities to cool off and change their mind.

Popups are arguably the best example of this. A compelling CTA is essential, but bombarding visitors with popups designed to upsell will quickly grow annoying. Let the visitor conclude the business they came for, then worry about further sales with your follow-up marketing.

Inadequate product information

When it comes to ecommerce, there is no denying who rules the roost. Throughout the world, Amazon has mastered the art of selling online. While there is no denying that the controversial pricing structure of Jeff Bezos’ empire plays a big part in this, Amazon has also perfected the alliance of images and copy.

Put yourself in the shoes of a consumer. It’s eye-catching images that will initially capture the imagination, but this attention can be fleeting. You’ll need to back it up with detailed copy that describes your product or service. This, in itself, is a balancing act.

Product descriptions need to be short and snappy without skimping on essential details. Explain why a product or service is beneficial to a consumer, be upfront about costs (including any postage or license renewal fees), concluding with a solid and compelling CTA.

Elongated sales funnels

Like distracting popups, a lengthy sales funnel risks giving visitors the chance to cool off and abandon a conversion. Online purchases, especially those made through a mobile device, are often impulsive. Tap into this by making the process as rapid as possible.

The ideal sales funnel follows these steps.

  • Reminder of the product or service being provided, along with images and sub-totals
  • Confirmation of final price, including shipping and taxes (this is why transparency in your product descriptions is important!)
  • Consumer personal information, such as delivery addresses
  • Payment information
  • Exit page

Consider not forcing consumers to create an account to check out. You’ll likely find that you enjoy more conversions by offering a guest checkout option. This leads us neatly onto our next point…

Requesting too much information

It’s no secret that first-party data is invaluable. Consumers know this too. Unless they’re confident that you’ll use it for good and not evil, they will be reluctant to provide such personal information. If asking consumers to sign up for an account before converting, think carefully about what you’re asking for – and explain every request.

Only ask for a date for birth if you’re selling an age-restricted product, for example, and use UX microcopy to justify this. Why would you need to know a consumer’s gender, occupation, annual household income or marital status? Unless these questions relate strictly to the product or service that you’re providing, it’s evident that you’re harvesting data. A red flag of compromised privacy will be raised accordingly.

On the subject of microcopy, sidestep passive-aggressive messaging when declining sign-up requests. A website selling exercise equipment, for example, may offer a free BMI check in exchange for height and weight information. It’s becoming increasingly popular to ‘shame’ users into agreement, making them click a message like, “no thanks, I don’t care about my health” when saying no. Such tactics endear a website to nobody. 

Restricted payment options

What payment options do you offer at checkout? If you’re only allowing consumers to pay through debit or credit card, you could be missing out on conversions.

Ecommerce sites that accept PayPal, for example, enjoy 70% more conversions than sites that do not. Ewallets offer a layer of separation – and thus protection – to consumers and make their life easier.

Consumers want convenience, especially when shopping through mobile. Offering the likes of Apple or Google Pay will also bolster your conversions. Ultimately, you should never force consumers to reach for their wallet or purse and enter card data unless it’s completely unavoidable.

Lack of trust

Finally, consider the importance of trust in negotiating an online transaction. We may be living in a digital world, but some remain wary of the security implications of shopping over the internet. You need to build trust in your brand before expecting a sizable number of people to commit.

Include peer reviews and testimonials on your website and social media presence. Ensure that you have a profile on a portal like Trustpilot so first-time customers can research your legitimacy. Respond to any complaints in these public forums, demonstrating a willingness to satisfy any consumer disquiet.

In addition, ensure that you have a privacy policy on your site that explains how user data will be stored, used, and collected. You may think that nobody reads this small print, but you’d be surprised. As discussed previously, modern consumers are savvy. They understand that their personal information is just as valuable as their credit card number.

About the Author

Joe Dawson is the Director of the strategic design agency. Joe has a passion for creating meaningful experiences. Through design, he creates authentic, innovative digital products.


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