Why your website conversation rate sucks and what to do about it

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If people aren’t hitting the order button, perhaps the problem is your website’s sales page.

By Henry Brown

Things are going well for your new business. You’ve written a business plan. The website is up and running, and people are visiting. And you’ve got products and services, all ready and waiting to be sold.

But there’s a slight spanner in the works. You’re not doing any business. Why? Is it because you’ve got a bad product? Doubtful, you say. Is it because the market is flat? Unlikely – it grew 30% last year alone. Is it because your conversion rate sucks? More than likely.

Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Conversion rate optimization is a tricky business and not something businesses find easy to get right. Here are the most likely reasons your conversion rate sucks and what you can do about it.

Your sales page is low profile.

With all the links to blogs and ads, sometimes your sales page can get buried. That’s no good, especially when the sales page should be the focal point of the whole website.

Make your sales page more visible by including links in the menus, sidebars and so on. And make sure that it’s easy to get there and that it’s not obscured by everything else going on on your website.

Your sales pitch isn’t consistent with your brand.

Nothing is more confusing to potential customers than a mismatch between your sales pitch and your brand. For instance, if you’re a law firm, it doesn’t make much sense to try to make the hard sell for a particular service when law services are customized so much to meet each client’s individual circumstances and needs.

Your offers are boring.

You might think your sales page is exciting, especially if you’ve included all manner of special offers. But what if your customers aren’t interested in free opera tickets every time they buy a product or submit their email addresses? Think carefully about the type of clients you are appealing to and whether they care about your offers. Remember, the whole point of running special offers is to drive interest in your website. But if those offers aren’t things that people want, they’ll fall flat.

Your pages are slow to load.

It could be that there aren’t any substantive problems with your sales page. You could have the perfectly constructed pitch that is both enticing and relevant. Yet, if your sales page won’t load, then it’s not going to be any good.

Think back to the last time you came across a web page that was slow to load. Did you wait? Or did you just flip over to another site that was more responsive? Probably the latter. Visitors to your site will do the same, so make sure your website is responsive by increasing bandwidth.

Your page design is poor.

Messy sales pages are your worst enemy. They confuse customers and discourage sales. Make sure your sales page is cleverly arranged to offer maximum clarity. Use quality images, clean lines and spaced-out bullet points describing what you offer. Clear away all the annoying widgets, advertising banners and annoying email popups.

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Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop he’s roaming the streets of London; uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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