Five fatal mistakes that are killing your conversion rates

Here are the five most fatal mistakes that are keeping your conversion rates from skyrocketing, and how you can avoid them

Everybody makes mistakes – they are a part of life and help us learn what to do (or not to do) in the future. In the world of online business, some mistakes are small enough that you can laugh at them later, but others come with much graver consequences - especially those that prevent you from increasing conversion rates and growing your business.

Here are the five most fatal mistakes that are keeping your conversion rates from skyrocketing, and how you can avoid them:

1. Your call-to-action isn't clear

Your stylish website may be beautifully designed, modern, and unique, but if it is not functional or user-friendly, then it is not serving its actual purpose: to help you get more customers. If visitors to your website don’t clearly see or understand what they must do in order to buy, sign up, subscribe, or get more information, then it is likely that they will not end up fulfilling any of those actions, and you will lose out on those precious conversions.

Avoid this mistake by consciously and strategically placing clear and obvious calls-to-action on your homepage, landing pages, and throughout your website’s inner pages.  

Bottom line: If you don’t clearly tell your potential customers what to do next, they won’t do it!

Evernote, for example, does a phenomenal job of telling customers exactly what step to take next.

2. Your website is too cluttered

Your website is usually a potential customer’s first interaction with your company, so it is important to put your best face forward. A cluttered homepage will leave visitors feeling confused, disoriented, and unsure of where they are supposed to click.  In many cases, this results in visitors bouncing off the page instead of converting into a customer or lead.

Your website should be clean, uncluttered, and well-organized in order to maximize conversions. Keep important information (like calls-to-action) clearly visible, and make sure that you present your messaging and value proposition in a succinct sentence or two.

Dropbox are experts at simplicity and clarity when it comes to website homepage design.  There are virtually zero distractions, and knowing what to do next could not be any clearer.

3. You haven't considered mobile shoppers

Mobile usage is increasing exponentially, with 82% of smartphone owners using their devices for purchasing decisions and 1.2 billion people  going online from their mobile phones each day. The numbers show that, by not catering to mobile users with either a mobile-friendly site or app, you are likely to miss out on a large amount of conversions.

Not only do mobile-friendly sites and apps provide consumers with an improved user experience, but they also offer businesses the opportunity to use GPS location services for a more targeted mobile marketing strategy.

Home Depot offer one of the best and most highly ranked mobile shopping experiences, with a Product Locator, Image Search, Live Chat, and Build a Shopping List features, among many other user-friendly benefits.

4. Your checkout and payment processes are too complicated

If your checkout process is long, contains too many steps, and requires the consumer to fill out too many fields in the form, then it could be costing you conversions.

Once a customer has reached the checkout stage in the conversion funnel, you must deliver a simple, clear, and quick payment process if you want them to complete the purchase. Make sure your payment page loads quickly and doesn’t ask the customer to complete more than 2 steps before finalizing the order. Bellroy have done an excellent job in this department. They provide a 2-step checkout process all on one single page, making it a seamless and smooth experience for their customers.

Keep these best practices in mind when it comes to your payment page:

  • Only ask customers to fill out mandatory fields that you must have in order to process the payment

  • Make sure your customers understand all of the fields and how to fill them out, so they will not receive any error messages upon completing the purchase

  • Allow “guests” on your site to make purchases without forcing them to register, first

The goal is to make the checkout process as painless, easy and fast as possible, so you can get as many conversions as possible.

5. You've ignored important visual hierarchy rules

As we mentioned earlier, the last thing you want is for your website design to confuse and confound visitors. Strategically (and properly) planning your website’s visual hierarchy can determine whether your site positively influences the user conversion funnel or if visitors will bounce off your site.  Elements of visual hierarchy include the sizes of images and text, the colors that you implement, the layout of the homepage, the spacing between sections, and even the different styles of typography that you might use.

Marketing is as much a science as it is an art. Running experiments (A/B testing, for example) to determine the ideal combination of these visual hierarchy elements on your site is crucial for increasing conversions.

Paid to Exist expertly implement the rules of visual hierarchy.  The graphic of the backpack is larger than anything else on the page, making it the dominant element.  Plus, the shadowing and “lighting” on the backpack create a color contrast and a unique texture that make it stand out apart from the other elements on the page.  They also use different, yet complimentary, typography to draw the visitor’s attention to where it should go.

Mistakes happen. But now that you are aware of these 5 main errors that hinder the rise of conversion rates (and you know how to avoid them), you can save your company from losing out on innumerable customers. Reevaluate your site, and make changes according to these tips (remember to test, test, test!). You will surely see your conversion rates rise in no time.