Why is my website conversion rate so low? Get 9 reasons

Why is my website conversion rate so low?

This question is asked a lot. And it’s not one that can be answered for certain without a proper look at your website and its analytics. But there are common reasons websites fall short when it comes to conversion. Finding out which are at play is a process of elimination.

First things first, let’s look at exactly what a conversion rate is in digital marketing and what’s considered low or high. It’s worth noting that conversion rates are never huge numbers. People browse the internet to gather information more than they make enquiries or buy products or services. This means that single digit conversion rates are considered good in many industries.

What is conversion rate in digital marketing?

Website conversion is about getting visitors to take specific action on your webpages. The action could be ordering a product, submitting an enquiry, requesting a call back, or downloading a brochure – the format depends on your business and sales process. Whatever the action, your conversion rate is the percentage of page visitors that do it.

Is your conversion rate up to the mark?

Conversion rates differ massively depending on the purpose of the website and the calls to action being tracked. For instance, more people are willing to download a free guide than they are to purchase a product. We’d expect the free guide to have a higher conversion rate than the purchase.

Let’s look at some averages:

An average landing page conversion rate is around 2.35%. The top 25% websites are converting at 5.31% and above. The top 10% performing landing pages have conversion rates of 11.45% and upwards.

  • Average: 2.35% (across various industries)
  • Ecommerce: 1.84%
  • B2B: 2.23%

Stats from WordStream

So, your conversion rate is low, and you want to explore why…

Why is my website conversion rate so low?

If your conversion rate is low, it means your webpages aren’t convincing people to act. Think of selling a house. You have lots of visitors come and look around. The conversions are those that go on to make an offer. If you have a steady stream of visitors coming to look round but barely any offers, you need to turn and look at the house.

Could it do with a lick of paint? Is the old furniture making it hard to get a feel for the character? Are people unsure about the location or the street? It’s the job of the seller to put potential buyers at ease and show them everything they need to know to feel comfortable making an offer.

It’s the same with your website. Your webpages need to provide people with the information they need and make it clear and easy for them to take the next steps. Lots of things can be a barrier to this, from the way your website looks or reads, to how it’s set up. Let’s look at the reasons.

1. You’re casting your net too wide (with broad keywords)

If you have plenty of organic website visitors but lots of them are bouncing away, it could mean your keywords are too generic. To stand a chance of converting people, your website needs to bring in the people who are actively looking for your products and services. This means using the phrases people use when searching for what you sell and making it local where possible.

Let’s say you sell takeaway pizza. Targeting the keyword “pizza” on your homepage (besides being very difficult to rank for) will bring in all kinds of searchers; people looking for pizza recipes; people browsing for restaurants; or people wanting to know what pizza is even.

Using a more specific keyword like “pizza delivery in Leeds” (which is much easier to target) is more likely to bring in people ready to make an order – and convert!

2. Tracking isn’t set up properly

It’s always worth checking there are no technical faults affecting your conversion rate, such as incorrect tracking or broken links. This is particularly relevant if the drop conversions is sudden or unexpected. Testing links and forms on your site and making sure goals are set up correctly in Google Analytics is the way to rule this out.

3. Your calls to action aren’t clear

When people look at webpages, they skim quickly to locate what they need and move on if they can’t see it. If your calls to action aren’t noticeable, you risk people bouncing away before they’ve even seen the options. Always use a colour and typeface that stands out against the background.

Make sure the words used for calls to action are clear and well chosen. Think carefully about at what stage in the sales journey people are likely to be at. If visitors to a page are typically in the research and information gathering stage, use words like ‘learn more’ rather than ‘buy now’ to avoiding putting them off before they’re ready to commit.

4. People don’t trust or buy into your brand

Old, dated and poorly designed websites make a terrible first impression. Your website might not sell products directly, but it has to sell who you are as a company. Your brand, your people, and what you do – these things must come across and connect with visitors.

Without creating a strong brand and building an online presence that people trust, they won’t feel confident reaching out and interacting with you. Think of your website as a shopfront. Make sure it reflects the quality of your products and services, otherwise you’re selling your business short.

5. Your website isn’t convincing

Are the benefits of your products and services apparent? Is it obvious what problems you solve? Does your website tell people why you’re better than similar companies? Websites that don’t communicate a unique point of difference risk having people leave to browse elsewhere.

Everything on your website – branding, copy, images, videos – should position the benefits of what you do to a potential customer. Someone should land on a page and know how it is you can help them. If not, they may go elsewhere to someone more convincing.

6. You don’t have any social proof

Reviews, testimonials, referrals, and case studies are all benchmarks people use when sifting through companies online to find a brand they trust. A sparkling fresh website is one thing, but having people vouch for your products and services is the clincher. If you don’t have reviews from real people, does a visitor 100% believe what you say?

Placing testimonials and 5-star reviews across your website – particularly at the points when you’re encouraging users to take action – provides social proof. If people see others have had good experiences working with you, they are more likely to take the plunge.

7. People can’t find what they are looking for

Poor navigation and lacking content are killers for your conversion rate. People are on your website to browse and explore their options. They might be looking for the answer to a question.

Give people the information they need and make it obvious for them to find. As soon as someone gets lost or confused, they will click away from your site. Usually into the arms of a competitor!

If you’re concerned your website has poor navigation and content gaps, test it out. Ask someone who’s unfamiliar with your website to look up various things a prospect would search for. Watch them move around and if you see them hesitating and backtracking, you know it needs addressing.

8. It’s not clear what happens next

We’ve all put our email address into a form and been spammed afterwards. Many of us have made a general enquiry and been hassled by pushy salespeople on the phone.

People are cautious about reaching out online. It’s our job to reassure people as to why they should get in touch. Make it apparent what happens next. If they should expect a follow up, tell them how to expect this (email or call). If something is free and they won’t be chased up – tell them! They will be more likely to share their details.

9. Your website loads to slowly 

Having a slow website is disastrous for your conversation rate. 53% of mobile site visitors abandon a page after 3 seconds. That’s over half your possible conversions down the drain in 3 seconds.

If your website is slow, it needs fixing, and fast!

The more people get used to high speed internet, the less patience they have for waiting around for things to load. Especially when another company is only a few clicks away…

There we have it!

The most common causes of low website conversion rates. We hope they’ve been useful. It’s worth noting that several of these factors might be at play at the same time. The only way to know for sure is with ongoing tracking, monitoring, and testing.

So, what’s next? How can you fix your conversion rate?

Improving your conversion rate is not an overnight task (unless you’re lucky and you find an easy technical glitch). To start understanding your conversions, you need to take a wide-reaching look at the functionality, design, and content of your website and how this relates to your website traffic.

It’s hard to do this for your own website, knowing what you do about your business. It helps to have an outside look in. Having a digital marketing review carried out allows you to find any quick fixes and locate the areas where your website could be clearer and more compelling.

Your digital marketing review – we provide a digital report on your business’s online activity, comparing it to competitors and measuring it against best practice. You receive a document with traffic light scores and practical information on how to fix and improve your website.

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