Cracking the Code of Low Conversion Rates: What Your Website’s Performance Reveals
If you ever found yourself asking the question, "Why is my company’s website conversion rate so low?" despite having a solid SEO strategy and implementing successful Pay Per Click campaigns, the answer may lie in your Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) strategy, or lack thereof.
Low Conversion Rates?
A low conversion rate means that few website visitors are eliciting the behavior you are targeting such as clicking a Call-To-Action (CTA) button, filling out a contact form, signing up for a newsletter, or making a purchase. However, determining whether a conversion rate is low depends on a range of factors, such as the type of website, the desired behavior, and the industry you are in such as eCommerce, professional services, contract manufacturing, and the like.
Therefore, you must measure your website’s performance against your industry-specific conversion rate instead of considering the average across all industries.
Reasons For Low Conversion Rates?
There are many reasons for a low conversion rate. Here are a few of the more common inhibitors to successful conversions.
1. Poor navigations
One potential reason for a low conversion rate could be confusing navigations on your website. For stylistic reasons, some companies choose to use hamburger menus on the pc version of their website. While this approach makes their website look clean and minimalistic, it also creates issues when they are overlooked because users expect to see navigations in the header area of each web page. Even when popular mega menus are clearly seen, usability issues surface when scroll arrows do not render or operate properly.
Evaluating the labeling on your navigations is also crucial. The use of jargon or confusing terminology names on navigation labels can deter users from finding what they want or exploring potential areas of newfound interest. Instead, use simple, clear, and straightforward descriptions for your products and services that reflect the language used by visitors.
If you observe in qualitative analysis that users are hovering on the navigation menu but not clicking any product categories or simply exiting the website without browsing it, assess the possibility of rearranging subcategories (bringing the most important subcategory to the top) or changing category labels to help improve your navigation menu. Using methods such as card sorting (with simple index cards or online software) could help you discover how people categorize information so that you can structure your content in a way that makes sense to those who use it. Card sorting uncovers your users’ mental models, so you can create an information architecture that aligns with their natural decision-making process.
2. Unclear call-to-action buttons
Another culprit to low conversion rates could be unclear call-to-action buttons. CTAs are essential for guiding visitors to take the next step in their customer journey, but CTAs must stand out in terms of color, copy, and placement. The copy on CTAs should be action-oriented, persuasive, and enticing, without being obtrusive or obnoxious.
A common mistake on eCommerce sites, for example, is giving equal weight to primary and secondary buttons. Add-to-cart pages often show ‘Checkout now’ and ‘Continue shopping’ buttons. This gives potential customers a reason to pause, think, and decide between two actions. The golden rule in user experience is "don’t make them (visitors) think." If they do begin to contemplate a decision, they may change their minds, or decide not to act at all. In this case, asking them to continue shopping is secondary to ‘Checkout now’ which is the primary action you are trying to elicit.
3. eCommerce trust signals
Trust signals, such as security badges and customer reviews, also play a crucial role in conversion rates, specifically for eCommerce websites. While traditional practice suggests placing security badges on the checkout page, displaying them on the homepage or footer can help establish trust early and often on in the user’s journey. Through early and frequent exposure to trust signals, customers feel safer sharing personal or financial information by the time they are ready to check out.
Customer reviews, which are read by a significant percentage of online shoppers, can provide social proof and boost confidence. Seeing that other customers have had positive experiences with your products or services can help reassure potential customers that they are making a good decision by choosing to shop or do business with you.
Sometimes businesses make the mistake of removing negative reviews. Customers recognize no product or service is perfect, so they quickly doubt the integrity of a site when all comments are sunshine and rainbows.
4. Improving eCommerce checkout conversions
The checkout process is a critical step in the eCommerce journey. A cumbersome checkout process can lead to low conversion rates. There are several common fail points that can disrupt the checkout process and prompt users to abandon their purchases.
One common issue is having repeated information fields without proper validation, error notifications, or autofill options. This can frustrate users and result in abandoned carts. To mitigate this, it is essential to optimize the checkout form, minimize the number of required fields, and provide clear error notifications to help users complete the checkout process smoothly.
Another issue is unexpected shipping costs that appear during checkout. Free shipping is ideal, but if you must charge for shipping, make sure to communicate this early in the user’s journey on your website. Transparency about shipping costs can help prevent surprise charges during checkout and reduce cart abandonment.
Lastly, problems occur when there are insufficient payment options. Facilitating payments by card is not enough today. If you are not integrating the payment methods popular among customers into your checkout process (e.g., digital wallets), you are losing out on low-hanging revenue opportunities.
To create a successful checkout process, it is crucial to eliminate surprises along the way. By addressing the common disruptions stated above, you can improve the overall user experience and increase conversion rates.
5. Better descriptions for higher conversions
Clear, compelling user-centric product or service descriptions are critical in convincing potential buyers to convert. If your content fails to communicate benefits, convey value, and address pain points, users may abandon your website in favor of competitors who better understand their needs.
To create effective product or service descriptions, focus on resolving problems and empathizing with your customer. Clearly communicate the benefits and value of your offers and highlight how they can meet the specific needs of your target audience. A user-centric copy can help create a connection with potential buyers and increase the likelihood of conversions.
6. Quality images convert higher
Poor-quality images can make it difficult for customers to get a clear and accurate representation of your product. This can lead to confusion and uncertainty about what they can expect to receive, which increases the risk of dissatisfaction and returns. To reverse low conversions and improve user engagement, invest in high-quality images that clearly showcase your products or services. Use images, videos, and animations that provide a realistic and accurate depiction of what customers can expect to receive. This can help build trust and confidence, leading to higher conversion rates.
Website Activity Analysis for Optimization
Analyzing website activity can provide valuable insights into user behavior and help identify drop-off points in the user journey. Google Analytics can provide quantitative data on visitor behavior, but additional tools such as heatmaps, scroll maps, and click maps can provide more detailed information on how users interact with different areas of your website to fill in the rest of the story.
For example, if you notice that users are clicking on secondary calls-to-action (CTAs) instead of primary CTAs, you can use this information to optimize the placement or design of those buttons.
Tools like Hotjar, which provide video session recordings of user behavior, can offer even deeper insights into user actions on specific website pages. There are also tools specific for analyzing the end-to-end performance of your web forms. In combination with other tools, web form analysis tools can help identify any fields that may be causing confusion or if the form is too long, leading to drop-offs during the checkout process. By identifying fail points, you can optimize the user journey and improve your overall website conversion rate.
Increase Low Conversions Now!
Conversion is a byproduct of engagement and a leading indicator of a website’s success to its visitors and company owners. Conversion rates and their optimization should be a top priority for websites that sell products to websites that promote a company’s brand or image. By optimizing your CRO strategy and addressing the root causes for low conversions, you can improve your website’s performance and drive more leads and sales.
If your website is still underperforming after applying principles from this blog, feel free to contact us for a personalized in-depth analysis on the root causes of what is causing low conversions as well as treatments on improving its performance.