If investments in online paid search, advertising campaigns, and search engine optimization aren’t yielding the right lead generation results, it might be time to take a closer look at how well your website is performing at moving visitors through the sales funnel. While you may be getting high-quality traffic, your site might not be properly optimized for lead conversion. In this post, we’ll examine the top five reasons your website is underperforming at generating leads.  

1. Poor Design

Your website may look polished and professional with the latest bells and whistles in features, but aesthetics could also be a key reason your website isn’t converting traffic. In fact, you may have heard the saying that “ugly websites convert better than pretty websites.” While it may be a tough notion to swallow, the more complex functionality you include, the more often it will “break” and display incorrectly for some users. Part of the challenge is that not all visitors use the same browser, and many may rely upon older versions of browsers.

Translation? Your fancy website may not load the way it should or look as good as it is supposed to for many of your website’s visitors.  

More importantly, if the home page doesn’t display correctly, there’s a good chance that your reader will never see the value you offer. Sites that convert tend to be more minimalistic, containing fewer distractions or resource-intensive features. They are usually laid out in a very logical manner, with the primary purpose of the page front-and-center (i.e., above the fold). While your site doesn’t have to be “ugly” to convert visitors, the most successful sites are highly user-friendly, meaning they make it obvious what they offer and incredibly easy to convert.  

2. Long Load Time

Who knew that the loading speed of your website could affect your sales? Page loading time is an important part of any website’s user experience. Many times, website developers let load time slide to accommodate better aesthetic design, new functionality or to add more content and imagery. More often than not, however, website visitors will care more about speed than the bells and whistles. Additionally, page loading time is becoming a more important factor when it comes to search engine rankings. Slow page response times result in an increase in page abandonment.

According to a report by Akamai, a 100-millisecond delay in website load time can hurt conversion rates by seven percent and a two-second delay in web page load time increase bounce rates by 103 percent. A similar study conducted by Kissmetrics concluded that 47 percent of consumers expect a page to load in two seconds or less. A few extra seconds could have a huge impact on your ability to engage visitors and drive sales.

By minifying and combining your JavaScript, HTML, and CSS files, you can reduce the number of requests your site makes each time a user visits it, thus reducing load time. Minifying a file –in case you’re wondering– involves removing unnecessary formatting, white space, and code. Reducing server response time can also improve your website’s load time. When a user types a URL into the browser, a DNS server is what translates that URL into the IP address that indicates its location online. The amount of time this step takes depends on the speed of your DNS provider. Ensuring your site is hosted by a reliable internet service provider, like WP Engine, can dramatically speed up the process.

It’s also important to reduce your files to the smallest possible size, without sacrificing quality. Why? Because the smaller your files, the faster they’ll load. Pages with numerous images and other content can often end up being over 100KB in size. As a result, they’re bulky and slow to download, leading to higher page abandonment rates.  

3. No Clear Call-to-Action

Offering a strong call-to-action (CTA) is key to converting website visitors into leads. Visitors to your website are looking for clues as to what they are supposed to do next. A strong call to action is a clear, simple, and compelling offer that persuades them to take the action you want. Your prospects shouldn’t have to hunt for a way to engage with your brand. Providing them with a pronounced call-to-action button tells them how to take the next step.

Whether it’s a direct CTA like “get a quote,” or “call us today,” or a transitional CTA such as “download our whitepaper,” the placement of a CTA is key. There should always be a direct call to action clearly and prominently displayed in multiple spots on your website.

CTAs should be:

  •       Brief, with limited copy that’s easy to understand.
  •       Aesthetically pleasing in ‘action-friendly’ colors to stand out, while still fitting in with the overall design.
  •       Action-oriented, beginning with a verb like “Download” or “Sign Up.”
  •       Easy to find and prominently placed throughout your site.

 

 

4. Bad Copy

Your website copy should be straightforward, easy to read, and get to the point. Too many times companies wax eloquently about a product or service but then fail to hook the visitor with an effective value proposition and related CTA. It’s also best to avoid too much industry jargon, as not every visitor will share the same depth of knowledge you have. Shorter words are better than longer ones. In fact, it’s generally advisable to write website copy so that a 6th grader can understand it in order to maximize understandability.

Emphasizing benefits over features helps answer your potential customer’s most important question—will this make my life better or easier? While leading with the benefits of your products or services doesn’t stop you from mentioning features completely, it’s important to make sure you’re not doing so at the expense of explaining clearly and concisely why using your products or services will solve your prospects’ problems.

Bottom-line: Every single line of copy on your website should help your visitors learn something about your product and be compelling enough to convert visitors into leads.  

5. Not Mobile Friendly or Responsive

Now that mobile internet usage has surpassed computer usage, it should come as no surprise that a mobile-friendly and responsive website is essential to lead conversion. If your mobile visitors don’t have a good experience when they land on your site, you will end up alienating a huge portion of your potential traffic, stymying lead conversion, and hurting your search engine rankings.

Google favors mobile-friendly and mobile-responsive websites, indexing mobile sites first, then desktop sites. This can spell big trouble for websites that have a mobile version and a desktop version, especially if those two site versions differ from one another. If your bounce rate is significantly higher on mobile devices than on desktop devices, it would likely indicate an issue with the way your site displays on a mobile device.

A responsive website includes all of the same content and information on any device you access, but it changes the way it’s displayed and arranged based on the size of the device screen. This is the best option for making your website mobile friendly because you’re not limiting the information your mobile visitors can access. In order to be successful at optimizing a website for lead conversion, it’s important to understand that success isn’t just about how much traffic your website is getting, but also about how many leads your website generates and helps convert to paying customers.

While you can keep paying more for ads to drive traffic to your website in the hopes of getting more leads, if you really want to improve your conversion rate and drive more sales, it’s important to look at the underlying website issues that may be hindering your results.

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