It’s 2020, and it’s essential for every business to have an online presence. You know that, which is why you took the time to build a website and market it to your target audiences. You might be getting some traffic, but your website visitors just aren’t converting to sales. Sound familiar?
With any website design, the primary objective is to convert visitors into customers. If you’re struggling to accomplish this but you’re still getting traffic, then the issue isn’t with your product or service – it’s your website!
Here’s five reasons that potential customers might be deterred from purchasing on your site and how you can make it sell for you. If you aren’t getting traffic, chances are you could still benefit from a website that sells.
1. THE DESIGN IS LACKING
Visual appeal is the first aspect that we, as web designers, critique – and with good reason; design is the first impression that a user gets of your website. It’s important to make a good first impression.
However, your goal should not be to have the most beautiful website. At the end of the day, you’re trying to sell your products and services! Thus, your website should be designed with that purpose in mind. Think about your target customer. Who is your audience? Your website should seek to capture and retain their attention above all others.
As you design your website, question everything. How does the addition of that image enhance your message? What is the purpose of a button there? If you can’t articulate an element’s purpose then it likely isn’t promoting your goals. A simple, visually pleasing design with specific elements will go much further in generating sales than an intensive design that doesn’t engage your audience.
The design of your website also contributes to whether customers will return to purchase again in the future. Brand recognition is the largest indicator of customer loyalty. According to a study by global media group Nielsen, 60% of global consumers prefer to buy products from a familiar brand when shopping online. So, it’s imperative that your website leaves a lasting impression of your company’s brand on visitors.
Brand consistency throughout your website will increase recognition and lead to increased return visits and more sales. To achieve this you should strive to connect the elements on your webpages with your brand. Create a color palate and logo that emulate this, then use imagery and fonts that match. When everything comes together, you’ll see that your design is not only more attractive, but it also tells customers more about what you’re selling and why they should make a purchase.
2. POOR-USER EXPERIENCE
You want your customers to buy from you, so it’s in your best interest to make it easy for them. When building a website for your business, your primary responsibility is to create a process that users can follow when they visit your website. This process should be quick and seamless to ensure that they make it to the end.
There are a few elements that many sites utilize that commonly deter visitors from engaging with your business if not they are not well executed:
- Submission forms: Nobody actually likes filling out forms, but communicating information is important. Don’t ask for information that is not needed. It’s also a good idea to minimize user input with checkboxes and drop-down menus where possible. Reducing the amount of fields that a user has to fill out will improve your conversion rate.
- Pop-ups and advertisements: Pop-ups and advertisements are great marketing tools that encourage action. Even still, less of these elements is more. Too many of them will annoy users, but a few well placed pop-ups and ads will add value and help visitors, as well as your organization, reach their goals. Don’t use pop-ups that annoy your visitors.
- Navigation: It should be effortless for visitors to navigate your website. Don’t make users click through a plethora of menus and buttons to find the pages or information that they’re looking for. There should be many points on every page which clearly direct users to where they may want to go next. A general rule of thumb is that each page on your website should be accessible by 1-2 clicks.
If you’re using any of these features on your website, remember to keep it simple. If the buying process is too complicated, it will create hurdles in the purchasing process and inhibit sales.
If you’re not sure where the bottleneck is, there’s an easy way to find out. Go through your site as though you are visiting it as a potential customer. You’ll notice any hiccups or areas you can improve the process or site navigation. Then you can fix these trouble spots so that potential customers never experience them. When a website is built this way, with the user in mind, the user will be more inclined to buy.
3. THE SITE DOESN’T SEEM TRUSTWORTHY
Your website’s visitors are considering giving you money in exchange for the services or products that your business provides. Naturally, they’d like to know that your website is a safe place to do so. Establishing credibility online can be done many ways and you should be doing so in more than one.
If your website is accepting payments online, it’s important that it’s done securely. A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate encrypts the data that a user enters onto your website and allows secure communication from their web browser to your web server. Without it, you run the risk of an external party getting ahold of transaction details and your customers’ private information. Additionally, if your website is not currently running an SSL certificate you aren’t only potentially subjecting your clients to fraud – you’re also scaring away potential buyers.
Popular web browsers like Google Chrome, Safari and Microsoft Edge immediately recognize when a website doesn’t have encryption. They automatically display warnings to notify the user. The words “not secure” at the top of the page are a huge red flag to buyers. A warning like that doesn’t exactly entice them to enter their credit card information. Not having a secure website is also a signal to your potential customer that your business is unprofessional.
Another way to establish trust with your visitors is by demonstrating social proof. Demonstrating social proof on your site is a great way to show your customers that your products are legitimate. Your potential customers need to know that your product is everything that it’s described as. Don’t make them take your word for it. Including testimonials and enabling reviews are two powerful forms of social proof. Show customers that there are other individuals out there who have experienced your offerings first-hand and love your company.
4. THE COPY IS SUB-PAR
Customers that have stumbled across your website for the first time most likely don’t know what your business is all about yet. We discussed the importance of expressing that through design, but it’s even more important to communicate it with content.
Here are a few ways you can alter your copy and motivate customers to buy:
- Talk less about features and focus on the benefits. Customers are converted by the benefits, not by features. Here’s an example: at Ranksey, one of the marketing services we offer is website design. We could write content that describes how beautiful and dynamic our websites are but, it’s much more persuasive to tell potential clients about the leads and sales that our websites generate. Ask yourself what customers are buying your product for in the first place. Will your skin cream make them look 20 years younger? Will your security system stop burglars in their tracks? Tell them about the benefit first and foremost, then discuss the product features that support your claim.
- Speak your customer’s language. Show your customers that you understand them, you know their problems and you have a solution by writing in a tone that they’ll relate to. Find out what frustrates your customer base. What is the solution that they want? Write about that. Then when users visit your website they’ll feel that you’re speaking to them and they’re much more likely to buy your products and services.
5. VISITORS AREN’T ASKED TO BUY
A Call To Action (CTA) is a clear, directive statement that tells the customer their next steps. These are arguably the most important parts of your website because they encourage a transformation from website visitor to customer. Examples of CTA’s are buttons, contact forms, and copy that encourage visitors to engage.
Users are visiting your website because they have an end goal in sight. CTA’s make it simple for them to take the next step towards that. Decide what action you would like the visitors of your website to take and ask them to take it. Display buttons from top to bottom on every page so that they have every chance to follow through. Most of the time, a website visitor isn’t going to do something if you don’t ask them to.
MAKE YOUR WEBSITE SELL FOR YOU
Your website has the potential to be a powerful sales tool for your business. If your website is lacking in some of these areas, use the tips outlined in this article to improve.