October 29th, 2018

My new website isn’t converting. What did I do wrong?

We’ve heard it before. You put a new website out there, maybe got a pat on the back from co-workers and friends, but you aren’t seeing the returns you hoped for. So what happened? Often it comes down to one (or all) of these factors:

1. You forgot to put the customer first.

It’s easy to end up with a new website that reflects the needs and desires of each department in your company instead of your users. We know what those planning meetings can be like, where each department is negotiating for top billing on the homepage. But if you only think about yourself, you end up with a website that sells to you, not your customer.

But if you only think about yourself, you end up with a website that sells to you, not your customer.

Make your customer your top priority. Not sure what they need? Talk to them. User research can make all the difference. Learn about their pain points, their decision making process, and what they currently think of you. Then take that knowledge and apply it to your site. Show them right away what problems you are solving for them and how are you helping them be better, save more, gain access to knowledge they didn’t have before, etc… you get the point!

2. You’re talking about yourself too much.

This one may come across as counter-intuitive. After all, it is your website, why wouldn’t you talk about yourself? Information about your company, your history, and your people certainly can have a home on your website — but if your goal is to generate leads, drive business, or convert users, then you need to think again about what you’re saying and how you’re saying it.

If you force site visitors to wade through pages and pages of content to find key offerings and differentiators, they’ll get distracted and confused —and most likely leave. They don’t care about your internal statistics or the snacks you provide for employees because that doesn’t affect your customer or user’s ability to derive benefit from your services.

Users want to know how you’re going to help make their lives easier or do that thing they need. Take a look at your website and make sure you talk about the solutions available to your user first and foremost — and leave the descriptive information about your company on secondary or tertiary site pages.

3. You didn’t make it easy to convert.

Yes I did, I put a big “contact us” button right here!

Ok, but is that button near a bunch of other clickable items? Are people overwhelmed by choice? If they click on your “contact us” button do they know what happens next?

User experience and site usability are often overlooked in the conversion conversation — but they are VITAL. Your site visitors are more likely to convert if it’s easy to do so. Instead of throwing a big "contact us" button on the page, take the time to think through the user experience. What has your user seen up to this point? What did they come here to find? What else do they need to know? Have they found all the information they needed?

Daunted? Don’t be. All of these issues are solvable by taking the time to understand your user’s perspective and apply changes through good UX design thinking. Now it’s time to put yourself in your user’s shoes and get to work!