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7 Website Mistakes That Cost Sales – How To Fix Them

Have you ever wondered if you’re losing sales on your website?

If you have, the answer to your question is, yes. But that’s not something you can prevent from happening.

Every website loses sales every day. There is just no way you can convert 100 percent of the qualified traffic that comes to your site. It’s like expecting a salesperson to close 100 percent of proposals – it’s unrealistic and impossible.

But it doesn’t mean that you have to put up with low conversion rates on your website.

In this article, we are going to look at six website mistakes that are costing you sales unnecessarily, and what you can do to remedy them and boost conversions on your site.

1. Customer vs. Company Copy

‘What’s in it for me?’

‘How is this business going to benefit me?’

‘Why should I spend my time here instead of another similar site?’

Simply put, your web copy has to address all the benefits offered by your product or service. It’s important to explain what you do, but you also have to take it a step further and relate that to clear benefits for your customers.

For instance, a cosmetic dentist gives you a better smile.

But so what?

What does a better smile really mean to his audience?
  • It might be the difference between landing the acting job and not getting it.
  • It might be the difference between getting the relationship and not getting it.
  • Or it might mean building the confidence to go off to your dreams rather than sitting on the sidelines…

See the difference?

2. Ace the 3-Second Test

Studies show that most website visitors make snap decisions about whether they should stay on that website or not. As a general rule, you have about three seconds before they either decide to explore more of your website or leave.

If you don’t catch their attention within that three-second window, those prospects will be gone and they’re not likely to return.

So what does this mean for you as an online marketer?

It means two things:

First, it means that your website needs to load quickly. Almost all people online have been conditioned to be impatient and if a website takes more than a couple of seconds to load, your visitor is not going to wait.

The second thing is that you need to make sure that all the information above the fold (i.e. on top of the page) is as clear as possible and compelling enough to get your visitors to want to know more.

You don’t have to close the deal in those three seconds or sell your prospects anything, but you do have to get the visitors scrolling or clicking around.

3. Weak or Nonexistent CTAs

A lot of the websites we come across in various niches don’t have strong calls to action.

In fact, a lot of them don’t even have any CTA at all. What this means is that the website visitor has to want to deal with that business so bad that they will search out the contact information on their own.

This rarely ever happens!

As I mentioned before, people have grown very impatient online and hardly anyone will search for information if it’s not placed in an obvious place for them to find.

So, for instance, if you want your visitors to call, make sure your phone number CTA is in a very prominent place on your site.

One of the most common locations for this is the upper right corner of your website. Most visitors know to look there for a phone number.

This isn’t a complicated matter, but it’s something that often overlooked by most marketers since each of us is so familiar with the pages on our own site.

For this reason, it’s important to try and get feedback from people who haven’t been to your website to see whether they know how to proceed.

If you discover that they are not sure what to do, then you know to take the necessary steps to make your call to action a bit more obvious.

4. Having no Lead Magnet

The majority of people who come to your website simply aren’t ready to buy anything at the moment they land on your page.

But that doesn’t mean that they are not interested in your product or brand. It’s just that the timing isn’t right.

For these people, what you need is a lead magnet. Lead magnets are valuable things that you can offer for free on your website in exchange for your prospects’ contact information.

On your website, you can offer various lead magnet types.

This includes guides, checklists, reports, ebooks, and webinars, among others. The great thing about a lead magnet is that it gives you the contact information of those people who are interested in your product even if they are not yet ready to buy.

You can then follow up using email and take your time to nurture, educate them and build trust until they are ready to become paying customers.

5. Talking to the Wrong Crowd

In marketing, it’s vital that your attention is focused mainly on qualified prospects. If you don’t do this, you’ll quickly get burned out and frustrated talking to people who will never buy from you.

That’s the exact same thing that happens with your site every day.

If you’re getting 10,000 visitors to your website every month, but no one is turning into actual leads and sales, the first question you should ask yourself is, ‘Are these people qualified prospects?’

For instance, if you dive into your Google Analytics dashboard and you notice that’s half the traffic to your site is international whereas you only sell products in the US, it shouldn’t surprise you then if you see low conversion rates.

Or maybe the majority of your traffic comes from a funny, entertaining, but mostly unrelated video which was shared on social media. In such a case, you really shouldn’t expect that kind of traffic to convert.

So basically, your first step in assessing the conversion rates on your site has to be confirming that you’re talking to the right audience.

If you are not, then your message is falling on deaf ears and no sales tactic has been invented that can help you.

6. Presenting an Unclear Message

Let’s assume that you know your web visitors are all qualified prospects.

The next thing you need to do is check the validity of your message. As you well know, when it comes to sales presentations, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

What you need to do is match a specific presentation to your particular audience.

For instance, if you’re selling a product to a room full of rowdy college girls, then your presentation obviously has to be different than if you’re selling to a room full of single fathers.

You may talk differently and even dress differently to connect with each audience more closely.

So take a look at your site. Do your web pages present a message to match each type of visitor you get?

With regards to digital advertising, this is a lot easier to control by using unique landing pages on your site that match your ad targeting precisely.

When it comes to organic traffic, the best thing is to offer your site visitors a means of self-selecting so they can be directed to the unique pages that match their needs.

For instance, you might have buttons on your site that say, ‘click here for men’s fashions’ and ‘click here for women’s fashions’ so that you can modify the next page according to the visitor’s gender.

7. Confusing Your Prospects

If you’re sure that you’re talking to your target prospects, and that you’re presenting the proper message in the right way, then it’s possible that you may be overly complicating things.

This is something that you need to pay attention to, particularly when it comes to digital marketing because your prospects can just click away in seconds if they feel confused.

When selling face-to-face, it’s a lot easier to pick up on those clues (such as the glossed-over eyes) and quickly switch course so you can get that sale back on track.

Unfortunately, when it comes to your site, the clues aren’t as obvious. In fact, you might find that they’re deeply buried inside Google Analytics.

One thing you can do is to review your website’s top exit pages. On your analytics dashboard, go to Behavior > Site > Exit Pages.

Google will then show you the pages that your visitors are exiting your site from.

The question then becomes why they are exiting.

And again, if you already know that your visitors are qualified prospects and that you’re presenting the correct message to them, then the odds are that those visitors are leaving the website because they are just confused.

If possible, take a closer look at those pages and simplify the copy and layout.

Just keep in mind that your website’s role is to generate more leads and sales for your business. This means that if you’re not very happy with your site’s performance and results, then it may be time for a performance review.

Once you know that you talking to the right people and sending the right message in a clear and compelling way, your digital marketing results will start to improve.

Increasing Your Website Sales

As you can see, there are a lot of different reasons why your website conversions could be suffering. But what can you do about it?

If your conversions are low and you want to generate more sales from all your digital marketing efforts, you really only have two options:

The first option which is the most common is to drive more traffic to your site.

If you can increase the number of qualified prospects coming to the site, then it’s likely that you’ll increase your sales. For most marketers, this is the route that makes the most sense and that’s the solution they focus on.

But, as most experienced marketers will tell you, driving more traffic to sites is actually the harder and more expensive option.

The second option is the better one by far. And that is to increase the conversion rate on your website.

Focusing on boosting your conversion rates means that you can actually double your revenue and sales without having to invest additional time or money into generating website traffic.

In the long run, increasing conversion rates rather than increasing traffic numbers is the easier and cheaper option to boost your business’s revenue.

How to Boost Website Conversions

To improve the conversion rate on your site, the first thing you need to do is determine where the chokepoint is on your sales funnel.

With almost every funnel, you’ll find an area where potential customers get stuck or exit before they make a purchase.

This might be on the first page, the page for requesting a free trial, scheduling a call, or any other page which might not even seem important to you.

In order to find this chokepoint, you need to create a flow chart listing every step that customers take in your sales funnel. It’s a lot of work, I know, but it’s worth it – trust me!

Until such a time when you can visualize all the steps customers are taking, you’ll have a hard time optimizing the conversion rates on your website.

The next thing you need to do is to measure the conversion rates starting from one step to the next so you can see how every step performs.

By the time you get to the end of this exercise, the point where your prospective customers are getting stuck will be obvious to you.

This will be the step where you are getting the largest drop-off.

The good news is identifying that area is the hardest part of the process of improving your conversion rates.

After you’ve found the problem, fixing it is a breeze.
  • If the issue is in-congruent copy on your web pages, fix that.
  • If it’s inconsistent design, take care of it.
  • If it’s the lack of a compelling lead magnet offer, create one.
  • And so on…

Simply fix the problems in your funnel one by one so you’re presenting a clear, consistent message to the right audience and before you know it, your website conversions will be through the roof.

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Updated: Originally published April 11th 2019

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