May 11, 2022
Why Isn’t My Website Driving Conversions?
You’ve launched a new campaign on your website and you’re ready to watch the conversions roll in. Until they don’t. Why isn’t anyone converting on the website?
It can be frustrating to have the reality fall short of the expectations you set for a campaign. There isn’t always an easy answer as to why people aren’t converting on a website. The reasons are often multi-layered and can require a strategic reassessment of your audiences’ priorities and goals. But there are also a few easier ways to start gaining a better understanding of why users are behaving the way they are. This checklist can provide some jumping off points that you can look at as ways to start improving your conversion metrics.
Start with more QA
It may sound obvious, but there may just be technical errors on your landing pages. It could be that you have done everything else correctly, and users are ready to convert but are hitting a technical roadblock. Any of these types of user roadblocks that were missed in QA prior to launch will obviously have a huge impact on your conversions.
The first thing to do is to retest all your key conversion points. It’s critical to do this on multiple browsers and devices — what may have worked perfectly on desktop could be displaying improperly on mobile and causing you to lose conversions from those users. This could also be a time to bring in someone less familiar with the campaign to perform a hybrid of QA and user testing. Having outsiders evaluate your website can give you valuable insight into how your audience sees the website and might help you pinpoint UX weak spots alongside any technical errors.
If you find that a technical error is the cause of the underperformance, then you can focus on addressing that specific defect.
Look at your analytics
If everything is working from a technical standpoint, that means that there is something else missing the mark with your audiences. Figuring out what that is may seem difficult, especially if your site was already strategically planned with your audience in mind. What could you have missed?
Before starting at square one and reevaluating your understanding of your audience all together, we recommend taking a look at certain content performance indicators first. There may be simpler, more tactical changes you can make with a few insights from tools like Google Analytics or Hotjar. These answers won’t be as cut and dry as discovering a technical error, but they can set a direction for you to begin iterating and increasing your impact with the audience.
That might sound like a tall order, but there are tools at your disposal. Diving into your campaign pages’ analytics is the ideal place to start.
The answer you get from analytics probably won’t be as clear as the answer you get from a technical audit. But you can make sense of some general trends pretty quickly. Those insights can point you in the direction of the squeaky wheels you need to grease.
The first places to look for clues are with straightforward metrics like page views, bounce rate, and time on page. There are shortcomings to relying too heavily on simple metrics like these, but when paired with the right understanding of the metrics themselves, your audiences’ expectations, behaviors, and the goals of your campaign can serve as a strong baseline.
If your page view numbers are lower than your research projected, then you can focus your attention on getting users to your conversion points. If your engagement metrics like time on page or bounce rate are out of line with your projections, but your impression metrics look healthy, you can focus on what users are encountering on your site once they’ve arrived at conversion points.
Another important note is to always remember that there are real people behind the data in your analytics. If you can get access to even just a few audience members, use it. Interviewing a few actual users, even if it’s just with a survey, will only help you get a clearer picture of what’s stopping them from converting on your site.
You’ve seen the analytics; now what?
increasing low page views
In order to get users to convert, you have to create clear and considered user paths to get them to the right place on your site. How effective a user path is, relies on strategic placement of information, an understanding of what messages connect with your audience, and having a site that is easy to use from a technical perspective.
If you try a new messaging approach and still aren’t seeing the engagement you want, you may need to reconsider your site architecture. The placement and categorization of information within your site may not be intuitive for users, and could be preventing them from finding the information they need to convert. You can start evaluating this internally by just reviewing your sitemap, but having a user perspective is always helpful. If you can, conduct user tests in which you ask sample users to complete key tasks or find information related to your conversion points. You may quickly discover that they can’t find the information requested, as you have it structured.
Decreasing a High bounce rate
If your page view metrics look the way you expected, but you still aren’t seeing the conversions you want, the problem may be with the actual content on the site. It’s possible that something there is failing to connect with users, and ending their journey before a conversion.
You can start to correct this by revisiting what you know about your audience, and reviewing any research you’ve done on their needs, habits, obstacles, and interests. Really understanding your audience is at the core of creating effective messaging. If you don’t have a clear picture of what motivates them, it’s hard to make any sort of connection. If you haven’t done a strategic review of your audiences, low conversion rates on your site are a sign that it’s time to take a closer look at your conceptions of those groups.
Once you’ve done research on your audience, you can focus on adjusting your messaging to try to increase conversions. Do a qualitative audit of the key pages in your user journey, and ask yourself the following questions to focus your editing efforts:
- Am I making the “why?” clear to the user. Why should they want to convert? Is the value of what you’re offering them clear?
- Does the content connect to the rest of the site? Is there a clear through line that connects the conversion point to the rest of the story you’ve been telling? It should feel like a logical end to a longer journey.
- Is the design pleasing and easy to understand? A bad visual experience can ruin your opportunity to convert a prospect online
Improving conversion rates requires a strategic approach
Fine tuning your website to drive users to action isn’t an exact science. But the right strategic steps can allow you to identify the problems with the current site, and find ways to address them. To summarize:
- Do another short round of QA to ensure that all the technical aspects of your site are set up properly.
- Check in with your analytics to get an idea of what stage in the conversion process you’re losing your audience.
- Revisit (or conduct) research on your audience, and audit your architecture, content, and design to see if they’re meeting your strategic objectives.