5 Website Mistakes Costing You Conversions

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5 Website Mistakes Costing You Conversions

When was the last time you looked at your website and asked yourself, “Why am I not turning enough visitors into customers?”

Or, “Why do I have an email list if my opt in rates are so low?”

And, my personal favorite, “Why do I keep creating all this content if no one ever seems to read it?”

If you never ask yourself these questions then, 1) You’re already a conversion rock star and have an extremely well optimized site or 2) You’re in denial and would much rather keep your head in the sand.

For everyone else, the problems you’re facing can be addressed in large part by avoiding the following mistakes.

Read: 7 Ways To Build A Strong Online Presence Through Social Media

1) No Clear Value Proposition

Not sure what a value proposition or unique selling proposition is? You’re not alone. Most website home pages, in particular, don’t have one. If they do, generally it leaves much to be desired.

A good value proposition tells your visitor immediately what is unique and desirable about your business or offering. It’s to the point while still saying everything it needs to. Plus, it makes sure to acknowledge who you aim to target.

Clear value proposition

Unbounce provides an example of a well written value proposition on its home page. The main headline tells the visitor exactly what to expect from it’s solution, why it’s unique and desirable and who will benefit from it.

Why is a spot on value proposition so important to conversions?

Because, without a headline (and usually subhead) that clearly and succinctly tells visitors where they are and why they need to stay, the vast majority of people have no interest in figuring it out on their own.

If you remember nothing else, etch this into your memory banks – People are lazy. Don’t make them work on your website.

2) Too Many Competing Calls To Action

You want people to sign up for your newsletter, read your new blog post, purchase one of your services. It’s understandable. Your website has to do some heavy lifting and persuade people to go where you want them to.

The problem is that when you’re asking people to do too many things at one time on the same page with no clear hierarchy of importance, nothing will get done.

Competing calls to action

This is an extreme example of when website pages go bad. There are moving graphics, contrasting colors, zero white space and almost no way to decide what to possibly click on.

Give thought to what each page of your site needs to achieve. If the main goal of your services page is to have someone sign up for a free chat to find out more about what you have to offer, don’t make your email opt in three times larger and the first thing seen.

The call to action you want taken should be the star of the page.

3) Not user friendly

This seems like a no brainer but look at enough websites and you’ll quickly realize how counter intuitive so many of them are.

A website like a supermarket should be easy to navigate. You’ve got preconceived notions of how these two things work. Shopping for eggs in the market means walking over to the dairy section. If the eggs aren’t there, you’ll be annoyed. And, if you find out they now live next to the cans of pinto beans, you’ll probably be even more annoyed and a little grossed out.

The same holds true for websites. There are no awards for being cryptic or clever. Navigation tabs should say exactly what they represent. Using the word “Contact” for the page where people can find out how to email or call you may sound boring but no one should get confused about its purpose.

4) Forget To Tell People What You Want Them To Do

It’s all well and good to give your visitors a laundry list of reasons why they should buy your product or hire you but if you don’t tell them how to go about doing it, none of that really matters.

Give your visitors a clear and compelling call to action. Let them know exactly what they are going to get or where they’re going to be taken when they click that button and fill in that form.


Lulu.com, a self publishing website, gives its visitors little direction with it’s “Get your gift on” button. There’s no verbiage explaining what the gift is or what happens when the button is clicked.

This creates confusion. Confusion creates friction. In most cases, friction on a website is not a good thing. It has a tendency to bring down click rates. At it’s worse, friction can turn people away.


Harvest does a better job explaining the upside of its call to action. Clicking on the button leads to a free trial.

Reduced friction = more conversions

5) Lacking Reasons To Believe

The last mistake many website owners make is not giving their visitors reasons to have confidence in their products or services. Explaining the benefits and listing features is only the first step.

You want to reduce any anxiety associated with buying from you by creating trust.

How? The best ways are by adding customer testimonials relevant to each service or product, security payment icons and guarantees.

Give your visitors every opportunity to understand how you or your product/service works and what you’ll do to back it up.

Now it’s your turn. What’s been one of the most effective ways you’ve been able to increase conversions on your website?

About Jen Havice

Jen Havice is a website copywriter who specializes in creating content with personality made for conversions. She helps small businesses and entrepreneurs bring clarity to their online messaging while developing social media strategies to get them noticed. Get more writing tips on her blog.


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