5 Reasons Your Website Visitors Aren't Buying

If you can't turn website visitors into paying customers, you have a big problem. Here are the 5 reasons your site is working against you, and how to fix them.
June 03, 2013

Is your website generating traffic, but not sales? It’s frustrating to put a ton of effort into your site, only to see your traffic spike without earning any customers. There are a lot of elements on your site, such as copy, headlines, design and forms, that impact conversion rate optimization—getting the most people to buy—and it's very possible that you're losing visitors because of them.

The following are five likely reasons you're losing sales—and how to fix each. 

1. Your landing page isn’t congruent with your inbound marketing efforts. When your visitors reach your website, what are they looking for? Can they find it right away? “If visitors click on your ads, social media posts or blog links expecting to find one thing—but instead are led to a seemingly irrelevant page, they end up confused and frustrated," says Ken Lyons of the search-engine marketing company MeasuredSEM. "You might even lose their trust in the process.”

The fix: Lyons says it’s critical to employ a cohesive strategy across all your marketing initiatives. That means making sure your keywords and landing page content are relevant and targeted to the ads and other sources that are driving visitors to your website in the first place.

2. Your offer isn't strong enough. Is your offer convincing enough to compel visitors to take action right away? If your information, products or services are just so-so, your visitors will head elsewhere to find what they’re looking for. Or they may decide they’ll come back later to complete an offer and never actually do so.

The fix: Create a sense of urgency with a limited-time offer that’s hard for your visitors to refuse.

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3. Your forms are too cumbersome. Wasting your users’ time is one of the biggest conversion rate optimization mistakes you can make, according to Added Bytes. Consumers browsing the Internet are seeking instant gratification and easy solutions to their problems. Faced with filling out a form that asks for an overwhelming amount of information will quickly send visitors packing.

The fix: Keep your forms short and sweet. Only ask for the essential information. Once you’ve added a prospect to your subscriber list, you can gather more data later.

4. Your landing page has no focal point. Landing page design is one of the most essential elements of conversion rate optimization. Your visitors need to be directed in a clear and concise manner through the necessary steps. When your landing page seems scattered, visitors are left bouncing around the page without a clear idea of what to do next.

The fix: Make use of tools such as heat maps to refine your landing page design. Users’ natural eye path tends to follow an “F” pattern, so you want to place important elements, such as your call to action, in prominent locations.

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5. Your pages are loading too slowly. With all the fancy scripting languages and graphics available today, it’s tempting to invest in a flashy website design to impress potential customers. But those same complex elements often take longer to load, especially in older browser versions. When you leave your visitors staring at the ever-swiveling hourglass icon, they’re going to hit the road in search of a quicker solution.

The fix: Keep it simple. Test your page load times and eliminate the elements that are bogging down your speeds without providing any major benefit.

If you’re getting traffic but sales are still suffering, take a close look at these five factors. The good news is that the reason your visitors aren’t converting is almost always fixable with some modifications to your copy, forms or landing page design. Viewing the various inbound marketing tactics as components of a cohesive strategy will help you keep the elements of your sales and conversion funnel in sync, leading to targeted visitors who are more likely to convert to paying customers. 

Read more articles on small-business marketing.

Angela Stringfellow is a freelance writer, social media strategist and complete content marketing junkie obsessed with all things Web, written word and marketing.

Photo: Thinkstock