Did you know that 63% of online marketers optimize their sites based on their intuition rather that tried-and-true practices? Unlike a couple of years ago, when the competition was not so tough and running an attractive website was enough to drive a wider audience, the situation is so much different today. In the contemporary world, the design of your website plays a significant role in the demand that it gains among your target audience, as well as the conversion it will attain.
The homepage of your site is the first place where your customers will land after coming across your resource in the search engines. The conversion rates of your site are heavily dependent on the design of the homepage. That’s why more and more often marketers pay special attention to the elements that the front page of their sites feature. Stats show that only 22% of online marketers are satisfied with the design of their homepages. And what about the remaining 78%? What are the most wide-spread conversion-killing mistakes that we should avoid on our WordPress sites?
Mistake 1: Displaying Company News on the Homepage
This is one of the most common mistakes that contemporary businesses commit. While updating your website with company news you can grow the users’ trust in what you are doing. However, do not add long lists of your updates straight on the homepage.
So, how does news displayed on the homepage of your site kill conversion? When reaching your website from search engines, your potential customers want to discover your offers and services instead of scanning through your company’s news blurbs only. People may get interested in your company news after they know enough about the things you have on offer. As an online business marketer, your primary goal should be attracting the web customers to boost conversions.
Quite many world-known brands add updates considering their corporate news and updates through their blogs. Every time something new and remarkable occurs, they announce this on their blogs. One more option that you can opt for is adding a separate “news” item to the navigation panel of your site.
Mistake 2: Slow Page Loading
51% of the US customers claim that slow websites are the main reason making them search for different places to order similar products/services. So, the speed at which your site’s pages load is of impressive importance when it comes to boosting conversion rates.
Site loading speeds are also important for Google. The search engine follows the users’ online behavior in order to define whether your site is worthy of higher rankings in the search engines of not. Even one-second delay can cause your site as much as 7% decrease in conversions. Test your website performance and make adjustments as needed (we have a bunch of posts on speeding up WordPress so have a look).
Mistake 3: Poor Navigation
Your site’s navigation panel is the key users’ gateway to all pages of your site. A poorly designed navigation panel will mislead your customers, making your conversion rate suffer. Even the most stylish menu won’t work. Instead, think about its functionality. People will expect to find a horizontal menu bar at the top of your page. Although it may sound like something absolutely not unique, this is exactly what customers expect to find on your site.
Excessive or over the top drop-down menus can get annoying. Studies show that people scan through your site’s content rapidly. So, they need to see every piece of data at a glance. That’s why, opting for drop-down menus is not the best option.
Mistake 4: Cluttered Homepage
A mistake that we can often find on websites is cluttering homepages with unnecessary text and images. The rule of the first impression always works. The same deals with web design.
Even if you have a properly optimized page in terms of meta data and keywords, cluttering the pages of your site with too many texts will only decrease conversion rates. Make every word count. Make texts clear and concise.
There is an ongoing debate among copywriters regarding the best length of words that a copy should contain. Some think that short and concise texts work best, others insist that longer copies have bigger chances to deliver your thoughts to the target audience. In fact, both of these approaches work. The thing we would like you to take into account is that your homepage copy should be both properly SEO optimized and contain a copy where every word and phrase is used to the point.
Mistake 5: Audio/Video Content Autoplay
Both audio and video content are used with the purpose to grow conversions on your website. In the modern age, when the competition is growing tougher with more companies getting online, it’s crucial to search for new ways of delivering your content to the audience. One of such latest innovations is a podcast. However, you should be careful with the use of audio and video materials on the pages of your site.
Do not autoplay audios and videos on your site. Just recollect your own reaction when you heard some strange sounds coming from nowhere as you land on a web page. Instead of attracting the users’ attention, these distract people from your data. If you add audios and videos to your site, let people make decision on their own. Otherwise, autoplay can kill your conversions.
Mistake 6: Too Many CTAs
Just 47% of websites make it easy to find their CTAs within 3 seconds. This means that on majority of sites it takes customers much too long to make it to a CTA.
When it comes to converting website visitors into customers, the main point that you need to consider is the understanding of their values, origins and goals. Too many CTAs added to one page can results in customer paralysis.
There is no one-fit-it-all rule regarding the right positioning of CTAs on one page. Place one button at the top of the page, whereas another one can be placed somewhere at the bottom (see the example below). If you have a long copy, add one more button somewhere in the middle of the text. Run A/B tests in order to find cope across the best CTA positioning on your website.
Mistake 7: Neglecting Blogs
Blog is the major resource of organic traffic to your website. Google loves blogs more than any other kind of web resources available on the web. By means of an official blog, you can get closer to each and every visitor who comes across your website.
The mistake that many businesses make is hiding their blogs from the audience. Make it findable to your visitors. Adding a link to your blog in the header of the site is a working tip for a proper site optimization, which will result in a bigger amount of leads.
Mistake 8: Using Massive Images
Images help your website visitors to better understand texts. Images are great. They speak louder than words and provide for a clearer understanding of your message. However, you shouldn’t forget about the proper optimization of visual content. If they are over-sized and are heavier than any other element of a webpage, then chances are these will decrease your site’s loading speeds, which kills conversions.
Actionable step: make each image match the pixel size displayed on a 1366×768 screen.
Mistake 9: Cluttered Checkout Process
If conversions on your website end up with a checkout, make sure that it is optimized for all kinds of devices. More and more often people make purchases from the screens of their handheld devices. So, a clunky checkout is more likely to result in the abandonment of the shopping cart rather than a purchase.
In order for this not to happen, design it in an absolutely minimalist style. Give your customers the freedom to choose the right data by means of drop-downs instead of facing the necessity to type each character. The possibility to save their data for further reference will be a great advantage for returning customers.
Mistake 10: Not Focusing on Making Layout Support Multiple Devices
Unless your site is accessible from a variety of desktop and handheld devices, it won’t bring you the desired boost of conversion rates. So, make sure that all content that is provided on your site’s pages can adjust to all screen sizes flawlessly. In order to free yourself from the necessity to develop separate versions of your site for mobile phones and tablets, you can make use of responsive WordPress themes. These will save your time, money and energy on the development of a website that converts.
Mistake 11: Broken Links
If a person finds your site via search engines, and in the meta description, they read that you sell WordPress plugins, but when they follow that link they are either taken to a different or 404 page, that person will hardly ever come back to your site and become your customer. So, whenever you add links to your site’s pages or spread links on the web, make sure that none of them is broken and leads to the right destination. If you do have a few you can always use our guide to fix broken links on your WordPress website.
Mistake 12: Focusing on 1 Type of Content
There is no one-size-fits-all type of content that will appeal to every single visitor to your site. There is neither one-format-fits-all. In order for your web page to attract different layers of users, create content in multiple formats. You can also try to turn blog posts into tweets, infographics, GIFs, slideshows, videos, etc. Take a “package” approach to your content, so that your audience can decide on what type of content they want to distribute.
Mistake 13: Using Stock Photos
No website can go without visuals. Images have become a crucial part of any web project. As it been already mentioned earlier in this post, visuals help you communicate your business ideas more effectively. By means of images, you can get the web audience more engaged, thus providing for a better brand recognition. However, you will hardly ever achieve the desired effect if you share stock photos on the pages of your website.
Stock images can ruin the credibility of your business. Adding photos of happy, smiling faces of some families or team members who have no relation to your company you will send a meaningless, and even a wrong message to your audience. Every image that you share should be authentic and relevant. Use every image for a reason, pushing every customer towards conversion.
Mistake 14: No Hierarchy
It goes without saying that all content that you share on the pages of your site should be readable and quick-to-scan. Not only should the images be relevant to your content, but also organized into a clear hierarchy.
Unless you upload the pages of your site with clear and informative headings, people won’t be able to get the message that you want to deliver to them at the first glance. As a result, they may feel somewhat confused with the absence of a straightforward message.
Mistake 15: No Trust Indicators
It’s a huge mistake not to upload your site with trust indicators like reviews of other customers or a social approval. Even if you upload the pages of your site with the most well-written marketing texts, nothing has a better effect on your target audience rather than reviews left by your existing customers. Both positive and negative reviews are important. These will boost the credibility of your business, making it more comfortable for your prospective clients to order products or services from you.
All reviews that are shared on the pages of your site should be real messages from people who tried your services. These should include a name of a person who composed the text, as well as his/her photo. If you have something to boast of (like a review submitted by a world-known person), make it accessible to your customers as well.
Mistake 16: Writing for SEO Only
When you work texts for your site, think about the people who will be reading it. Your audience are not robots, so take care of providing value to each and every customer who reaches your platform.
One of the most common mistakes that online marketers make is writing for search engines only, stuffing their texts with a huge number of keywords, thus aiming to attract more traffic. That’s a huge mistake. While writing for people you grow your chances of driving more organic traffic and increasing your conversion rates.
Mistake 17: Missing Targeted Landing Pages
When a person comes across your site via search engines, he expects to find a resource that is relevant to the keyword that he entered in the search bar. A targeted landing page can manage this task better than anything else. For example, if a person was searching for yoga classes for kids, leading them to the homepage of your fitness club will a bad idea. Give your visitors exactly what they need. This will decrease bounce rates and boost conversions at the same time.
Mistake 18: Failure to Search for Reviews
If you have a big client base, with hundreds to thousands of sales being placed on your site monthly, why don’t you ask your satisfied clients to leave a review about their experience of working with your brand? Whenever possible, link to the clients so that your site visitors can see that the reviews shared on your site’s pages are authentic. Moreover, customer-generated reviews provide for higher rankings of your site in search engines, since these are considered to be one of the proven sources of organic traffic.
Mistake 19: Paying no Regard to Social Media
This is one of the most disputable topics among online marketing specialists. While some insist on the huge value that social media brings to business owners, others say that it is not as indispensable as some may think. Whether or not social media helps you get higher SEO rankings, it can still help you drive more targeted traffic to your site.
Collect information about your clients and try to reach them on social media platforms. As you post updates from your inventory and share it with your followers, it’s likely that more people will follow your link and even order any of your fresh releases.
Mistake 20: Missing Contact Details on Your Site
How many times did you come up with a web page that featured nothing except of a contact form on the contact page? What if you have any kind of questions regarding the quality or usage of a specific item? How can you reach the company reps in person? In order to make it more convenient for your customers to reach you in person, add contact details in the header or footer of your site or on a dedicated page with a contact form. Do not forget about adding your phone number and the address of your physical location. In such a way, you can also boost the credibility of your business in the eyes of your prospective customers.
Mistake 21: Missing Search Box
Apart from a functional main menu, your site should contain a live search box, which will take them directly to the piece of information they need. Place it at the top of the page, alongside with a horizontal menu bar.
For the users’ convenience, you can enhance live search with Ajax functionality. Due to this, people will be introduced to a list of suggested search results as they type in a search request. This will significantly improve the usability of your site and help people find the desired products in a matter of seconds.
Mistake 22: Using too Many Colors
The color scheme of your site should be well-balanced and feature no more than 3 colors. These may be complementary colors from the color wheel, two of which are neutral and the third more vibrant, used to highlight the most important areas. Use bold colors to highlight CTAs and headings. In such a way, the users’ eye will be guided to the most crucial elements unintentionally, which is also expected to help you boost your sites’ conversion rates.
When working on the design of your WordPress site, remember that there is one thing it should have in common with your online marketing strategy – build it in a way that converts. Avoid the aforementioned 22 most common conversion killing mistakes. Make the layout of your website effective, with the clearly defined accents, the right color scheme, noticeable CTAs, readable headlines, and less text. Create your site and your online marketing strategy with a user in mind.
Keeping all this in mind and applying to your web design you will see the desired boost of conversion rates in the shortest run.