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4 Major Website Missteps That Are Costing You Leads

Molly Riddle-Nunn, Director of Content Strategy

Posted on January 17, 2018

The list of ways to make your website a conversion- or lead-generating machine is pretty much limitless, but you definitely won't get far without these content-related essentials buttoned up first. From making sure your main conversion points are as functional as possible to offering up differentiating why language on every last page, these four major website mishaps are simple enough to correct so you can enjoy the fuller potential of your site anew.

Your copy is too long and/or not informative enough.

Make sure your best selling points and most crucial information that a customer is going to need aren't low on a page, hiding behind unclear language, or worst of all—not there at all.

Oftentimes, website pages tend to read a bit like a novel when they should actually be brief and to-the-point. When you're writing copy for web pages, it's easy to get caught up in details, history, explanations, and supporting paragraphs, but the only information that really needs to be presented right off the bat is that which helps your visitors make the decision to convert, whether that be a click to your contact page, a download, or a purchase.

Once you've gotten your essential information standing at attention (along with your best selling propositions in the form of a well-placed callout, a video, or something else that fits in nicely with your page design), you can include more supporting material.

There's no incentivizing language.

Paring down your website copy so it's relaying the essentials above all else can be a challenge in and of itself, but there's another extreme that might lose your customers: a lack of good marketing messages or incentivizing language that communicates the why.

If your web pages are super informational but fail to explain why your products or services matter, you might fall short of reaching your customer base. Think about what the benefits of your products or services are and how they make your customers' lives better—then weave that language in to opportune places, like headers, banners, videos, and testimonials.

Before we move on, check out this example of incentivizing language in action on a website we built for an interpersonal behavior measurement tool (à la the Meyers-Briggs):

With the essential information already presented earlier in the page, these lower-level sections do a solid job of supporting the material in blatant and subtle ways.

With the essential information already presented earlier in the page, these lower-level sections do a solid job of supporting the material in blatant and subtle ways.

A bold testimonial paired with a credibility-building clientele list are great purchase incentives, but even a simple contact callout was improved by adding ultra-clear, actionable, benefit-laden language. In the case of the example above, the language is on point for the subject matter: contact us you'll get a team assessment that leads to organizational improvements.

Your site's navigational paths aren't clear.

One of the most common catalysts to lead generation on websites is a confusing design. Or confusing top-level links. Or a confusing hierarchy of pages.

Sure, we could go on. But you get the gist: confusing websites almost always lose customers and almost always begin and end with navigational choices that weren't thought through.

There's a lot that goes in to crafting near-perfect navigational paths for your website, but you can start making yours better by answering a few basic questions and making changes accordingly:

  • Are your naming conventions for pages objective and clear (do they communicate what the visitor will see next if they click on it)?
  • Do all your pages have a clear button or link that leads them where you would like them to go next?
  • Have you built your navigation around how your customer understands your business, not how you understand your business?

Looking at your website navigation this critically will almost definitely lead to some improvements you can make before the end of the day.

For a lot of businesses, the main point of conversion on a website is a contact form that acts as a lead-generation tool. F

Yep, it's this site again. See points one, two, and three in action on this web page. Everything plays together to inform visitors, explain the benefits, and encourage them to go deeper into the site to convert.

Your main conversion points are cumbersome.

For a lot of businesses, the main point of conversion on a website is a contact form that acts as a lead-generation tool. For other businesses, it's an online purchase, a download, a newsletter sign up, or something else. Whatever yours is, it's important that the ideal end point for your customers is quick and easy to use.

Let's say your holy grail conversion point on your website is an online form that your clients can fill out to book an appointment. However, even the most minute-seeming details of your form could keep new customers from filling it out:

  • Maybe your form says "Request an Appointment" in the form introduction, which makes would-be customers think you're more exclusive than you really are.
  • Maybe your form requires submitters provide a phone number, which kills conversion rates because customers don't like to hand out personal information up-front.
  • Maybe your form is just too long or has a confusing field, like a selection of contact points (will they really know who within your organization they're supposed to be reaching out to? If not, what's the point?).
  • Maybe you have your form in the wrong place to begin with.

Whatever your key conversion points are on your website (odds are at least one of them is a contact form), you should take some time to research best practices for each. If you really want to get technical, you can A/B test your conversion points before and after making changes to see how the performance of each one went up.

If you need help identifying your missed leads or conversions on your website, Mostly Serious is in the business of helping out with those sort of things. Send us an email at info@mostlyserious.io or call us at (417) 501 6552 for more information.

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