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Why is my website getting lots of visitors but no conversions?

You're getting the traffic but those visitors are just not converting. It's a common problem and I'll show you how to find out what's going wrong ... and how to fix it.

Here I'll go through a step by step way to look at why plenty of people are coming into your website but they are not buying, signing up or doing whatever it is you want them to do. They are not converting.

Step One: Is your conversion rate normal?

Your conversion rate is what percentage of your visitors do what you want them to do. We all this achieving your goal. I often here from webmasters who are horrified to find they have a conversion rate of 2%. Only 2 in every hundred visitors convert. What's wrong?

Nothing actually, 2% is a fairly respectable conversion rate. You might be able to improve it, and I'll talk about that in a minute, but single digit conversion rates are perfectly normal. After all, how many websites do you visit in a day and you don't convert.

I get surprised sometimes by clients who are concerned with their 5% conversion rate - 5% is pretty damn good.

So step one is understanding if you really have an issue or not. That doesn't mean taking no action. Just because you have a conversion rate that is normal doesn't mean it can't be better than normal but just put it into perspective.

Step Two: Are you getting the right visitors?

It doesn't matter whether your conversion rate is, in reality, awful or actually quite brilliant. There is always room for improvement and step two will help you do that.

Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools will tell you what keywords and phrases you rank for that are getting you visitors.

How many of them are really relevant to your goals. You might be producing great content for some people and they are finding it but they're not the people who want your product or to sign up for your service.

What both these tools also provide are phrases where you rank but not high enough to get clicks. Their a gold mine in giving you ideas as to how you could improve or extend your content to keywords and phrases that might bring you better targeted traffic.

The behavior flow feature in Google Analytics is also a great way to verify if people love particular parts of your content but those pages don't create conversions. It will tell you if people are coming to your content, spending a reasonable amount of time there (in other words your content is useful to them) but going no further.

You might need to give the content you are producing a rethink but before we go there consider step three.

Step Three: Do my visitors know what to do?

If your fairly sure that you are getting the right visitors then is it clear to them what they should do. This is known as the Call to Action.

On my how to SEO website I have a button on the right of the screen which says 'Get Help Ranking' and scrolls up and down when the visitor does. I doubled it in size and changed the background color from blue to red. In doing so I doubled the number of people who clicked on it.

I'm amazed sometimes by online stores where the 'Buy Now' button is so far down the screen its not even obvious that it is a store. Or they've hired a web designer who thinks they are being innovative by making something which looks nothing like a store but leaves visitors thinking it is some kind of information site rather than somewhere they can place an order.

So have a careful think about your Call to Action. Carry out A B testing experiments using Google Optimize and listen to the results. What do I mean by that?

I've met webmasters who tried A B testing. They, for example, changed their Buy Now button from yellow to green and conversions increased but they wanted to stick with Yellow because they liked it more. They wanted to find a way to improve their conversions without making changes that they didn't like.

Don't make this mistake. Your website is not for you, it is for your visitors. If an A B test shows changing a characteristic improves your conversion rate then listen to the data and keep the change.

I'll give you another example. I had a client who increased her conversion rate by 55% by changing the text on one button from 'Contact' to 'Get in touch'.

Also look at your popular content and see if there are ways you can add call to actions inside it. Could you add links to other content. That might be other content you have written or produced or it could be alternative products because the visitor is bulking at the price. You know - "Hey, we also have a budget version of this". With content are you pointing out related content within, not off somewhere else in a sidebar?

Step Four: Are you selling a product or service, or a solution?

People don't buy products or services, they buy solutions. Solutions to an issue they have and that can be complex.

Have you watched any advertisements for cars recently. What else was in the advert apart from the car? People. How were those people? Happy. Why were they happy? Because their friends and family were impressed or because it seemed to resolve all the problems in their relationships or any other number of things.

Car manufacturers don't sell cars. If they tried to do this sales would plummet because we would say "OK, nice but my ten year old model is doing just fine". In almost all cases they are selling happiness via whatever route you like be it feeding the ego or promising a solution to something.

A client once approached me who was selling a service to kids with learning difficulties. On the front page of his website was a very sad child - obviously a child unhappy with his learning difficulty.

We changed the picture to a group of happy children of different genders and races. His conversion rate doubled because we showed parents what they wanted to see, happy kids. Sure they wanted their child to overcome their learning issues but deeper down they wanted their child to be happy.

I can promise you the learning program was very effective when it came to helping kids with learning but I can't guarantee it always delivered happiness.

So look again at your product or service. Is it inspiring people to buy or get in touch because it is offering a solution?

Step Five: Can you hang on to your visitors?

Is your visitor moving their mouse towards the back button? Quick fire an advert in the middle of the screen pointing out a great offer.

I rarely use this technique but I don't deny in certain circumstances it can be effective. Especially those ones that say "Ooooh, before you go give us your email and we'll send you this amazing XYZ completely free" and then use that email to send endless other offers and promotions or to announce new content.

When they were new these popups had some clout but now everyone is doing them they are going the way of 'banner blindness', visitors often don't even ready their content.

However I'm putting it out here because it might work for you.

Summing up

Lots of visitors and hardly any conversions? Are you sure this isn't just the norm in your sector. Even if it is checking that you are getting the right visitors will flag up where you are ranking and for what so you can spot what works and what doesn't and then do more of what works.

Is your Call to Action crystal clear and unmissable? Does it inspire the visitor to take that action. Try A/B testing. Is there other content you can highlight to funnel visitors elsewhere on your site rather than leave them heading for the back button.

And finally can you hang on to them in other ways by promoting an offer or a piece of content if they look like they are heading for the door?

I'm Tim Hill, a Search Engine Optimization and Online Marketing specialist. I created this site to help others understand that SEO is not a mysterious black art!.

If your a newbie try the Getting Started in SEO page, otherwise feel free to dig around and learn more.

Find me on Facebook or get in touch if you need help.

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