5 Conversion-Killers to Remove From Your Website TODAY

Video transcript:

If you still have any of these 5 things on your website in 2018, they could be killing your conversions.

Hey guys, Wes McDowell here, from The Deep End, and back in 2016, I made a video about 5 things on your website that could be lowering your conversion rate without you even knowing. It’s one of our highest rated videos, so today I have 5 more outdated, but common conversion killers that you MAY still have on your website. I’ll tell you why each should be removed, and more importantly, what you can use instead that will improve your conversion rates, and get you more customers or leads. Sound good? Here we go.

First up, is stiff, jargony copy. This is way too common, because of what we call “the curse of expertise.” What happens is, you’re such an expert  in your field, that you take your knowledge for granted, and kind of assume that everybody else understands what you’re talking about, so it could be 100% unintentional. Other companies may do it on purpose, thinking it comes across as professional and knowledgeable, but really all this jargon-heavy copy does is confuse and alienate your prospective customers. What would you think if you landed on this page?

“We design and build exceptional web and mobile experiences, ranging from scalable cloud-based web apps to native mobile apps to custom SaaS ecommerce infrastructure – all designed and crafted to provide users with a premium experience.”

How clear are you on exactly what they provide after reading that? Remember the goal isn’t to impress your audience by using the biggest words. The goal is to convey what you do clearly, and in a way that’s accessible and understandable to your customers. I would even go so far as to say that 95% of the time, your website should be written conversationally. That will make your business more human, and people want to do business with other people, even in business to business niches.

Ok, that segways nicely into the second on our list, which are Headline Cliches.

The headline on your homepage, or on your landing pages are the most important pieces of copy on your entire website. On any given page, the headline needs to let your visitors know exactly what that page is about, and in some cases, what you as a company are all about. So why resort to old, tired cliches that don’t really say ANYTHING about who you are, or more importantly, how you help your customers? Take a look at this law website.

They’re actually using 3 separate cliches, and it looks like they’ve actually trademarked them. So definitely don’t steal these, they’re lawyers, and they WILL go after you. But seriously, they’re essentially wasting this prime real estate to make 3 very generic statements that say nothing about what they do, or how they help their clients.

So what should they do instead? Well, most law offices have a focus, or a type of law they practice most, so I’d lead with that. Whenever you’re in doubt writing a headline, there are 3 easy formulas you can use. First, simply say what the service or product you offer IS. Or you can say what your customer gets. Or, my favorite is say what they can do with it.

And actually that example just reminded me about our number 3: Image sliders. I’m sure you’ve come across dozens, if not hundreds of image sliders or carousels (also known as ‘rotating offers’). You might even like them. But the truth is, they’re conversion killers — for a few reasons. The first is that the human eye reacts to movement. Which sounds great right?

Not really, because it takes away attention from everything else – the stuff that actually matters. Like your value proposition. The actual content of your site. And most importantly, the call to action. These carousel graphics also tend to come across as ads, which people will just skip right past. Not to mention that multiple competing messages usually just cancel each other out, which basically equals “no message at all.”

So here’s what you can do instead, and its easy. Just replace the rotating slider with one static image or offer. That’s it. It will be much more impactful that way, and you can usually do it with no coding knowledge on your end at all. Just remove all but one slide, and it will default to static. Or if you REALLY want to keep your slider, just have it set to not auto-cycle between slides. That way, it’s not distracting, and people will only see the other slides if they choose that they want to click through them.

Ok, number four is Untrustworthy Testimonials. Now anyone who knows me knows I am obsessed with testimonials. There’s generally no better way to build trust than by showing future customers what past or current customers have to say about you. But sometimes testimonials can actually hurt conversions. If you’re using non-specific, or poorly attributed testimonials, you’re probably doing more harm than good.

So if you posted a testimonial that just said “Great service!” or “Easy to work with,” that’s not going to carry much weight, and it actually looks kinda bogus, like you wrote it yourself. Instead, try to only post testimonials that tell a story about how you helped a customer. The best way to get testimonials like that is to send customers an online form they can fill out.

Ask a few different questions that will lead to specific responses. Then you can edit their answers together to tell that story in a nice short paragraph. And what do you do about those poorly attributed testimonials? The easiest trick around this is to just put the customer’s photo alongside the review. The online software company Basecamp saw a 102% jump in conversions when they started including photos with their testimonials.

Also, if you get great testimonials on your Facebook page, on Yelp, or on Google, just take screenshots of those, and add them right to your site. It gives context, and makes them much more trustworthy, because they’re coming from an unbiased external source. And of course, the gold standard of testimonials is the video testimonial. I always recommend my clients try to get at least one, and feature it very prominently on their site.

Ok, now onto the last on our list, but certainly not least, we have Lazy CTA copy. In case you don’t know that acronym, a CTA is a call to action, which is usually styled as a button on most websites. Every page of your website should have a CTA. Sometimes its the same, site-wide, other times, individual pages will have their own CTA, but in any case, that call to action is essentially the goal, the ACTION you want people to take on that page.

Maybe you want people to schedule a consultation. Maybe you want people to give you their email address in exchange for a lead magnet they can download. Whatever that goal is, the text you use on that button matters. So if you’re using text that causes friction, or isn’t personalized to the specific action you want them to take, you can do better.

Words that cause friction should never be on your CTA button. Avoid using words that suggest your visitors have to give something up to get something — whether that’s their time, money, or energy. Words like “Submit,” “Buy,” “Sign Up,” and “Download” are high friction words when used by themselves. These words imply that the action is a chore, and nobody likes chores.

Instead, always emphasize that they’re getting something. And that brings me to the next point, make sure the CTA is specific to the action. So rather than “Download”, which is already bad because it implies what they have to DO, YOUR text could say “Get My Free Guide Now.”  Or if you’re trying to book appointments, it could say “Save my spot.” So you’re emphasizing what they get, and you’re being specific. ANd under no circumstances use the word “Submit” as your call to action. (https://instapage.com/blog/call-to-action-words-to-avoid-at-all-costs)

Ok guys, for more tips like these, just subscribe to our channel right here. And if you’d like to speak with me to see what we can do about getting you set up with a new strategy-based website, you can go to thedeependdesign.com. I’m Wes McDowell with The Deep End, see ya next time.

discuss this post

(2) responses


May 3, 2018

I hear what you’re saying, Wes (and I dig it). But then, here in the ‘add to the conversation!’ I have to hit ‘Submit’… ;-)
What would you like to see instead?


    Wes McDowell

    May 4, 2018

    Touche! I have to admit, the blog was designed back in the dark ages of UX (5 years I think!) Probably time for an update.


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