7 Things You’re Doing That are Only Hurting Your Conversions

Francis Gary Viray

Author & Editor

Founder & CEO

Published on: Apr 21, 2022 Updated on: May 20, 2024

Not sure which part of your implementations ended up hurting your conversions? Here are a few things you should double-check.

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is no walk in the park. Not even for experts who’ve threaded their way, over, under, and through various testing and optimization projects.

This is because it requires you to combine all your knowledge of every digital marketing channel to come up with a sensible, and effective online customer experience. It’s research-driven and requires testing multitudes of ideas so that you can come up with one ideal answer that encourages your audiences to convert.

Needless to say, the process can be dizzying, as you’re not just worrying about your channels and customers, but even external variables that could affect your conversions. Missteps will be unavoidable; but the good news is that there are “common sense” things that you can automatically make sure to avoid so you don’t go hurting your conversions.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCE: Digital Marketing Strategy Framework: 9 Scalable Steps to Success

This, we’ve learned the hard way through countless ideas tested and experiments that just didn’t yield the results we wanted; and we share them with you, below.

Things to avoid so you don’t hurt your conversions

It’s good to learn from your mistakes. But it’s wiser to learn from others’, so they say.

So, word to the wise: Make sure that you don’t waste time and resources attempting to test these known pitfalls in conversion rate optimization.

1. Being too vague with your offer.

Nothing scares your customers away faster than vague promises. So it follows that, on your landing pages and/or websites, your offers should be clear and cut across to your audience immediately.

Your audiences need to know exactly what they can expect from your before they decide on transacting with you. To put it in other terms, you need to win the trust of your audiences before you seek to turn them into customers.

Vague offers will doubtlessly fail in this, because being unclear and non-specific signals non-confidence, or that you have something to hide.

There are a number of ways to avoid this so you can improve your conversions. To name a few:

  • Provide specific numbers, and not just hint at scale with words like “huge” discounts.
  • Present photos or other visual representations of your product and/or service.
  • If it’s a limited offer, clearly state the dates of inclusion, any mechancs or terms they have to adhere to in order to avail.
  • Or, use contextually relevant buzzwords that resonate with their motivations and/or pain points.

2. Using the wrong call-to-action (CTA).

This is elementary even to marketers who are not CRO practitioners. We won’t be the last ones to tell you that.

The biggest mistake you can make in any CRO effort is not using the appropriate call-to-action. What do we mean by this?

Think about a transactional page on your website. This page has all the details necessary to lead a customer to contact you or even find your stores. Your next logical thought should be to call on them to contact and/or visit you or schedule an appointement, if that’s the case for you.

But instead, you put a CTA that says, “Learn More.” Sounds incongruent, doesn’t it? And there are only two ways this can pan out from here:

  1. They abandon your page because your CTA put them off, or;
  2. They click the CTA and they are led out of your transactional page to an informational page.

In either case, you don’t get a conversion. All because your CTA didn’t match the intent of your website and/or landing page.

Here is where a deep understanding of search intent and designing landing pages to match that is critical.

READ FURTHER: A Complete Search Intent Guide for Marketers

3. Filling your landing pages with information.

Online audiences don’t read content; they skim through it. Chalk it up to the flood of content your audiences encounter daily, leading to fatigue, and distracting them.

No one has the time to read lengthy product descriptions anymore. So a landing page that has far too much information (to say the least) would turn away your customers faster than the time it took you to get them to visit. So, in that case, is it better to have sparse landing pages?

No. Aboslutely not.

The key here is in finding a balance in length that matches the needs of your customers and keeping the focus in your copies in such a way that asserts how your offerings solve their problems.

Take a step back and evaluate your product messaging through heuristics, or asking some simple questions, like:

  • What value in your products and/or services are your customers zooming into that I can assert in the copies?
  • How can I trim down “fluff” or unnecessary words that don’t communicate the essence of my landing page?
  • What buzzwords do they use to describe or talk about my products/services?

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: How to Do Conversion Copywriting in 3 Easy Steps

4. Using generic images and key visuals.

Branding has undisputed value in marketing. It creaties emotional connections with your audience, carve out your identity as a business, and boosts growth.

Hence, when it comes to using branding in the context of CRO, we want to assert the importance of veering away from generic visuals. Because to put it to you plainly, stock and generic images don’t showcase your branding.

To appeal better to today’s online audience your brand must showcase its personality in order to win attention and, more importantly, conversions.

5. Trying to de everything, all at once.

Ever came across a page that asked you to do too much? Like trying to get you to sign up for a newsletter, while also asking you to fill up a survey, and then maybe book a consultation call?

Didn’t it want you to just close the tab? If that’s how you feel, that’s most likely how your website visitors feel too. So when it comes to designing landing pages that convert, it’s critical that you keep their focus on one thing at a time.

Doing the opposite would likely turn them away for good – making you lose a potential customer not just now, but for a along while.

HANDY GUIDE: Fool-proof Optimization Tips to Boost Landing Page Conversion

6. Relying too much on testimonials.

This isn’t referring to the social proof you added onto your landing pages, don’t worry.

Rather, this is actually referring more to your message mining and customer research to pinpoint buzzwords they use that you can then incorporate in your copies.

“But wait, isn’t customer feedback important?” Yes, it definitely is. But while it is important, not all of them merit an action.

For example: A wishlist feature of one of your audiences could be a demonstration video of how to use your products. However, if this customer is the only one wishing for that and, moreover, an implementation would only slow down your site, then is it really worth the trouble of satisfying?

When it comes to testimonials, yes, there is a wealth of information to take about your products. But often, feedback from customers need to be validated first, before it can be useful to your optimizations. And that is just one of the reasons why validating feedback from customers matters.

7. Not clarifying your value proposition.

We mentioned a while ago that lengthy landing pages turn off customers, and this last bit we’d like to warn you about is part of the reason.

Long copies, though they have a positive effect on your search engine optimization efforts, may be one of the things that hurt your conversion rate optimization efforts. This is because long, often round-about ways of explaining your products and/or services bury the real value you initially intended to communicate.

Writing clear and concise copies is recommended so your value propositions hit the mark with your audience. Creating this resonance is critical to lead them towards the conversions you desire.

Key takeaways

There are many ways conversion rate optimization can be carried out so that you can successfully hit your targets – be they in lead generation, sales, or even just website visits.

But as many as the paths there are to take, there are just as many bumps on the road. You’ll have to be careful about what steps you take, so you don’t fumble and make mistakes you might regret. Apart from the basic mistakes you can avoid above, here are some last reminders you should note:

  • Testing is a continuous process. Conversion rate optimization doesn’t just end with one successful iteration. It continues so long as your audiences and the online landscape keeps evolving. A growth mindset in this current climate isn’t one that is willing to just settle for what works now, but rather one where you actively seek to challenge your best practices.
  • Challenge the best practices. A common misconception about best practices is that they’re set in stone. But this kind of thinking leaves you stuck still doing outdated techniques and approaches for boosting conversions. Rather, it’s best to view these practices seeking an inquiry into how you can further improve upon them.
  • Let mistakes inform your future strategies. This is not just pertaining to the mistakes we’ve mentioned above. More importantly, this is how you should also view the mistakes you’ve made yourselves in testing. Yes, they did spell losses in the moment; but the insights you take from those pitfalls will be valuable to your future optimizations.

We welcome blunders as teaching opportunities in CRO. Do you have one you’d like to share? Chime in at the comments section, or if you’re done making blunders, then maybe it’s time that you give us a call.

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