Are Your Website Visitors Useless?

Boring CTA button

It’s a great feeling when you see Google Analytics going mental with traffic. You even watch the real-time tab and see visits coming in from all over the world.

Isn’t that an amazing experience?

Well, it is for the first couple of weeks…until you realise none of these visits have resulted in a conversion in any way, shape or form.

Not even an inkling of a potential customer…not even a newsletter subscriber!

No customers? Shock!

It’s no good shouting obscenities at your computer screen, staff or colleagues. Houston, there’s a problem, and it ain’t your website visitors!

Your content is misaligned

I’m not talking about your paragraphs being centralised (although, if they are, please change them!) – I’m referring to the likelihood of your content missing the spot.

Is your messaging in tune with your business goals? Does your content fit the brand?

If your ads on AdWords are telling people your website is about red socks but then on arrival, they are met with a one line product description of the red sock kind, followed by a myriad of content and promo material pushing silicon coated spoons (which also happen to be blue), their next step is almost guaranteed to be taking place on that browser ‘back’ button.

All ads should point to specific, ultra-targeted landing pages to prevent such leaks in your conversion funnel.

If I’m clicking an ad for red socks, give me red socks!

Don't send PPC ads to your homepage

You may have also recently launched an expensive content marketing campaign. The main feature of this campaign is a video, housed on YouTube.

The video presents emotion, a story of your brand. It pulls the consumer into a sense of glory surrounding your red socks. They form a perception of your brand which is sensitive, yet powerful.

They find the link to your website in the video description, click it and suddenly…they land on a page which uses crappy imagery, a lot of slang and the comments section is rife with heated debates and bad language.

Oh dear.

Before you blame your visitors, map together your multi-channel touch points and ensure they are completely in sync. There’s no such thing as a standalone marketing campaign.

Your website is unusable on mobile devices

I’m not going to preach about this. In fact, it has been covered so much online I’ll keep this section extremely brief!

Your website must be mobile responsive.

Your website must be mobile responsive!

Your CTAs are boring


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Ring any bells? If so, this is a critical component of the conversion process and should be dealt with immediately.

Boring CTA button

Your call-to-actions should echo your brand’s personality while also telling visitors exactly what they will be getting on the click of that button.

Be adventurous and use event tracking in Google Analytics to measure how many times these buttons actually get clicked.


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Your website navigation is ineffective

“Where’s the menu?”

“How the heck did I get here? How do I get back to that page?”

If your visitors are muttering this under their breath, it’s unlikely they’re going to stick around.

Bad website navigation

It’s pointless having exceptional content if nobody can find it.

Consider your competitors and analyse their layout. Mimic the ones who do it well.

I mean the ones you know are successful because it’s documented in the press or on their revenue filings.

When it comes to usability, always keep your own opinions out of the equation – the chances are, you are so ingrained in your website that your decisions on layout are biased by familiarity.

Deploy a survey and heat map using tools like HotJar. Test user behaviour on a deeper level using Visual Website Optimizer.

Opinions are meaningless if they are your own. Get the only information that matters – the visitors who are experiencing your site from a fresh perspective are critical to your success.

Your language is needlessly complex and stiff

Everybody hates the guy who uses ridiculous words to explain something intrinsically simple (see what I did there?)

The same goes for your website. Just because you may own a large corporate, it doesn’t mean to say that all of your content should be corporate too.

In fact, most people will just turn off if this is the case.

Stop using silly long words

People don’t want to be sold to anymore. And when they know they’re being sold to, the best thing you can do is to say it blatantly in a way they can relate to.

Don’t mince your words. Let brand and individual personalities shine through – whether that is through blog posts, landing page copy or the homepage. You will gain heaps more respect and conversions as a result.

Be human.

Nobody trusts your website

Trust signals are absolutely essential in an age of scams and fakery. It is common for consumers to become wary of any website which isn’t a well-known, global brand.

To circumvent this, understand what makes a website trustworthy.

Think back to when you’ve purchased from an online store – what signs do you look for?

An SSL certificate is a major trust signal. This displays the green bar and padlock you see on many reputable ecommerce stores.

SSL certificate (HTTPS)

Social proofing is another massive indicator of trust. It can come in many guises; testimonials, partner logos, client logos, press coverage, so many years served, social media comments, awards received, revenue total, amount of customers, statistics on customer feedback…

“70% of online consumers trust recommendations from people they don’t know.”

I use the ‘social proofing’ technique on my own page which asks for email signups:

Sam Hurley - Digital Marketing (OPTIM-EYEZ)

Your website is painfully slow

Nobody is going to wait around for your website to load.


“47% of online consumers expect a web page to load in under 2 seconds.”

To test your page speed, use a manual test on different devices and also use tools like Google Page Speed Checker, Pingdom and GTMetrix.

Causes of slow site speed can include use of too many plugins, cumbersome scripts, shared hosting, generally slow hosts and even jumbled, unnecessary source code on your pages.

A couple of really handy tools for analysing scripts and server calls are Ghostery and HTTP Headers.

If you get impatient with your own website load time, imagine how your visitors feel. Don’t let it continue. Rectify the underlying issues before you lose custom.

Wrap up

Short and sweet – if you are gaining traffic but not converting your visitors into paying customers, dissect your website from the ground up. It’s not your visitors’ fault.

Begin with the pages which are bringing the most traffic but have the highest bounce and exit rates.

Once you begin to patch up those holes in your conversion funnel, the results are entirely worth the time and money invested in the process.

After your house is fully in order, don’t forget to analyse each marketing campaign to ensure consistency, continuity and trust.


Sam Hurley is a Global Top 100 Social Media Influencer and Founder of OPTIM-EYEZ.

Follow Sam on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Sam Hurley Marketing Influencer

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