3 Conversion Busters You Can Easily Fix Today

frustrated man looking in the fridgeI review several websites every week, analyzing them from the perspective of usability and overall ability to converting traffic to customers/leads.

While a fair amount of businesses out there are getting their act together where online user experience is concerned, I’m constantly amazed by the huge amount of low-hanging conversion optimization fruit still out there on the Dubya-Dubya-Dub.

So I wanted to do you all a favor and give you a quick checklist of simple changes you can make this very day to make life a little bit (or possibly a lotta bit) better for your website visitors, allowing them to more easily give you money:

1. Remove distracting internal links

The fun thing about working with a whole bunch of SEOs (I’m the Conversion guy, remember) is that I get to throw out conversion tips that make SEOs nervous. Part of my job is to point out where SEO tactics are snuffing out conversion, and this is a frequent offender in that regard.

Not all internal links are distracting and should be removed. That would be ridiculous. However, sometimes marketers overdo it and start linking instances of their keyword in places where you wouldn’t want people clicking away from a given page.

Unsurprisingly, some of the most egregious offenders are SEO providers. A cursory examination of the top 10 Google results for any SEO-related keyword will reveal some overzealous linking practices that will have the humans visiting your site – you know, the ones with money to give you – scratching their heads.

For example, one company’s homepage (no screenshot – it’s not how we roll) talks about performance-based SEO work, but before you can even finish one sentence, they have a text link (“guarantee services”) to take you away from the page. Are they really in that big of a hurry to usher me off the page? Of course not – it’s for SEO value, but it’s also potentially tripping up visitors and raising questions that don’t need to be asked, like:

  • “Am I not already reading about your guarantee?”
  • “Is this guarantee different than the one you’re telling me about?”
  • “Is this going to be that complicated that I need to read about this now before I finish on the homepage?”
  • “I’m bugged. What should I get for lunch today?”

Here’s a simple test to see if you might have done this inadvertantly on your website: go read your website copy. When you get to a text link in your copy, ask yourself:

  • Is this link interrupting the conversation?
  • Is it well-timed?
  • Is there a more useful place for this link on this page?
  • When I put this link in originally, was I in a linking frenzy?
  • Do my visitors need the information on the other end of this link before proceeding?

The answers to these questions should indicate whether this link might be counterproductive for your visitors.

Once this post makes it through editorial, it may have a bunch of links and make me look like an idiot, but I’m saying it anyway!

2. Strike down the CAPTCHA

The technology exists for you to filter leads in the background and eliminate spammy leads from your database automatically.

So why in the name of the Ringling Brothers are you still making your site visitors – who have money to give you – jump through hoops to prove that they are humans and not spambots?

Take down the CAPTCHA. Now. Please. Deal with a sprinkling of spam leads until you can get a better solution in place. Your conversion rate will thank you.

3. Link your header logo to the homepage

I still see sites that don’t do this. Huge mistake.

Clicking the logo to get back to the homepage is a usability convention that people get. It’s big and it’s always there. If a visitor wants to switch gears, it’s the easiest way to reset his/her approach to browsing your site. If someone gets stuck and your logo isn’t clickable, it may be the last straw that gets him/her off the computer and looking through the fridge, muttering in frustration.

You might be asking, “Why is this so important? Isn’t it enough to have a “Home” link in my navigation?”

My reply is, Why not do it? Some people will use the “Home” link, but a large portion of your visitors will expect to use the logo. You win both ways, and your site design doesn’t change a bit.

Don’t let them go to the fridge! Link your logo to the homepage and give them another chance to give you money.


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  1. Josh Garner says

    Ha! Right off the bat I’m guilty of the first one. Luckily I’m fortunate enough to have team members with whom every project is discussed before implementation, but man I catch mess for this every time.

  2. Vincent Ammirato says

    I have an internal conflict every time I optimize for SEO on a site. I learned long ago, however, that traffic and rank don’t mean squat if you aren’t keeping visitors on your site and moving towards a conversion.

    That’s my general rule. The further down a funnel, the less likely I’m going to do a link just for SEO’s sake.

    BTW – I just made that rule up after reading this.

  3. says

    Thanks for the comments, guys!

    @Vincent: I think that’s a great rule, especially considering the general trend that anxiety increases as visitors get closer to the transaction, regardless of whether it’s a purchase or form submission.

    Visitors start looking for reasons why they shouldn’t complete the process and those types of links signal the opportunity to think it over just a bit more, learn a little more, etc. before committing.

  4. Josiah says

    “Don’t let them go to the fridge!” I love it. Nicely said. I would suggest putting the link at least in the middle or leaning towards the tail end of the article.

  5. Jamie M says

    Nice few tips here, just helped give my brain a refresh, sometimes I get carried away with the on page SEO its easy to forget about the visitors!

  6. Eric Watts says

    Terrific ideas for continuing the pursuit of increasing conversion! The elimiating the CAPTCHA is an interesting one that I hadn’t really thought of before as hurting you as far as capturing leads, but makes sense when you think about it. Grea post

  7. Keith Chisholm says

    Solid tips here. I especially like the first one about not disrupting the flow of the conversation. As an SEO, I tend to place links where the keywords fall in the text without a thought of interrupting the flow. I will definitely place my links with more care now.

  8. WSI Proven Results says

    Not sure I am comfortable with #2 (removing Captcha). Too much spam. I guess it’s a trade off.

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