These 4 Things are Killing Your Conversion Rate

You made an awesome website, you’re sending traffic to it and you know your audience well, but nobody is buying your stuff. Sound familiar?

If so, let’s run down 4 things your site should & should not contain if you care at all about conversions (you do).

Let’s investigate!


It’s a fact. Erik Runyon actually conducted a study a couple years back and found than an astonishing 1% of users ever even clicked on a slide. 1 percent! To make things worse, 85% of the clicks were on the first slide.

So why does everyone hate the poor little slider? Because it’s distracting, slow, takes up too much space and, of coarse, it negatively affects your conversion rate.

It’s a common mistake: a web designer is in the early stages of creating a website and doesn’t really have a design mapped out for the front page. So, one of the first things that comes to mind is the slider.

And to make things worse, they’ll just grab 4 or 5 stock images (that we’ve already seen on other sites) and throw them in the slider with some text and maybe a call to action button.


Unless you were instructed by a client to have that slider there, you should strongly reconsider.

When a visitor comes to your site, the first thing their eyes gravitate towards is the slider. If that slider covers the whole page, it automatically pushes all of your awesome content down below the fold. And if that slide doesn’t impress, they likely won’t even bother scrolling down to see the rest of the content you put so much effort into.

Now, I’m not gonna say that sliders don’t work for anybody, because there are companies out there who use sliders very well. The thing is, unless you have the perfect slider, you should remove it.

So, what is this perfect slider? Here’s an example:

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.43.10 AM

The slider on is perfect because it:

  • Isn’t distracting
  • Has an incentive (“as little as $50 per person, book by today!”)
  • Has a call to action
  • Images are high quality and not stock images
  • Evokes emotion
  • Can pick your cruise date/destination without scrolling down

If you’re trying to sell a product or service and you have a slider on your site, chances are: it’s hurting you more than it’s helping.

You need to replace that slider, but what do you replace it with?

There are many options, and you can get some great inspiration from this article showing 50 beautiful startup sites.

Choice Overload

Nobody likes to be overwhelmed, yet you’re putting your visitors in a state of overwhelm when you offer too many options.

Whether it’s too many variations of a product, too many links in the navigation bar or too many call to action buttons, if your site has too much going on, your visitors will feel lost and abort the mission.


It’s the equivalent of going to the supermarket and browsing the toothpaste aisle for your next tube of toothpaste. There are just too many options. The only reason you don’t abort the mission is because you actually need the product and didn’t just happen to see it on an ad.

That’s nice, but we need more.

Let’s take the infamous Jam Study for instance. This study was conducted by Professor Sheena Iyengar and referenced in her book, The Art of Choosing.

Iyengar set up tasting stations at a high-end gourmet market on multiple Saturday afternoons and presented shoppers with two alternating sampling stations – one had 24 flavors of jam and the other station only had 6 flavors of jam.


Research showed that 60% of customers were drawn to the table with the larger assortment available, while only 40% were drawn to the table with the smaller assortment. Tasters were then offered a $1 off coupon for a jar of jam.

While 60% of the customers stopped by the table with the larger assortment, only 3% of those who tasted the samples actually purchased the jam afterwards.

Of the 40% who stopped by the table with only six options available, 30% purchased at least one jar of jam. Amazing, right?

But, why did this happen? Well, it’s because 24 flavors of jam is too much of a choice for most people. It’s overwhelming to choose just one, and people were put in a state of fear – fear of making the wrong choice.

The same psychological approach applies to your website. You don’t want to have too many options and give the visitor fear of making the wrong choice.

For the navigation bar, keep it simple! Aim for only 3-5 links in your navigation bar and stop at secondary navigation. Your meta links (Contact, About Us, etc.) should also be separate from your navigation links. These are often put at the very top right/left of the site or at the very bottom of the site (below the footer).

For pricing and offers, aim for 1-3 choices with a ‘recommended’ or a ‘best value’ option that’s highlighted. People like being told what the best deal is and they’ll believe you.

No Social Proof

Multiple types: social media, testimonials, reviews

Everyone wants to be a part of the “cool” group, or be wearing the trendy shoes around town, and it’s the same with business.

Your customers want to be a part of something that others are participating in. They want to be a part of something bigger than your business.


Social proof is a critical part of your website and instantly gives it credibility. If your company has sold a product or done a service for a client, you probably have reviews or feedback, so use it to your advantage!

If you have reviews written on a public domain (Yelp, Facebook page, etc), you are free to use those words wherever you want.

If you’ve received great feedback from a client before but they never left a public review, simply type out what you remember them saying about your company and ask the client if it’s okay to use their name and words on a public website or marketing collateral (brochures, sales page, etc).

This doesn’t only apply to your website either. When/if you speak at a conference or event, you can always bring up past clients and the success they had from using your company. This will let the audience members know that they aren’t the only ones using your service and that it’s a legitimate company.

TL;DR: Use social proof on every website you ever create.

Awful Copy

Much like sales, you will need to convince your visitors that they need your product or service and explain how it will positively impact their life and/or business.

The worst thing a website attempting to sell a product or service can do is simply state what they sell and the features of that product/service.

“Made of Titanium!” Okay. Cool? Why should I care that this product is made of titanium?

“We Sell Twitter Marketing Services!” Cool, so do 2 million other companies. Why are your Twitter marketing services better? Why do I need more followers and how will that help my company?

This is where you need to have benefits about the product that make the visitor feel like they HAVE to buy this product/service and that they’re missing out if they don’t.

You should not assume that the customer already knows the benefits of, for example, a product being made of titanium. You need to explain WHY the product being made of titanium is a benefit to them and how it differs from ceramic, steel, etc.

TL;DR: Benefits, not features!

Mediocre Design

If you aren’t a web designer, you should be outsourcing the work. Period.

If you are selling products/services on a hacked together, free WordPress template, your site will not come across as professional. Not to mention, the site will likely look similar to other sites your visitors have come across before.

Most business owners and amateur web designers who think they can create a website with WordPress to save money end up creating a site for themselves and don’t have the end-customer in mind. That’s a monstrous mistake that many fall victim to.

Some important web design elements include:

  • Lots of white space
  • Clear, attractive CTA buttons
  • Responsive
  • Simple navigation
  • Additional page links in the footer
  • Elegant fonts and crisp colors
  • No animations

TL;DR: Pay for a professional web designer/developer to create your website.


So, there you have it! Those are 5 of the most common conversion killers that you may have fallen victim to in the past or are currently falling victim to.

Was this relatable? Interesting? Did you learn something? Let me know in a comment below or on Twitter!