Why your website visitors aren’t converting


Key points on this page:

  1. There are a few different reasons that your website might not be converting - from slow websites to a website that just doesn't work correctly.
  2. If you can ascertain the reason why your website isn't converting, then there are steps that you can take to fix it.
  3. Make sure your website is designed for your users, instead of posing barriers.


If your website visitors aren’t converting, there are ways that you can narrow down the reasons why.

The online marketplace is oversaturated, highly-competitive and most business owners are hanging out to dry. It’s said that 380 new websites are created every minute so it’s no wonder why it’s a wasteland.

Have you noticed that a large portion of your website visitors aren’t converting to leads? There could be multiple reasons why, so consider the following when trying to figure out why.

You’re leaving a bad impression

According to Google, website users love simple and familiar designs.  The key findings from their study states that there are two design interrelated factors that webmasters should consider:

Visual complexity. Are your website visuals highly complex and full of confusing features? This could be turning visitors away as simplicity is considered beautiful when browsing the internet.

Prototypicality – Does your website feel familiar to users? People have fixed ideas on how, and where, things should be. If you aren’t meeting their expectations it could cause your potential customers to leave in frustration.

Research has shown both of these factors need to be in balance, as a familiar design that is complex is still going to be unappealing. Likewise, a simplistic design that is unfamiliar will have the same negative effect.

SOLUTION: Website visitors aren’t converting? Aim for a website design which is both low in visual complexity, and high in familiarity.

To gain a better understanding of these two considerations we have provided examples below.

The Wilderness Society

The Wilderness Society website has low visual complexity and is highly prototypical. The website serves the most important call-to-actions at a glance.

In a simple way, the user can achieve the following

  • Understand their mission
  • Learn where to donate
  • Find out more information

They have chosen a simple, naturalistic design with greens and neutral shades. This is what customers would expect from a brand that is eco-conscious.

Lorna Jane

Lorna Jane has gained popularity as a leading women’s fitness apparel brand. The website design is low in visual complexity and highly prototypical.

It shares familiar design elements that would appeal to their target audience. As a female-centred brand focusing on health and wellness, Lorna Jane can get away with splashes of brighter shades such as pink.

Straight away you are met with new clothing pieces for sale, which can be tempting to those who were only intending to browse.

Here’s some examples of low visual complexity

  • Products are presented as a lookbook (much like an art gallery)
  • Simple navigation draws eyes to the content areas (products)
  • Common theme. Each page has a similar structure, keeping it consistent.

Your website isn’t working

If you are noticing your website leads to emergency evacuations as your visitors jump ship in record numbers, you could have a design problem.

A high bounce rate could be attributed to the fact that your visitors find your website hard to navigate. Everyone wants information fast, and if they can’t find it, they will look elsewhere.

An outdated website, or one which is not pleasing to look at, could also turn off customers. This could mean fonts which are hard to read or unexpected colour combinations. If you would like to learn more about your bounce rate you can check your Google Analytics for in-depth reporting.

Remember, your website should be visually appealing, right from that crucial first impression. The user should be engaged, and know what to expect as they navigate each page.

Here are some benchmark bounce rates that you can measure against

  • eCommerce: 20% – 45%
  • B2B: 25% – 55%
  • Lead Generation: 30% – 55%
  • Non-eCommerce Content: 35% – 60%
  • Landing Pages: 60% – 90%
  • News and Resources: 65% – 90%

It’s important to investigate your bounce rate and see if it can be reduced. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a broken link or a bad mobile experience. One of the best ways to check your website functionality is to get some friends together and watch them use the website.

Alternatively, you can use Hotjar to get some more data from live users.

Your website is too slow

It’s almost 2020, and achieving great speeds is an undeniable collective goal. From breaking the 2-hour marathon to hitting speeds of 1,227.985 km/h in a land vehicle, it’s hard to deny that speed matters.

These days, every second counts on a website. Did you know visitors are expecting your website to load in 2.4 seconds or less?  Your websites visitors aren’t converting because they are getting bored and leaving your site.

Why is your website slow?

Some of the most common causes of slow loading times include:

  • File sizes are too big or in the wrong format
  • Your website is not “mobile-friendly”
  • The cache is not working

What is Google PageSpeed?

Google PageSpeed Insights will give you an accurate measure of how quickly your website is running. When you analyse the speed test results you will be given valuable data, as well as opportunities to reduce loading time. This information is important for both conversions and SEO, as it can significantly impact the user experience.

We have extensive experience in optimizing websites that aren’t running as quickly as they should. While we build most of our custom designs using WordPress, these strategies can be applied to most platforms:

Our pagespeed optimisation list

  • Convert websites to WebP format (using WebP Express) + server optimisation
  • Add custom image size fields for hero images to upload specific sizes for different devices
  • Remove Google ReCaptcha due to high speed cost
  • Remove the usage of Typekit fonts and serve them directly from the server
  • Rebuild sliders from scratch to ensure no bloated code is evident
  • Restrict large image uploads in future (server level)
  • Incorporate caching
  • Add font-display:swap; to font-awesome
  • Provide correct image assets as per design requirements
  • Liaise with clients regarding the usage of third-party scripts and remove any that were not deemed important
  • Load needed third party scripts into the footer
  • Minimal use of GoogleMaps
  • Deque any unused CSS if using a base theme
  • Remove any unused plugins if using WordPress

You’re bringing the wrong people to your website

SEO is important, but optimising your website just for a high Google ranking is not necessarily going to target your customers. Your keywords should explain what you do, and connect you to the right people. You should understand how your preferred audience searches, by undertaking research to find the best keywords for leads and sales.

A common example of this is when we see a website that’s been crammed full of keywords such as “cheap” and “affordable” however, the client actually provides a premium service.

This not just an SEO issue…it affects your Google Ads and Paid Social too. If they’re not targeting the right people, there’s nothing you can do to your website that’s going to turn them into the RIGHT people. If this is the case, it might not be your website’s fault!

Poor mobile experiences are a killer

Mobile should not be an afterthought, nor should it simply stack down your desktop to a mobile version. It’s important to realise that despite a reduced viewport, you should create the same opportunities that a desktop viewer would have. It’s important to curate your content, menu, search functions and design to run smoothly.

When your website is designed with a “mobile-first” approach it will give your users a more enjoyable experience. If your website isn’t available in a responsive mobile design, you are behind the times.

Not only should you satisfy your visitor’s expectations, but you need to help Google learn that your website is user-friendly. Here are some simple tips to consider:

  • Text should be in a clear font, and easy to read
  • Create a call to action that is accessible on the homepage
  • Keep paragraphs short and sweet
  • Have simple navigation

There’s no clear call-to-action

You may have a beautiful website which is easy to navigate. It might have interesting content and attract the right visitors. If this is the case there is one thing that could be letting you down, and that’s a clear call-to-action.

When your customers are happily reading your website, you should encourage them with a “what to do next”.

Here are some great examples of good call to actions:

Your website isn’t trustworthy

e a credible brand, and positive reviews will help spread the word.  Customer loyalty can be gained with accreditation, excellent service, and testimonials.

If you can say yes to these questions you are on the right track

  • Do you have an SSL?
  • Do you have testimonials and case studies?
  • Have you linked your social media accounts to your footer?
  • Do you have a unique privacy policy in the footer?

Converting your visitors into sales or leads may require one, or multiple strategies. Slow loading times, the wrong type of traffic, mistrust, and poor website design are just a few factors that could be hindering your business.

Leave a good impression

So, how do you leave a good impression? It’s important to understand who your customers are and to make your website design simple and familiar for them. Follow conventional ideas and design with a purpose.

It’s important that every element of your website is creating opportunities for your users, rather than barriers.

While simplicity might not be exciting and new for you creatively, if the end game is to generate sales and leads, sometimes you should stick to what works.