Business is funny sometimes. We spend months and years delaying starting a project, once we start, we spend countless hours developing our products and services only to get our website up in the hope of success, fame and fortune and unfortunately our visitors just aren’t turning in to customers.

We rack our brains, is it the price?  Is it the product?  Is the competition offering something better!?

Or could it just be that our website isn’t doing what it is supposed to.

The customer journey when arriving at your website initially seems simple.  Customer should arrive, find your product and service and then purchase or enquire –Right?  Unfortunately, not in most cases.

Over time the intricacies of how users interact with websites has evolved and the insights that we have garnered over time begin to come clear, it’s all too easy to have a great product or service and have your website let you down.

In this article we are going to have a look at a few of the reasons that website visitors aren’t converting in to customers or leads.  We will use Google’s free tool Google Analytics to analyse insights that uncover important information about what users are doing once they arrive at your website.

For people reading this that don’t have analytics installed or aren’t sure where to start, we will be running a workshop which covers setting up and using google analytics for founders, business owners and junior marketers. For more information, head over here.  If you are interested in joining us, use the coupon code “EAS2018” for a 30% Discount

TLDR –Jump Ahead:

The customer journey

Before we delve in to some of the insights we can get from google analytics lets briefly go over the customer journey.

A website should be designed with a purpose. And that is generally to have users perform one of the following actions:

  1. Purchase a product or service
  2. Have a website visitor enquire about a product or service
  3. Have a website visitor opt in for a newsletter or other ongoing email resource

We use various marketing methods to get a customer on to our website and then once on the website our goal is to get them to complete one of the previously mentioned actions.

So why aren’t they?

Using Google Analytics we can get an insight in to our user’s behaviour once on our site.  If you don’t have Google Analytics installed check out this resource. Otherwise if you are interested in coming a long to a workshop on the subject check out this link for more information. (use coupon code “EAS2018” for a 30% discount)


Are users coming to your site?

This seems obvious, but without visitors you can’t even begin to optimise your website for action conversions. If you aren’t getting enough users to your site, you will have to focus on your marketing and advertising efforts.

The most common ways of driving traffic are SEO, Social Media Advertising, Google AdWords amongst a myriad of others.  Discussing marketing methods is outside the scope of this article, but to view your website visitors do the following:

From the analytics dashboard go to Audience > Overview make sure you have selected the correct date period in the top right corner of the screen.  Look at the “Users” metric to get an idea of how many people are coming to your website.

To get your expectations right, according to the average conversion rate for an ecommerce store globally in Q4 2016 was 2.95% other sources such as MarketingSherpa have a range of 1 – 5% conversion for eccomerce stores.
According to Formstack contact forms convert around 1% of the time.

So to be safe, lets peg a general action conversion rate at 1%, you may need a page accessed 100 times in order to get your users to perform your desired action even once, so don’t be alarmed if you are falling within that rate.  If you aren’t however, keep reading and let’s look at some reasons why.


Users aren’t being presented with a clear enough action to take

One possible reason for users not enquiring, opting in or purchasing could be that your desired action hasn’t been made clear enough.  When analysing google analytics you can identify whether users are arriving at the pages that present your desired action.  If users are arriving at these pages, but are NOT performing your desired action then it could be quite possible that your call to actions are not clear enough.

To view the performance of individual pages in google analytics go to:

Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages

On this page you can type the page name in the filter box if you know the url of the page, otherwise just look through the list until you find it.  Looking at the “Page Views” column, if you are getting a desirable number of page views but not many successful actions taken, check to make sure that your CTA’s are frequent, clear and stand out next to the rest of your content.

*In this instance, you will have to manually check your inbox or crm to compare actions taken, there is a relatively simple way of getting analytics to track successful form submissions, but that is out of the scope of this article.  Another way would be to check the unique views on the thank you page relative to your desired action.


Why are people leaving?

So let’s say you are a dog person and you arrive at a page about cats.  What is the first thing you might do?  Would you, say, leave the page?

Content and visitors engaging in your content is important because it signifies that you have the right visitors and they like what you to do and are interested in.  Often times, engaging content gives the users the trust they need to buy, enquire or even subscribe for future articles.

**btw, feel like subscribing?

Google analytics has a way of tracking this and it does it through the “Bounce Rate” and the “Exit Rate” metrics.  The two can be slightly confusing at first so see their definitions below:

Bounce Rate is The number of visitors that leave your page after viewing only that one page

Exit Rate is The number of visitors who exit your page after having visited at least one other page

Before continuing its important to note that there are natural and unnatural bounces and exits, as an example having a user exit from a thank you page makes complete sense.  Additionally, a bounce rate may indicate that an information page did exactly as it was supposed to, inform, present no action and allow the user to move on.

However, a bounce rate on a page that is meant to lead users to other pages such as an enquiry page or an information page indicates that users aren’t finding the links that they need or aren’t interested in the links they are clearly seeing. –Wrong types of visitors.

A high exit rate on a page that is meant to have a user submit an enquiry, opt in or make a purchase may indicate that users are arriving at the right page but do not feel compelled to move to the next stage by performing the desired action. –This could be for a myriad of reasons that you now have to devise tests for.

The best area of analytics to look at these metrics is in

Behaviour > Content Drilldown

Locate the page you are looking to analyse and view the “Bounce Rate” and “% Exit”

-Remember, bounce is when they arrive directly at the page and leave & exit is where they have arrived elsewhere on your site, then browsed to your page and THEN left.

Analyse your important pages and then devise ways to improve action conversion on the pages.


Users find your content boring or unengaging

So we right content in the hopes that our visitors value it and find it useful, whether its informing them of upcoming events, engaging them with interesting stories or any number of other types of content.  The goal is usually the same, give the visitor what they are looking for and have them reward you by taking action.

How do we know if our visitors aren’t interested, are unengaged or haven’t found what they are looking for?

We have already covered the Bounce Rate and the Exit Rate.  But there is another clue that tells us if our content is engaging and that is “Avg Time on Page”.  Now again, it makes sense that some pages don’t get a lot of airtime, sometimes they simply aren’t meant to.  Many pages are only there to lead to other pages or take an enquiry, however some pages (like this one) are meant to be useful.

As an example, this content page is around 1500 words, with an average reading speed of 200 word per minute, to simply read the entire page would take 7.5 minutes.  If one was to have analytics open in another window and be looking at some of these examples in real time (estimating each example at another 30 seconds) then the following table would represent this articles success rate:

Success Rate Time
100% > 9 Minutes
75% > 6 Minutes 45 Seconds
50% > 4.5 Minutes
25% >2 Minutes 15 Seconds
0% <2 Minutes 15 Seconds

Given that the metric we have is Average Time on Page, some visitors may not engage at all and some may engage, so I would be happy with a 50% success rate –That is an Avg Time of 4.5 Minutes+ on the page.

To find this in analytics I would go to Site Content > All Pages, look to the “Avg Time on Page” column and evaluate accordingly.  If the average time is too low, then you content could be boring or unengaging, liven it up or tweak it accordingly!

Ah, you made it!

That sums up some of the reasons that could be deterring some of your future customers from taking the actions you want them to.  While only the basics, it should get you started in making sure that you improve your website in a meaningful way that ultimately makes you and your site more successful.

Would love to know if you found this useful or if you have any other questions, please comment below and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

Hope to hear from you soon,

For those interested, we will be running a workshop which covers setting up and using google analytics for founders, business owners and junior marketers for more information head over here.  If you are interested in joining us, use the coupon code “EAS2018” for a 30% Discount.


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